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Alam Lomax Field Recording Equipment
Old 7th March 2018
Gear Maniac

Alam Lomax Field Recording Equipment

Alan Lomax's field recordings of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bessie Jones, etc, are some of the best recordings I have ever heard. Does anybody know what equipment he used?
Old 7th March 2018
Deleted User
You can start with this video...:
Old 8th March 2018
Gear Maniac

Thanks, Moonbaby. I'll check that out. A lot of these recordings were done outside, which I suspect had a significant effect on their sound.
Old 8th March 2018
Lives for gear

Alan Lomax mentioned once in a radio interview with Studs Terkel that he used a magnecord/magnecorder (maybe just in context of recordings in Italy when searchig for the origins of opera, but the context was not clear). This brief interview is available on Terkel's published cds, but Lomax' mention of the magnecord is only in very quick passing and he only says the word "magnecord" without explanation. I'd guess he started with the aluminum/metal recording lathes his father used.

And, in any case, he certainly used other recorders too. For example, this thread has an image which lists an Ampex 601-2 recorder, along with some other items, an a trip 'through Southern States' :
What Mic + Harry Smith/Alan Lomax = OLD

That same image also lists "RCA D77 Mikes" (seemingly three of them) and the thread references the book The Man Who Recorded the World, A Biography of Alan Lomax by John Szwed which may provide more information.

Last edited by Swing; 8th March 2018 at 04:21 PM.. Reason: add RCA "D77" and Szweb book
Old 8th March 2018
Lives for gear
Silvertone's Avatar
Lomax also used Capps microphones. When researching Capps microphones I ran across a few article. Arhoolie Records which released some of Lomax work mentioned them as well.
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