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Rudy Van Gelder... or is this forum too Rock & Roll? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 29th May 2006
  #61
Gear Nut
 
JazzYoda's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
what is prolong piano tuning means?
To keep the piano from going out of tune. They always do, so he likely figured it would be better to happen later than earlier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
What do you think of the "Gypcyelectro" opinion about the floor miking?
AFAIK, Rudy never used a floor mic. More likely the pedal needed oil and the soundboard picked up the noise.
Old 29th May 2006
  #62
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
I absoutely hate the piano sound RVG gets. I know he's looking for minimum leakage, but the tone is absent, at least for me. Low pass/HI Pass, boosted mids and many recordings it distorts. I'll have to pull out the vinyl equivalents and compare. McCoy Tyner's "The Real McCoy" is an example.

Harsh is a word I nused on page 1 and now at least there are a couple of people who agree with me.
Old 29th May 2006
  #63
Gear Maniac
 
vintagefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzYoda
To keep the piano from going out of tune. They always do, so he likely figured it would be better to happen later than earlier.




AFAIK, Rudy never used a floor mic. More likely the pedal needed oil and the soundboard picked up the noise.
1st question: what is the method to keep a piano from going out of tune besides not moving it and tuning a bit after each set?
2nd question:
how did Rudy achieved the piano , bass and drums sound recorded without to much bleeding in from the horns that are always the loudest? did he used real close miking or
did he use the other methods?
Old 29th May 2006
  #64
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
1st question: what is the method to keep a piano from going out of tune besides not moving it and tuning a bit after each set?
2nd question:
how did Rudy achieved the piano , bass and drums sound recorded without to much bleeding in from the horns that are always the loudest? did he used real close miking or
did he use the other methods?
I have posted this before. If you want to see photos of RVG sessions from the 1960s, visit the gallery section of www.ctijazz.com

You'll notice how everything was mic'ed. No bass direct, no isolation. 2 mics on drums 1 on bass, 1 in piano (see JazzYoda's post above).

The piano will sound that way with the mic in the hole. I do it all the time. RVG's piano, a Stienway B, is a dark one anyway, and all that stuff was recorded 1/4" @ 15ips on the sh#t tape that was available back then.

And yes, there was plenty of horn bleed in the other mics, and no doubt plenty of rhythm section bleed in the horn mics. So what, just MIX it to sound good. As Fletcher likes to say: "This is not a problem."
Old 30th May 2006
  #65
Gear Nut
 
JazzYoda's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
1st question: what is the method to keep a piano from going out of tune besides not moving it and tuning a bit after each set?
There are many methods. Have a good pinblock. Keep the studio temp and humidity controlled. Don't let people play the piano unless it's the real thing. Hire a tuner with a strong left hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by domitori
2nd question:
how did Rudy achieved the piano , bass and drums sound recorded without to much bleeding in from the horns that are always the loudest? did he used real close miking or
did he use the other methods?
Rudy loved close microphones. His bass mic was usually nearly touching the bass (with a foam windscreen). Same for all the rest. In my experience (over 100 jazz recording dates) bleed from the horns is almost never an issue. Usually the biggest issue is drums leaking too much into the piano or bass mic.

I am of the "bleed is good" mindset. I like things to sound the way they do when we are playing.

JazzYoda
Old 2nd June 2006
  #66
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I've got an issue of Wax Poetics around here somewhere with a lengthy article on RVG. If I recall, some of the musicians and/or himself mention a bit about the gear/techniques used. I'll have to double check. One thing that does stick out in my mind is his mention of this barn that he turned into a studio. I belive thiers a portion in the article where one of the players who played there describe the studio as being like a "mini-cathedral", which was an huge obsession of RVGs from conception. I'll report back anything interesting if I find that article.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #67
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GL Respect Due
I've got an issue of Wax Poetics around here somewhere with a lengthy article on RVG. If I recall, some of the musicians and/or himself mention a bit about the gear/techniques used. I'll have to double check. One thing that does stick out in my mind is his mention of this barn that he turned into a studio. I belive thiers a portion in the article where one of the players who played there describe the studio as being like a "mini-cathedral", which was an huge obsession of RVGs from conception. I'll report back anything interesting if I find that article.
In the 1950s, Van Gelder recorded in his parent's living room in Hackensak NJ.

In 1959 he built a studio in Englewood Cliffs NJ about a 9-iron shot from the George Washington Bridge. This studio was often described as churchlike or a "mini-cathedral". It has cement-block walls and a dramatic arch to the ceiling. Large soaring beams and slatts all of wood. It is unsupported by columms.

As I have stated in earlier posts, photos can be seen at www.ctijazz.com in the gallery section.

It was contructed new in '59 for recording. Never a barn.

As for his gear, all I know is that he used mainly Schoeps tube mics. 221b and/or cm60. He always had the schoeps nylon "basket" windscreens on them. It is difficult to know what capsule was used on everything but one can assume mostly cardioid, possibly omni as a drum or HH mic. I've been told by a friend, a noted jazz historian, that RVG had a mic way up in the ceiling for room ambiance.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #68
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Edit: No luck finding the article.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #69
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
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
Thanks JvB! I hear you but...

I don't think we'll be hearing from RVG anytime soon.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #70
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber
...He always had the schoeps nylon "basket" windscreens on them...
Neumann windscreens of that era also looked like that.
Old 4th June 2006
  #71
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
Neumann windscreens of that era also looked like that.
Really, were they for KM54 only? I'd like to see pictures.
Post a link if you find any.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #72
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Ahh, KM54s...

I wish I had a few of those puppies to play with.
Old 4th September 2007
  #73
mal
Gear Head
 

Blue Note released a cd last year I think of Rudy's choices of his favourite recordings..also had a dvd of Michael Cuscuna interviewing him in his studio..fascinating..views around the studio..he seems to have a Soundtraxs/Digico digital desk -D3- with Rudy talking about his spce, and what inspired him to build (the old Columbia 30th street studio -(Kind of Blue etc.,..)....
whilst some of the sounds have dated..esp piano with the mic in the hole (Bill Evans hated this)-...he was going for immediacy with his Schoeps and 47s close to the instruments,,,this suited the music of the time bop/hard bop and post bop..late 60's ealry 70's styles weren't so suitable for his studio or probably him artistically......his approach though of no headphones and muso's reasonably close to each other gave us some great performances and he captured them to the best if his ability..his best days I think are behind him..but what a legacy...
Old 4th September 2007
  #74
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mal View Post
.his best days I think are behind him..but what a legacy...
I think his best days were over 'round about 1969.
Old 4th September 2007
  #75
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I absoutely hate the piano sound RVG gets. I know he's looking for minimum leakage, but the tone is absent, at least for me. Low pass/HI Pass, boosted mids and many recordings it distorts. I'll have to pull out the vinyl equivalents and compare. McCoy Tyner's "The Real McCoy" is an example.

Harsh is a word I nused on page 1 and now at least there are a couple of people who agree with me.

i totally agree with this.

always hated the sound... pinched, i guess... sounds like a spinet with the lid shut....
Old 4th September 2007
  #76
Gear Head
 
JP66's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I absoutely hate the piano sound RVG gets. I know he's looking for minimum leakage, but the tone is absent, at least for me. Low pass/HI Pass, boosted mids and many recordings it distorts. I'll have to pull out the vinyl equivalents and compare. McCoy Tyner's "The Real McCoy" is an example.

Harsh is a word I nused on page 1 and now at least there are a couple of people who agree with me.
good. I thought I was the only one. It basically sounds like a piano passed through a cheap high pass filter. It's totally unnatural. I've never heard a single RVG recorded blue note session from the golden era and thought that the piano sounded even remotely realistic, and I've heard hundreds of those sessions mostly on CD and a few dozen on vinyl.
Old 5th September 2007
  #77
been there ... but don't remember much

I was fortunate to visit RVG's studio several times in the early 80s during my Audiotechniques daze, I mean days ... (way back when I first met Steve Remote as well.) I don't remember very much except that the monitors were on the side of the console instead of facing the engineer from behind the console. The room had a cool vibe, unlike some of the studios in NYC at the time that felt more like laboratories. my 2 cents...
Old 19th April 2010
  #78
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sedohr's Avatar
 

Thread awake!

Have any information regarding RVG recording methods surfaced since 2007?

Kalli
Old 19th April 2010
  #79
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The John Coltrane sound on classics like "A Love Supreme", is a very dry sound, the opposite of a washed out vintage sax sound. The dryness of the recordings makes for an unusual clarity, especially in the saxophone, a modern jazz sound which is totally revealing and untampered with, the lack of reverb augmenting the audio quality. It gives it a kind of documentary vibe of reality.
What is unusual is that some of the sax playing is multitracked,
although there is only one sax at a time, with reverb added to some of the quietest parts, the opposite of what would occur in nature.
Old 20th April 2010
  #80
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

RVG hasn't made good recordings since 1969.
Old 20th April 2010
  #81
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
RVG hasn't made good recordings since 1969.
Anybody know why? What happened??
Old 20th April 2010
  #82
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Anybody know why? What happened??
He changed from all tube gear to solid state.

He began to use isolation and headphones.

He was also recording music of lesser quality.
Old 20th April 2010
  #83
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Mike O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
He changed from all tube gear to solid state.

He began to use isolation and headphones.

He was also recording music of lesser quality.
Agreed re: negative effects of headphones and isolation.

And although it is impossible to compare the quality of RVGs CTI releases to the musicians, music and sound quality recorded prior to '69 (leaving aside the issue of piano) but I for one very much like much of Milt Jackson's 'Sunflower'.

Typical CTI excesses abound, but there is some truly great interplay between Hubbard, Jackson, Hancock, and Cobham. As much as I enjoy'd Cobham's Spectrum (totally different bag), his playing on Sunflower is the opposite of what he became known for in his fusion days.

Find the vinyl...the CD remastered absolutely STINKS by comparison. Suspect a remix and/or remastering by a deaf individual.
Old 21st April 2010
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O View Post

Find the vinyl...the CD remastered absolutely STINKS by comparison. Suspect a remix and/or remastering by a deaf individual.
There are some RVG CD remasters that are good. The Presteige stuff remastered in the 90s sucks, like the Complete Miles Davis Prestiege dates like "Workin'", "Steamin'" etc.. But the Impulse 24-bit collection is good as is the RVG series Blue Note stuff. Still, the LPs are better.

BTW, even the Columbia 30th Street recordings in the 70s are bad. It was just a dark time for acoustic jazz recording.
Old 21st April 2010
  #85
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
RVG hasn't made good recordings since 1969.
wow...

just...

wow.
Old 21st April 2010
  #86
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
RVG hasn't made good recordings since 1969.
Old 21st April 2010
  #87
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Beginning around 1969 musicians began demanding the ability to punch in mistakes. Lots of stuff went to hell in order to accommodate doing that.
Old 21st April 2010
  #88
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Who engineered Miles Davis "On the Corner" ? Great stuff.
Old 21st April 2010
  #89
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soultrane's Avatar
must be why when i listen to airto's "free" i say to myself "this would have been a great sounding record if only this would have been 1968..."

creed and rudy were a HOT team, many of those 70's cti records are masterpieces right down to the gatefold, and u cats who are scared of electricity need to recognize!!!
Old 21st April 2010
  #90
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
wow...

just...

wow.
Okay, 1970.

The golden age of Blue Note, Prestige and Impulse was over. The CTI stuff was more commercial. Some of it was good but not the same quality as the stuff he was recording in the 50s and 60s.

RVG took several years off in the late 70s/early 80s when his wife died. He came back on the jazz scene in the mid-1980s, but by then he was recording drums in a booth and using bass DI and all sorts of other jive techniques.

Jazz musicians play better when they are not isolated and using cans. Drums sound better when they are leaking into other mics and an acoustic bass should not be recorded with DI unless that is part of the bass player's sound like Ron Carter.

This is, of course my opinion. An opinion I share with most of the jazz musicians I know, and I know hundreds of jazz musicians. Sure, there are a few who like to punch in and fix stuff later, but the majority will sacrifice that ability to play in the same room like they were on a gig.

Engineers take note. The recording technology MUST be considered subordinate to the musician's comfort. Never force a drummer into a booth if he'd rather be next to the bass player. Never ask the bass player to use a DI if he doesn't normally play with an amp. These guys don't usually have a pick-up on their bass anyway. Never ask if you can cut a hole in the drummer's bass drum, they hate that and will say "no" anyway. If you know what you're doing, you can get a great audiophile sound on a jazz band with everyone in the same room, set up in a way that all the players can hear each other without cans. If the room is too small, then it's the wrong room for the session. Trust me, it can be done if you know how.

I hope I don't sound like a pompous, know-it-all schmuck. That is not my intention. Please take this as advice from a working jazz musician who is also a jazz fan.
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