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Rudy Van Gelder... or is this forum too Rock & Roll? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 24th April 2010
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
These and the Mercury Living Presence recordings have been discussed ad-nausseum in various threads on these forums. They were often recorded using film recorders as they were considered far higher fidelity than the tape machines of the time, mostly using U47's.

A lot of these recordings have been re-released and they are remarkable, particularly for their age. If one is really critical they tend to be a little "Edgy", most probably a carachteristic of the U47 " presence peak. In all honesty they don't compare with the best recordings around today. For good modern classical recordings I would cite those made by Decca, particularly ones recorded in St Eustache in Montreal. The Planets by the MSO and Charles Dutoit are exceptional.

Regards
Roland
Right! I mentioned, in an earlier post, about Fine sound in NYC. That is where many jazz and commercial dates for Mercury, Everest, Command and Enoch Light were recorded to 35mm mag machines. Yes, the film mag machines ran at 18 1/4 ips, faster than 1/4" 2-track. The mags also had 3 tracks. Those labels also made classical recordings on location.

I think the Mercury sound is ever so slightly better than the Command sound. This, I assume, must be due to the mastering.
Old 25th April 2010
  #122
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
...I would cite the Verve jazz records of the 50's and 60's as about as good as anything I've heard from that period.
They were certainly a benchmark for us at Motown along with many of the others mentioned.

The thing that hammered the audio quality was the overdubbing process. Before we got the 16 track machines around 1968, almost everything was two or often three generations down before it got recorded as the final mix. We were even doing a lot of things with three track prior to getting eight track in 1964 that most people didn't start doing before the late '60s. We paid for it in sound quality, although in retrospect and as embarrassed as many of us feel about the audio quality, it was amazingly good for what was actually being accomplished.
Old 28th April 2010
  #123
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soultrane's Avatar
i think the point our brother roland might be missing is this... absolute fidelity to the original source is but one (and some would argue a relatively minor) aspect of the final picture.

so, while a purist might listen to tracks being pumped out of a fine 80xx series neve desk and say "listen to all the noise" a creative musical artist/engineer will hear those same tracks coming out of that same desk, get major wood, and say "get out of my way i'm going mix the hell out of this" and go on and do it.

what rudy did in the blue note days, AND again in the CTI days, was to create a sound signature that was instantly recognizable, that went hand in hand with the whole vibe of the records (the artwork, the artists, etc), and he achieved legendary status.

and u know its funny... i hear SO many "better" sounding jazz records.. telarc etc recordings and such where you can hear the damper pedal being released in the softest passages...

yet i always prefer listening to those blue note sides with their tiny lid-shut piano and massive "hey, we're here in this cats' living room, lets make the most of it" vibe as opposed to those "this studio looks expensive, let's not break anything" audiophile releases where everyone's got their diplomas on display.
Old 28th April 2010
  #124
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
i think the point our brother roland might be missing is this... absolute fidelity to the original source is but one (and some would argue a relatively minor) aspect of the final picture.

so, while a purist might listen to tracks being pumped out of a fine 80xx series neve desk and say "listen to all the noise" a creative musical artist/engineer will hear those same tracks coming out of that same desk, get major wood, and say "get out of my way i'm going mix the hell out of this" and go on and do it.

what rudy did in the blue note days, AND again in the CTI days, was to create a sound signature that was instantly recognizable, that went hand in hand with the whole vibe of the records (the artwork, the artists, etc), and he achieved legendary status.

and u know its funny... i hear SO many "better" sounding jazz records.. telarc etc recordings and such where you can hear the damper pedal being released in the softest passages...

yet i always prefer listening to those blue note sides with their tiny lid-shut piano and massive "hey, we're here in this cats' living room, lets make the most of it" vibe as opposed to those "this studio looks expensive, let's not break anything" audiophile releases where everyone's got their diplomas on display.

In fairness, I think that you are making my point for me.

It is always (and in my view should be) about the music. With the greatest of respect to Telarc and many other labels of their ilk, often what they are recording doesn't compare to the best, greats of yesteryear.

I will agree with you that I dont particularly like hearing every damper/pedal movement on a piano, but I would also argue that this is sometimes down to poorly maintained instruments, or even poor miking technique. Of course with greater fidelity comes the risk that you are going to hear more, and perhaps it is better sometimes to have more of an approximation of the sound than every sound of a bat wing flapping past the window. Often people mention the warmth of the sound of older records, some is possibly due to curtailed frequency responses, though I personally believe that this is more a product of the players and their sound.

Regards


Roland
Old 28th April 2010
  #125
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Roland's Avatar
Just one small further point I would make. If these records had been recorded by another good engineer, they would still have been great records. The music still would have been great, the artists would still have been great. If on the otherhand you had swapped out Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, etc, for some other also rans we wouldn't even be discussing it here.

With the Beatles I feel it's the same, however, I would qualify that with the fact that George Martin's contribution can't be underestimated. Sometimes described as the 5th Beatle, I think this is totally fair comment as his input (even down to the fact of championing them when they first approached EMI) will forever be crutial to their development as artists.

Regards



Roland
Old 28th April 2010
  #126
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
i think the point our brother roland might be missing is this... absolute fidelity to the original source is but one (and some would argue a relatively minor) aspect of the final picture.

so, while a purist might listen to tracks being pumped out of a fine 80xx series neve desk and say "listen to all the noise" a creative musical artist/engineer will hear those same tracks coming out of that same desk, get major wood, and say "get out of my way i'm going mix the hell out of this" and go on and do it.

what rudy did in the blue note days, AND again in the CTI days, was to create a sound signature that was instantly recognizable, that went hand in hand with the whole vibe of the records (the artwork, the artists, etc), and he achieved legendary status.

and u know its funny... i hear SO many "better" sounding jazz records.. telarc etc recordings and such where you can hear the damper pedal being released in the softest passages...

yet i always prefer listening to those blue note sides with their tiny lid-shut piano and massive "hey, we're here in this cats' living room, lets make the most of it" vibe as opposed to those "this studio looks expensive, let's not break anything" audiophile releases where everyone's got their diplomas on display.
Great post!

You know, whenever I heard a RVG recording I never thought anything was lacking and if it did it was often a bad CD transfer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Just one small further point I would make. If these records had been recorded by another good engineer, they would still have been great records. The music still would have been great, the artists would still have been great. If on the otherhand you had swapped out Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, etc, for some other also rans we wouldn't even be discussing it here.

With the Beatles I feel it's the same, however, I would qualify that with the fact that George Martin's contribution can't be underestimated. Sometimes described as the 5th Beatle, I think this is totally fair comment as his input (even down to the fact of championing them when they first approached EMI) will forever be crutial to their development as artists.
+1

The only thing that you might 'miss' is that folks like RVG and Geoff Emerick recorded to their own (high) standards. In other words, the sonics were THEIR idea of ultimate sound in the same way that your idea might differ.

I suspect that a lot of people equal brightness/sparkle with fidelity. I'm not saying that YOU are such a person but again, it's my belief that a really well-balanced recoriding might sound almost 'Lo-Fi' to some modern ears due to their lack of exaggerated hig-end response.

And there is a very different hi-end response to be found on say 'Kind of Blue' vs. Miles RVG recordings. Obviously that had much to do with the size of teh Columbia room and the reverb time, etc.

But as great as Kind of Blue' is both msuically and sonically, I can't say that I prefer it to the Miles Prestige sessions ('Walkin', Steamin', Workin' etc) that sound indcredible on the latest CD remasters. It's a less etheral sound, maybe less 'iconic' and 'airy' but to me it's probably the essence of what we call jazz and therefore the sonics are perfect for what it is.
Old 29th April 2010
  #127
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post

But as great as Kind of Blue' is both msuically and sonically, I can't say that I prefer it to the Miles Prestige sessions ('Walkin', Steamin', Workin' etc) that sound indcredible on the latest CD remasters. It's a less etheral sound, maybe less 'iconic' and 'airy' but to me it's probably the essence of what we call jazz and therefore the sonics are perfect for what it is.
The Prestige Miles sessions were recorded at RVG's parents house in Hackensack, not at his custom built studio in Engelwood Cliffs. I think most of the Prestige dates were mono. If any are in stereo it was because Rudy had a 350 or 351 but apparently he only had one speaker so he was doing the live mix in mono to two machines at the same time.

I happen to prefer the 30th street stuff to RVG's Englewood recordings, but for mono the stuff in Hackensack is tops with me.

Let's not forget the jazz recordings that Bruce Swedien made at Universal in Chicago back in the late 50s/early 60s. Check out "This is Billy Mitchell" on Chess Records. It's available on CD.Billy Mitchell - This Is Billy Mitchell Featuring Bobby Hutcherson [Audio CD]
Old 29th April 2010
  #128
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
Let's not forget the jazz recordings that Bruce Swedien made at Universal in Chicago back in the late 50s/early 60s. Check out "This is Billy Mitchell" on Chess Records. It's available on CD.Billy Mitchell - This Is Billy Mitchell Featuring Bobby Hutcherson [Audio CD]

Bruce Swedien has been around here not so long ago, a really nice guy to boot, full of good advice and an interesting perspective on recording.

Roland
Old 29th April 2010
  #129
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
The Prestige Miles sessions were recorded at RVG's parents house in Hackensack, not at his custom built studio in Engelwood Cliffs. I think most of the Prestige dates were mono. If any are in stereo it was because Rudy had a 350 or 351 but apparently he only had one speaker so he was doing the live mix in mono to two machines at the same time.

I happen to prefer the 30th street stuff to RVG's Englewood recordings, but for mono the stuff in Hackensack is tops with me.

Let's not forget the jazz recordings that Bruce Swedien made at Universal in Chicago back in the late 50s/early 60s. Check out "This is Billy Mitchell" on Chess Records. It's available on CD.Billy Mitchell - This Is Billy Mitchell Featuring Bobby Hutcherson [Audio CD]

one of my favorite albums, if not my all time favorite, is duke ellington's "the bethlehem years..."

i believe bill putnam has to get alot of the credit for the great sounding records from universal but man, the versions of "jack the bear" etc etc from those chicago dates sound amazing!!!

my only regret is that bill and bruce never got a chance to record jimmy blanton!!!
Old 29th April 2010
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
one of my favorite albums, if not my all time favorite, is duke ellington's "the bethlehem years..."

i believe bill putnam has to get alot of the credit for the great sounding records from universal but man, the versions of "jack the bear" etc etc from those chicago dates sound amazing!!!

my only regret is that bill and bruce never got a chance to record jimmy blanton!!!
I love that record! I got to play with some of the cats on that date like Britt Woodman, Willie Cook, Clark Terry and Jimmy Woode. I also got to drive Jimmy Hamilton around back in 1989.
Old 29th April 2010
  #131
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
I love that record! I got to play with some of the cats on that date like Britt Woodman, Willie Cook, Clark Terry and Jimmy Woode. I also got to drive Jimmy Hamilton around back in 1989.
wow!!!

just wow wow wow!!!!
Old 30th April 2010
  #132
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

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

just wow wow wow!!!!
I mean, I wasn't on THAT date, after all, I'm only 41. But I did get to play often with Britt Woodman. He was a session player in NYC until he died about 5 years ago. I played with Clark Terry when I was in Jon Hendricks' band back in the '90s. Jimmy Woode lived in Bern Switzerland, I played with him at a festival there in 1995. Clark, Jimmy Hamilton, Britt and Willie Cook played in the Lincoln Center Classical Jazz Orchestra (now the Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra) back in '89. I subbed at a rehearsal for Norris Turney because my teacher, David Berger, was the conductor back then and I used to hang out at the rehearsals.
Old 1st May 2010
  #133
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soultrane's Avatar
history of music right there, aj...

re:: fidelity / music...

josef zawinul told me that the best ellington record to get was "40's." he said, "get 40's man, get 40's.." so, i didn't know what he was talking about, and picked up the box set of the 40's blanton webster band...

ok, it was nice.

then, i read an interview with him where he said the only music he listened to, other than his own, was "duke ellington live at fargo." i was like, "why did he tell me to get 40's when this was his favorite?"

so, one day i was trolling in a record shop and found a record called "40's, duke ellington live at fargo."

there it was!!! the only record zawinul deemed worthy to listen to!!!

took it home, and low and behold, its a recording of a live dance date in the dead of winter in fargo, nd, and it was recorded by some couple of guys putting some kind of portable r-to-r machine on their table and pushing record...

there was a radio recording of the date, and you can actually hear the radio anouncer in the background announcing the tunes on his mic!!!

anyway, as a fledgling audiophile, i was somewhat depressed... but, for the $1.95 i paid for the record, hey, i had to try it.

man....

the band was grooving SOOOOOO hard...

all for an audience that made the lawrence welk audience look hip....

the fidelity is not there (although its not TOO far behind alot of the studio recordings made in the late 20's and 30's etc...)...

but the band? they showed up.
Old 2nd May 2010
  #134
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ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrane View Post
history of music right there, aj...

re:: fidelity / music...

josef zawinul told me that the best ellington record to get was "40's." he said, "get 40's man, get 40's.." so, i didn't know what he was talking about, and picked up the box set of the 40's blanton webster band...

ok, it was nice.

then, i read an interview with him where he said the only music he listened to, other than his own, was "duke ellington live at fargo." i was like, "why did he tell me to get 40's when this was his favorite?"

so, one day i was trolling in a record shop and found a record called "40's, duke ellington live at fargo."

there it was!!! the only record zawinul deemed worthy to listen to!!!

took it home, and low and behold, its a recording of a live dance date in the dead of winter in fargo, nd, and it was recorded by some couple of guys putting some kind of portable r-to-r machine on their table and pushing record...

there was a radio recording of the date, and you can actually hear the radio anouncer in the background announcing the tunes on his mic!!!

anyway, as a fledgling audiophile, i was somewhat depressed... but, for the $1.95 i paid for the record, hey, i had to try it.

man....

the band was grooving SOOOOOO hard...

all for an audience that made the lawrence welk audience look hip....

the fidelity is not there (although its not TOO far behind alot of the studio recordings made in the late 20's and 30's etc...)...

but the band? they showed up.
I don't know that "40s" side.

I do like the fidelity on the Ellington Columbia sides. "Such Sweet Thunder" in particular. The Reprise dates are also cool like "Afro Bossa".
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