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1959 The Year that Changed Jazz


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There are so many great sounding albums from the late 50'and early 60'.

What is the reason they sound so good.

Better tape?

Better microphones?

Better engineers?

Better musicians?

One room recordings no overdubs?

Very simple consoles?

Direct to 2 or 3 track recording.

Different vinyl conversion?

 

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1. Sound engineers and producers who knew about and cared about good sound.

2. Recorded largely live with few or no overdubs

3. Simple 1, 2 or 3 track recordings, little mixing and processing if at all; just some editing.

Equipment wasn't better than today's - in fact the opposite.

 

 

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There are so many great sounding albums from the late 50'and early 60'.

What is the reason they sound so good.

Better tape?

Better microphones?

Better engineers?

Better musicians?

One room recordings no overdubs?

Very simple consoles?

Direct to 2 or 3 track recording.

Different vinyl conversion?

 

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Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

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There are so many great sounding albums from the late 50'and early 60'.

What is the reason they sound so good.

Better tape?

Better microphones?

Better engineers?

Better musicians?

One room recordings no overdubs?

Very simple consoles?

Direct to 2 or 3 track recording.

Different vinyl conversion?

 

 

I don't think we can ever place the cart before the horse!

For whatever reason the musicians at the time were second to none.

 

It's a little more nuanced to talk about the sound engineering because without a doubt the technical advances that have been made since then have been enormous. But still at the end of the day, the content - the material the sound engineer has to work with - is still more important.

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Musician's listening to some of each other's best work and effectively driving each other. Same thing happened in the pop music world in the late sixties.

 

Outstanding musicians is, IMO, by far the most important factor. In addition, however, the work of people like Rudy Van Gelder in capturing the performances with a sound quality that impresses to this day cannot be ignored.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Outstanding musicians is, IMO, by far the most important factor. In addition, however, the work of people like Rudy Van Gelder in capturing the performances with a sound quality that impresses to this day cannot be ignored.

 

Somewhere someone mentioned that Rudy's recordings did not have a very pleasant piano sound. Horns and drums are excellent but the piano sound is ''boxed in''. I tend to agree.

Or is there RVG recording with a great piano sound that I missed?

Suggestions?

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