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Rudy Van Gelder... or is this forum too Rock & Roll? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 1st October 2004
  #31
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doorknocker's Avatar
Get the 'Blue Train' SACD version....
I agree though that some of thePrestige/Blue Note CD reissues are horrible. The 'Bill Evans/Tony Bennett' CD reissue was practically unlistenable and an insult to the artists.

Andi
Old 1st October 2004
  #32
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find many of the CDs (particularly Blue Trane) just seem way to trebly and harsh for my tastes - the ear quickly fatigues. It just doesn't seem to be a natural presentation at all

I worked for Universal for 6 or 7 years beginning around '95, and they had a company store that offered all MCA (then Matsu****a, then Seagrams, then Vivendi,.....I got out before NBC) products "at cost". It was a really great deal at first, CDs were like $4(!) and box sets as low as $11(!!!) (that changed by the Vivendi days to just a few bucks off store prices). Anyway, the first jazz CDs I ever purchased were some MCA "hifi" releases of a variety of labels, like Verve, and Impulse. And my introduction to the work of RVG came from a 1963 recording on Impulse, not Blue NOte, the McCoy Tyner record "Nights of Ballads and Blues."

I mention all of this just to get around to an observation: the piano on this record, which is the lead instrument, is remarkably soft sounding, very much to my liking, but others have said it sounds like a shelving filter was cutting off everything over 10k. I know that this is Impulse, not Blue NOte, and that RVG did NOT work on the remastering for CD (I forget who did), but this intro to RVG had me believing that his product was anything BUT harsh. This piano sound on this record sounded more like an earlier recording when a pair of RCA ribbons would have provided the entire source. (ONLY as far as frequency response; the drums are way too present and "in your face" for it to be a simple stereo recording).

Anyway, this and a few other of my early purchases made me feel that RVG was THE man, but now that the topic has been brought up, I want to compare a few RVG engineered records that were CD mastered by someone else, to a few records that RVG has remastered.
Old 3rd October 2004
  #33
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Greg Heimbecker's Avatar
A fond hello to my location brethren!

RVG, the man. the myth, the legend...
the name that apears most often in my vinyl collection. The man for whom "Chasin the Trane" was named for his hand held boom mic technique at live gigs as he tried to capture Trane stalking the stage.

I can't believe I never asked McCoy Tyner about Rudy... I guess I was leary enough for asking him about Trane. The last show I did with him I laid my month old son in his big paws to soak up some of that juju!
(it seems to be working)

Jim McNeely told me Rudy said the gloves were because he had very acidic sweat or oil on his hands that took the finish off of mics and things.

70's Rudy (think CTI) never did it for me the way the Impulse (all those orange & blue spines are sitting in front of me) and Blue Note Rudy did. Was it a change to solid state gear, mics in particular? Creed Taylor? The vibe changed and never returned in the same way in anything i've heard.

hehe, I'm going to have to break into the vinyl again... how dare you bastards make me spend time listening to records!
heh

BTW Henry how did the gig with Art Lande go? Did he lay a copy of the "Boy Girl Band" on you? Another album I did with him just came out on Synergy, Alex Heitlinger's "Green Light".

All the best to you folks. Sorry i've been neglecting the remote forum for a while.

Here's to a new season! cheers!



ps. we should invade one of the rooms in the GS chat some time. It'd be fun to shoot the **** with you guys.
Old 3rd October 2004
  #34
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

In that Temples of Sound book RVG is quoted as saying "the only thing anybody needs to know about my studio is the sounds that came out of it."

This is very meaningful to me. Once you have a clear idea of what's possible and what the sound is you want to achieve, you can achieve it by one means or another.

The piano solo and percussion section of The Father The Son and The Holy Ghost blew my mind- I didn't know such a thing was possible, and I wanted badly to achieve it. Now I'm not working with McCoy, Rashied, and Elvin, but piano and percussion is a lot of what we do, although the music is rather different. Nonetheless, I have been able to achieve such sounds, not because I have any idea what Rudy was using kit-wise or where he put the mics, but because I used my ears and some experimentation and figured it out, by hook or by crook.

Rudy is by no means the man who can do no wrong. But magic happened on his shift suspiciously often, and some of his recordings are incredible.

Another thought on The Father The Son and The Holy Ghost- the recording quality seems so vary throughout each long continuous cut! What that is, is the quality of the arrangement varying- some parts are so musically messy that they are not captured well- other parts, strikingly the piano and percussion interlude, are captured beautifully. Possibly also the sax mics are not being mixed in during the piano solo.
Old 27th December 2004
  #35
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Remoteness's Avatar
Ah yes, Rudy!
Old 27th December 2004
  #36
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And since Steve brought this thread back to life, I must mention a Wes Montgomery/Jimmy Smith record I bought a month or so back - damn, it's good...
Old 15th January 2005
  #37
JTR
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Henry

Oliver Nelson - "Blues And The Soulful Truth"

I'm listening to the cd as I type

dunno man, the clarity, presence, balance and EMT rock my world;

"Etched Presence"

The Mingus/Dowd recordings sound overly tight mic'd for my sensiblilty -
but the music is brilliant
perhaps it's more of a classical/european sense of balance vs. american?

All's I know, I would gladly give my left nut to have been a fly-on-the-wall at those historic recordings...

Jazz Rocks
Old 15th January 2005
  #38
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Waylon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
In that Temples of Sound book RVG is quoted as saying "the only thing anybody needs to know about my studio is the sounds that came out of it."
I feel a new thread coming on.....
Old 15th January 2005
  #39
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Some of the CTI stuff sounded awful....an exception is "Sugar" by Stanley Turrentine.....sounds great!.........one of the best RVG recordings (for me) is Larry Young's "Unity" on Bluenote......though the music (very "out" hard bop) isn't for the faint hearted.
Old 15th January 2005
  #40
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djui5's Avatar
 

Don't know if it was posted earlier...as I didn't read the whole thread..but there was a interview in TapeOp not too long ago with the man himeslf.

He didn't disclose anything about his recordings..but there's a few pictures of his studio in there.
Very interesting article.
Old 15th January 2005
  #41
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Remember that in the '60s most of the top jazz players earned most of their living from playing advertising and record dates around Manhattan as session musicians. A trip out to Rudy's place was a welcome break in a hectic schedule. I'm pretty sure the mystique originated with the musicians themselves who didn't want labels to book jazz sessions, i.e. their personal artistic expression sandwiched in between dates for commercials at the major Manhattan studios.
Old 13th November 2005
  #42
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vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
I have a Mingus CD that was recorded by RVG and it has pictures of Mingus in the studio. It might not be his studio though and I don't remember seeing any equipment worth mentioning. I've thought about trying to book some time with him to record my stuff and observe. But, I probably couldn't pull it off now because my chops are bad. If I had thought of it about five years ago when I was fresh off college and playing and studying every day I might've been able to fake my way through some semi-respectable standards. Now I'm lucky to pull of Louie Louie without a clam.
grudge
Well, maybe I'm not that bad but still. I used to be a musician, now I just record them.
nice idea Jay, to book rec. tive with Rudy, i shure would have blown some sax
What instrument are you playing , guess trumpet ?
I am a tenor sax player and earn my money with playing, since few years i am learning to record myself and all other bands that play in a Jazz club i am menaging.

But there must be some Jazz musician who could tell what mics RVG was using and how he positioned the them and where in the room were the musicians , i can't believe there NO recollections of any kind somwhere on the web or books???
Like , how did he record his "boxy" piano sound that became a 60s jazz signature ?
Old 22nd November 2005
  #43
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Idris Muhammad my nextdoor neighbor

Hey guys;
As it happens, my next door neighbor is drummer Idris Muhammad...
He told me that he has done over 150 sessions at Rudy's place.
We've sat at my bar and he has told many great stories about those days.

I've asked him a few times about some stuff, mic'ing, mixers, recorders, etc, etc,...
but Idris isn't the kind of guy who really cared about equipment or microphones.
So I've come up empty handed.

But with reading this thread today, I'm gonna go next door and see if he has any photos of any of these sessions.
If I find out anything I'll let you guys know ASAP!

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios.com
Old 22nd November 2005
  #44
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vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler
Hey guys;
As it happens, my next door neighbor is drummer Idris Muhammad...
He told me that he has done over 150 sessions at Rudy's place.
We've sat at my bar and he has told many great stories about those days.

I've asked him a few times about some stuff, mic'ing, mixers, recorders, etc, etc,...
but Idris isn't the kind of guy who really cared about equipment or microphones.
So I've come up empty handed.

But with reading this thread today, I'm gonna go next door and see if he has any photos of any of these sessions.
If I find out anything I'll let you guys know ASAP!

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios.com
I used to live and play in N.Y. about 10 years ago and was lucky to have a chance to play with lots of old time greats that recorded with Rudy , but at that time i was myself reluctunt of the gear and only cared about music and how my own sax would sound :( now that i am busy learning recording and producing music myself in my jazz club in Nice(French Riviera) i regret my ignorance. (

One strange ancounter though:
in earlier 90's i was recording for Criss-Cross rec.-Timeless rec. in Netherlands with a sound engeneer that told me he knows Rudy van Gelder (dutch connection maybe?) and that he took some lessons from Rudy in his New Jersey studio... well non of the musicians on the session including myself were happy with the clean tracked sound in the control room and with the final CD either...
actually all recordings that this sound engeneer produced sounded digital, overhyped lows and highs EQ and most jazz musicians recorded for that label were not happy with the sound...when i told him "its not how my tenor sounds" or the bass player asked " i am playing acoustic bass not electric bass guitar" he would argue for hours and tell us " that's the way you should sound" would you believe it????
I dosn't have anything to do with Rudy - just to demonstrate how unique Rudy's sound is that even so called his students cannot come close ( or maybe its a luck of ears?) !!!

Looking forward to hear some stories about the old days Jazz recording methods.
Wow, wat a great studio you have Paul i love to see that analog TLA console - how do you like it?
Old 22nd November 2005
  #45
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Love that ole tube / transformer sound

Actually I love the console...
And for Jazz and blues it sounds wonderful.

Did an Ahmad Jamal Record on it a year or so ago...
Recording came out beautiful.

Paul
Old 22nd November 2005
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

good old valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler
Actually I love the console...
And for Jazz and blues it sounds wonderful.

Did an Ahmad Jamal Record on it a year or so ago...
Recording came out beautiful.

Paul
i dream about all valve - tube recording one day , for now all i could afford is
to do all my recordings in a "box" : ( AKG Solid Tube+few other cheapo mics tracked live trough TL Audio Ivory 4 channel pres - Motu828 - Logic audio 7) desperately trying to emulate warm analog-valve sound using plugins(Wintage Warmer, T-Racks) .
as u can see i am stil very far from the 'real' pro gear...but hey i am a selfrecording jazz musician

Met Ahmad Jamal on the NewPort Jazz fest in 1996 where i played with my 4tet , we had a lunch together - what a great inspiring musician and a great personality !
Old 23rd November 2005
  #47
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Steve, this is a great thread. I though I was the only one in total awe of RVG's discography. You've done it again! Maybe Rudy will bless us with some wisdom....

JvB
Old 23rd November 2005
  #48
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

All of us at Motown were in complete awe of Rudy and many of us jumped on every new release.
Old 23rd November 2005
  #49
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bongo's Avatar
I thought I would chime in, since I've actually worked with Rudy and Creed on these projects. Les McCann and Roger Kellaway.

It was 1985 and I was hired by bassist Gary King as a Linn drum programmer! I'm pretty sure I was the first person to bring in a drum machine or a synth to Rudy's studio.

I can remember walking into the playing room. A large room with a wooden cathedral ceiling and a drum booth. On the floor, around the walls, were hundreds of reels of 2" tape. I remember seeing a couple George Benson tapes (probably because at that time he was the only jazz artist I've heard of!) What I don't remember is seeing any great microphones. I do remember seeing small dynamics like Altecs or EV's.

We set up in his control room. A Neve console and a MM1200. Big studio monitors in the wall to the left of the console. My biggest memory is Gary recording synth bass and Rudy soloing the hand claps. Gary just kept playing even though he couldn't hear himself! Every time Gary would need another track, Rudy would put on his white gloves, go out into the playing room and switch mic inputs. Either the console didn't have buss outs, a patch bay or he didn't like using them. It seemed pretty bizarre.
He hardly had any outboard gear. There was a Urie digital metronome and another Urie piece, possibly a Little Dipper? I remember asking him what it was and him saying "It's a black box". I didn't ask him anything else!

I've worked with lots of musicians who've worked there over the years. Piano players are always commenting on the fact that you can't touch the piano until you start recording!
Old 23rd November 2005
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
All of us at Motown were in complete awe of Rudy and many of us jumped on every new release.
as much as i love jazz music and classic jazz records as a sax player and a "bedroom producer" i am also a huge fun of Motown vintage sound ,
hats off mr. Olhsson!
Old 23rd November 2005
  #51
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo
I've worked with lots of musicians who've worked there over the years. Piano players are always commenting on the fact that you can't touch the piano until you start recording!
why do you think he would act like that and do you remember by chance how he placed microphones for piano?
To me RVG piano sound is his total trademark and one of his most controvercial sounding instruments on his 50's-60's work some people admire his EQed piano sound some hate it.
Old 23rd November 2005
  #52
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rlnyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness
He was an optometrist and got into recording as a hobby.
i guess he had "vision', eh?

best,
rlncy
Old 23rd November 2005
  #53
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Nuthing from Idris as yet.

Idris Muhammad just came back from a week or so tour with Ahmad Jamal.
I heard him come home, but no sign of him as yet.
He usually stays in for a day or so after, I don't wanna bother him, so I haven't had a chance to chat with him as yet...
But I did have dinner last night with Eddie Kramer...
Yet another bunch of great stories by a legend.

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios.com
Old 24th November 2005
  #54
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler
Idris Muhammad just came back from a week or so tour with Ahmad Jamal.
I heard him come home, but no sign of him as yet.
He usually stays in for a day or so after, I don't wanna bother him, so I haven't had a chance to chat with him as yet...
But I did have dinner last night with Eddie Kramer...
Yet another bunch of great stories by a legend.

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios.com
Not that i dont like leaving next to the sea in the old town of Nice and have the sun n stuff ,
BUT when i read that, man, i miss New York - there is just no other place on earth with
so many legendary people and so much creative talent and energy on one spot!
Old 27th November 2005
  #55
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
You lucky bastard!

Hey, Domitori...
Boy am I jealous....
It's only 18 degrees as I write this message here in Millbrook, with a light snow coming down...
And this is just the start of winter...
I was wondering....
Can I come visit?
For a few days, months, years,
Haha

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios
Old 27th November 2005
  #56
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler
Hey, Domitori...
Boy am I jealous....
It's only 18 degrees as I write this message here in Millbrook, with a light snow coming down...
And this is just the start of winter...
I was wondering....
Can I come visit?
For a few days, months, years,
Haha

Paul
www.millbrooksoundstudios
Its extremely cold everywhere in Europe too this year , well... relatively cold for spoilt mediterranean people here at the Cote D'Azure
i would be glad to see you on my saturday Jazz Nights
at The BarDesOiseaux (birds bar) i would blow my tenor sax for you and introduce you to some nice local medetarrenian dishes and good frnch wine .

just came back home after playing there. trying to fall asleep listening the original vinyl rec. 1962 Modern Jazz Quartet - Lonely Woman (Atlantic 1381) recording engineers Tom Dowd & Phil Iehle. Actually a great sounding recording too ... hey but its Tom Dowd!
Old 29th May 2006
  #57
Here for the gear
 

100% agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by naturalstudio
Just thought I'd represent the other side and say that I'm not really a big fan of the Blue Note recordings. However, I wonder if the problem could be that I've never heard any of the original pressings.

I find many of the CDs (particularly Blue Trane) just seem way to trebly and harsh for my tastes - the ear quickly fatigues. It just doesn't seem to be a natural presentation at all. I find the Columbia recordings of the same time much less tiresome with an altogether more cohesive sound.

Anyone else agree?

Douglas.
The original vinyl MONO pressings are a treasure and very easy on the ear; the ( esp. Blue Note ) remasters and CD's aren't anywhere near as good

Why: Original masters decayed over time? No longer using tube gear in the loop? Poor A/D conversion? Lousy EQ? Before the mid 1950's the LP's didn't use RIAA equalization; the tonal balance seems tipped up to the bright side on anything other than the originals

More than one RVG mastered LP I have has the piano pedals squeeking noticeably, he would have had the mike down low on the floor. I suspect he didn't want the dynamics of the piano overwhelming the performances

That's why those mixes are so liked/disliked, he's made an effort to put the piano in the background * without Protools *

RVG DIY'd a lot of his equipment, like another famous NJ resident , Saul Marantz

El Gippo
Old 29th May 2006
  #58
Gear Nut
 
JazzYoda's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
why do you think he would act like that and do you remember by chance how he placed microphones for piano?
To me RVG piano sound is his total trademark and one of his most controvercial sounding instruments on his 50's-60's work some people admire his EQed piano sound some hate it.

First question, probably to prolong the piano tuning.

Second question, schoeps over the sound hole.
Attached Thumbnails
Rudy Van Gelder... or is this forum too Rock & Roll?-307ad449-c45b-42b4-8539-4367a0b4c02c.big.jpg  
Old 29th May 2006
  #59
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vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzYoda
First question, probably to prolong the piano tuning.

Second question, schoeps over the sound hole.
what is prolong piano tuning means?

Thanks for a Sonny Clark picture , i def. see a mic over the sound hole.

What do you think of the "Gypcyelectro" opinion about the floor miking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsielectro
More than one RVG mastered LP I have has the piano pedals squeeking noticeably, he would have had the mike down low on the floor. I suspect he didn't want the dynamics of the piano overwhelming the performances
Old 29th May 2006
  #60
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
what is prolong piano tuning means?

Thanks for a Sonny Clark picture , i def. see a mic over the sound hole.

What do you think of the "Gypcyelectro" opinion about the floor miking?
If you want to see more picture of RVG recording sessions from the 1960s, visit the gallery at www.ctijazz.com.

You won't see any floor mics on the piano. Just a single Schoeps 221 with a nylon windscreen placed over the soundhole.

Not the most accurate way of recording piano, but good because there will be less leakage of other instruments. The musicians set up together in the room and don't require headphones, therefore the performance is much better than if the were isolated.
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