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Jan Erik Kongshaug R.I.P.
Old 13th November 2019
  #1
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Jan Erik Kongshaug R.I.P.

May he rest in peace.
Old 13th November 2019
  #2
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robert82's Avatar
This thread was started a few years back:

Jan Erik Kongshaug tribute

He was my idol. I have followed his career for over 40 years. His talent was the sound behind so many ECM recordings. His techniques with reverb were his art - and he was a Master. He will be deeply missed.
Old 13th November 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 
khedger's Avatar
 

I have marvelled over the years at the sound of his ECM recordings. RIP

keith
Old 13th May 2020
  #4
i've just bumped into this thread, and am quite shocked to learn that mr. Kongshaug has passed away some months ago.

very sad to hear.
he will be missed indeed, by hundreds of talented musicians who gained so fine sound and production thanks to him, and by many ECM fans.



but i find strange that so little reaction comes from gs, and gs is all about production and recording. two arts of which humble norwegian was a true master.

some hundreds of fine albums in my room have his signature, i will enjoy them as long as i live.

thank you jan erik.
Old 13th May 2020
  #5
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg View Post
i've just bumped into this thread, and am quite shocked to learn that mr. Kongshaug has passed away some months ago.

very sad to hear.
he will be missed indeed, by hundreds of talented musicians who gained so fine sound and production thanks to him, and by many ECM fans.



but i find strange that so little reaction comes from gs, and gs is all about production and recording. two arts of which humble norwegian was a true master.

some hundreds of fine albums in my room have his signature, i will enjoy them as long as i live.

thank you jan erik.
I feel you. But sadly, GS is mostly about electronic music these days.

Kongshaug was a true mast of the recording arts - microphones recording acoustic instruments and mixed and mastered as great works of art.
Old 14th May 2020
  #6
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
This thread was started a few years back:

Jan Erik Kongshaug tribute

He was my idol. I have followed his career for over 40 years. His talent was the sound behind so many ECM recordings. His techniques with reverb were his art - and he was a Master. He will be deeply missed.
Several of my professors at Berklee, late mid to late 70's, were on the ECM label, either as headliners or session players.

I remember Mike Gibbs talking a lot about the differences between the ECM sound and traditional jazz recordings of the era.

It was quite a time, and ECM was an innovator - loved the sound, it still influences everything I do today.
Old 14th May 2020
  #7
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
The reverb always sounded thick and like Lexicon 480L. Does anyone know or have a source for his recording and mixing preferences?
Old 14th May 2020
  #8
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
The reverb always sounded thick and like Lexicon 480L. Does anyone know or have a source for his recording and mixing preferences?
Here's a good discussion.

ECM recording techniques

I talked with a guy who did a record in Rainbow Studio, said he was always trying to look over Jan Erik's shoulder to catch some of his reverb secrets. He said several reverbs were in use, the 960L, TC 6000 and M7, often in parallel and with EQ on the sends.

The 480L was the sound of records in that studio from maybe 1986 to the late 90s. But he would also run the Lex 224 along with the EMT 140 in the earlier days. It's a kind of alchemy I continually seek to understand!
Old 14th May 2020
  #9
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Here's a good discussion.

ECM recording techniques

I talked with a guy who did a record in Rainbow Studio, said he was always trying to look over Jan Erik's shoulder to catch some of his reverb secrets. He said several reverbs were in use, the 960L, TC 6000 and M7, often in parallel and with EQ on the sends.

The 480L was the sound of records in that studio from maybe 1986 to the late 90s. But he would also run the Lex 224 along with the EMT 140 in the earlier days. It's a kind of alchemy I continually seek to understand!
Thank you! This thread seems vaguely familiar. Thanks for the reminder!

The sound of ECM I'm most familiar with is the late 70s through the 80s, so I guess the sound of the 480L was part of that.
Old 14th May 2020
  #10
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Thank you! This thread seems vaguely familiar. Thanks for the reminder!

The sound of ECM I'm most familiar with is the late 70s through the 80s, so I guess the sound of the 480L was part of that.
70s was primarily the EMT140. Lex 224 came out in 78 or 79. 480l in 86.

The thing about JEK was his absolute mastery of reverb, no matter what the machine was. He got sounds out of the plate like no other - and then proceeded to pioneer the usage and versatility of the Lexicon machines. It's safe to say that Eicher considered the Lexicon reverbs as a unique instrument in and of itself, one that contributed a distinct and integral voice to his productions.
Old 14th May 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Here's a good discussion.

ECM recording techniques

I talked with a guy who did a record in Rainbow Studio, said he was always trying to look over Jan Erik's shoulder to catch some of his reverb secrets. He said several reverbs were in use, the 960L, TC 6000 and M7, often in parallel and with EQ on the sends.

The 480L was the sound of records in that studio from maybe 1986 to the late 90s. But he would also run the Lex 224 along with the EMT 140 in the earlier days. It's a kind of alchemy I continually seek to understand!
jek was a monolith - genre-defining!

___


[i wish manfred eicher would have let him do things more often the way he (jek) and sometimes also the bands wanted things to sound...
i'm pretty sure that certain dissonances had finally led to the break-up, although jek was discreet enough to never say anything about it to outsiders.
however, i've talked to several musicians who had expressed their view on things quite bluntly (and paid for this holding with getting thrown out of the label or projects being put on hold until they dropped out on their own)]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 29th May 2020 at 09:19 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 14th May 2020
  #12
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post

[i wish manfred eicher would have let him do things more often the way he (jek) and sometimes also the bands wanted things to sound...
i'm pretty sure that certain dissonances had finally led to the break-up, although jek was discreet enough to never say anything about it to outsiders.
I was not aware of a "breakup". I guess this is why ECM productions of the last few years have been at places like Studio La Buissonne in France and Artesuono in Udine. Still great reverb, though!
Old 14th May 2020
  #13
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no comnent...

but let's celebrate jek!

a friend of mine once mentioned that a specific form/type of clouds in the sky would remind him of how some albums which jek recorded/mixed would sound - i don't recall whether he was referring to pat metheny's 'american garage' or jan garbarek's 'eventyr' and whether that analogy was aiming at nothing but the sound or maybe also at the pics on the covers - in any case, i gladly adopted my friend's idea and i keep looking out for "jek's clouds"!
Old 15th May 2020
  #14
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no comnent...

but let's celebrate jek!

a friend of mine once mentioned that a specific form/type of clouds in the sky would remind him of how some albums which jek recorded/mixed would sound - i don't recall whether he was referring to pat metheny's 'american garage' or jan garbarek's 'eventyr' and whether that analogy was aiming at nothing but the sound or maybe also at the pics on the covers - in any case, i gladly adopted my friend's idea and i keep looking out for "jek's clouds"!
Your friend's "seeing clouds" was as a result of synesthesia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia
Old 15th May 2020
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Oh I did not know....! Yes, Kongshaug was truly a master. Those recordings stand as examples of the best of what is possible with creative audio engineering: creating a sonic landscape or "soundstage" that works to amplify the musician's statement, adding additional layers of atmosphere and emotion onto it.

Anyone interested in recording, no matter what genre, should be aware of Kongshaug's accomplishments.
Old 15th May 2020
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Your friend's "seeing clouds" was as a result of synesthesia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia
nice idea - but not in his case: i used to tease him with the term 'blurry clouds' he's achieving while mixing classical music while i mostly prefer using different technique in order to get clear localisation and less ambient sound regardless of genre; we do agree though that if there's any engineer who achieves 'clouds' we both like, it's jan erik kongshaug: he's the king of stratocumulus clouds - they should get named after him!
Old 29th May 2020
  #17
Gear Maniac
I've read and heard that people once start to complain about the ECM sound that it was just his studio (Talent later Rainbow) and posh gear that did the trick. He then freelanced for over 4 years, abandoning his studio, and away from ECM records too, and was open for assignments all across the world in different studios. Mind you, Pat Methenys "Offramp" was recorded in Power Station NYC, with just JEK flown in behind the desk. Same ECM sound in the end

It was just to show the detractors that he was able to get the same sound anywhere, regardless of equipment. He did so for a quite a while, and when he had shown the world, that it was possible to get the same sound in every studio anyway, he moved back to Oslo again, and he went on to be the pantheon of sound-engineers sound-engineer.

In the decade of sampling libraries and CD's with soundfiles and grooves on, many wanted his take on sample cds of drums, and especially cymbals. He answered "no it's not that easy... " and dissed that whole thing.
Old 29th May 2020
  #18
Gear Maniac
Regarding seeing clouds.

Yes, most of ECM records had that desolate grand cloudy sky sound. Once a friend of mine used to label most ECM records as "cloud" jazz or music, because it was like looking up at the sky on a SUNNY day, albeit with clouds... shiny. We couldn't come up with a better wording. We decided that it was not suitable to drive a car to, though. Your mind went astray..

Many of Terje Rypdals records has "cloud" in their titles, and landscapes in a cloudy environment as record covers. "If Mountains Could Sing", "Skywards", many other ECM records like David Torns "Cloud About Mercury" etc etc.

Full of these allusions, illusionary, imaginary "scapes". Dreamy. Etheral.

But a cloudy reverb? naahhh...there's no reverberation up at the clouds...
Old 30th May 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
OTOH if you hear his two only solo albums on Spotify/iTunes that he made, which wasn't even on ECM, the sound is entirely different. He was an accomplished guitarist too. Find it peculiar that he chose a completely another "flavor" in the mixing, reverb, and ambience sense here.

Straight ahead jazz, very well executed and performed, but lacking somewhat in "passion" and "hungriness" due to that it comes across quite anonymous in the end. I gave these two albums more than a second chance, but can't help that my attention always gets lost before halfway through them both. Can't keep up my attention. It just doesn't grab me and engage me for all the albums through.

The Other World (ACT, 1999)

https://www.actmusic.com/en/Artists/...ease_id)/21200

All These Years (Ponca Jazz, 2003) - all original materal by JEK.

Check them out, just for academic reasons, by all means. To hear their production, and mixing merits, and compare them to his other work behind the desk. Of a more esoteric and introvert note, in the liner notes of the second album, the piano technician is listed as a member of the group.

JEK adored and lauded that guy - Thron Irby - and was the one he used all of the time, and made a lasting impact on him, and even JEK told in interviews that it was crucial on peoples perception of ECM sound. However he didn't reveal that many (or even most) of his ECM albums did not contain piano at all.

https://www.inner-magazines.com/musi...rik-kongshaug/

Where he tells us that he cringes when pianists coming to the studio and not recording their ballads first, and the high energy stuff is recorded last. If it's made the other way around, it f*x up the tuning of the piano (!?!?!). He had to call the piano tuner again, to re-tune it. Sometimes he had to call him twice a day!

Eric Johnson, eat your heart out when it comes to tone nit picking. ..

Last edited by Honch; 30th May 2020 at 08:19 AM..
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