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Published on Dec 6, 2008
Enoch Light was a classical violinist, bandleader, and recording engineer who was a pioneer of early stereo excellence. He would go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took full advantage of current state of the art equipment. He pioneered stereo effects that bounced the sounds between the right and left channels (often described as "ping-pong"). He arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, the first to do so. His ensemble of studio musicians was frequently referred to as The Light Brigade.
The first of the his albums, Persuasive Percussion, became the first huge hit based solely on record sales. His songs received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, was monaural. He released several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series, as well as a Command test record. He doubled the size of his album sleeves but enabled it to fold like a book, thus inventing the gatefold-packaging format. The gatefold sleeve became extremely popular in later decades, and was used on albums such as The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
He pioneered many recording techniques such as the use of 35 mm film soundtrack instead of magnetic tape. Recording on 35 mm film soundtrack reduced the effects of "wow" and "flutter", common in early stereo recordings. The recordings were released under the "35MM" series, starting from "Stereo 35-MM" released by Command Records. Musicians who appeared on his albums include Doc Severinsen, Tony Mottola, Dick Hyman, and arranger Lew Davies.
In 1965, he sold the Command record label to ABC, who began using the label for their lesser quality releases. He continued recording after the sale of Command with a new label called Project 3, but did not concentrate so heavily on stereo effects.