Recording - October 2017 - 67

there is no chance of punching in a note,
and even editing multiple takes together
becomes hard. Flub a take, redo a take.
That said, the basic Van Gelder
sound is the result of a small number of
large-diaphragm condenser mics, with
the musicians gathered very closely
around them. You are close-miking the
instruments, but you're using the same
microphone (maybe in omni or figure-8
mode) to mic several instruments at
the same time. Van Gelder was one
of the first New York-area customers
for Neumann condenser mics, and the
somewhat etched and detailed top end
sound was very distinct for the day.
One of the things a lot of people have
remarked about is how thin-sounding the
piano is compared with the artificiallybottom-heavy recordings that were common
at the time. Most of the piano recordings
were made with an open grand piano
with a single mic fairly close to the strings
but fairly far up, and no second mic on
the bass strings.
But what is most interesting is a technique which I think Van Gelder invented,
which is to use the piano mic for horns
as well. Horns would actually be pointed
into the piano, causing the piano strings
to vibrate sympathetically with the
sound. The resulting combination of the
horn and the piano resonances would
make for a much thicker horn sound.
Again, this works only when you have
the entire group gathered together very
closely, almost touching one another,
very different than the sort of layout that
you'd use in a modern studio to gain
isolation. In this case, you are deliberately
eliminating isolation to exaggerate the
interactions between instruments.

Of echo and organ

One of the other distinct Van Gelder
signatures is a subtle but distinct
long-delayed echo-not a slap echo,
but almost a delayed reverb. The general
guess is that this was originally obtained
by putting a delayed microphone at the
end of a hallway adjoining the living
room when working in his parents'
house. When he moved to the new studio,
a tall chimney-like structure was built on
top of the studio, with dimensions that
more or less approximated a long hallway.
RECORDING October 2017

67


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2017

Contents
Recording - October 2017 - Intro
Recording - October 2017 - Cover1
Recording - October 2017 - Cover2
Recording - October 2017 - 1
Recording - October 2017 - 2
Recording - October 2017 - 3
Recording - October 2017 - 4
Recording - October 2017 - 5
Recording - October 2017 - Contents
Recording - October 2017 - 7
Recording - October 2017 - 8
Recording - October 2017 - 9
Recording - October 2017 - 10
Recording - October 2017 - 11
Recording - October 2017 - 12
Recording - October 2017 - 13
Recording - October 2017 - 14
Recording - October 2017 - 15
Recording - October 2017 - 16
Recording - October 2017 - 17
Recording - October 2017 - 18
Recording - October 2017 - 19
Recording - October 2017 - 20
Recording - October 2017 - 21
Recording - October 2017 - 22
Recording - October 2017 - 23
Recording - October 2017 - 24
Recording - October 2017 - 25
Recording - October 2017 - 26
Recording - October 2017 - 27
Recording - October 2017 - 28
Recording - October 2017 - 29
Recording - October 2017 - 30
Recording - October 2017 - 31
Recording - October 2017 - 32
Recording - October 2017 - 33
Recording - October 2017 - 34
Recording - October 2017 - 35
Recording - October 2017 - 36
Recording - October 2017 - 37
Recording - October 2017 - 38
Recording - October 2017 - 39
Recording - October 2017 - 40
Recording - October 2017 - 41
Recording - October 2017 - 42
Recording - October 2017 - 43
Recording - October 2017 - 44
Recording - October 2017 - 45
Recording - October 2017 - 46
Recording - October 2017 - 47
Recording - October 2017 - 48
Recording - October 2017 - 49
Recording - October 2017 - 50
Recording - October 2017 - 51
Recording - October 2017 - 52
Recording - October 2017 - 53
Recording - October 2017 - 54
Recording - October 2017 - 55
Recording - October 2017 - 56
Recording - October 2017 - 57
Recording - October 2017 - 58
Recording - October 2017 - 59
Recording - October 2017 - 60
Recording - October 2017 - 61
Recording - October 2017 - 62
Recording - October 2017 - 63
Recording - October 2017 - 64
Recording - October 2017 - 65
Recording - October 2017 - 66
Recording - October 2017 - 67
Recording - October 2017 - 68
Recording - October 2017 - 69
Recording - October 2017 - 70
Recording - October 2017 - 71
Recording - October 2017 - 72
Recording - October 2017 - 73
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Recording - October 2017 - 75
Recording - October 2017 - 76
Recording - October 2017 - 77
Recording - October 2017 - 78
Recording - October 2017 - 79
Recording - October 2017 - 80
Recording - October 2017 - Cover3
Recording - October 2017 - Cover4
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