ecoading - American Radio History
VOL. 8 NO. 3
Crest 5000 Amplifier
h -TS -1 Audio Test Unit
rg TD 20A SE
eel Recorder
2.7371 ')b +7
It 47947
400t atit
la 694 Ba/xle44
Before Producer /Artist Jeff
Baxter rolls into expensive
studio time, he rolls tape on an
Otani machine. At Home. In his
studio, Casual Sound.
"The Otani saves me a great
deal of time and money. A
The Otani
1/2" eight channel
MK Iii -8
recording studio was never
intended to be a $150.00 per
hour rehearsal hall, so I work
out ideas and refine the tunes
before 1 go into the studio.
All my pre -production
recording for the last several
years has been on my Otani.
That machine has never left
my studio, -it's been
incredibly reliable.
There's a lot of musical
moments that have been
captured on that machine
... some of which have been
directly transferred to the final
multitrack masters... Elliot
Randall, Doobie Brothers, on
and on. The Steely Dan
Pretzel Logic album was
mastered on an Otani 2 -pack.
And, that's obviously a
statement in itself... how 1 feel
about the quality of the sound."
Jeff Baxter's always been into
instruments that musicians can
afford. It's obvious that he's also
been heavily involved at the
leading -edge of recording
Besides telling you his feelings
about Otani tape machines, there's
just one other tip Jeff would
like to leave you with:
"Try anything and every thing and always roll tape."
DIEM'Technology )'ou Can Such.
Otani Corporation. 2 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002
Tel: (415) 592-8311 Telex: 910-376 -4890
© 1982 Otani Corporation
Co a
VOL. 8 NO. 3
YÌ'A+4 1\\
18% yr4101610q`,.
By James E. Rupert
With a nod to the fact that the studio business is not all fast cars and big money,
S.N. #10 delves into the art of borrowing
money to get you off the ground.
The technical Q & A scene.
By Norman Eisenberg
The notable and the new, with a comment on
a joint car stereo venture by Bose and Delco.
By Bruce Bartlett
Compressors, limiters, noise gates, delays,
flangers, pitch shifters, reverberation units...
the list goes on and on. And, in order to operate
in the studio we must know what these units do.
Explanations herein.
By Stan Hyman
and Vicki Greenleaf
Solitary confinement or madness would be the
only possible excuses which could allow you to
say that you had not heard of Kim Carnes
especially within the past year (remember a little
tune titled "Bette Davis Eyes " ?). Kim gets involved in her recordings...
By Jeff Tamarkin
Ryo Kawasaki's jazz credentials are impeccable,
but what separates him from other jazz guitarists is that he truly operates in the world of
modern recording.
By Len Feldman
The EIA (Electronics Industries Association)
has created a new set of standards for the operation of tape recorders -by the time you read
this those standards may be in practice.
By Norman Eisenberg
and Len Feldman
Crest 5000 Power Amplifier
LofTech TS -1 Audio Test Set
Tandberg TD20A -SE Recorder
Reviews of albums by The Who, Novo Combo,
Holly Near, Hoagy Carmichael and Pee Wee
Genesis "Live!"
Recording Techniques- Monitors
Profile: Dave Edmunds
Cover Photo. John Coulter
Carnes Color Photo. Mark Sonnet
Carnes B &W Photo. Courtesy EMI America
Kawasaki Photos. Cathy Miller
Modern Recording & Music (ISSN 0273 -8511) is published monthly by
MR &M Publishing Corp 1120 Old Country Rd Plainview. NY 11803 Design
and contents are copyright 1982 by MR &M Publishing Corp and must not he
reproduced in any manner except by permission of the publisher Second
class postage paid at Plainview. New York, and at additional mailing offices
Subscription rates $15 00 for 12 issues. S26 00 for 24 issues Add $3.00 per
year for subscriptions outside of U S. Subscriptions must be paid in advance
in U S. funds. Postmaster Send Form 3579 to MR &M Publishing Corp
1120 Old Country Rd PI. view. NY 11803
Associate Editors
Technical Editors
Contributing Editors
Music Reviewers
Advertising /Product ion
Layout and Design
Editorial Consultant/
Music Advertising Representative
Editorial and Executive Offices
MR &M Publishing Corp.
1120 Old Country Road
Plainview, NY 11803
516 433 -6530
Editorial contributions should be addressed to The
Editor. Modern Recording & Music, 1120 Old Country
Road, Plainview, N.Y. 11803. Unsolicited manuscripts
will be treated with care and must be accompanied
by return postage.
ni;e Lwm
One for the Record
With all due respect to the venerable Mr. Feldman, I offer some
thoughts on the home recording rights issue from the artist's
point of view.
There was a time -before tape recording was so simple
when records had real power: Power to create stars of
enormous financial proportion, beyond all reason, whose
careers could stir the imagination of all us common folks and
make us run to the store for that latest single. Girls would
scream and swoon, crowds would gather and fill auditoriums,
and record companies would grow rich sometimes with
embarrassing speed, as recording artists were "discovered" and
promoted with the same kind of push and slick media assertion
given to movie stars. Before television and tape recording, fans
of these stars had to do things like travel, sometimes great
distances, and purchase tickets, to see and hear their favorites
iu Iler.ou.
As one result of this juxtaposition of supply and demand
demographics, the available wealth was spread out across the
country so that money was easy to generate with no more than a
talented artist, a promoter who believed, and a record. Of
course, I oversimplify, but bear with me.
Today, we have a situation where big record companies are
run by managers rather than moguls, and there is a tendency to
defer to "dependable" successes when budgeting record
Art, unfortunately, has never been the stuff that commercial
success is based around, and old acts tend to grow and mature,
getting better and losing public interest as they begin to
produce art.
Now. we have a troubled economy and slumping record sales.
All the record company executives are justly trying to be
conservative with dollars they spend on developing new talent.
Of course, this vicious -circle situation degrades the quality of
the music we get and the really talented new people will be
bypassed in favor of pap that meets marketing requirements.
Warner Communications Inc. recently released a survey of
52 pages showing that over $2.85 BILLION (with a "B ", that's
twenty -eight hundred and fifth- MILIIUNAIRESfolks!) worth of
professional entertainment was taped without any kind of
payment to artists, record companies, publishers, composers,
etc. In the record industry alone, this amounted to the
equivalent of 250 million albums and 2 billion singles that did
not get sold because people let their friends tape their records.
In addition to this, a friend of mine who manages a huge audio
chain of stores here in Los Angeles, told me that turntable sales
are off by a factor equal to the increase in cassette deck sales,
and that that trend is growing. Consumers bought more than
$600 million worth of cassette blank tape (in 1980) to facilitate
this alarming trend.
One more thing: It used to be (maybe it still is) part of the
incentive to become a "star" was the money. If it should come to
pass that our nation's hopefuls can look forward to earning
Every Maxell cassette is destined to become a golden oldie.
Because at Maxell we build cassettes to standards that are
60% higher than the industry calls for.
Durable cassettes you can shake, rattle yet they keep on
Precision engineered tape that even after 500 plays stil
delivers high fidelity.
So when we say, on Maxell, rock 'n'
is really here to stay... Be -Bop ALu -La.. .
we don't mean maybe.
wages of "normal" scope with no
chance of hitting the jackpot, when
the incredible struggle that ferments
competition and produces musical
growth and novelty that has so
much been the guiding strength of
American popular music, will degenerate into the same kind of insipid
job that is always the core of disillusionment and cynicism.
I am not trying to defend the record
industry or Disney and Universal per
se, but any and all such industries
that provide the public with services.
It always seems that as soon as the
public finds a way to steal the fruits
of labor of creative people, whether it
be illicit pay TV decoders or pirated
tapes, an apathy of sorts sets in and
the quality of the service suffers.
Each time someone is demoralized by
this inadvertant stealing, a little piece
of the quality of our lives suffers too.
This is indeed a tricky dilemma,
for how do we avoid lowering the
"quality of life" and still provide
equity to the concerns of recorder
owners and software producers? If
we arbitrarily tax the blank tape and
recorders, can we ask the movie
companies to respond by making
films that show at theatres for less
than $6? Can we ask the record
companies to lower prices at the
store? How can anyone be sure that
owners of home taping equipment
will only tape so they can watch later,
or in the case of records, well, I can't
think of any good reasons why
someone who owned a record would
want to step on the audio quality of
the disc by taping it, EXCEPT for
tapes to be played in the car, and that
brings us to the intrinsic quality of
the recording: Since cars are such
poor listening environments, why
should artists and engineers bother
to make any attempt at good quality
recording? Or will the engineer of the
future "radio -in" the mix from the
I am just now finishing up a jazz
album project, and I am amazed at
how casually all my friends ask fora
cassette copy. I can hardly contain
my apathy at the prospect of making
my Teldec- vinyl, audiophile pressings so that the friends of all the
purchasers can tape the "really
clean" surfaces. I wonder if I will get
enough of my investment returned to
enable me to make another album of
this quality.
It's true that American lifestyles
are extremely transitory. Within the
memories of many middle -aged
Americans are the radio programs of
the thirties which featured live acts
singing or performing at the radio
studio. Remember "live" TV? Well, it
may be necessary to re -think how we
produce entertainment every
often, and it may also be necessary to
re -think what is fair and what is not
fair about how we (the public)
acquire it. It isn't hard to see the
effect that home VCR's have had on
the cable or pay -TV industry in just
the short time that industry has
existed. Broadcasts are purposely
made to exhibit low quality, sound is
bad, and the overall product is
inferior to network broadcasting
with its commercials. My pay TV
service broadcast noise is so severe
that it made movie dialogue hard to
understand even after the graphic
EQ, the amp, and JBL speaker -for
the last two weeks the random noise
has been (by measurement) 2 million
times greater than network stations.
I can only surmise that the noise is
added to discourage people from
taping movies and programs that are
made "not worth it ". Do we really
want to encourage this sort of spiteful
"service "? Who wants to pay for
When people's thinking processes
become numbed by an inundation of
technological input- everything from
video games to Walkman players
and they are made unable to distinguish between sources of entertainment as public or private, the
concept of stealing gets lost in the
selling job at the stereo store. Would
those same people feel the same way
if they became top -selling record,
TV, or movie "stars "?
-Drew Daniels
Record Producer
Montebello, CA
800- 645-3518
gSINCE 1924
IN NEW YORK STATE CALL 212- 347 -7757
TWX 510 -222 -1630 SAM ASH HEMP
Speaker Selection
I'm curious about how the small
monitor speakers, such as the Aura tone 5C's. are used during the
mixdown process.
When I EQ to what seems to be a
good tonal balance through the small
speakers, and then play the equalized
material back through my main
speakers. Magnaplanar MG -1's, the
sound is terrible -to much bass and a
cut in the high frequencies.
How do you use these small speakers
in the overall scheme of things, and
why, as they seem to be difficult to
balance tonally?
-L.A. Safratowich
Billings, MT
With all the potential problems in performing
why make power one of them!
Eliminate the power problem with Pearl's four new Phantom powered electret condenser microphones. They're designed to be
used with an advanced power supply (PW-48) operated by an
AC Adapter for trouble free power at all voltage levels. A battery operated power supply (PW -18) for 1 or 2 Phantom pow ared microphones is also available with a condenser cou oling for leakage free operation.
4 few of the many advantages of these new models are:
nternal amplifier (no out -,
DLit transformer needed)
output voltage 3.5V
at SPL
current drain less than
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0.5% total harmonic
distortion at high levels
., >A
ternal attenuator switch
increases maximum level
allowing you to mike brass and
percussion instruments clearly
supply voltage is 12VDC to
'-8VDC (006P 9V battery with CR57CR55)
CR45 with internal pop filter
iicluded CR57 right ang e unidirect onal cardioid polar pattern
Lnidirectional cardioid polar pattern.
Both CR55 - CR57 have a ccndenser
element isolation system miiimizing
both stand and hand held noise.
The sound produced is both wide range and
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with the quality and durability you have come to
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Write for complete specifications on
Pear International, Inc.
408 Harding Industrial Dr.
Nashville, Tennessee 37211
these and other new exciting Pearl products.
Sold in Canada exclusively by NUCO Musical Instruments. Ltd., Markham. Ontario.
Therefore, you might want to go back
and change the bass EQ a bit so that
the sound is acceptable on the smaller
speakers, but still sounds real good
over the big speakers. Switching
back and forth between speakers,
and aiming for a mix which sounds
good over anything (headphones,
small speakers, big speakers, etc.)
generally gives the best overall
results. It's very hard to mix an
album so that the mix is "indestructible" and sounds good on any system.
As an example of an album which
comes very close to this ideal, listen to
Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes ".
The mix remains excellent over car
Craig responds:
As someone who uses Auratone
speakers, my main reason for oc-
casionally using smaller speakers
during mixdown is as a "reality
check." After all, most studios have
speakers which are vastly superior to
that of the average audiophile. If you
want to know what something is
going to sound like played over
portable tape players, auto speakers,
radios, etc., switching over to small
speakers gives you a good idea of
what to expect. For example, a bass
sound might be great over your
regular speakers, but be completely
lost when played over little speakers.
radio speakers, Walkman headphones, superb stereo systems, and
not -so- superb stereo systems.
-Craig Anderton
Technical Editor
Modern Recording & Music
Shedding Misconceptions
Om following letter from
Drew Daniels in reference to our
September issue's Talkback column.
Wr r'eceiied
In the September issue I talked about
tape oxide shedding in a most
unfortunate way. I neglected to
mention the tapes made by other
There are dozens of thin
can go wrong on the job
Getting there shouldn't be one of them
"flight cases" may
look similar, there are real differences between them.
Calzone Escort cases are designed to protect expensive and delicate equipment from the most punishing travel conditions. Our patented Double-Angle construction
provides ultimate strength and protection for rack -mounted equipment,
mixing boards, lighting, speakers,
cameras, VTR's cables
or anything that must
endure the torture of
heavy travel. Our cases
are already being used
Even though all
by many of today's production com-
panies, sound contractors and
radio/television crews whose living
depends on getting their gear to
the job in perfect working order.
Calzone also makes tough Convoy road cases for short hauls. We
make dozens of different models to
fit most any kind of job or equipment. Or, we can custom -build
virtually any type of case in a
hurry. When your sophisticated equipment requires high -tech protection, Calzone handles
with care.
Box 862, So. Norwalk, CT
1-800- 243 -5152
manufacturers beside Ampex which
exhibit the same effects and thereby
seemed to imply that Ampex 456 was
by comparison, defective. This is not
the case. In talking with users on the
phone, and in letters we receive here
at TEAC, we get the distinct impression that tape oxide shedding problems are intermittent, depend on the
phases of the moon, and are almost
always caused by customer neglect
(lack of proper cleaning) or damage
to the heads/tape guides caused by
improper use of degaussers and or
cleaning implements that scratch or
mar the heads or guides.
The problems with tape shedding
come to our attention in waves. We
may not hear a single complaint for
six months to a year. then as if by
Plutonian providence. we get three or
four calls a day.
With deference to Ampex I wish to
say for the record that all Tascam
tape decks are set up at the factory
for use with Ampex 456 or Scotch
226, and include in the packing
carton, a manual which instructs
users on re- setting for their tape of
I personally use all the commonly
available tapes from different manufacturers, and really can't complain
about any of them. However, over the
years, I've come to rely on the
generally superior performance of
Ampex, Scotch, and other manufacturers who supply the wide -tape
format professional markets as a
mainstay of their tape sales.
-Drew Daniels
Applications Engineer
Tascam Production Products
TEAC Corporation of America
When it comes to Price/Performance,
MXR Equalizers are more equal than others.
The balance between the dollars you invest versus the
quality you get is what you should weigh into your decision
when choosing an equalizer. That's why many leading
recording and broadcast engineers, sound contractors
and sound reinforcement companies have made MXR the
industry standard for world -class performance at sensible prices.
There is an MXR Equalizer designed to fit your needs.
Each one offers a quiet, professional way to eliminate
feedback, tune a room, alter the frequency response of
tire-, 11-
- _ _ - ._ wci
w T.
-cxxxc ONE
i- 11-
monitors or program material, or accomplish any critical
application calling for graphic equalization.
MXR now offers three professional models-the 170 Dual
Octave EQ (10 band), the 171 Dual 2/3 Octave EQ (15 band)
and the 172 113 Octave EQ (31 band). All featwue center -detent
controls, a lo -cut filter and signal present and Power LEDs.
The MXR Professional Graphic Equalizers. Helping you
to make the equitable decision.
MXR Innovations, Inc., 740 Driving Park Avenue,
Rochester, New York 14613 (716) 254 -2910
. .
Products GrouF
"Talkb(ek "opastinns erre answered
by pro rssirnu1 engineers, twiny of
whose normes you Darr probably seen
listed on the credits of major pop albums. Their tech nigoes are their own
and might eery aril differ from arothers. Thus, ern (nsart. in "Talkhaek" is
certain/¡/ not neeessorilp the lost word.
I'V' ;Meow all questions on the snbfret of reeordinr/. although the lorge
Pontine of questions recei red prePladrs
n/ able to nsrer them all. If Mm
feel tilo, (('0' (1 re s/ci ?lìnq all,! issues, fire
a letter off to the editor right (ref! /.
"TWA-hack- is the Modern Recording
Music reader's trrhn ira l foram.
When You're Using
More Than One
I have a few questions that I hope
you can answer about how to successfully use more than one guitar
I own two 100 -watt Marshall
stacks and I would like to know
how to use both heads together to
get the best results. Right now I am
using an A -B box to switch from
one stack to another, but I would
like to know how to use both stacks
at the same time without Y -ing the
inputs. Is there a way to successfully use one head to drive the
other without causing any damage
to either head or overdriving one
head. I have seen professional
guitarists use from 2 to S Marshall
heads and would like to know what
method or wiring configuration
they use to use more than one head.
I have heard of using a direct
box between the two heads, and if
this is the best process, what type
of direct box should be used to
properly match the impedances of
both heads? Amplifiers are expensive and can be touchy so I
don't want to experiment on my
own and am hoping that you can
show me the best possible solutions
to my questions. Also, can a power
soak, etc., be used with the system,
and if so where would be the best
place to use it along with other
I am using a Samson Wireless
unit and it works fine when I am
by myself, but sometimes when we
are all playing together it will
make rather loud crackles and
pops. I have preamp built into my
guitar and am wondering if this
could be the source of my problem.
I tried putting all new pots in the
guitar and even completely shielded
the insides of the guitar, including
the pickups. I really like the wireless system and am very disappointed that I can't use it "live"
with my group. Is there anything
that you know of that I can do to
get this system to function properly?
-Ken Nechvatal
Montfort, Wise.
'l'he easiest and safest way to use
multiple Marshall amplifiers is to
"daisy chain" the inputs of the amplifiers. '/'his connects the amplifiers
in parallel, and will produce a consistent sound from each amp. First,
you should make sure that all ampli-
fiers are grounded together through
the 3rd prong on the power cord (using an AC "adapter" to lift the ground
can be very dangerous). The best way
to do this is probably an outlet strip
plugged into a single circuit that's
rated to handle the combined power
requirements of all amplifiers (outlets MUST be grounded!!).
Next, you should connect the
amplifiers together. treating the
HIGH input jacks as in pats and the
LOW input jacks as outputs (to other
amplifiers). To do this, plug your
guitar into the HIGH input jack of
the 1st amplifier and then connect a
signal cable from the LOW input jack
of the 1st amplifier to the HIGH input jack of the second amplifier. If
you have a 3rd amplifier connect a
signal cable from the LOW jack on
the 2nd amplifier to the HIGH jack
on the 3rd amplifier.
Direct boxes with 20 -311 dB attenuation could also be used. The disadvantages of direct boxes are 1) The
extra cost, and 2) The extra distortion from connecting amplifiers in
series (which may or may not be
"good- sounding" distortion, depending on amp settings and playing style).
If you choose to use direct boxes, the
input of a direct box would be connected to one of the speaker jacks,
and the output of that direct box
would be connected to the input of
another amplifier. Each amplifier
should be connected to at least one
speaker bottom as well. The direct
box should have an input impedance
between 5 k and 50 k. since higher
impedances might produce interference and /or unwanted types of
ohm unbalanced.
CI-annels A and B are separate and
identical. Output impedance is 600
oh-is each channel unbalanced.
The DOD Dual Delay R -880 is intended for echo and reverb effects. The
R -880 is ideal for mono or stereo P.A.
Special noise reduction techniques
make the R -880 quiet enough for even
the highest gain preamps, and it incorporates some features only available in
digital systems.
All this, combined with the DOD
reputatior for quality and service makes
the R-880 an excellent choice for
medium to long audio delay applications.
The Dial Delay uses both companding and emphasis to achieve its remarkably quiet operation.
Delay times of 12 ms through 500 ms
are easily obtained by adjustment of the
simple, straight forward controls. The
front panel is divided into three sections:
the delay :ontrols; the signal controls;
and the signal jacks.
The DELAY 1 and DELAY 2 switches
engage each of the delay lines; tl ere fore, at least one must be "in" to produce a delayed signal. The INPUT jack
goes directly to the input level pot, so
there is no input stage to overload. The
CLIP indicator begins to light at about
one -half of the actual clip point to allow
for more headroom in the program
material. The A MIX and B MIX controls
are two identical mix circuits that go to
separate output jacks. When using two
amplifiers, the mix controls may be set
differently for greater presence.
Indica_. rs:
All switches have LED lamps to
inciDate when they are in. The power
sw ch is illuminated when on and the
clip lamp lights when a signal over 5
volt 3 PP is present.
Delay Range:
1: 12 ms to 125 ms.
De ay 2: 25 ms to 250 ms.
De ay 1 x 2: 25 ms to 250 ms.
De ay 2 x 2: 50 ms to 500 ms.
Star dard 13/4" x 6" x 19" rack.
6 lb. 7 oz. (3 kg.)
Frequency Response:
Dry 20Hz to 20KHz ± 1db.
Delay 40Hz to 6KHz ± 1db.
X2: 40Hz to 3KHz ± 1db.
Signal to Noise Ratio:
Dry 95 db un- weighted.
Delay 90 db un- weighted.
Electronics Corporation
2953 Smith 300 West
Salt Laka City, Utah 84115
(801) 483 -8534
Printed in USA
feedback. Output impedance should
be 5 k or less for similar reasons.
Using a power attenuator type
device is probably not a good idea.
The earlier model power attenuators
apparently caused serious damage to
many amplifiers. Later model devices seem to be safer, but only if
they are used sensibly. Any attenuator device allows an unwary user
to abuse an amplifier by playing for
extended periods with the amplifier
at "10" and the attenuator set for
reasonable listening levels. Therefore, we cannot recommend the use
of any model attenuator, and the
Marshall warrantee specifically
excludes any damage resulting from
such use.
-Jim Wright
Product Engineer
G + W /Unicord
Westbury, N.Y.
You Got Dr. Rhythm,
Who Could Ask For
Anything More?
After reading the Notes report on
the Dr. Rhythm Programmable
Rhythm Device (see November
1980 issue, pages 60 -64), I rushed
out and bought one since it seemed
to fit my needs (budget, triggers
for sequencers and programmability) excellently. My only
complaints about it were the ones
Craig Anderton had mentioned in
the report, so I got in touch with
the now defunct Device magazine
for their "Surgery" article on converting the clay sound and bringing out the drum's outputs and
The sheets that were subsequently returned to me only covered the clay to tom conversion
and said nothing about the separate outputs that I could figure
(not being electronically inclined,
but amply able to follow instructions). The separate outputs are
very important to me as I get picky
about the drum sound and want to,
for instance, fatten the snare with
reverb, tighten up the kick and roll
off a bit of the highs on the high hat
without dulling the snare. Any
information you could send to me on
this would be greatly appreciated.
Another bit of information that I
would find very helpful would be
to learn if there is a way to make
the Dr. Rhythm follow external
trigger pulses. With his ability I
could re- record drum tracks once
the piece is underway and/or overlay more drum sounds, by processing Dr. Rhythm through a ring
modulator to make it sound more
like congas or metallics, for instance.
-Scott More
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Trying to get separate instrument
outputs for the DR -55 and /or making
it follow external triggers is possible,
but requires extensive surgery.
Roland would not recommend that
you attempt doing it yourself if you
don't have a solid background in
electronic repair.
Roland suggests that a possible
course for you would be for you to
take your DR -55 to an authorized
Roland service center, and describe
what you would like done. The service center can then contact Roland
by phone, and Roland can describe
to them the procedure. You can find
out the name of an authorized Roland
service center by calling the Roland
Service Department at (213) 6855141.
An easier and maybe even cheaper)
course for you would be to look into
the purchase of a Roland TR -808
Rhythm Composer, which has individual outputs for each instrument,
can be a master or slave to an external trigger, and also contains track
memory to write entire compositions
with automatic rhythm changes. The
TR -606 Drumatix from Roland (a
lower cost altenative) features all of
the above, except separate outputs,
and retails for only $395.00.
-Ron Wilkerson
PR for Roland Corp. U.S.
Beverly Hills, CA
When the Hiss is Gone
The mixer that I use, a Sony MX -16,
has an awful amount of hiss in the
master fader section. There is no
EQ on the board, nor do I have any
outboard EQ's. What can be done
if anything -to save my tapes
while keeping them sounding
halfway normal?
-John Traynor
Fayetteville, Pa.
The MX -16 is an excellent mixer
sonically. With proper use, the MX-
16 should not add a noticeable
amount of noise.
I will assume that the MX -16 is
being used for only live (microphone)
recording since my first recommendation would be, of course, not to use
it if it is not needed (FM, disc, etc.).
Located along the recording path
are several points where noise and
distortion can be introduced to the
audio signal. I will begin by directing
your attention to those factors which
are external to the mixer itself. One
area of concern is the matching of the
electrical characteristics of the mies
used with that of the MX -16's inputs.
The MX -16 is designed for "low"
impedance microphones. If your
mies have an impedance rating of 150
ohms to 600 ohms, they should match
quite well. Some mies, on the other
hand, have an impedance of 10,000
ohms. This will not match properly
and the incompatibility may result in
signal level loss that will increase the
overall noise level of the recording.
Another noise source is, of course,
the inherent noise of the electronics
themselves. Since the mie preamps
have a 50 dB higher gain than that of
the line inputs, they will introduce
more noise. A high input microphone
will enter the mixer at a level
substantially higher than the residual
noise of the mixer's electronics.
Condenser microphones, such as
Sony's Back Electret models, are
higher in output than most dynamic
If the microphones are appropriate and you feel comfortable
enough to go ahead, I will now recommend a setup procedure that will
minimize noise often caused by improper setup.
Conventional volume, function
select, EQ controls, etc. (whether
rotary or slide type) will add noise
and distortion to the signal. This can
be caused by the wire used to join a
control, the solder connection, or the
electrical characteristics of the
control itself. These controls will
change in impedance as they are
brought from minimum level to
maximum. Corresponding with impedance variations we also find the
noise and distortion levels changing
as well. At both minimum and
maximum level the controls have the
best sonic quality. The amount of
noise raises toward the mid -way
point of the control then decreases as
it approaches the maximum setting.
We therefore recommend that any
controls not being used be set at the
minimum position and any controls
being used be set at the maximum
position. As you can imagine. this is
not always practical, but an optimum
set -up does exist.
Europe's leading professional sound
reinforcement equipment comes to America.
Musicians on the continent and 120 countries worldwide have known it for over 30 years. Pro sound men
and recording engineers too. Dynacord is the
standard for mechanical stability, technological
advances and quality sound and construction. Now
U.S. musicians who want the best, need the best,
demand the best don't have to leave the country to
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ES -1250 Biampable Powered Mixer -4 -100 watt power amps in
biamp mode, 200 watts per side in stereo, 12 channels with 3
band EQ, built -in stereo variable active crossover, tunable low cut
filter, master stereo 7 band graphic EQ, stereo 5 band monitor
EQ, 2 stereo effects loops, balanced and unbalanced inputs,
Accutronics reverb.
DDL-12 Digital Delay- studio quality natural sounding digital
delay with up to 500ms delay time (1000ms with expander
module) with full frequency response of 20Hz- 12KHz. Unlike
most digitals, compander noise reduction is inaudible even at
long delay time with extended repeats. Active tone controls and
balanced input and output.
VRS -23 Vertical Reverb -unique stereo analog reverb /delay.
92dB dynamic range for studio -quiet operation. Delay time of
20 -400ms with modulation circuit for realistic reverb and echo
DRS-78 Digital Reverb -stereo digital reverb /delay. 7 -320ms
delay time with 3 user -variable presets. Natural
sounding reverb with user -variable pre -delay
and decay. Universal application for stage and
MC 16/4/2 Mixing Console -16 input channels with very wide
dynamic range, balanced inputs with transformers and line
inputs, semi parametric mid range, 4 sub groups, phantom
power supply, multicore connector.
A1001 Amp-produces 2 x 120 watts at 4 ohms
A2002 Amp-produces 2 x 250 watts at 4 ohms
Include XLR and phone plug inputs and outputs for easy
connections, 12 step peak reading LED display, protection
includes: thermal overload with "hi- temp" LED, power turn on
delay and load protection, separate power supplies, mono /stereo
CS -31 Bi -amp Speaker Cabinet-compact, 12" woofer, 2
midrange speakers, high power, high frequency horn, 100 watt
RMS power handling capacity.
CS -41 Bi -amp Speaker Cabinet -same as the CS-31 but with 15"
woofer and 4 midrange speakers, 150
watt RMS power handling capacity.
CLS -22 Compact Rotor System-ultra realistic
rotor sound, separate bass and treble rotor
sections, adjustable speeds, stereo and
mono capabilities, easy to use, very
EQ -270 Graphic Equalizer-high
quality 27 band, 1/3 octave,
electronically balanced,
extended range
LED display.
BS-408 Bass Amp-compact, 200 watt,
rack -mountable professional bass amp
for studio and stage. 7 band graphic
equalizer with by-pass switch.
Hi and to shelving
equalizer, studio
output, insert jacks.
Envelope follower
output stage for
wide dynamic range,
compression and
distortion effects.
Mixer-8 channel
So to hear what the rest of
the music world has known for
over 30 years, get down to your
Dynacord dealer today.
For name of nearest dealer call:
(800) 645 -3188. [In N.Y. (516) 333 -9100]
stereo, 2 -100 watt power amps,
balanced mic inputs and unbalanced
instrument inputs, 3 band EQ per channel, 5
band stereo master EQ, 2 stereo effects loops,
compact, self-contained, excellent for PA and
For free literature write: Unicord,
89 Frost St., Westbury, NY 11590.
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Pro Audio Systems
Exclusively distributed by Unicord
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Unicord 1982
With the MX -16 and a recorder
there are four points of volume
adjustment alone.
each of the mic inputs
2. The individual GAIN CONTROL
for each channel
3. The MASTER fader control
4. The RECORD LEVEL control on
the tape deck itself.
If no input overload occurs, place
O dB position. Place the MASTER
fader control and the recorder's
RECORD LEVEL control to maximum position. With this starting
point you may now feel free tocontrol
each of the channels used with the
individual GAIN CONTROLS. By
setting up the record chain this way.
you are bypassing most of the side
effects of the unused controls, effectively reducing four noise sources
down to one. The recorder's RECORD
LEVEL control and the MX -16's
MASTER fader can now be used for
fading only.
I will also mention that the MX -16
is not a current model: it was
introduced in 1972. I recommend
that the unit be checked for proper
functioning. Each of the eight channels is constructed identically and
should, therefore. sound identical. If
noise or distortion are noticeable in
one or more of the channels and not in
another, the unit should be serviced.
It is also possible that the fader
controls have collected dust over the
years and introduce excessive noise.
This is easily remedied with proper
cleaning by a qualified service
-Dennis Dougherty
Product Sales Trainer
Sony Corp. of America
Park Ridge. N.J.
Sounds Like a Pan Pot
But It's Not
I would like to replace the channel
select switches on my Sony MX -14
hoard with pan controls. I've
noticed that the later units offer
these and it would certainly add to
the versatility of the board. Can
you offer some advice or info on
this conversion''
While I cannot recommend modifying your MX -14, I can suggest a
recording technique that may prove
It is possible to simulate a pan pot
by splitting the mic signal as it enters
the mixer. This can be accomplished
with active circuitry or a simple "Y"
chord. The split signal can then be
sent to two channels on the MX -14
simultaneously (let's say channels 1
and 2). Set channel one's OUTPUT
SELECT switch to LEFT and channel two's OUTPUT SELECT switch
to RIGHT. With equal level settings
in each channel the source will be
placed in the center of the stereo
image. By varying the levels of
channels 1 and 2 the signal will shift
toward the favored channel. With
this technique the MX -14 can be used
as a five channel mixer with one "pan
pot" down to a three channel mixer
with three "pan pots."
-Dennis Dougherty
Products Sales Trainer
Sony Corp. of America
Park Ridge. N.J.
-Joe W. Berry
LaPorte, Texas
The Missing Link
The ASHLY SC -40 Instrument Preamp
That critical first stage of amplification for your instrument can make or break your sound. The SC -40
Instrument Preamp gives you clean pre -amplification with an absolute minimum of noise and distortion.
The sophisticated three-band tunable equalizer makes a wide range of voicings possible. (Equalization
bypass switching is provided on the PA send.) We designed the SC -40 with an effects send and return, high
and low level stage outputs, and line level and microphone level PA outputs so you can interface with practically anything without the need for expensive adaptors. But we didn't stop there! You'll also appreciate
our heavy -duty 16 gauge steel construction and a host of other features not offered on any other preamp.
The next time you plug in your bass, guitar, or keyboard, make sure it's going into an Ashly SC-40 Instrument Preamp...designed and built for those who want the best, by people who still care. For more information call or write us.
(716) 544 -5191
(416) 361 -1667
Why Beyer microphones give you more extraordinary
performance for the most ordinary applications.
Bever M 201
There are other microphone
alternatives when high
sound pressure is a factor.
When you need a rugged and
versatile microphone,
consider the alternatives.
'critical "recording applications.
As Sennheiser claims, the MD 421
undoubtedly stands up to extremely
high decibel levels and has other
features that have contributed to
For over 10 years, engineers have
used mics like Shure's SM57 for the
widest variety of applications in the
studio. And we feel that one of the
main reasons more engineers don't
use the Beyer M 201 in this context
is simply because they don't know
about it. Those who have tried
it in the full gamut of recording
situations have discovered how it can
distinguish itself when miking
anything from vocals to acoustic
guitar to tom toms.
The M 201's Hyper -Cardioid
pattern means that you get focussed,
accurate reproduction. Its wide
and smooth frequency response
(40 to 18,000 Hz) provides excellent
definition for the greatest number
of possible recording and sound
reinforcement situations.
Each Beyer Dynamic microphone
has its own custom- designed element
to optimize the mic's performance for
its intended use.
Some engineers prefer condenser
microphones like the AKG C 414
to accurately capture the subtle
nuances of a violin or acoustic piano.
But should you have to deal with
the complexity of a condenser system
every time this kind of situation
comes up?
The Beyer Dynamic M 160
features a double -ribbon element
for the unique transparency of
sound image that ribbon mics are
known for. While its performance is
comparable to the finest condenser
microphones, the M 160's compact
size and ingenious design offers
significant practical advantages for
critical applications.
Beyer Dynamic microphones offer
state-of- the -design technology and
precision German craftsmanship for
the full spectrum of recording and
sound reinforcement applications.
its popularity. But if you're already
using the MD 421 to mike loud
instruments or voices, we suggest
that you investigate the Beyer M 88.
The Beyer Dynamic M 88's
frequency response (30 to 20,000 Hz)
enhances your ability to capture the
true personality( including exaggerated
transients) of bass drums, amplified
instruments and self- indulgent lead
The Beyer M 88 features a matte
black, chromium -plated brass
case for the ultimate in structural
integrity. Beyer microphones are
designed for specific recording and
sound reinforcement applications.
condenser microphone for
The Dynamic Decision
'Documentation supporting specific comparative claims available upon request.
You may not always need a
Beyer Dynamic, Inc.
5 -05
Bums Avenue. Hicksville. New York 11801 (516) 935 -8000
Effects Exploration
own the Ibanez UE400 Multi
Effects Unit [see review in Note.~.
January 1981 issue] and I have
some problems with it with which
I'd like some help.
guitar overdrives the effects
(most notably the phaser and
puts provided for the proper
operation of this unit? I've been
told that it's possible to get the
12- string sound I described above
out of other units using only one
-.John Nicholas
Clarendon Hills, Ill.
2 a
I.I! :
S3 b
I o-o
:\11 000
55 -c
S9 a
\: =
S I-S5
other than turning the guitar
The phaser function seems rather
soft and subtle, unlike some I've
used which seemed more brilliant.
Can you recommend anything to
spark up this effect?
Other chorus and flanger devices I've seen have a control
marked "Manual" which I don't
see on the Ibanez unit. What
exactly does this control do? It
seems that I can't get some of my
favorite flange and chorus effects
from the Ibanez, especially a 12string sound from the chorus.
Would installing this control (if
possible) help in getting some of
these desired sounds?
I use the UE400 most in the
studio for jingles and need to get
sounds clean and fast. It is also not
often that I can use two outputs
from the Ibanez (stereo ?) because
of track input limitations. Is it
important to utilize the two out-
compressor) due to an on -board
preamp; is there anything that can
be done to improve this situation
S5 -b
1- Compressor
Max. Input Level: +6.5 dBm at 400 Hz
Max. Output Level: 0 dBm at 400 Hz
Compressor Range: 40 dB
Equivalent Input Noise: -90 dBm (1HF -A
input shorted)
Frequency Response: 30 Hz to 20 KHz
( +5 dB, -2 dB)
2- Phaser
Max. Input Level: +5 dBm at 400 Hz
Input /Output Level Ratio: 1:1
Sweep Speed: 0.06 Hz to 13 Hz
Equivalent Input Noise: -98 dBm (1HF-A
input shorted)
3- Overdrive
Max. Amplitude: 30 db
Max. Output Level: 0 dBm
Equivalent Input Noise: -100 dBm (1HF -a
input shorted)
4- Stereo Chorus /Flanger
Max. Input Level: +5.6 dBm at 400 Hz
Delay Time of Flanger: 1.46 m /sec. to 12.8
m /sec.
Delay Time of Chorus: 3.2 m /sec. to
8.6 m /sec.
Input /Output Level Ratio: 1:1
Equivalent Input Noise: -106 dBm (1HF -A
input shorted)
Sweep Speed of Flanger: 0.06 Hz to 13 Hz
Sweep Speed of Chorus: 0.3 Hz to 3.0 Hz
5- Overall
Input Impedance: 500 K ohms
Main Output Impedance: less than
10 K ohms
Ext. Effect Loop Send Impedance: less
than 10 K ohms
Ext. Effect Loop Receive Impedance:
500 K ohms
Power Requirements: 117VAC/60 Hz /6W
220VAC to 240VAC /50 Hz /9.8W
Dimensions: Unit- 482(W) x 98(H) x 232
(D)mm. Foot Switch-340(W) x 42(H) x
70 (D)mm
Weight: Unit -3.9 kg; Footswitch -1.2 kg
Accessory: Footswitch with connection
cord -5 m
ear today & Here tomorrow
Just two of the range of Europe's best selling sound reinforcement boards-now available
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Phase reverse
Master/master interlink
Talkback to any of the six groups
Balanced inputs/outputs
6 separate sends to masters
Channel mutes and solos
Also available:
16 -2, 16 -4, 16 -4 -2,
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Full color brochure and technical specs from:
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(516) 249 -3669
There are several questions here
about different aspects of the UE400.
I'd like to answer each question by
topic, so let's start with:
Overdriving the Effects: The UE400
was designed to provide four studio
board preamp, or both, overdriving
may result. (You'll notice the overdriving when you play the bottom
string or strike a chord). In this
situation there are two things that
you can do to compensate for the
1. Put 100mV 1KHz sinewave into INPUT.
2. Set WIDTH controls fully CW, SPEED controls fully CW and
FEEDBACK controls fully CCW.
3. Adjust VR102 to achieve the Lissajous pattern shown in Fig. A.
4. Set WIDTH controls fully CCW.
5. Make sure wave form as shown in Fig. B.
If does not fit wave form, please readjust from
g. A
Fig. 2
Cente Point
of Moduration
Delay Time (ms)
Fig. 3
quality effect units in one compact
rack mount that could be used by
keyboard and bass players as well as
guitarists. If you check the specs on
your UE400 (Fig. I) you'll find that
the maximum input level is +5 dbm
-6.5 dbm (depending on the particular effect). These levels should handle
any standard guitar's output, but
there are a few exceptions. In cases
where the pickups have an unusually
high output (due to customized
winding, etc.) or where there's an on16
problem. One is to install an attenuator (500 Kfl-250 K f2 potentiometer) in the space provided on the rear
pastel of the unit. The other is to reduce the output of your guitar a little
and adjust the pickup so that it's
slightly lower.
Brilliance of the Phaser: The
UE400's "Feedback" system is what
controls the brilliance of the phaser.
If you check your UE400 against
another, you may discover thc. brilliance of your unit to be less than that
of the other. If you find this to be the
case, then it may need an adjustment.
This type of adjustment is usually
handled by the factory, however, it is
possible to do by yourself. The
procedure is given in Fig. 2.
Manual Control on Flanger or
Chorus: Some chorus or flanger
units have a manual control. If you
look at Fig. 3 you'll see that this
control is used for centering the
position of modulation. Modulation of
delay time is what causes a chorusing
or flanging effect. The difference
between flanging and chorusing is
the modulation width of delay time.
On flanging units there's enough
width of delay time to make it worth
having a manual control. On chorusing units, however, the width of delay
time is too msmall to produce any
noticeable change in sound by moving the center. This is why you won't
find many chorus units on the market
today with a manual control. Because
of the limited amount of space for
controls on the UE400, the manual
control option has been omitted in
favor of a preset center. Pulling the
width control knob out moves the
center into position for the chorusing
mode. To get a good 12 string sound
from the UE400's chorus unit, the
output must be handled in stereo. If
making the connection in stereo is a
problem, use a "Y" plug to mix the
stereo signal to mono.
The outputs should be made from
jacks marked "output" and (and the
"external effect loop" heading) "send."
This will give you the sound you're
after. We've received other requests
of a similar nature, and as a result,
the latest UE400 does have a mixing
circuit built in that allows the chorus
unit to function normally in either
stereo or mono.
Development of the UE400 came
about over 3 years ago, by closely
working with musicians who were
looking for a practical alternative to
unreliable cable hook ups between
Also available, is the UE405
(sister unit to the UE400) and the
recently introduced UE300 (a smaller
floor unit implementing many of the
400 and 405's features).
If there are any other questions
regarding Ibanez electronics, please
feel free to contact me.
-Chuck Fukagawa
Electronics Dept.
Hoshino (U.S.A.) Inc.
Bensalem, Pa 19020
25,000 copies in print
Fifth big printing of t e
definitive manual of recording tec
"John Woram has filled a gaping hole in the audio literature. This is a very fine book ... I recommend it highly.
High Fidelity. And the Journal of the Audio Engineering
Society said, 'A very useful guide for anyone seriously
concerned with the magnetic recording of sound."
So widely read ... so much in demand ... that we've had
to go into a fifth printing of this all- encompassing guide to
every important aspect of recording technology. An indis-
pensable guide with something in it for everybody
it is the audio industry's first complete
handbook on the subject. It is a clear, practical,
and often witty approach to understanding what
makes a recording studio work. In covering all
aspects, Woram, editor of db Magazine, has provided an excellent basics section, as well as more
in -depth explanations of common situations and
problems encountered by the professional engineer.
to learn,
8 clearly- defined sections
18 information- packed chapters
The Basics
The Dec bel
V. Noise and Noise Reduction
Il. Transducers: Microphones
Noise and Noise Reduction
Studio Noise Reduction Systems
and Loudspeakers
Microphone Design
VI. Recording Consoles
The Modern Recording
Microphone Technique
III. Signal Processing Devices
Echo and Reverberation
Compressors, Limiters and
Flanging and Phasing
IV. Magnetic Recording
Tape and Tape Recorder
Magnetic Recording Tape
The Tape Recorder
Studio Console
VII. Recording Techniques
The Recording Session
The Mixdown Session
VIII. Appendices
Table of Logarithms
Power, Voltage, Ratios and
Frequency, Period and
Wavelength of Sound
Conversion Factors
NAB Standard
It's a
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every student
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Checks must be in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank.
1M4o4* 16
By James F. Rupert
If mail is any indication, this is the part of the Studio
Notebook series that everyone has been clamoring
for: "How do I get the bread together to get the whole
thing off the ground ?" We've tried to lay the
groundwork in previous installments so that you might
be able to intelligently answer questions the man with
the money will be firing at you. Moreover, if you've
filled out the forms in the past Studio Notebook
chapters and done your homework thoroughly, you
now should be able to counterattack with the data that
the loan officer wants, needs, and is delighted to hear.
So the red carpet should now be rolled out for you,
cherubs spreading rose pedals in your path as you
triumphantly stride in and blushingly proclaim, "No,
please, a million is more than I'll need, really... and
there's no need to kneel!" Right? Wrong!
Everything you've done so far has only been to
insure that the loan officer will take you seriously upon
first examination of your credit application. Without it,
despite the stoically courteous exterior being
displayed by the man or woman across the desk, your
application will be secretly greeted by a silent upward
rolling of the eyeballs, or worse yet, the mental
equivalent of a one -fingered salute.
But hey, you've got the charts and have researched
your studio plan to perfection. You've also proudly slid
letters of commitment across the formica that show
that solid reputable firms have announced their
intention to place orders with you. With a cavalier flip of
the wrist you thrust home with the seemingly killing
blow of a blueprint and floor plan of the proposed
studio complex, and with a sample lease from the
future landlord attached. Money time, right? Wrong
There are several types of loans and loan institutions,
but all of them will begin by reviewing not just your
plan, but you yourself.
The big question is collateral. Namely, "Do you gots
any or nots any ?" Bankers don't just want experience
and expertise. They want to know what will be your
personal stake in this venture. For those of you
currently yelling, "Capitalist Pigs!" relax for a minute
and examine the situation. If everything put into the
company was the result of loans and other monies not
your own, bankruptcy would constantly loom as an all too convenient bail -out should times start to get a little
tough. After bankruptcy, you've lost nothing and the
bank is up a stump to get their dough back. All the bank
wants to establish is that each of you has an equal stake
in your studio. The risk should be shared by borrower
and lender. And what's so unfair about that?
Collateral can be almost any personal property-
cars, real estate, stocks, bonds, securities, cash values
on insurance policies, furniture, household items and
savings all qualify. Especially savings. If you have
$10,000 in savings and are looking to borrow another
$10,000. one of two things will probably happen. The
lender will question you extensively on how much of
your savings will be going into the project or the lender
will try to convince you to sink that ten grand into time
saving certificates. The time certificates can still be
used as collateral as well as earning a tidy profit in
interest. Either way the lender will be looking for a
commitment from you as to how much of your personal
funds will be going into grubstaking the new studio.
Remember the old adage, "The only way to get a loan
is to prove that you don't need it "? Well, it may not be
true all the time, but in a lot of instances it can be
painfully correct. There must be a way for the lender to
get back loaned funds (or their equivalent in collateral)
if the borrower poops out on the payments. Your lender
will refer to this as a "secured "loan. It doesn't matter if
you are looking for a long -term, business- financing
loan from a bank, a savings and loan or a venture
capital organization, you will probably have to obtain a
secured loan.
Long -term loans are those which are to be paid off
over five years or longer. Loans to be paid off in five
years or less are called intermediate loans. Don't be
surprised however if your lender refers to both as long-
term loans.
Your banker might suggest other alternatives to
solve your money dilemmas. If you own your house,
you might be able to obtain a second mortgage to raise
some bucks. A mortgage equity loan in which you
borrow against the equity (how much you have paid off
on the principal, not the interest) is another possibility
the lender could put forward. Believe it or not, the loan
officer you're dealing with really will try any way he or
she can to find a loan that fits you. Now, the key word
there is "fits. " Neither the lender nor you really wants to
sign a piece of paper that he knows one of the parties
will be unable to live up to.
Now let's suppose that you've already got all your
equipment together and you've financed the studio
construction yourself. Maybe you're ready to turn that
part -time basement operation in your home into a full time business. Either way all you need is a minimal
amount of money to keep the joint running and food on
the table until the customers begin to pay off their bills.
For this you can breathe a hair easier and go see the
banker about a short -term loan.
A short -term loan is money advanced to you that will
be paid back within 30 to 90 days. This is most often
"Thank you for your
interest in Albatross Records. Unfortunately..."
Few things in this world are as irritating as a polite
rejection letter.
But maybe one of these days someone will like
your demo tape. And instead of a form letter, you'll get a
phone call.
At dbx, we know its the quality of your music
that will make you successful. But we can't help thinking
that the quality of your tape recording will play a part, too.
After all, how will they know how good you sound if the
tape doesn't rea ly capture your sound?
So we have a suggestion: dbx tape noise reduction.
For a modest investment, you can add a dbx
professional component to your tape system and start
sending in demos that sound like the real thing.
Because dbx doesn't just reduce noise. We
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and again, without any build -up of tape hiss. Each
generation sounds just as clean as the first. And you'll
end up with a final mix that sounds better than you've
ever sounded on tape before.
Now of course, we can't guarantee that this will
make you a hit.
But it will sure make you sound like one.
Visit your autho'ized dbx professional dealer
for a look at our full line of equipment. Or call or
write dbx, Incorporated, Professional Products
Division, 71 Chapel
Street, Box 100C,
Newton, MA 02195
Tel. (617) 964 -3210.
Telex: 92 -2522.
used to tide businesses over until accounts receivable
are received. The collateral for this type of loan can be
the accounts receivable themselves. Sometimes these
are in actuality inventory loans, a loan to buy tape and
supplies to keep the recorders running until the
outstanding accounts are paid to you. Payments to the
bank often can be automatically drawn out of your
business checking account at the bank. Short -term
loans are much easier to obtain, but stand warned:
You can lose your business to the sheriff just as easily
by not paying off a small sum short -term loan as by
defaulting on a big ticket long -term loan. The lenders
are not waiting in the wings snarking up their sleeves,
licking their chops in anticipation of foreclosing on
some poor unsuspecting young businessperson. They
only want those who have come begging for the
lender's trust to keep their word of payback. If bank
foreclosure seems like a distasteful practice to you,
how would you handle it any differently?
If you are asking for a loan of say $10,000 and the
banker says they can only give you $5,000, don't lose
hope. That same lender might suggest a program of
personal conversion of assets to raise the remainder.
Maybe that shiny new Corvette sitting in the driveway
should be sold to raise some funds? The aforementioned mortgage loan might come into play. Your
world- famous -used -bicycle- seat -collection might
have to go to the highest bidder. As stated previously, if
it is to be your business, the risk and liability should be
yours as well.
Another option is equity capital. Do not confuse
equity capital with either term borrowing or real estate
equity. Equity money is money you don't have to repay
(sounds good, huh ?). Equity capital is money you get
for selling part interest in your business (maybe not so
good huh ?). There are specialized companies and
individuals that are willing to sink money into
struggling businesses for strictly investment purposes.
Their interest is in potential income rather than
immediate return. While a bank is interested in
receiving only the money loaned and interest re payed
to them, an equity capital investor is looking for an
unlimited return within the confines of their percentage purchased. While neither a lender nor an equity
capital investor is interested in the tiny details of day to
day operation, you will be responsible for reporting to
an equity investor just as you would to any other
partner. The value or inconvenience of this type of
scrutiny can only be judged by you.
Now, for the very few of you who have excellent
credit ratings and most probably also have had
previous credit dealings with the lender you are
negotiating with, you might be able to qualify for an
"unsecured" loan. This is usually a short -term basis
loan only, but one that requires no collateral to secure
the loan. The lender is crossing it's fingers and handing
out money strictly on the past credit reputation of the
borrower. If you are under thirty, have limited
management experience and a limited credit history
(or if Mom or Pop are unwilling to co-sign), forget this
one. This transaction is usually reserved for the good
of boys who have banked at one place for years and are
on a first name basis with everybody there, including
the janitor.
If you are to be forced by circumstance into a longterm secured loan, don't forget about the equipment
you might be using to start your studio. Most lenders
should prove fairly agreeable to using the business'
assets (the studio's equipment) as security for the loan.
If you need to buy the equipment from scratch,
consider a chattel mortgage on the gear to be
purchased. You will, in effect, be giving the bank a lien
on the equipment purchased with the loan. If you miss
enough payments or break the loan contract in any
way, the lien will entitle the bank to seize the lien
equipment or at least prevent you from using it until a
court date can be set for charges to be brought against
If you have a partnership, all partners will be
expected to sign the loan papers. If you cannot obtain a
loan for $15,000 with the signatures of three partners,
shoot for three separate loans, one to each partner, for
$5,000 each. In the case of a corporate loan, the
officers of the corporation may be forced to sign
personal guarantee notes stating that they guarantee
with their personal funds and assets that the
corporation will be able to repay the loan. If you have
the trust and belief of your parents or your rich Uncle
Louie in your studio dream, a little arm twisting to get
them to act as co- signers couldn't hurt your cause a bit.
Whether the bank lists them as co- signers, endorsers,
co- makers or guarantors, it all boils down to all
contract signers being equally responsible in the eyes
of the law for the loan to be repaid to the lender. If you
default on the loan, both you and Uncle Louie will be
sitting in the defendant's docket trying not to talk to
each other.
If all this is beginning to scare you, then perhaps the
seriousness of obtaining financing and starting a
business is beginning to sink in. Although it is no kid's
game, it can definitely be referred to as hardball.
Lending institutions have the money and the legal
muscle to make kitty litter out of anyone who tries to
duck the responsibility of a loan contract.
Work with your loan officer to keep the payments at a
level and amount that will be reasonable to repay. Use
the charts and tables you assembled from past Studio
Notebook installments to show your expenses, your
income and what you could allow for a monthly loan
payment. Listen to the loan officer's suggestions as to
how to cut your budget and save money every month.
For the most part. they're smart cookies who want you
to succeed. They want you to be able to repay your first
loan and be able to come in with mutual confidence for
future loans. What it's all about is a situation that will
work for the success and profit of both of you.
But let's suppose that you've tried everyone in your
area for financing. The banks said no, the equity
company representatives said no, the private finance
companies said no and Uncle Louie said get the hell
out of his mobile home. Where do you turn?
The best place to turn is the subject of our next
installment, the United States Small Business
Administration. As for me, I hope that I'll be able to get
the next chapter out on time since the bank is banging
on the window right now to repossess my typewriter.
(Uncle Louie is gonna kill me!)
See you next time.
PL80 Microphone
When it came to designing the EV PL80, our engineers went far beyond traditional microphone
design standards, measurements and technologies.
They went all the way to the technology of the
human voice.
Using a computer -generated procedure called
"fast Fourier transform"
(FFT), EVengineers were able
to visually display and study
fre uenc
of the human voice's waveforms. The FFT
technique allowed them to precisely pre dict how the PL80 would sound in real life use
as it was being designed. As a result, the EV PL80
microphone is a precision instrument that enhances
the performer's voice without compromising the
performer's vocal quality.
Competitive mikes like Shure's SM58 (which
was designed with technology over a decade old)
simply can't match the "today" sound of the PL80.
The tight, super- cardioid directional characteristic
of the PL80 provides the up -close bass boost (proximity effect) preferred by many entertainers. At the
same time, it also delivers high feedback resistance
when working close to sound reinforcement
speakers and monitors.
The PL80 has an attractive snow gray finish
and a contrasting dent-proof Memraflex grille with
integral blast filter to guard against P-popping.
For an up -close and
personal look at the EV
PL80, get into
action and get
to your
EV d aler
today. And
while you're there, be sure to ask about
our other PL "Sound in Action" mikes
including our world famous PL6 and PL20 instrument mikes. Or write for a free copy of our EV Pro
Line Brochure. Electro- Voice, Inc., 600 Cecil Street,
Buchanan, Michigan 49107
/I O"1'cIwz7
By Norman Eisenberg
From Banner, a division of Optics Corp. of Shelby,
N.C.. comes word of a full 31 -band, 1/:3- octave real time
audio spectrum analyzer. The model RTA- 1232 features
a bar- column display matrix of 31 ISO- centered bands
plus broadband SPL of 12 steps each. Explains Banner:
"Even though most equalizers do not cover the full
range of 211 Hz to 20 kHz displayed by the RTA -1222
this full 31 -hand range is desirable for setting rolloffs
to prevent wasted power in sound reinforcement use."
The display -which uses 38.1 LElls -has a selectable
range in 1, 2 or 3 dB per step. Each band may be user
calibrated if desired. Total unweighted SPI, range is
65 to 120 dB. The SPL readout has three decay rates.
Two 15 -volt phantom powered microphone inputs and
two line -level inputs may be selected or summed together, a feature said to he useful for measuring from
multiple locations within a room as well as for stereo
program material. In the studio, this option also enables
the RT -1232 to help in detecting frequency phase cancellations. Both pink and white noise are provided by
any internal digital noise generator. The device
employs a new filter shaping circuit (patent pending)
that produces a "double tuned" filter shape found previously only in the costliest of lab type instruments,
says Banner. The new filter shaping circuit allows high
selectivity without loss of inter -band information.
Price is $1,195.
2 -OHM
The model 119 from Biamp Systems of Beavertown.
Oregon combines a :350 -watt. 2 -ohm monitor amplifier
with a nine -band graphic equalizer in one relatively
compact unit. The power amp portion features innovations recently developed by Biamp for its 29 Series and
619 powered mixers. A built -in Auto Limit" and
turbulent flow heat exchanger enable the 119 to drive
four 8 -ohm speakers in parallel, and the equalizer section is said to incorporate the latest in low- noise, high
slew rate technology. Available in both rack-mount (as
the 119R) and portable case versions, the model 119
has been designed for use in high power monitor systems
and small P.A. installations. It also is recommended
for multiple keyboard setups incorporating a separate
rack -mount mixer such as the Biamp 683. The new
amp also provides a low -frequency boost and stereo
conversion capability to upgrade existing systems. For
example. Biamp's model 619 monopowered mixer is
convertible to a stereo powered mixer with the addition
of the model 119.
Replacing the AKG BX -20E is the new BX -25E.
A KG's latest studio and transportable two-channel reverberation system. As in all AKG reverb units, the
BX -25E is based on the patented torsional transmission
line principle. However. in the new version the overall
length of the spring has been extended by about 25
percent while the overall size of the unit has been
reduced by about one-third. Each of the two electronically and acoustically separate channels has
independent decay -time adjustment (via remote
control): high- and low- frequency EQ external input output level adjustments: dry /reverb signal
mixing. Decay time is adjusted silently through the
use of motional feedback. In addition to the shelving
type of frequency equalization, AKG has incorporated
a high -cut filter at the input /reverb drive amplifier to
enable the selection of a bright. "more aggressive"
sound or a more mellow natural reverb sound. Plug-in
boards contain the electronics within the control
module which itself may be removed from the main
housing and operated remotely. AKG's new M -250
digital delay module may be added to the BX -25E at
any later time, or ordered within the BX -25E. As a
complete unit (reverb and delay), the BX -25E incorporates all the reverb features mentioned plus digital
delay. The latter module provides mic control between
reverb signal and reverb plus individual reflections:
individually adjustable level for each of the discrete
reflections in 2 dB steps from original level down to
20 dB below that level. The discrete reflections are
available as reflections only or mixed with reverb:
initial delay for the reverb signal is switchable to 0.
+311 ms and +60 ms: two discrete reflections for each
channel are adjustable in 6 ms steps from 6 ms to 60 ms:
bandwidth reflections, 12 kHz.
Two L -C active equalizers have been announced by
White Instruments of Austin. Texas. The model 4100A
two- channel. octave -band unit is offered to recording'
engineers for use with the demanding 30 ips, half -inch
and digital tape formats. The model 4400 is a new
one -third octave monitor equalizer. It features 28 filters
from 31.5 Hz through 16 kHz: range of ±10 dB: adjustable 12 dB /octave high -pass and low -pass filters:
tri -amp capability with three level trimmers: trans formerless operation or optional plug -in input and
output transformers.
ER 1982
In its new model B -901 stereo power amplifier.
Cybernet International of Warren. N.J. claims to have
virtually eliminated transient intermodulation distortion by the use of a triple push -pull MOS -FET amplifier
with direct coupling from the front end to the speaker
terminals. In addition to special circuit techniques, the
B -901 incorporates two separate power transformers.
one for each amplifier channel. TIM is effectively minimized by the use of a two -pole phase compensation
circuit. A slew rate of 120 volts per microsecond with a
rise time of 0.9 microsecond is said to produce exceptionally fast transient response which contributes to
the lowered TIM. Power output is rated at 15(1 watts
per channel into 8 ohms, both channels driven, from
20 Hz to 20 kHz with less than (1.01 percent THD. Overall frequency response is listed at +0. -1 dB from 5 Hz
to 100 kHz. S/N is spec'd at 120 dB. Price is $1670.
A wide -range moving -coil dynamic microphone designed specifically for talkback use is Audio- Technica's
AT838G gooseneck model. Said to be ideal for use with
mixing consoles or other applications that require a
panel jack plug -in mie. the AT838G has a unidirectional
polar pattern to eliminate competing background noise
when used from a crowd or in other applications in
which ambient noise is a problem. When used extremely close. a protective screen reduces wind noises
and popping. Internal construction is said to reduce
handling. shock and cable noises. A built -in QG3M
connector mates with a professional Switchcraft D3F
panel connector. or the mic can be plugged directly
into a mating professional Switchcraft A3F connector.
Impedance is 600 ohms. Price is $130.
new console-model RL 400-B-to house the ()tari
5050B and BQ Series II tape machines is offered by
Ruslang of Bridgeport, Conn. The top opening of the
console is designed to accept the tape machine as is -you
simply lift off the removable front panel and place the
unit in the opening. using its feet to locate the correct
position and thus prevent movement. Measuring 22',
inches wide, :38', inches high (variable on request) and
271,_ inches deep, the console features Ruslang's exclusive tilt design that provides the operator access to
all controls whether he is sitting or standing. At the
console's base a standard 19 -inch opening accepts
Manual For
An Audio Training
additional electronics for mounting on optional rails.
Other options include rack rails for the top opening to
mount electronics other than the Otari unit, and a rear
riser assembly which accommodates a Ruslang over bridge for added overhead rack space. Shipped knocked down, the console is assembled in about ten minutes.
Two new pro amps from Protech Audio of St. James,
N.Y. are the 10 -watt model 610 -S and the 25-watt
model 625 -S. Controls and terminals are all up front.
The power switch incorporates a built -in circuit breaker to eliminate the need to stock fuses. Other
features include output short- circuit protection, bridging input, gain control and barrier terminal strip.
Specs indicate maximum THD of 0.4 percent at full
output. noise at -85 dB below rated output: frequency
response of ±1 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kllz.
Written by F. Alton Everest and published by SIE
Publishing in Thousand Oaks, California. is a new audio
training course. The program includes a manual (with
ten lessons) and five cassettes which are programmed
to follow each other. The purpose of the course is to
"accelerate, not replace, the usual process of slow learning by experience on the job." Assuming that acuteness
of perception can be improved by training and experience, O'ritiegl Listening is "based upon the premise
that discriminating listening ability, which appears so
remarkable and complex when viewed casually, can
be subdivided into a number of simpler parts which are
teachable." The cassettes (with music and narration)
and written manual contain these sections: Lesson 1.
"Estimating The Frequency of Sound ": Lesson 2, "Estimation of Sound Level Changes ": Lesson 3. "Estimating
Frequency Band Limitations ": Lesson 4. "Frequency
Response Irregularities ": Lesson 5, "Judgment of Sound
Quality ": Lesson 6, "Detecting Distortion ": Lesson 7,
"Reverberation Effects ": Lesson 8. Signal versus
Noise ": Lesson 9. "Voice Colorations ": Lesson 10,
"Listening With Discernment." The entire package is
available from SIE Publishing for $129.95.
The Audio Control Model TEN octave equalizer contains an extra set of inputs, outputs and front -panel
switching designed especially for video soundtrack
enhancement. Other features include adjacent paired
sliders: LEDs on each slider to allow operation in low
light; LED indicators for all functions; a special flashing LED mode to signal tape equalization at the touch
of a button: separate tape monitor and equalizer program controls. Octave frequency bands range from
31.5 Hz to 16 kHz; each slider's range is ±12 dB. Included in the device is a sharp Tchebechev subsonic filter
to protect against record warps and resonance at high
bass levels. THD is spec'd as less than 0.07 percent;
S'N is given as 99 dB: frequency response, less than
dB from 3 Hz to 100 kHz. Of rack -mount dimensions,
the model TEN is priced at $269.
The first low -cost digital audio processor for the pro
market was unveiled at the 72nd AES show in
Anaheim, California. In addition to the fact that it will
sell for less than $5000, the main revolutionary feature
of the dbx Model 700 is that itdoes notemploythe Linear
Pulse Code Modulation Technology upon which other
digital processors are based. The system utilized is
called Companded Predictive Delta Modulation. Delta
Modulation has long been known to be a low cost means
of analog -to- digital data conversion. But it produces
less than acceptable sound with a dynamic range of only
about 55 dB. Its lost cost advantages motivated dbx
engineers to develop a comparablesystem at lower cost.
Two innovations, Linear Prediction and Precision
Companding were what dbx came up with. The linear
prediction circuit estimates a signal's future by
monitoring its recent past history. It does this 700,000
times per second. It avoids audible noise modulation
effects. and also is responsible for increasing the
dynamic range of the basic Delta Modulator from 55d B
to 70 dB.
The rest of the dynamic range increase in the C PDM
system is the result of the Precision Companding
circuit. A direct digital link between encoder and
decoder eliminates the possibility of mistracking and
has an overall transparent performance. It increases
the dynamic range of the CPDM system to more than
110 dB. with a neutral sounding, extremely low noise
The new dbx Digital Audio Processor offers all the
benefits of currently available PCM processors
absence of noise, distortion, wow and flutter
price that most studios can afford.
41 ON
Detented controls designed for quick, accurate and
repeatable adjustments are featured on the new LOFT
model 401 parametric equalizer. Adjustments include
frequency, bandwidth or "Q" and boost or cut.
Overlapping frequency bands with 18 dB of boost or
cut include a low band (30 Hz to 600 Hz); a low -mid
band (100 Hz to 2 kHz); a mid band (400 Hz to 8 kHz);
and a high band (1 kHz to 20 kHz). The adjustable "Q"
control allows the affected frequency range around the
center frequency to be adjusted between 1/6 and three
octaves. In addition, the bandwidth can be adjusted
without affecting the amount of boost or cut.
Kenwood is offering a multi -purpose acoustic
measuring system, the model SE -3000. Self-contained
in a carrying case, the device incorporates a print -out
measurement recorder; level meter; signal generator;
and reverberation meter. It is supplied with
microphone and tripod stand. Suggested applications
include: sound field measurements (frequency
response, reverb characteristics, sound insulation
characteristics, noise level); audio equipment performance tests (amplifier characteristics, tape deck
frequency response, phono pickup frequency response
and crosstalk).
The Loft l03 -M is a mono, two -way, 18 dB /octave
electronic crossover with continuously variable crossover frequencies from 40 Hz to 8 kHz (low-frequency
range), and from 600 Hz to 12 kHz (high- frequency
range). Detented and recessed front panel controls are
calibrated in dB, while LEDs show peak output and
power turn -on /turn -off suppression. Even if power is
disconnected. the output of the crossover will be
clamped down to prevent electronic thumps in the
system that could damage speakers. According to
LOFT, the use of 18 dB /octave, three -pole "true"
Butterworth alignment in the filter provides a ruler -flat
In this column in our July 1982 issue I commented on
the sound field that can be produced by a vehicular
stereo system, and suggested that there may be a lesson
here for larger acoustic situations in terms of surround
speakers and equalization. No sooner did that item
appear in print than I was invited, along with several
other press persons, to experience what may well be
called "Lesson Two" of this basic idea.
It came in the form of a new car stereo system
developed over the past three years (and up to now one
of the best guarded secrets in audio) jointly by Delco,
the electronic arm of General Motors, and by Bose, the
well -known audio manufacturer. In this system, which
so far is available only in top -line GM luxury cars
(Cadillac Seville and El Dorado, Buick Riviera and
Oldsmobile Toronado) at a pre -installed cost of $875
the 25 -watt amplifiers that drive the four speakers are
individually equalized for the specific acoustics of each
car and for their front or rear locations in that car.
Moreover, the listening distances between car occupants and speaker axes are so artfully arranged that
one hears full balanced stereo throughout the car.
These and other operating parameters are determined
by computer measurements and listening tests as part
of a design effort that represents what is probably the
closest relating to date of a sound system to its specific
intended listening environment.
The result, as heard by several of us with unanimous
awe and appreciation, is a stereo experience second -tonone. In addition to smooth and extended response, the
sound is full -bodied and the stereo image remains firm
"from any seat in the house." The notion that car stereo
can be as satisfying as, or more so than, normal room
stereo has been given new impetus. And the carry -over
implications for large indoor or outdoor sound -reinforcement setups are more obvious than before.
There's something else in this new Delco/Bose system
that merits attention for its immediate value as well as
in terms of possible applications in other audio areas.
The 25 -watt amplifier used for each speaker is a
"digital mode" type (patented) in which the transistors
are switched on and off in what Bose calls a "two -state
modulation" design. In addition to accurate signal
amplification this design also is highly efficient (it uses
relatively little line power and it generates virtually no
heat. Along with no cooling problem it is also small
enough to nestle in the same enclosure as its speaker,
and the resultant amp /speaker module can be neatly
tucked into the side of a door and still function optimally. This technology is another "first" in music
systems, and my guess is that it will not be its last.
frequency response through the crossover region.
Audible transparency is improved with the use of
high -speed, low-noise circuitry. Specs include: 20 K ohms
input impedance, balanced or unbalanced; input level
of +24 dB (ref. 0.775 volt); output level of +18 dBm;
frequency response of ±0.25 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz;
harmonic distortion of less than 0.01 percent; noise
level of -93 dB ( "A" weighted). Of rack -mount width,
the 403 -M requires 1.% inches of rack space. Input and
output connections are '4-inch phone jacks.
A slim -line audio timer, the SH -4060 from Technics,
features programmable operation including automatic
preset station selection when used with Technics quartz
synthesizer tuners ST -S4, S6 or S8. The timer's weekly
programmability has three basic timer modes: weekly
1, weekly 2 and once. The unit's display shows 24 -hour
time, on /off function, preset channel number (1 through
16) and day of the week. The three -mode operation
allows for one single switching on/off of components
any single day of the week; on /off every day of the week;
on /off on weekends only; on /off every day of the week
except Sunday; and on/off every day of the week except
weekends. As a safety precaution, the timer will automatically turn off the other components after one hour
should you forget to program the off-time after programming on the on -time.
lecñ niquef
You can create special sonic effects,
improve sound quality and even enhance the music you record through
the use of signal processors. Usually
external to the mixing console, this
"outboard" equipment takes a signal
fed from the console and modifies it
in a controlled way. Then the modified signal returns to the console for
routing to the appropriate channels.
The result is a recording that sounds
more like a "production" and less like
a bland documentation.
This article will take a look at the
most popular signal processors. We'll
briefly describe what each one does
and how to use it.
How often have you encountered
the following problem when recording a vocalist? Sometimes he sings
too softly and gets buried in the mix;
other times he hits loud notes, blast-
ing the listener and saturating the
tape. Or, he may move toward and
away from the microphone while
singing, so that the average recording level fluctuates.
To control this problem, you can
ride gain on the vocalist -turn him
down when he gets too loud; turn him
up when he gets too quiet. Or you can
use a compressor, an amplifier that
automatically performs the same
function. It reduces the gain (amplification) when the input signal exceeds a preset level (called the
tltresho/d). The greater the input
level, the less the gain. As a result,
quiet passages are made louder;
loud passages are made softer; and
so the dynamic range is reduced.
(Figure 1).
Compression keeps the levels of
vocals and instruments more con-
loud notes that reduce headroom.
With extreme control settings, a
compressor can also be used for
special effect-say, to make drums
sound "fatter" or to give a "sucking"
sound to cymbals. Compression is
applied nearly always to vocals,
often to bass guitar and drums, and
sometimes to piano and lead guitar.
Using Compressors
A compressor is usually patched
between: (1) the access jacks of the
desired input channel on a mixing
console; or (2) the appropriate con-
sole bus output and tape -track input;
or (3) the tape -track output and a line
input on the console.
Normally, you compress individ-
ual instruments or tracks rather
than the entire mix. That procedure
makes the effect less audible by
applying compression only to those
stant, making them easier to hear
throughout the mix and preventing
instruments needing it. Compressing
instrument signals during recording
improves the signal -to -noise ratio of
the tape tracks, but forces you to
decide on compressor settings during
the recording session. Compressing
tape tracks during mixdown allows
you to change the settings at will,
but can make tape hiss audible.
Several controls on the compressor
need careful adjustment. Some of the
following parameters are preset
internally on various models:
Compression ratio or Slope is the
ratio of the change in input level to
the change in output level. For example, a 2:1 ratio means that for
every 2 dB change in input level, the
output changes 1 dB. A 20 dB change
in input level results in a 10 dB
change in the output, and soon. Ratio
settings of 1.5:1 to 4:1 are typical.
Garr reduction is the number of
dB that the gain is reduced below
unity gain. It varies with the audio
level. This control is set so that the
gain is reduced on loud notes by an
amount that sounds right, or looks
right on the gain- reduction meter.
The Attack -time setting controls
how fast the gain reduction occurs
in response to a musical attack.
Typical attack times range from .25
to 10 milliseconds, and many units
adjust attack time automatically to
suit the program material. The
longer the attack time, the larger
the peaks that are passed before gain
reduction occurs. Thus, long attack
times emphasize percussive attack
transients: short attack times reduce
punch by attenuating the attack.
The Release time or Recovery
time control affects how fast the gain
returns to its normal value after a
loud passage. It can be adjusted from
about 50 milliseconds to several
seconds. Release time must be longer
than about 0.4 second for bass instruments to prevent harmonic distortion.
As the gain returns to normal,
noise is increased along with the
signal, resulting in what is called a
"pumping" or "breathing" sound.
Release time is usually set for the
least objectionable effect, depending
on program material. Shorter release times make the compressor
follow faster dynamic changes in the
music, and keep the average level
higher. In some units, the release
time is adjusted automatically.
Threshold is the input level above
which compression occurs. You set
the threshold high (near 0 VU) to
compress only the loudest notes; you
set it low ( -10 or -20 VU) to bring up
quiet passages as well as attenuating
loud ones. If the compressor has a
fixed threshold, the input level control is used to adjust the amount of
The Output level control sets the
signal strength coming out of the
compressor to the proper level for
the input section of the console (usually around 0 VU maximum). Some
units automatically maintain a constant output level when other controls are varied.
liiflit(i ¡san amplifier whose output is practically constant above a
preset input level. The compression
ratio in a limiter is very high -10:1
or greater -and the threshold is
usually set just below the point of
tape saturation or amplifier clipping.
The output of the limiter is virtually
constant for input signals above that
level, so tape saturation or amplifier
clipping is prevented.
While a compressor reduces dynamic range but passes most attack
transients, a limiter has little effect
on dynamic range but limits the level
of attack transients or peaks (Figure
?). To act on these rapid peaks,
Noise gate
Noise gating.
limiters have a much faster attack
time than compressors -typically 1
microsecond to 1 millisecond.
Compressors are sometimes called
"limiters "; the setting of the ratio or
slope tells what the device is really
doing. A compressor/limiter combines both functions by compressing
the average signal levels over a wide
range, and by limiting peaks to
prevent overload. It has two thresholds: one relatively low for the
compressor and one relatively high
for the limiter.
Noise Gates
gate is patched between a
tape -track output and a mixing board line input. The gate acts like an
on -off switch to eliminate noises
during pauses in an audio signal. It
does this by reducing the gain when
the input level falls below a preset
threshold. That is, when an instrument momentarily stops playing, the
signal level is low enough so that the
noise gate turns off-removing any
noise and leakage during the pause
(Figure .3).
A noise
Noise gates help to clean up drum
tracks by removing leakage between
beats. They also can be used for
special effect to shorten the decay
time of the drums, giving a very
"tight" sound. Multiple gates are
sometimes used on all the outputs of
the multi -track recorder during
mixdown to reduce buildup of tape
hiss. The noise -gate threshold should
be set high enough to chop off tape
hiss during pauses, but low enough to
not remove any program material
(unless that is the desired effect). The
release time should be very fast for
drums and longer for more sustained
Several signal processors are
available that combine compression,
limiting and noise gating in a single
Some signal processors mimic the
effects of room acoustics by simulating echoes. As we stated in Part 2
[MR &M, February 1982] of this
series, an echo is a delayed repetition
of a sound. Echoes can occur acousti-
cally when sound waves travel to a
room surface, bounce off and return
later -repeating the original sound.
Echoes can be electronically simulated by storing a signal in an
electronic memory, then playing it
back after a slight delay -50 milliseconds to 1 second (Figure 4). A
device that performs this function is
called a time delay unit. It typically
uses a digital delay line (DDL) or an
analog "bucket brigade" circuit to
delay the signal. Alternatively, the
signal can be recorded on tape and
played back as the tape is running.
The faster the tape speed, the shorter
the delay. Delays around 50 to 200
milliseconds result in a "slap echo" or
"slapback echo" -often used in 50s
rock 'n roll tunes, and still used today.
On the mixing board, the echo send
or o ..end knob in a particular input
channel controls the amount of signal
sent to the echo device, and the echo
rem re knob affects the signal strength
returning to the console. Using these
knobs, you mix the original signal
with the delayed signal in the desired
proportion (Figure 5).
1_ J
Nulls move
up and down
Frequency, Hz
Frequency, Hz
Flanging (or positive flanging).
in Frequency
a vocal can be done
Doubling: If the delay is set
around 15 to 35 milliseconds, the
effect is called doubling or automatic
donhle tracking (ADT). It gives an
instrument or voice a fatter, stronger
sound, especially if the original
signal is panned left and the delayed
signal is panned right. The short
delays used in doubling sound like
early sound reflections in a studio
thus they add a sense of "air" or
"ambience" to close -miked instruments that would otherwise sound too
by recording a vocal part, then
redoing the same part on another
track in sync with the first part.
Playing back these two parts together gives a fuller sound than a
single vocal track. Note that the
repeated vocal part varies slightly in
timing and pitch compared to the
original part. To mimic this effect,
some delay units randomly vary the
delay time and pitch of the delayed
Negative flanging.
response is heard. Due to phase
cancellations of the direct and delayed signals combined, there results
a series of peaks and dips in the net
frequency response called a comb
filtr-r effect (Figure i;). It gives a very
colored, filtered tone quality. The
shorter the delay, the farther apart
the peaks and dips are spaced in
In al./anger, the delay is automati0 to 20
milliseconds, causing the comb -filter
nulls to sweep up and down the
spectrum. The resulting sound quality is hollow, swishing and ethereal,
as if the music were playing through
a variable -length pipe. Flanging is
applied most effectively to broadband signals such as cymbals but can
be used on any instrument.
cally varied from about
Positive flangi ng refers to flanging
in which the delayed signal is the
same polarity as the direct signal.
With ncgati '' flanging, the delayed
signal is opposite in polarity to the
direct signal, creating
Flanging: If the delay is set around
milliseconds, the ear is usually
unable to resolve the direct and
delayed signals into two separate and
distinct sounds. Instead, a single
sound with an unusual frequency
0 to 20
Nulls move
uh and down
Frequency, Hz
K nee
effect. The low frequencies are canceled (the bass rolls off), and the
"knee" of the bass rolloff moves up
and down the spectrum as the delay is
varied. The high frequencies are still
comb -filtered (Figure 7). It sounds
like the music is turning inside out!
Frequency, Hz
By feeding some of the output of the
flanger back into the input, the peaks
and dips are reinforced, creating a
powerful "science- fiction" effect
called resonant flanging.
You can hear what flanging sounds
like by using a 2 -track tape recorder
with Sound -On- Sound. Record a song
from a phonograph record (or a
commercially recorded tape) on
Channel 1. Then rewind the tape to the
beginning of the selection. Put the
recorder in Sound -On -Sound mode so
that the Track 1 signal transfers to
Track 2. While monitoring Channel 2,
re- record the phonograph record
selection on Track 2 in sync with the
selection being transferred from
Track 1. Match the loudness of the two
recordings. To get them in sync, slow
the turntable or the recorder by hand.
When the two recordings are in sync,
there is no delay between them; but
when they are slightly out of sync, the
resulting delay will cause the flanging effect. To produce negative flanging. reverse the leads to the Track 1
gap of the playback head (don't overheat!) and repeat the process.
Phasing is similar to flanging
except that a phase -shift network
replaces the time -delay circuit. The
resulting peaks and dips are spaced
more widely and irregularly in the
frequency spectrum.
Multiple Echo
Let's return to the echo delay
setting around 50 milliseconds to 1
second. By feeding some of the output
of the delay device back into its input,
you create a repeating echo- multiple repetitions that are evenly spaced
in time (Figure N). The delayed
output can be fed back to the input
and re- delayed by turning up the
recirculation or regeneration control
on the delay unit. If the unit has not
such control, you can make it recirculate externally. Patch its output into a
spare console line input, and turn up
that input's "effects send" control
(feeding the delay device) for the
desired effect (Figure 9). The higher
the recirculation level, the longer the
repeats last.
Tape recorders with separate
record and playback heads also can
produce multiple echoes. You set the
"tape /source" switch on the recorder
to "tape," and patch the recorder's
output back into its input as described above. The faster the tape
speed, the faster the echoes repeat.
Multiple echo is most musical if
you set the delay time to create an
echo rhythm that fits the tempo of the
song. A slow repeating echo -say, 0.5
second between repeats -gives an
outer -space or haunted -house effect.
Multiple echo is sometimes called
reverb. although "reverb" is also an
abbreviation for "reverberation." a
different effect.
Chorus: Chorus is a multiple echo
with delays the same as used for
doubling -about 15 to 35 millieconds. It can make a single voice sound
like a chorus of voices singing in
unison, or give a lead guitar a
spacious, "singing" quality. The
delay should be randomly varied for
the most natural sound.
2, we
said that acoustic
Multiple echo.
Tape track
Setup for multiple echo using external recirculation.
Direct sound
Figure 10. Reverberation.
reverberation was a series of multiple sound reflections which makes
the original sound persist and gradually die away or decay. These reflections tell the ear that you're listening
in a large or hard -surfaced room.
artificial reverberation devices simulate the sound of an acoustic environment-a club, auditorium or
concert hall -by generating random
multiple echoes that are too numerous and rapid for the ear to resolve
1(I). A
reverberation unit
adds a sense of "room acoustics" or
"speciousness" surrounding instruments and voices.
Note that "reverberation" is sometimes called "echo," although an echo
is a distinct repetition of a sound,
rather than a continuous decay of
sound. In fact, the "echo send" and
"echo receive" controls on the console
are usually used to adjust the amount
of recorded reverberation. The echo send output on the console connects to
the reverberation unit's input, and
the reverb unit's output connects to
the echo -return input on the console.
The random multiple echoes that
form reverberation can be created
aconsticallg by sending a signal to a
speaker in a hard- surfaced room -an
(1 o chcnuber -where the reverberant sound is picked up by a distant
microphone and returned to the
console. Or, the reverberation can be
median icnllg generated by vibrating
a spring or a metal -foil plate with an
electromagnetic driver. and detecting the response of the spring or plate
with one or two pickups. Reverberation also can be electronically produced through multiple electronic
delays and regeneration.
All- electronic units potentially
offer the most control and variation
of reverb sounds, but are currently
The plate or foil type has the
brightest sound and has traditionally
been the most popular type used in
major studios. For home studios.
spring units are cost- effective and
vary from mediocre to excellent. A
cheap, "twangy" spring reverb is
worse than no reverb at all
tape echo might beabetteralternative.
Reverberation units often have two
different outputs for a stereo effect.
When the echo -return signals from
these outputs are panned full left and
right, the reproduced reverberation
spreads out around the instruments,
much as it does in real life. Many
units also have tone controls to affect
the timbre of the reverberation. Bass
rolloff, for example, is used to reduce
muddiness. Some devices even have
adjustable reverberation time (decay
time) at different frequencies.
A more realistic reverb sound can
be created by putting a delay (say, 30
to 100 milliseconds) before the
reverberation to simulate the delay
that occurs in real rooms before the
onset of reverberation. You connect
the delay unit between the console
echo-send output and the reverb -unit
input. In real rooms. there are a few
early reflections following the original sound before the reverberation
starts. and by simulating these
reflections with a delay unit you can
create a sense of room size.
Pitch Shifters: Some delay devices
can actually change the pitch of a
signal in "real time." In one method,
the delay is varied in repetitive
sweeps every 20 milliseconds. This
results in a "Doppler shift" effect that
varies the pitch. Devices using this
method (such as the Marshall Time
Modulatory") employ a bucket -brigade or analog delay circuit. In
another method, the signal is read
into an electronic memory (a RAM
DDL) and is read out at a different
rate, varying the pitch. The Eventide
Harmonizer" works this way. Pitch
changes up to two octaves up or down
are possible, which let you create
harmony parts or correct out -of -tune
Psychoacoustic Processors: These
devices modify a signal in ways that
are easy to hear but difficult to
measure. One example is the Aphex
Aural Exciter, which adds a special
low -level signal to the original signal
to enhance the sound. The subjective
effect has been described as an
"open," "airy," "defined" sound with
greater "presence" or "brilliance."
To process a signal with the Aphex,
you send some of the track's signal to
the Aphex via the echo send or aux
send. and bring it back to the console
via the echo return or aux return.
Inside the Aphex, the signal is high pass filtered at 500 Hz, distorted
mainly by even -order harmonic
distortion, and phase-shifted by an
amount that varies with frequency.
You mix in the Aphexed signal about
20 dB below the original unprocessed
The subjective brilliance is probably due to the added "edge" of the
distortion and the "open" sound may
be due to the phase delays that mimic
sound reflections from room surfaces.
The device also is said to make signal
peaks louder by increasing their
Here's a brief description of each
effect we discussed:
Coinpressiou- reduces dynamic
range while passing transient peaks.
Limiting- leaves dynamic range
largely unaffected while limiting
transient peaks.
Noise Gating- removes noise
and leakage during pauses.
Echo- repetition of a sound after
a 50 msec. to 1 second delay.
Multiple Echo- recirculated
echo (several repetitions).
Doubling -15 to 35 msec. delay
for ambience and fullness.
Chorus-recirculated doubling
for a multiple -voice effect.
to 20 msec. sweep-
ing delay (variable -length pipe
Reverberation- random, recirculated short delays (simulates
concert -hall acoustics).
Pitch Shifting-varies the pitch
of the processed signal.
Psychoacoustic Processing
special low -level processed signal
that adds brilliance.
The first signal processor a home studio owner should purchase is
probably a good reverberation unit,
followed by a delay unit or compressor. These devices are practically
indispensible in producing a commercial sound.
Special effects help define the
characteristic recorded sound of an
era. The 50s had the "tube sound" and
slap echo: the 60s used fuzz, wah -wah
and flanging: and the 70s and early
80s popularized delay and psycho acoustic processors. You make contemporary- sounding recordings by
using the latest effects on the market,
and by inventing new sounds. It's the
creative usage of these effects
combining and using them in unusual ways -that leads to ear -grabbing recordings.
More information on signal processors can be found in the following
articles in back issues of MR &M:
May, June, 1978: "Echo, Reverb
and Delay" by Peter Weiss.
August, 1979: "Utilizing Studio
Special Effects" by Larry Blakely.
November, 1979: `Building Dual
Limiter" by Craig Anderton.
May, 1980: "An Overview of Echo,
Reverb and Other Delay Effects" by
John Murphy and Jim Ford.
October, 1980: "Building a Hot
Springs Reverb" by Craig Anderton.
November, 1981: "Building a Noise
Gate" by Jon Gaines.
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to Delay..."
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A real
At last
By Stan Hyman and Vicki Greenleaf
Everyone except Kim Carnes -and those who know
her well -had been skeptical about whether the .14 -yearold singer-songwriter could follow up her 1981 Grammy
Award -winning Record ofthe Yea r, `Bette Davis Eyes,"
with another chart-topping effort. However, her seventh
album effort, Voyeur (EMI-America), has silenced
critics and _firmly established her as an innovator.
While the LP retains the synthesizer- laden, English inzfl uenced tone of her most -identifiable work, Mistaken
Identity (EMI-America), the album daringly mores
into the more visual aspects of recording. With an
extended video LP in mind, Carnes says she has made
the songs lyrically graphic. Keeping with that line of
thought, Carnes has released, in conjunction with the
album, the first "talking press kit"-an audio -visual
alternative to the one -dimensional confinements of the
traditional press package. in addition
to photos
several are outtakes from the Voyeur video by Russell
Mulcahy -the kit contains a 10- minute interview with
('a ores on cassette.
Carnes' music blends the British influences of such
groups as Ultra vox, Classic Nouveau. Spa rah) Ballet
and the now-defunct Buggies with "good old Stones' rock
'n' roll." The Mistaken Identity hand, headed by
drummer Craig 1(1(1 11! pf and ke!tboardist Ste re
Goldstein, remained intact for the recording, and, once
again, the album was produced by I "al Garay at his Los
Angeles studio, Record One. Carnes credits Garait as
another key factor in her recent successes.
Asa child, Ca riles recei red the obl igatortt trai ning as
a classical pianist. Although she attended high school
during the folk boom, she never liked folk nr usic. Instead.
Carnes listened to several R &B groups, inductìnrt
Srnrkey Robinson and the Miracles. Ironically, one of
her first (.(forts to gain extensive airplay was a remake
of Robinson's "More Lore," which Carnes recorded on
her Romance Dance (EMI-America) album. However,
her major influence remains rock, with the Rolling
Stones at the top of her list.
MR &M talked with Carnes in L.A. in the early fall
prior to her departure far a European promotional tour
for Voyeur. Ca rues discusses her unusual combination
of distinctly- (different influences and her unique
application of visuals to music.
Modern Recording
you describe
& Music: Can
"u!/eur? The album's
been detailed as very L.A., very 80s.
Kim Carnes: The 80s tag I like.
But "very L.A. "? I don't think it is.
The general L.A. sound is very laid
back and this album is certainly not
laid back. Most L.A. albums aren't
recorded "live ": I think quite a few
use basic standard tracks which are
later layered. There's hardly any
overdubbing on Voyeur. Everything
was recorded "live." It's probably a
lot less polished than a traditional
L.A. work. I think there's a lot more
energy because it was cut the way it
was. But I don't want to make any
sweeping generalizations. There are
lots of fine L.A. albums that don't fit
that mold. When you come right
down to it, I prefer not to be categorized ...but, it seems to be ineviause it was cut the way it
was. But I don't want to make any
sweeping generalizations. There are
lots of fine L.A. albums that don't fit
that mold. When you come right
down to it, I prefer not to be categorized ...but, it seems to be inevitable. So, we all try to define in terms
of categories.
MR &M: Would it bean understatement to say that you're excited about
KC: [Laughs] Yeah. On every other
album there's been a couple of songs
that I wanted to bury -like hiding it
as the fourth cut on side two. My goal
this time was not to do that. There
isn't one song on this album that I
needed to bury. That's something I
never plan to do again.
MR &M: Do you remember where
you were when you first heard
Voyeur on the radio? Do you still get a
kick out of hearing your songs on the
KC: Absolutely. It's one of the
greatest feelings. I was coming home
late one night-from Val's studio
and I heard the last part of Voyeoron
the radio in my car. I remember
calling up Val and saying, "It sounds
great, wait until you hear it." You
never really know how great a song is
going to sound until you hear it on the
radio. You can love a mix and you can
love the way it sounds in the studio
because of the EQ and the speakers,
but it can sound different on the
radio. Fortunately, all the things we
wanted to come out-like Waddy's
[Wachtel] guitar in the instrumental- leaped right out.
MR &M: Any special vibes with
KC: The night we cut Voyeur. we
all looked at each other, smiled and
said, "We've got that old feeling back
MR &M: What are the hooks that
make Voyeur so appealing?
KC: After Craig Krampf my
drummer brought me a tape of
Duane's [Hitchings] songs, I found
myself putting on the tape every day
to try to get lyrical ideas. And when I
did, I just couldn't stop moving to it.
It just wanted to make me dance. I
think it's got a pulse. Every time
Waddy's guitar comes in, my heart
starts pumping.
MR &M: How long were you in the
KC: We started rehearsing the
first of March, the day after the
Grammys. It was perfect timing.
[Laughs] I remember us talking
about what a difference it would've
made if things had gone the other
way. No matter what anyone tells
you, it was a lot better to start an
album after you'd won Record of the
Year as opposed to losing it the night
before. [Laughs] We were so up and
excited. The confidence that it gave
to everybody you just couldn't buy.
MR &M: Have your standards
gotten tougher as time has gone by?
KC: Yes. That's due in part to
having the luxury to take more time
and overcut for the album. On my
first albums, there was a strict,
limited budget and I was at the
bottom of the heap. If I didn't like the
way a song came out, I didn't have the
luxury of going back and recutting it
till it was right or throwing it out and
trying something else. Now I do. So in
the past there were things that I was
unhappy about, but I couldn'tchange.
It was terribly frustrating. You
should be able to get it as perfect as
you can get it at that particular
moment. I know I'll never be satisfied
because I'm real self -critical, but you
want to be able to give it your best
shot: not only your contribution as an
artist. but the best studio, musicians,
equipment as well. I'm definitely
more pleased with this album than
any of my others. I don't th ink this is
the best album I've ever made. I know
it is. And that's a real good feeling.
The next album I'm sure will be even
MR &M: Did you expect "Bette
Davis Eyes" and Mistaken Identity to
become such big successes?
KC: We had a good feeling when we
cut "Bette Davis Eyes" and thought
that it was going to beome a big
record. We felt it in rehearsal after
trying for several days to figure out
an arrangement. It was cut much
differently than it was written. After
we recorded it, there wasn't a day
that went by where someone would
come by and say, "I need my fix of
`Bette Davis Eyes'." That went on for
months until the song came out. We
all knew it was something real
MR &M: Did you feel the pressure
to top the remarkable success of
"Bette Davis Eyes" and Mistaken
KC: Sure, there was some pressure,
but there's always pressure when you
cut a new album. Under any circumstances, there's pressure to come up
with a winner. We weren't in competition with "Bette Davis Eyes." We
knew that we could go into the studio
and make a killer album. Our
primary thought was to make a
better album. I was proud of the
Mistaken Identity album, but there
were songs that I wasn't 100 percent
happy with. So I could hardly wait to
make this album. I wouldn't want to
make another "Bette Davis Eyes" type song. I feel it's important to
MR &M: You retained the Mistaken Identity band for this album. Is
there a basic approach you take to
laying down a track?
KC: We've been together for a
couple of years now and we're real in
tune with each other. We rehearse
and then go into the studio to cut
"live." Of the first five things we cut,
we kept just one: "Looker." After
listening to the other four, we
realized that we weren't going in the
direction we originally wanted to go.
So, we had to rethink a couple of
things. In general, most of the tracks
are cut with a [Arp] Quadra.
MR &M: What are the advantages
cutting "live "?
KC: If you make a very layered
record, it's almost impossible to
reproduce "live." When you record
"live." you don't usually have many
problems [reproducing the sound on
stage]. Once in a while you may incur
problems when you cut a vocal and
piece it together to attain a vocal line
that sounds good with layered instruments, but there shouldn't be a
change in energy level.
MR&M: Can you detail the use of
the synthesized drums on the LP?
KC: On four of the tracks, we used
Buddy has been described as a "Blindingly
gifted performer -his
talent begins where
other drummers' ends"
No, Buddy didn't say
that-he would have,
but he didn't. Recently
we sat in with Buddy
and a group of students
during a classroom session in New York. Here's
what Buddy did have
to say:
the set better and make
you more versatile as a
On The Crash
Cymbal. "It's got to
be fast. When the brass
plays a figure, the crash
has to accompany it.
It isn't something that
you hit after the brass;
it has to be right there.
It can't be obtrusive,
and it can't be more
cymbal than brass. The
cymbal has to sound
like the brass sounds,
so that's why I use a
higher pitc`led 18"
Medium Thin Crash on
the right side and a
lower pitched 18" Thin
Crash on the left."
On The Drummer's
Role. When I get on
the bandstand, I have
to play for my band.
Listen, if I don't play
good for them, they
can't play good for me.
So all I am, for the first
hour and twenty minutes that I'm up there
is the drummer in the
On Zildjians.
"Why do I play Zildjian
cymbals? Because
band. When I play my
they're the only cymbals
solo, that's different,
that are playable. You
but up until that time,
just have to listen to
Buddy's no stranger to higher edu cation; he was recently awarded an
I have to approximate
them to know what I
honorary doctorate from Boston's prestigious Berklee College ofMusic.
my band's sound. And
mean. I started playing
that's what a drummer is for. The drummer is a
Zildjian cymbals when I was ten years old-I've
never used another cymbal in my entire life."
On Practicing. "Practice as long as you feel
If you're a serious drummer, chances are overyou want to practice. As long as it's a kick. If it's
whelming that you, like Buddy, are already playonly 15 minutes and you feel like you don't want
ing Zildjians. Zildjian: a line of cymbals played by
to play anymore, put the
drummers on six continents -a line of cymbal
sticks down and go out.
makers that spans three centuries.
Play stickball, go out and do
whatever you want. But
For your copy of the full color Zildjian Cymbals and Accessories
Catalog and Cymbal Set-Up Book of famous drummers see
then go back when you feel
your Zildjian dealer or send $4.00 to Zildjian, Dept. 12.
the urge to play, and really
Avedis Zildjian Company, Cymbal Makers Since 1623.
Longwater Drive, Norwell, Mass. 02061, USA
play! Remember, there's no
substitute for practice."
On Technique. "What you
do with one hand you should
be able to do with the other.
It will help you to get around
The only serious choice.
a drum machine instead of real
drums and my drummer was the first
person who wanted to use them.
There's a certain pulse to "Voyeur,"
"Mere Man "and "Take it on the Chin"
that we could only get with a drum
machine. So, Craig played them
manually. I think the drum machine
is one sound, one pulse, one beat, one
feel to a given record. You shouldn't
compare them to real drums. I don't
think by any means that they will
phase drummers out.
different instruments can be used in
inventive ways without making
others obsolete. It's great to experiment. It's important in the creative
process. I have a lot of friends who get
to a certain point with new sounds
and choose to resist. And I think that
it can hurt you if you don't keep your
mind and ears open to change.
MR &M: You seem very close to
your drummer Craig Krampf. Is
there a special musical chemistry
between the two of you in the studio
and on stage?
KC: Craig's the best I know. His
energy and style are unbelievable.
He's a rock 'n roller through and
through. He's also the guy who -long
after the tracks are done -comes to
every session, every mix, every
MR &M: What about [guitarist]
Waddy Wachtel?
KC: I've always said that if I could
come back in another life, I'd come
back as Waddy. [Laughs] As a
musician, I've never heard him pick
up a guitar without being absolutely
MR &M: Have you ever been
intimidated in the studio by other
KC: I've never been intimidated by
musicians I've worked with. The
guys in my band are the most helpful,
encouraging musicians. For example,
with "Take it on the Chin" I wanted to
try playing it myself on the synthesizer because there's a certain little
play a songwriter's piano,
which in my living room is great, but
you can forget it in the studio
[La ugh s] -that can be lost when
someone else plays it. My version may
not be technically as good, but there's
a feel that comes across. And with
"Take it on the Chin" that was the
case. Now, I'm always apprehensive
about playing in the studio. but the
reason I did it was because Waddy,
Cuomo, Goldy [Steve Goldstein] and
"drummer" told me in rehearsal
was playing it on the string harp to
get the feel -that I had to do it
myself. The confidence and encouragement that they gave me was the
main reason I played on it.
MR &M: Val Garay is highly
regarded as one of the best producers
around. How did you come to work
with him?
KC: I'd known Val for years and
had followed his work as an engineer.
I always thought that he made some
of the best sounding records I'd ever
heard. The vocals he always got on
James [Taylor] and Linda [Ronstadt]
were unbelievable. There was always
a punch of energy in those records
which others lacked. So. when we
needed someone to mix my Romance
Dance album -which was produced
by someone else -Gary Gersh From
EMI called up Val and asked him if
he was interested. Ironically enough,
he said that he had thought of calling
up and asking to produce me in the
past. So, naturally, he said he'd love
to work on the album. He mixed the
album, and by the time we were
through working
took about two
weeks to complete the mix -we both
said that we'd like to work together
on the next album.
MR &M: What does he contribute
to your sound?
KC: Because Val plays instruments and writes songs, he can talk to
the band in musical terms; he can
speak to us in terms of bars and notes.
He also has incredible structural
ideas for the arrangement of songs.
And, on the other hand, he is a
brilliant engineer. For instance, I
was looking for a particular sound on
"Mere Man." I wanted a real metallic
sounding vocal. I had a rough idea of
what I wanted and I tried to put them
in musical terms but had a hard time
doing it. So I asked Val for a real
metallic sound, something way out
there and he was able to get it. That's
where he's a real genius. As far as
don't think there's
anyone who can top him.
MR &M: Has Garay allowed you
more creative freedom than other
producers gave you in the past?
KC: With both albums [Mistaken
ldentitgand Voyeur], Val allowed me
a lot of freedom. The albums have
been true collaborations between
Val, Dave [Ellingson], the band and
myself: there's no one person who
runs the show. I could never work
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with a producer who was a dictator
and said, "Stand on the line and sing."
[Laughs] And Val knows that. The
other artists he works with -like
Martha [Davis, lead vocalist of the
Motels]- couldn't work that way
MR &M: Any anecdotes from the
studio that you can share?
KC: Not in terms of mixing. But
when we cut "Breaking Away From
Sanity," we put down a very elaborate track; Bill (Cuomo) overdubbed
a lot of synthesizers while Craig
[Krampf] played drums. We took a
whole synthesized direction; that was
the only track on the album that was
kind of layered and I didn't do a "live"
vocal because there wasn't enough
track to do. Day after day I tried to
get a vocal but couldn't find the right
one. I'd start off in the morning
playing it on the piano and it would
feel great. But when I got to the
studio, I still couldn't get it, and it
bothered me. I usually can get vocals
very quickly, especially if it's my own
song. [Laughs] Val knew I was having
problems; the drummer knew it;
Dave knew it. But no one could put
their finger on it. But we knew it wasn't
the song. Finally, after sitting down at
the piano one morning, it dawned on
me that the whole problem was that it
wasn't being played the way it was
intended; sitting at the piano with a
real stark vocal. In this case it wasn't
the arrangement. So the next day we
turned down the lights in the studio
and I sat by the piano while Bill
played and it sounded like it did in
my living room.
MR &M: How did you come to
record the children's vocals on
"Breaking Away from Sanity "?
KC: Some months before
remember what gave me the idea
told Dave that I thought it would be
wild to hear children's voices on
"Sanity," even though I thought that
it probably couldn't be done. For me,
there is nothing more pure than a
child's voice. And "Sanity" is such an
emotional song that children's voices
would be the most honest thing you
could put on it. So, after Bill [Cuomo]
and I did the piano/vocal, I said to
Val, "This might be a crazy idea, but
what about putting children's voices
on "Sanity "? You wouldn't want to try
it would you ?" And he said, "Are you
kidding? It sounds like a great idea;
let's do it." The next day we put the
kids on it, and the minute they
started singing, it brought the chills
back. So, with that song, we went
through a complete change. You
always have to trust your instincts.
You can't hype yourself that a track is
right if you can't feel it in your gut.
I'm real intuitive, and have to follow
my gut feelings. When I haven't,
things didn't wind up real well.
MR&M: How involved are you in
the mixing of your albums?
KC: Totally. I can't imagine an
artist not being totally involved.
When they're adding a little EQ or
dimming the faders, I've got to be
there. I mean, you write the song, you
rehearse and you record, so you've got
to be there for the mix. That's when it
all comes together or falls apart. I'm
part of every single step. I think it's
MR &M: What about when you
collaborate on a song?
KC: Except for Dave, I don't ever
sit down in a room and write with
someone. It just doesn't work. Writing, for me, is a very personal thing.
With Dave...we have a rapport in
which we can tell each other that a
particular idea stinks. When you're
collaborating, it's important to be
MR &M: Is there a particular
instrument you write on?
KC: I write on the piano and the
[Sequential Circuits] Prophet. Jim
Mazza of EMI gave me a Prophet for
my birthday last year. It was a gift
for this album. Duane Hitchings and
Bill Cuomo, my keyboardists, use the
[Oberheim] OBX a lot. But I primarily write on just the two [the acoustic
piano and the Prophet].
MR&M: Has video affected the
way you approach your music?
KC: Yes. It changes the way you
write 'cause you're thinking in terms
of visuals. It also changes your
instrumentation and the way you
MR&M: Can you describe your
songwriting process?
KC: I'm real unstructured as a
writer. There are no rules when I
write a song; it's different every time.
I write at the piano and -in most
cases -write lyrics and melody at the
same time. In the case of "Voyeur,"
Duane wrote the melody first and
Dave and I wrote the lyrics a month
later. But usually we stick them
together. When I get in the right
frame of mind, it comes out like crazy
and it's very easy. But if I'm not [in
the right frame of mind], there's
nothing that can help me to write.
I'm, definitely not a nine -to -five
writer. Sometimes my best ideas
have come to me in the middle of the
night [Laughs] and I'll get out of bed
and write them down. I also write in
the car. I'll write it down on the back
of an envelope or on a road map. It's
usually scribbled and is a mess to
read. But, somehow, it always works.
perceive an album. "Voyeur" and
"Thrill of the Grill" were written
visually graphic. Video opens up a
whole different world. As we're
recording, we're thinking in terms of
what's going on visually and how it
will translate to the record.
MR&M: Will video replace touring?
KC: No. It's never going to replace
"live" shows. It's a whole different
thing. There's nothing that compares
to being at a show and seeing the
energy from a performance. There's
still something very special about
top -40, FM and AOR stations. Video
is just another new avenue of expression that has yet to be fully explored.
MR&M: Do you enjoy interpreting
other artists' work as much as
writing your own?
KC: Sometimes I do, but most of
the time it just doesn't work. We had
four outside songs for this album that
I originally heard on demos. At the
time I thought they were great. But
when I did them, it didn't happen.
With "Bette Davis Eyes" something
magical happened. When I write a
song, I can close my eyes and it's the
most honest thing I could sing. I
understand what we're trying to
convey. But, there are exceptions
where other artists' work is just
right. "The Arrangement" I heard on
a demo and couldn't wait to sing it.
And it worked. I'll always do some
outside songs on an album.
MR &M: Who have been the major
influences on your work?
KC: I can go all the way back to
Tomita, the Japanese artist. That was
the first synthesizer -oriented album
that turned me on to that kind of
sound. His album, 5norrfla e.s (rc
Da wing, was just breathtaking. I
went around screaming, "Listen to
those strings!" At that point in time, I
wanted to use synthesized strings on
my demos. People told me that I was
nuts. They said it was just cheap
strings. But for me, it was a whole
different game. If it's a string part
and the synthesizer is played right,
the emotion can come out of it. That's
true of Alan Parsons. He's the master
at that time. I truly wore his I, Robot
album out. [Lnrry/e] He was doing
synthesized albums when nobody
else was even practicing that much.
A lot of people still don't get it. I guess
it's something you either like or don't.
I know for myself, Val and most of my
band, that we've been influenced by
the European bands who utilize that
sound. On this album, we wanted to
continue combining the guitar with
the synthesizer -blending the synth
with rock 'n roll. Flock of Seagulls
does just that. It's not just synthesized.
And for my own music right now the
combination of the two seems just
MR &M: Who are you listening to
I was listening to [the Rolling
Stones') "Start Me Up" the other day
for the millionth time. It's great. I
love it. It's one of my favorite songs.
When the record comes on in the car.
you want to turn it on full blast. I hope
people feel the same way about my
albums. A lot of my stuff is based
around synthesizer, but there're big
guitars with a lot of power under
them. Were utilizing sounds and
incorporating everything. That's
what rock 'n roll is all about, and it's
magic. It's what keeps me going.
Ryo Karrasaki is recognized in his native Japan and
nn?onr/pratlressire jazz ('nthresiastserery /where else as one
of the most innrntive jazz !ION rists. Although he is without a recoil label in the C.S. at the time of this writing,
he has released otrr (1 dozen albums under his own name
(four in the ( ?.5., the rest in Japan and Enrope), and has
appeared on recordings and in concert with moll well
known jazz greats as Gil Evans, Cedar Walton, Elvin
Jones and .Joanne Braekeen. But none of these
recordings, with the exception of Kawasaki's latest
Japanese release, sing)!y titled Ryo, will prepare the
listener for Kawasaki's latent musical e.rcrrr :lions.
Kawasaski has dereloped a solo guitar synthesizer
/program that can potentially revolutionize the instrument. and the Ryo album (Phillips Records, Japan),
recorded in Kawasaki's .Veil. Fork City/ loft studio is
the first rin g! evidence of Kawasaki's research and
(lerelolnnent- the,firnt al!- guitar synthesizer solo
album. There are no keyboard synths on the LP, and yet
the 80101dS k(1 ??'(ln(? k i el ?(it. 1ro??? 1, in (lei? iu1er/ (I re ,n
colorful (if not moo' so) an any elicited .from any electronic keyboard thus far inented.
I1'Jking original!?/ with a basic Roland GB-500
guitar synthesizer, Kawasaki added oar Oberheim
modules, Korg rhythm bores and just about erery other
available effect capable of bringing his guitar to a
nrnnl)(r of nnunie I worlds never before hear(/ in
conjunction with that instrrumerrt. When he plugs in at
his loft studio, where he 1 i r'es and keeps his equipment,
and a cast cirri!/ of ethereal orchestral sounds are
enrittedIrnnr his axe, there is no ii? into k inq that the man?
has created a monster. When li is followers diseolerthese
Hell' techniques, the sound of guitar as we know it ?rill
change, just as the mass acceptance of keyboard synths
in recent ?learn has altered our perception of electronic
ket /hoardn for good.
Kawasaki's master?/ of electronics does not detract
from his talents as a guitarist, however. If nothing else,
he would still be one of the most spellbinding Jazz
gtuitarists on the seen today. At recent Carnegie Hal!
Modern Recording
You've developed quite a guitar
synthesizer system. Why did you
decide to expand beyond "simply"
playing guitar?
Ryo Kawasaki: My background
was in audio, building amplifiers and
such, when I was a kid. Then I started
playing the guitar, and was involved
with that for about 15 years. Then the
Roland company made the GR -500
guitar synthesizer, and after discovering that I started branching out
into my current, let's say, hobbies. I
always used a tape recorder as part of
my setup. The oldest one is a Teac
[3340] which I still have. It's an
antique, though, as far as its weight
and even signal -to -noise ratio. The
Fostex [A8], which came out after the
Teac and which I use now, is of course
more advanced.
MR &M: Did you do a lot of research before you built your system,
or did it just grow piece by piece?
concert, Kawasaki joined a ntumberof jazz legends in a
tribute to the late Thelonious Monk, and had his fellow
11? I/ni/i/I ?l
stopping to watch bin? rnrd listen tohisfl?id.
intelligent. pure gnitar work. Ohriossl?/, Kawasaki in
muan whose concept of jazz embraces the past and looks
nt(o (i il!! toward the future.
He ?cas boni ira Tokyo in 1947 and started playing
guitar at lti. He went to the ?r ?irersit?/ following high
school and majored in physics contin?lino rr long
fascination with that science. Krr?rrrsaki worke11 irons(/
Tokgo with vm'io?(s jazz yronpsan(I began record i nil .for
.Japanres(' labels. By 197.3. however, recognizing that the
roots (if jazz and its best practitioners leere in the U.S.,
Kawasaki rame to America to further- his career.
II'ithin t?co weeks, he was a member qt. Gil 1', 1/n s /1(1 11(1,
?cher'(' he staged until 1975, uhen he join(-(/ the Chico
Hamilton Group. He moved on to Pi i? Jones's ban(/ in
1976, and he stayed with Jones for about two years. By
then he'd recnrrded u .few rewords in fire C.S. and he
decided to leave Jones to concentrate (?n his our?
He worked with Joanne Brackeen
some time, but
Kawasaki tarns(/ the first of his Golden
Dragon gro?cps. Their .first album, for the .Iup(n?cse
,Sont/ label. wars (I! no thr ,first to feature
Ka was(?ki's custom ized !pi itarsynthesizer. That edition
of Golden Dagon ?COS temporarily shelved while the
gnilan istfurn(1/ a /ror?p called Saplroro. ?uhich toi? red
Europe and recorded an album in .S?'itzerlernd.
Iu 19,S1, a new Golden DPagan was put together, and
the group, featuring vocalist Ilan(? Morillo, has been
gigging steadily in The .A'o?thenst area. ,Since then,
Kawasaki has been refining his solo guitar synth
concept, and it was manifested on the ('(/wish(' Ryo
album arrdt/ in 19,x'_'. The LP, which inlsdes
Krr?asakis original compositions. ?ras rr true solo
effort- Kawasaki player /Mr entire contents by himself,
engineered and produced it, arranged it, etc. It ?cas
.short!?,' after the Whim's release that Kawasaki spoke
with M R&M's Jeff Tama rkin.
RK: I keep adding different effects. The GR-500 I got tired of in
about two days, so I added an
Echoplex and it sounded a little
better, but it could only go so far. So
then I bought one Oberheim expander module -it's too bad they
don't sell those anymore -and then I
became more interested in adding
string sounds than keyboard sounds;
I think they're more interesting. But
that's only one sound I can get so I
decided to use one expander module
exclusively for the strings, and I
added another one for different
melodies. Then I bought the Roland
sequencers. I now have one CSQ -100
and two CSQ -600s. Then I got a Korg
NS-15 and Korg X -911 [sequencers].
The X -911 is terrible if you use it with
guitar; it doesn't even track. Then I
just decided to interface from the GR500 and it works fantastic all the
time. Then I got into rhythm machines [Roland DR -55] and the
Roland TR -808 for recording. I use a
Roland Dr. Rhythm drum box.
MR &M: Have you ever thought of
marketing your creations for others
to use?
RK: What I'm doing is interfacing
what's already out there. Anybody
can do this if he has a decent mind.
The way it is arranged is unique so
therefore it functions in a unique
way. If you buy a Prophet or an OBX
the programming only gives you one
type of sound. But I'm really into a
symphonic sound and that isalwaysa
combination of different sounds to
produce one sound.
MR &M: How did you modify your
guitar to be usable with this system?
RK: I changed all the pickups and
I added on a lot of switches.
MR &M: When you go on the road,
how do you manage to recreate the
sound you get in the studio with all of
these machines? Obviously, you can't
carry around this whole system.
RK: Actually, I brought it to
Japan once; it cost more than people
to ship: about $2,500. Fortunately,
there were no accidents with it. But
anyway, I want to add that this is just
my side things: I'm also just a
straight guitar player.
MR&M: And quite a good one I
might add. I heard you play recently
at a tribute to Monk at Carnegie Hall
and you played beautiful jazz guitar.
That's the other end of the spectrum
from what we've been discussing. Do
you like just getting out and playing a
guitar with no synthesizers or does
that seem antiquated to you?
RK: Well, that's my background. I
played with Elvin Jones for three
MR &M: Did you enjoy that?
RK: It was great. The only thing I
didn't like was that I didn't get time
to spend at home. But it gave me the
opportunity to practice classical
MR &M: Since we're discussing
background, let's start at the beginning. When did you start playing
guitar and why did you choose jazz as
opposed to rock and roll or anything
RK: I started playing in the early
60s in Japan. The reason I became
interested in more complex music,
like jazz, is because I have a background in physics
studied physics -and I have a scientific mind. So
rock and roll was too simple for me
and jazz is very mathematical in a
MR &M: In the last few years
there have been a number of excel-
lent jazz players emerging from
Japan, but when you first started out
were there a lot of jazz musicians in
RK: Yeah, there were a lot, but not
so many originals. They were mostly
copying from American records.
And they may have been able to get
the notes off the records, but they
didn't have the attitude. They weren't
involved in a society that jazz came
from. Some of the musicians, like
Sadao Watanabe, who is quite a bit
older than me, came to the States and
did quite a bit to bring the real thing
MR &M: Has it changed over
there? Are there more original
RK: Not so much in jazz. I looked
for them last time I went back and I
didn't hear much. They now have
people there playing reggae, too, but
just the instrumental parts. And it
sounds strange because with something like reggae, all the messages
are in the words. But they've developed their own system of doing things
there -they sell records their own
way, promote them, etc. -but in my
way of thinking, it's still not original.
MR&M: Can you foresee a time
when Japan will develop its own jazz
styles and influential, original musicians? Will Japan ever be able to
produce its own Miles Davis or John
RK: It's possible, but for me, the
way I see it, I have to be here if I'm
going to be able to do that. New York
is where you have to make it. People
can make it in Japan but when they
come to New York they still have to
MR &M: What was your impression of the New York jazz scene the
first time you came here?
RK: It was great. I could see
everybody. And I don't know if it was
a coincidence, but I got called from
Gil Evans to play two weeks after I
got here. And I didn't know what he
was saying so I asked him to write it
out on paper. Then I asked my
roommate if I understood right, that
he was offering me a gig, and that he
was going to pay me $100 a week and
the gig starts next week. My roommate said it was true.
MR &M: How did he know about
RK: I don't know. I never asked
him to this day. I think it was because
I'd done some playing with Teruo
Nakamura the day I got here and
there was a trumpet player sitting in
that night who was playing with Gil
at the time. Gil was looking for a
guitar player and he probably recommended me.
MR &M: Who were some of the
guitarists who influenced you?
RK: The first one was Kenny
Burrell, who's still one of my favorI started listening to
everybody: Wes Montgomery, Grant
Green, Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney,
Jim Hall. I had a job as a tape editor
ites. Then
I don't sit down and
say the melody is like this and this is
like this: I don't construct that way. I
for a company that made music tapes
for hotels, restaurants, etc. They had
order sheets and my gig was to put
is improvised.
the music on the tapes for these
customers. Then they would give me
whatever tape was left over, which
was nice. So at the end of each day I'd
borrow whatever records I wanted to
tape from the library, then go home
and tape them. So I listened to a lot of
music, especially guitarists. And I
also learned editing.
MR &M: Did your physics background come in handy when you
just mess with the machine and
started putting together various
electronic components?
RK: I don't know, because physics
to me is something like religion: it's
less practical and more philosophical.
It's a way of looking at things.
MR &M: What were your early
records like? Were they straight jazz?
RK: Well, yeah. My favorite musician was Miles Davis and my favorite
album was the one called .lock
Johnson. So I was interested in that
kind of funky jazz, the jazz attitude.
And I'd say the jazz attitude was
more based on improvisation and less
structure ...that sort of thing. On my
latest album (Ryo, on the Japanese
Philips label), the whole second side
decide if I like it or not. If I'm in tune
with what's going on, I can create a
melody right away, just like that. If I
don't like what it sounds like, I just
edit it out. If something is missing, I
just overdub. Actually, it's the same
thing when you compose with a piano
and paper. You never know what it's
going to sound like until you play it.
This way you play first, though, and
then you start condensing.
MR &M: Your records aren't totally spontaneous, though. Don't you
accumulate ideas over a period of
time and then put them down on tape
when you record?
RK: Yeah, but it comes from the
sound. It's the same thing as a
classical composer: if you want to
write for a cello, you think of the
sound of a cello and the sound of an
orchestra, and then you figure out
how to put them together. I know
what kind of sound all my equipment
can produce so it's just a matter of
trying to put them together, to create
a story and the dynamics.
MR&M: How many albums have
you had released in the U.S.?
RK: Four altogether: two on Inner
City, one on Audio Fidelity and one
on RCA. But I have thirteen albums
worldwide. I haven't had much luck
in the U.S. Inner City folded about a
year ago and Audio Fidelity went
bankrupt right after
I made the
MR&M: Are you looking for a
label now?
RK: I'm not interested in the old
stuff, unless somebody wants to rerelease it. I am interested in finding
someone to release what I'm doing
now. In the last ten years I was more
interested in building myself artistically, but now I'm interested in the
market, too. This is the first solo
guitar synthesizer album ever made
there are no keyboard synthesizers
on it -and I don't think anyone has
really heard that yet.
MR &M: Is the fact that you're
from Japan a reason that the American labels are reluctant?
RK: That's one reason, but I don't
think it's the main one. It might be a
little easier if I was an American. I
hear a lot of records that aren't as
good as what we're doing. I think one
reason is that a lot of the business
people in the record industry like to
have artists that they can control, not
someone like me who does everything
by himself.
MR &M: You've given your music
a label that you like to use when
describing it. Can you talk about
RK: I call it "Third Wave" music.
It's connected with a book called The
Third Wane, which is about the way
culture develops in human history.
The First Wave was agriculture; the
Second Wave was industry; and the
Third Wave is electronical. It's
involved with a lot of micro- processors and computers. Let's say that
jazz and rock were evolved in the
Second Wave and most of the record
company executives are from the
Second Wave. They don't have the
insight about where the culture is
going to. Probably in ten years
everybody will have a computer. The
technology, in relation to music as
well, will advance, and as long as you
have a musical mind you won't have
to have any chops at all because all
you'll have to do is throw switches.
MR &M: Will music ever evolve to
the point where musicians will
become unnecessary and obsolete?
RK: It will always be nice to play
with different musicians. It inspires
you to go in different directions. If
you hear something you like that you
didn't think of, you can go with it. It
should be incorporated with the
MR&M: You have the best of both
worlds, because you play "live" with
your band, Golden Dragon, and then
you do your solo thing.
RK: It's different. When I do it by
myself, the attitude is more like
playing chamber music. When I go
out, the attitude is "live" music. What
I don't like about a lot of recent
albums is that even if it's a band
playing, they make it sound like
chamber music. I want to hear what
I'd hear on the bandstand -full
drums, not syndrums. It shouldn't
sound like everything is compressed.
You don't need a band to do that; I can
make that sound by myself with a
rhythm machine.
MR &M: There's nothing more
boring to me than going to see an
electronic band "live" when all they
do is stand there and punch buttons.
RK: Right, it should be "live "; you
should see them sweating. It should
be uplifting and inspiring.
MR &M: When you play "live"
with your band, Golden Dragon, is
your music totally improvised?
RK: We have tunes and structures, but what I'm interested in is
momentum. Otherwise you might as
well just record it and listen to the
record. What's important "live" is
that something else comes out of the
energy for the musicians and the
audience. My attitude is that jazz is a
jam, but it has to be intelligent, not
stupid. It shouldn't be just the blues.
If I hit a chord the bass player should
know which note to hit to support that
chord. The drummer should know
what kind of accompaniment to play.
I like to integrate that stuff, to make a
symphony from jamming. It's the
future of jazz. I respect jazz, but like
Gil Evans told me, the radio stations
are too historically oriented when it
comes to jazz. I want to use the jazz
attitude toward the future. When I
play I respect the past and I endure
the present, but I want to imply the
MR&M: I know you've played in
planetariums. How else would you
like to incorporate visuals with your
RK: There are things I'd like to do,
but music is music, and I don't want
to mix them up. The music should be
able to stand by itself, but I'd like to
be able to associate with some other
form of the arts.
MR &M: You recorded the Ryo
album here at your home studio in
New York. Can you talk about what
went into the recording of that
RK: When I first got the deal I
thought I'd have to go into a recording studio. But I didn't want to have
to deal with engineers watching the
clock. That's how it is at most
studios -they're not creating anything. So I decided to invest -the
whole thing cost about $6,000 -and a
good thing is that all the equipment I
bought for the recording I can use for
my sound system. I recorded the
piece "Concierto De Aranjuez" first
because it was the hardest piece. I
memorized the whole arrangement
and I sang into one track of the 8track. Then I started overdubbing
the bass, violas and violins; then I
bounced them to one track. Then I
overdubbed the guitar part, then
flute, oboe, and so on. It took about
one month, splicing the sections
together. One problem I had was that
there's a fire department across the
street and one truck always stays
downstairs for about three hours
during the night with his engine
running. Also, my refrigerator makes
a click. So I had to turn it off
whenever I recorded my acoustic
guitar. But then all the food went
MR &M: Can you run through
some of the equipment you used?
RK: The basic foundation is the
Roland GS -500 and the GR -500. The
GS -500 is the guitar part and I
changed everything. I changed the
peg to a Yamaha. Yamaha gave me
some guitars because I endorsed
them, and I took some of the parts. I
took the pickup and made it two
pickups. I took a lot of trigger
switches. In the synthesizer rack, the
basic GR -500, two Oberheim expander modules, a Korg X-911 guitar
synthesizer and a Korg NS -15 expander module. I have two Roland
CSQ -600 sequencers and one CSQ100 sequencer. For the drum machine, I have one Roland DR -55 and a
Roland TR -808. I have one Echoplex
and a mini- mixer.
For recording, the main unit is a
Fostex A8. One of the reviewers in
your magazine said that it is impossible to use this machine to make the
album we did, but it's not true. You
can use a Teac, a cassette. What's
important is that the music comes
through. A record can be done on
anything as long as the message
comes across. This Fostex is quiet.
People might say that this 8 -track
doesn't have the dynamic range but
you don't need that on an 8- track.
When you mix you can get the
dynamic range. For mastering I used
dbx 150 noise reduction and the
mixing on a Fostex 350, which is very
compact. I have a graphic equalizer.
I use Koss and Sennheiser headphones and the speakers are mostly
MR &M: Do you see yourself first
as a guitarist or composer or as a
RK: I'm a guitarist, but my love is
for composing. That's what I want to
get more into. But I'm also a straight
jazz, classical and rock guitar player.
The problem with classical is that
you really have to practice every day
and the reality of my situation is that
I can't do that. I also love blues,
although that's not really been
exposed yet.
MR &M: Would you like to produce other artists?
RK: Yes, as long as the person is
coming from a sincere place. If he's
coming from someplace else, then
good bye.
MR &M: One last question: What
Fourth Wave going to be?
RK: Hmm, the Fourth Wave. Uh,
probably like Stur Trek. when you
can just beam yourself anywhere,
with or without instruments.
is the
By Len Feldman
New Tape Recorder Standards -Maybe!
New Reference Levels
By the time you read this, the EIA (Electronics
Industries Association) membership may well have
voted to accept a new set of measurement standards
relating to tape recorder performance measurements.
For those of you who haven't been following the
tortuous path of audio standards as they are
promulgated in the United States, let me bring you up
to date on how we arrived at this point. The old IHF
(Institute of High Fidelity), which used to work on
audio consumer product standards in parallel with
One of the most important elements of the new
standard is the establishment of new reference levels.
As we have emphasized so often in our test reports,
every cassette deck maker has his own ideas of where
"0 = dB" record level should be. Accordingly, some
cassette deck makers set "0 dB" at a magnetization
level of 145 nWb magnetization levels, others set it at
Dolby level (200 nWb /m) while a few even set it at DIN
zero (the level called for in the German national tape
standards: 250 nWb /m). If you think the situation is
prevalent only in cassette decks, let me assure you that
the same sort of thing happens with open -reel
machines. Some makers use the now antiquated
"Ampex 0" reference (185 nWb/m), others use 200
nWb/m and still others establish 320 nWb/m as a "0dB reference" on their meters.
Because of these different 0 dB reference levels, it
other national and world standards bodies, was
absorbed by the EIA a few years ago. In the course of
that consolidation, the EIA retained me as a part -time
consultant, and one of my duties is to push forward the
creation and adoption of measurement standards
relating to audio products. An excellent FM tuner
measurement standard was completed before the
IHF /EIA merger. An amplifier measurement
standards committee, headed by its able chairman
Edward Foster. had just finished its work at about the
time the merger took place and that standard has since
been taken over and adopted by EIA.
Ed Foster did such a fine job in chairing the amp
standards committee that we induced him to take on
the chairmanship of the tape recorder standards
committee. That committee has been working on the
new standards since late 1978, and now it's just a
matter of dotting the "i's" and crossing some "T's." One
more meeting, scheduled to take place during the
autumn Audio Engineering Society (AES) meeting,
should wrap things up, so I thought it would be a good
idea to give you a preview of some of the new
measurement techniques that will appear in the new
standard. If past practice is any indication, it will take
anywhere from two to three years before the industry
as a whole starts to use the new standards. That's what
happened in the case of both the tuner standard and
the amplifier standard. But those of you who read our
lab reports will recognize such amplifier measurements as Dynamic Headroom, IHF -IM Distortion,
Slew Factor and many more. All of these came into
being with the new amplifier standard. Hopefully, the
same thing will happen once the new Tape Recorder
Standard is adopted.
has not been possible for the industry to publish signal to-noise ratios that relate to "0 dB" on a given machine.
Instead, common practice has been to reference signal to-noise ratios to the recording level at which 3%
harmonic or third -order distortion (in other words,
tape saturation) occurs. That kind of measurement,
more often than not, tells you more about the
characteristics of the tape being used than about the
performance of the tape deck being tested.
In the new standard. 250 nWb/m will be used as the
"0-dB" reference level for cassette decks while 400
nWb /m will be used as the "0 -dB" reference level for
open -reel machines. These higher reference levels will
accomplish two things (besides the obvious one of
standardizing everyone's measurement techniques
and allowing prospective purchasers of equipment to
compare "apples and apples" instead of "apples and
oranges "): The new reference levels take into account
the improvements in tape software and hardware that
have taken place over the last decade or so. If most
premium grade tapes operated in most modern tape
decks can accept recording levels of 400 nWb /m (in the
case of open -reel units), what's the sense of calibrating
machines 6 dB lower and then bragging about an extra
6 dB of "headroom "? That's just deceptive and
confusing to the neophyte as well as to the seasoned
The second benefit to be derived from the new
reference levels is that it will, once and for all, end the
often ridiculous comparisons that are often made
between the performance of cassette decks and open reel machines. By setting both open-reel and cassette
tape reference levels near their maximum capabilities, there is less of a likelihood that the uninitiated will
come away from a comparison of spec sheets thinking
that a certain cassette deck actually offers greater
dynamic range than a certain open -reel machine
operated at 71/2 or 15 ips!
Frequency Response At What Level?
An important portion of the proposed new standard
deals with the measurement of frequency response (or,
more correctly, amplitude versus frequency measurements). If you think signal -to -noise ratio measurements and 0 -dB reference levels have been confusing
in the past, that's nothing compared with the various
and sundry ways in which tape deck frequency
response has been specified in spec sheets until now. In
the case of cassette decks, it has been somewhat of a
tradition to take record /play response curves at a level
of -20 dB. But, as we have seen, -20 can mean -20 dB
with respect to "0 -dB" reference points that can be as
much as 6 dB apart! And then again, not everyone has
adhered to the -20 dB level for frequency response.
Some have used -25 dB and a few have insisted on
-30 dB. As you get further away from a fixed 0 -dB
reference, you also get further away from possible
high -frequency tape saturation and that, of course,
makes some tapes and tape decks look better than they
would if the tests had been performed at a somewhat
higher level.
Well, after much debate, the Tape Recorder
Standards Committee decided that all frequency
response measurements (and published statements)
shall be referenced to -25 dB for cassette decks
(remember, that's 25 dB below the common 0 -dB
reference level of 250 nWb /m), while for open -reel
machines, the frequency response will be measured at
-10 dB for 15 ips tape speed, -15 dB for 7'/ ips, -20 dB
for 32/, ips and, as with cassette tape decks, -25 dB at 1 7/
ips. Again, bear in mind that these dB levels are all
with respect to the new 0 -dB reference level for open reel machines of 400 nWb /m.
Frequency Response Plus Noise Reduction
When have you ever seen a tape deck spec sheet that
tells you what the frequency response is when built -in
noise reduction is applied? Admittedly. this is not
much of a problem with open -reel machines -few of
them have built -in NR. But almost every high- quality
cassette deck sold today has some form of noise
reduction; usually Dolby B or Dolby C or perhaps
another form of "sliding band" or frequency dependent
NR system. Miscalibration of such noise reduction
systems can cause serious aberrations in overall
record /play frequency response that will not show up
if the response measurements are made only with the
NR system turned off. Accordingly, the proposed
standard is going to require that record, play response
be quoted both with and without noise reduction
turned on.
While it may sound obvious to you, the standard is
going to require that the manufacturer not only tell
you what the frequency response of its product is, but
also what tape it used to make the measurements. Most
tape -deck makers don't want to offend any high quality tape manufacturers and so they have adopted a
practice of listing a great number of tapes (often a
couple of dozen or more) that they "recommend" for
use in their products. All well and good, providing they
tell us which one was used to calibrate the machine,
especially if it's a deck that can't be fine -tuned by the
user for optimum use of all those other tapes listed.
In the area of frequency- response measurements,
it's important to know the so- called playback -only
response of a given machine. When a manufacturer of
a deck knows that it has control of both the record and
play part of the tape recording cycle in specifying
frequency response, it could theoretically adjust
record bias and equalization as well as playback
equalization until overall response is pretty flat. But
what will happen when a tape made on another deck is
played back on the deck in question? The industry is in
general agreement that playback equalization should
be standardized and that a manufacturer has the
freedom to do whatever it has to in record equalization
to make the overall record /play response as flat as he
can. That means that we need a standard playback test
tape for each of the standard equalization curves
commonly used in the playback electronics of tape
decks (e.g., 70 µsec and 120 sec EQ time constants for
cassette decks, NAB standard curve for open -reel,
Unfortunately, most of the commercially recorded
test tapes currently available, both for measuring
playback -only frequency response and other tests, fall
short of the ideal. In the case of playback -only response
tapes, for example, recordings of spot or sweep
frequencies are usually made across the entire width
of the tape. (This is true of open reel as well as cassette
test tapes.) When such tapes are played on a 2-track or
4 -track machine, the response has the inevitable boost
in the low- frequency region due to the so- called
"fringing" effect. While the EIA can not get into the
business of making test tapes. the new standard will
encourage those who are in that business to produce
new test tapes that will fulfill the requirements of the
new standard and that will be beneficial to the entire
Needless to say, there are many more measurements
covered in the proposed new standard, including new
approaches to signal -to -noise measurements and to
wow- and- flutter measurements. (Yes. we hope to
finally do away with wrms wow- and -flutter and to
substitute a more meaningful weighted-peak flutter.)
At the moment, there are, for example. no fewer than
thirteen "primary" specifications or ratings that
would be required of a manufacturer which wants to
comply with the new standard, and as many as
eighteen more secondary disclosures which a
manufacturer which wants to "tell everything" about
its products might optionally publish as well. When
the proposed standard is finally approved, I promise to
get back to this subject and give you more of the details
concerning some of the other important measurement
techniques that it contains.
Lof tech TS -1 Audio Test Set
General Description:
The LofTech TS -1 from
Phoenix Audio Laboratory, Inc. of Manchester, Conn.
is a compact device that combines an audio sine -wave
generator with a digital meter. The oscillator's range
extends from 15 Hz to 30 kHz, and the meter can be
switched to read decibel levels as well as frequencies.
The oscillator portion has an output jack for feeding
test signals to external equipment. For its part, the
meter has an input jack to accept signals from external
equipment. When a plug is inserted into this jack, the
internal connection between oscillator output and
meter input is broken, and the new connection takes
over. In this way it is possible to use TS -1 simultaneously as both a test -signal source and a readout
device for other equipment being tested.
When switched for signal level, the meter reads
whole decibels over a range of -50 to +24, with 0 dB
representing 0.775 volt. The "minus" sign comes on
automatically as applicable. A rear -panel adjustment
may be used to adjust the "0" db reference point.
In its frequency display mode, the meter responds
from 1 Hz to 99.99 kHz. LEDs at the right of the digital
display indicate Hz or kHz or dB. The "minus" sign at
left is fourth LED.
The meter "Side" of the front panel contains the
TS -1's off/on power switch; the dB or frequency
selector; the meter input jack. The right portion of the
panel contains the oscillator's selector knob; output
level control; output jack. Both jacks are'/ -inch phone
jacks. The frequency selector knob has markings for
1 kHz; 10 kHz; and 20 kHz, although the
actual frequencies selected between those markings, and
below and above the 20 Hiz and 29 kHz markings, is
displayed on the meter, as is the specific output level
Suggested uses of the Loft LofTech TS -1 include
calibrating levels of tapes and mixing consoles;
verifying the frequency response accuracy of those and
other external audio equipment; checking signal levels
at various points in an audio chain as a troubleshooting aid.
20 Hz; 100 Hz;
Test Results:
In MR &M's lab tests, the LofTech
TS -1 met or exceeded its published specifications, and
impressed us as a handy device that is capable of doing
its intended job very competently, its small size and
relatively low cost notwithstanding. Connections into
and out of the TS -1 require only the use of ordinary
unbalanced -inch phone plugs. Operating the TS -1 is
quite simple, although at times it did take a "light
touch" to obtain a precise specific frequency as shown
on the unit's meter.
General Info:
inches high;
Dimensions are 8 inches wide; 2%z
inches deep. Weight: 4.4 pounds. Price:
Individual Comment by L.F.:
As one who
runs an audio test lab, I am very much aware of the cost
of even a modest piece of new test equipment. Of course
I can justify an occasional purchase of an expensive
item since it is needed for my work. But what about all
those other folks out there who do not specifically work
with test equipment every day, but who may need to
level -calibrate a mixing board or tape deck at times?
Or how about when your ears tell you that frequency
response of a piece of gear is "off" and you'd like to
verify that quickly and easily?
Phoenix Audio Laboratory must have had just those
situations in mind when they came up withthe LofTech
TS -1. This unit is small enough to hold in your hand,
yet it offers amazing versatility for its size and its relatively low cost. (I recently spent more than its cost to
have my laboratory -grade distortion analyzer oscillator repaired!).
Combining a frequency meter with an audio
oscillator and a dB level meter makes good sense, and
makes it possible for the oscillator to be continuously
variable in frequency (by means of a single rotary
control) and yet to be made very accurate in frequency
when that is necessary. All I had to do to trim the rotary
control for a precise frequency was to read that frequency on the display of the TS -1. And when I wanted to
produce an output signal of, say exactly 0 dBm (0.775
volt into 600 ohms), pressing one button converted the
display to a dB meter.
With its optional input jack, of course, you don't have
to use the TS -l's built -in oscillator as a signal source.
That oscillator is completely independent of the metering section except for the interconnection between
them when nothing external is connected to the
That makes sense too, since the distortion level of the
built -in oscillator, while low enough for making frequency response and level and calibration checks.
would not be low enough in my opinion to use a signal
source when checking for distortion. These days,
power amps boast distortion figures much lower than
the inherent 0.2 percent or so that we measured for the
TS -l's built -in oscillator.
The TS -1 is almost too easy to use. By that I mean
that in its attempt to reduce the number of controls, the
manufacturer made it a bit difficult to "zero in" on the
exact oscillator frequency you might need for a given
test. With 330 degrees of rotation of one knob to cover a
frequency range from below 20 Hz to nearly 30 kHz, it
becomes pretty tricky to home in on 1 kHz exactly.
Still, with patience and a light- fingered touch I was
able to come close enough for my self -nulling distortion
analyzer to recognize the signal as being "close
enough" to 1 kHz to read its distortion automatically.
Much the same comment holds true for the output
level control, whose smaller diameter and similar
amount of rotation makes it pretty difficult to arrive at
a specific desired output level -especially since here
too the range covered is quite large, from less than 1
millivolt to over 6 volts RMS.
These really are minor criticisms, however, compared with the usefulness of this neatly designed
tester. Anyone seriously interested in audio and recording who does not have an audio oscillator and a
good level meter, and who cannot afford more expensive laboratory -quality versions of such instruments
would do well to consider the LofTech TS -1. It meets
all of its important specs and it offers a degree of
accuracy both in its frequency metering and level
metering that you'd never expect to get for $299.
Individual Comment by N.E.: What I like
about the TS -1 is its handiness. You can use it at the
same time "both ways" -that is, connect the oscillator
output to an external device, such as an amplifier or
tape deck, and run the output of that device back into
the TS -1's input. In this way you can feed a test signal of
given frequency and level into the other device and
monitor how it handles that signal in terms of reproducing that frequency for a given level with respect to
its own gain or volume control. You can, of course, do
this without the TS -1 by using separate test devices,
but the TS -1 wraps it all up in one compact and -as
prices go today- modestly priced unit.
and pan pots, microphone outputs; setting up or verifying the performance of electronic or low -level crossover networks (for bi -amped or tri -amped systems);
At the time we tested the TS -1 the final instruction
booklet had not yet been released, but judging from the
rough draft I saw this new test set will boast a very
thorough set of user instructions. Included are explanations of decibels, VUs, reference and operating
levels -plus detailed procedures for measuring frequency response of preamps, line amps, power amps
and mixers; signal -to -noise ratios; equipment and
system levels for consoles, tape recorders, stereo buss
tape recorder alignment; speaker measurements
including impedance and system resonance. Of course,
to many readers of MR &M this may not be new stuff,
but having it "all together" in terms of one compact,
accurate and reasonably priced device surely merits
the attention of all audio hands, old and new.
LOFTECH TS -1 AUDIO TEST SET: Vital Statistics
Frequency range
Level accuracy
Harmonic distortion
Maximum output level
Output impedance
15 Hz to 30 kHz
Audio Oscillator Section
14 Hz to 29.7 kHz
+0.25 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
+20.2 dBV (Hi -Z)
±0.25 dB
0.25 %
+18 dBV
50 ohms, unbalanced
Decibel Meter
Meter Range
"0" ref adjustment range
Input impedance
-50 to +24 dB (re: 0.775 V)
within 0/0.25 dB
-10 to +8 dBV
> 100 K ohms
-50 to +24 dB
Frequency Counter
Frequency range
Input level
Input impedance
Hz to 99.99 kHz
-40 dB to +24 dB (re: 0.775 V)
100 K ohms
+1 count
Crest 5000 Power Amplifier
General Description: The model 5000 is a professional power amplifier from Crest Audio. a division
of DMI. Inc. of Hawthorne. N.J. The amp is rated for
stereo and mono applications, with loads down to
ohms in stereo. The full published ratings are: 8 ohms
stereo, 350 watts per channel for a THD of 0.06 percent,
or 375 watts at midband clipping; 4 ohms stereo, 600
watts per channel for 0.1 percent THD or 650 watts
clipping at midband; 2 ohms stereo, 800 watts per
channel for 0.1 percent THD with 900 watts available
at the 1 -kHz clipping level; 8 ohms mono, 1100 watts
for 0.1 percent THD and 1200 watts at midband
clipping; 4 ohms mono, 1600 watts for 0.1 percent THD,
and 1700 watts at the midfrequency clipping point.
Of rack -mount width. the model 5000 is large and
heavy. A two -speed fan is incorporated. with front -torear passage. Both balanced and unbalanced inputsare
provided, and when strapped to operate in the mono
mode, the amplifier will deliver enough voltage to drive
standard 70 -volt distribution lines to multiple speakers
via the usual transformer-tap arrangement commonly
employed with such setups. No step -up transformer
will be needed at the amplifier end of such a distribution system.
The slotted (for rack -mount) front panel has the usual
handles plus the power off/on switch; channel gain
controls: a multi -colored vertical dB readout (0 dB
down to -57 dB scale); and four LED indicators for
each channel that show clipping, current limiting,
temperature rise and protect- activation.
Inputs at the rear include'/ -inch phone jacks as well
as both female and male XLR balanced connectors.
Just above the inputs is a mono /stereo switch. Outputs
consist of four sets of five -way binding posts for
multiple speaker hookups in stereo or in mono. There
also are circuit -breaker resets for each channel, and
the amp's power cord (the thickest we have ever seen)
terminated in a three -prong (grounding) plug. As an
added convenience, the amplifier's specs are printed
on the rear panel.
Internal construction is all modular, with locking
type "quick disconnect" connectors and PVC covered
wiring. The chassis is made of 14 -gauge steel: the front
panel, of V -inch heavy aluminum. Operating power is
selectable for 100, 120,220 or 240 volts AC, 50/60 Hz.
Test Results:
In MR &M's lab tests, the Crest 5000
met or exceeded all of its specifications except for a
very slight difference in continuous power into
4 ohms -we measured 625 watts as opposed to the
claimed 650 watts. This is quite unimportant, however,
especially in view of the splendid measurements for
distortion, response and signal -to- noise. For its rated
distortion of 0.06 percent, the model 5000 delivered 370
watts per channel minimum into 8 ohms at any
frequency from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Reducing the output
to the manufacturer's rated value of 350 watts per
channel resulted in an even lower distortion reading
(at 1 kHz) of only 0.01 percent. Other forms of distortion -such as CCIF IM, and IHF IM -were all so
low as to be insignificant from an audible standpoint in
any professional application for which the model 5000
is likely to be used. In both bench tests and subsequent
listening tests, the two -speed fan was hardly ever
called upon to deliver its greater air -movement
capacity, thanks to the tremendous heat dissipation
capability built into the amplifier.
General Info:
Dimensions are 19 inches wide,
inches high, 151/2 inches deep. Weight is 75 pounds.
Price: $1,829; $1.699 without LED display meters.
Individual Comment by L.F.:
Crest Audio
obviously believes in the traditional approaches to
amplifier reliability and stability. If you build a power
amp with full protection circuitry, reserve heat dissipation capacity, rugged chassis construction and a more
than adequate power supply, you will end up with an
amplifier that rarely will be found in the service shop.
Crest apparently has done just that with this big power
amp. And "big" applies not only to size and weight (I'd
advise installing this one in a rack that has wheels or
casters if you plan to move it around), but to its power
output capabilities as well.
We were not provided with an owner's manual, and
so we cannot comment on the circuitry used in this
amplifier except to mention that the output stages use
a full complementary circuit design which contains a
total of 28 output transistors. each of which has a
20 MHz cut -off frequency, and a 200 -watt rating!
No doubt someone can design an amplifier of the
same power rating as the Crest 5000 that will be lighter
and less bulky. But somehow, as you work with a heavyweight such as this one -whatever your sound -reinforcement needs -you sense a measure of over -design
(in its most positive connotation) that instills confidence that you will get through the session, concert or
whatever the event with no unforeseen catastrophes in
the amplification department.
Individual Comment by N.E.:
This is not the
kind of amplifier you are likely to see on the shelf of a
typical home hi -fi dealer. although come to think of it
there undoubtedly are some aficionados out there who
would take to it because of its high clean power output
and its capability for driving multiple sets of speakers
for stereo in more than one room. Be that as it may, the
model 5000 is primarily a professional amplifier that
has been designed and built with really heavy duty in
mind. Everything about it, internally and externally,
seems extra-sturdy and creates an impression of providing a very generous margin of "erring on the side of
caution " -if indeed the term "erring" can be applied to
such a solidly crafted product. The designers have nut
overlooked a cosmetic flourish either -that front panel
dual- channel VU metering system becomes a veritable
rainbow since various portions of its scale light up in
different colors as you approach maximum power or
clipping. And of course the cosmetics here relate to
function, inasmuch as it makes it easier to spot what i.going on. For that matter, the other LED indicators
for clipping, limiting, temperature and protection also
are well executed.
So, if you need this kind of unflappable powerhouse,
and have a strong back or another person to help lift it.
the Crest 5000 merits consideration.
CREST 5000 POWER AMPLIFIER: Vital Statistics
375 watts
650 watts
350 watts (600 @ 4 ohms)
378 watts
625 watts
370 watts
0.06 °/0
0.06 ° /o
0.04 ° /o
0.03 °%o
0.006 °/o
0.09 %
+0, -1 dB, 6 Hz to 46 kHz
90 dB
112 dB
1.0 dB
Continuous power for rated THD
ohms, 1 kHz
ohms, 1 kHz
FTC rated power (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
THD at rated output,
1 kHz, 8 ohms
1 kHz, 4 ohms
20 Hz, 8 ohms
20 kHz. 8 ohms
IM distortion rated output,
Frequency response @ 1 watt
Signal -to -noise re 1 watt, "A" wtd, IHF
Signal -to -noise re rated output, "A" wtd
Dynamic headroom, IHF
Damping factor @ 50 Hz
Input sensitivity re rated output
Slew re rate (volts /microsecond)
Power consumption, idling; max
0.01 %
0.06 °/o
+0, -0.2 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
100 dB
1.13 volts
1.31 volts
160; 1600
watts (8 ohms)
Tandberg TD20A -SE
Open -Reel Tape Recorder
General Description:
a......w A.>as
The "SE" after the model
number of this deck stands for "special equalization,"
more of which presently. The TD -2O itself isavailable in
two versions. ()ne is the quarter -track model with the
two speeds of 7' ips and 3 ips -this unit was test reported in A/AW3I, October 1978. The other version
is a half-track model with speeds of 15 ips and 7j2 ips.
It is this model, enhanced with "SE," which is the sub-
ject of this report.
The SE technique involves using less treble boost
(equalization) in the deck's playback circuitry based
on the premise that today's better tapes do not need as
much treble boost in playback as tapes did a few years
ago. Tape recorder manufacturers use equalization of
their own choice for the recording half of a record/
playback cycle, but the playback equalization has been
standardized to enable any deck to play with reasonably flat response a tape made on the other deck. The
TD20A -SE has this standard EQ, but in addition it has
the special EQ developed by Tandberg. Either kind of
equalization is selected by a front -panel switch
marked "normal" and "special." The special position
applies a time constant of 10 microseconds at 15 ips,
and a time constant of 25 microseconds at 7% ips (the
"normal" time constant for both speeds is 50 microseconds).
Two other Tandberg circuit developments (used in
previous decks) also included in the TD20A -SE are
"Dyneq" and "Actilinear". Dyneq varies the amount of
treble emphasis during recording, based upon the frequency and amplitude content of the incoming signals.
If a high frequency signal would normally cause
tape saturation, with fixed record EQ, the Dyneq
circuit dynamically lowers the gain by the amount
necessary to permit the tape to accept as much high frequency information as it can without becoming
The Actilinear recording is designed to provide at
least 20 dB of additional headroom compared with
conventional record -amplifiers. Since it operates at a
low voltage level, the danger of IM distortion caused by
the slew rate is reduced. This circuitry also provides
electrical buffering between the bias oscillator and the
recording amplifier to further minimize IM, and to
improve transient response in the recording mode.
The TD20A -SE handles tape reels up to the 101/z -inch
(NAB) diameter. The three heads for erase, record and
playback are completely separate. Switching is provided for "sel. sync" whereby multi -track recordings
can be made by synchronizing newly recorded material with signals on the other channel. The earlier
program is monitored via headphones from the record
head while the new material is added. The deck also
provides "sound on sound" whereby a mono program
may be played from one track and simultaneously
combined with a new program so that both programs
are recorded on the other track. Echo effects, with controllable level, also are possible.
The transport of this deck is powered by four
motors -two for the tape reels, one for the capstan
drive and the fourth for the pinch -roller and tape gate.
Full -logic transport controls permit fast -buttoning,
including flying -start recording. An edit /cue switch
permits rocking the reels manually to locate a given
passage on a tape, and also permits hearing the
recorded signal in fast -wind mode.
The tape is threaded from the supply reel via a tape
tension arm past the head area and up through another
tension arm onto the takeup reel. Three switches at the
left are for power off/on; speed; and reel size. Below
them are the output level controls, one for each
channel. Below these are four switches that handle
playback mode (stereo, left only, right only); tape
source monitor; sel. sync selector; and edit/cue.
Transport buttons are ranged to the right of the head
covers, with the index counter and reset button above
them. The transport controls have individual LEDs
including a standby indicator. Below are two sets of
input level (recording) controls. One pair handles left
and right channel microphones, "line 2" or "radio."
"Line 2" refers to a second set of line inputs which
may be optionally used. "Radio" refers to the
European -type DIN socket. Below these knobs are the
normal "line 1" level controls. Just to the right of the
upper set of knobs is a socket for connecting an optional
remote -control accessory. To the right of the "line 1"
level knobs is a master input level control for adjusting
program levels on all inputs. Associated with this
control is a rotatable marker against a dB scale. When
this marker is placed at any setting it automatically
creates a detent for rotation of the master control as an
aid in making a quick control setting and for use in
fading adjustments. Below the line -level controls are
recording-select switches and a pair of recessed adjustments for changing recording bias. According to
the owner's manual, the deck is adjusted at the factory
using Maxell UD XL tape and will give best performance with that tape as well as with TDK GX and
Ampex Grand Master 456. Use of other tapes is
possible with some readjustment.
Below the head assembly are the deck's meters,
headphone jack and left- and right- channel microphone jacks. The meters show equalized peak readings
and are calibrated from -24 to +3 dB, with +2 dB
deflection indicating a maximum of 2 percent
The rear of the TD20A -SE contains the line inputs
and outputs, the DIN socket and the socket for the
removable AC power cord. The normal position of the
Tandberg deck is vertical. Small "feet" on its back
permit horizontal or angled installation in which event
the signal cables and power cord would have to be
carefully dressed under the unit.
Test Results:
While the Tandberg TD20A -SE was
put through the usual tests and measurements we run
for all open -reel tape decks, special attention was paid
(both in the lab and in subsequent use and listening
tests) to the net effect of the new "SE" (special equalization) found in this machine. This accounts for the
somewhat greater number of graphs that accompany
this report. Our net impression is that "SE" does
indeed do what it is intended to do -which is to say, it
helps widen the recorder's dynamic range and it gives
up very little in the way of useful high -end response in
doing so.
L- 10.1dB
Fig. 1: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Frequency response at
15 ips at 0 dB record level. Upper curve, without SE;
lower curve, with SE.
L 3 2%
R- 1.2dB
@dB /D
R- 10.2dB
22. @kHz
Fig. 2: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Frequency response at
ips at -10 dB record level. Upper curve without SE;
lower curve with SE.
L- 2.7dB
L 2.7%
R 3.0%
10dB /D L- 29.7dB R- 39.4dB
+ 8dB
Fig. 3: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Third -order distortion vs.
record level at i5 ips. "L" figure is without SE; "R" figure, with SE.
L10.0kHz R1@. @kHz C10. @kHz
L- 0.3dB
R+ 4.4dB
Fig. 5A: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Linearity plot of input vs.
output at 10 kHz at 15 ips. "L" figure is with SE; "R"
figure is without SE.
1@dB!D L- 31.2dB R- 30.4dB
+ 8dB
Fig. 4: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Third -order distortion vs.
record level at 71/2 ips. "L" figure, without SE; "R" figure,
with SE.
Ll@. @kHz
R1@. @kHz C4. 0@kHz
+ 0dB
SdB/D L+ 0.4dB R- 4.4dB
Fig. 5B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Linearity plot of input vs.
output at 10 kHz at 71/2 ips. In this plot, the "L" figure
is without SE; the "R" figure, with SE.
Frequency response at both 15 ips and 71 ips are
shown in Figures I and 2, with the upper curves
representing the normal EQ setting, and the lower
curves obtained with SE. Obviously, SE does sacrifice
something at the extreme high end, but one could
hardly fault a recorder that still offers flat response to
within 2 dB out to 22 kHz at 15 ips even with SE
Plots of 3rd -order distortion versus record level for a
mid -frequency signal at 15 ips and 71/2 ips, respectively, are shown in Fig, res .1 and 4. The "L" notations
are for normal EQ; the "R" show the effects of SE.
When SE is used the change is fairly insignificant at 15
ips, and a bit more apparent at 71,2 ips. It should be
pointed out there that "0 dB" on this machine corresponds to a very high magnetization level of nearly 400
nWb/m, and the :;rd -order distortion point is around
that level. This indicates tremendous
The effect of SE is more evident in the measurements of maximum output level (MOL), or input
versus output linearity for high frequencies. This is
shown in the two curves of Figure 5. Here, nonlinearity
or saturation occurs sooner when SE is used -even at
15 ips -as shown by the nonlinear portion of the lower
curve in each display. However, even with SE, at the
0 -db record level (shown by the double vertical line in
each graph), linearity is still nearly perfect at 15 ips for
this high frequency (both curves are almost identical
up to 0 dB record level in Fig. ;5A. Moreover, as shown
in Figures 6A and 6B, using SE has no adverse effect
on linearity at middle and low frequencies, where
linearity remains almost perfect out to + 10 dB above
the already high "0 dB" level at either recording speed.
8 dB above
+ 5dB
SdB/D L+ 7. 4dB
2dB R+ 5. 2dB
Figs. 6 A &B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: At mid- frequencies,
special EQ (SE) has no effect on linearity or MOL, as
shown by these plots of input vs. output for 15 ips
(Fig. 6A) and for 71/2 ips (Fig. 6B). In both plots, the "L"
figure is with SE; the "R" figure, without SE.
WD L-70.0dB
C31 5kHz
R+ 7. 2dB
WD L-78.5dB
10dB /D
Figs. 7 A &B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: The excellent signal -to -noise ratio of 70 dB shown in Fig. 7A is further
improved to 76.5 dB (Fig. 7B), referenced to 3 3rd order distortion recording level when SE is switched in.
FT L0.041%
010%/D L+0.007%
10.0 Hz
WD L0.008%
.010%/D L+0.010%
Figs. 8 A &B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Wow- and -flutter
analysis at 15 ips, peak unweighted (Fig. 8A) and
WRMS (Fig. 8B).
FT L0.062%
FSD, 030%
10.0 Hz
WD L0.013%
.010%/D L+0.004%
10.0 Hz
.010%/D L+0.003%
Figs. 9 A &B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: Wow- and -flutter
analysis at 71/2 ips, peak unweighted (Fig. 9A), and
WRMS (Fig. 96).
10.0 Hz
10dß/ D
R+ 6.6dB
Fig. 10A: Tandberg TD20A -SE: If a recording is made
special EQ, and is played back with standard EQ, a
rising response will result as shown in the upper re-
sponse curve.
L+ 1.6dB
R- 3.8dB
Fig. 10B: Tandberg TD20A -SE: If a recording is made
using standard EQ, and is played back using the special EQ setting, a treble rolloff will result, as shown here
in the lower curve.
Actually, SE's chief virtue-its ability to improve
signal -to- noise -is shown in Figures 7A and B. At the
15 ips tape speed we obtained a S/N reading of 70 dB
using Maxell UD -XL tape with EQ switch set to
"normal." Under the same test conditions, switching to
"SE" improved the S/N to 76.5 dB referenced to the
3rd -order distortion output level.
As for the transport system in the TD2OA -SE, it was
superb. Peak unweighted wow- and -flutter measured
at 15 ips was a mere 0.041 percent, while the more
forgiving WRMS measurement yielded an almost
unbelievably low figure of 0.008 percent (Figures 8A
and B.) Peak unweighted wow- and -flutter at 7;2 ips
was only 0.062 percent: with weighting it was only
0.013 percent (Figues :/A and B).
To investigate the effect on frequency response, or the
relative incompatibility of SE with standard playback
EQ, we conducted two additional simple tests. First, we
recorded a frequency response sweep with the EQ switch
set to "special" and played it back with the switch set to
"normal," (which would be equivalent to playing it back
on any other machine having standard EQ). The upper
curve of Figure 1uA shows the rising treble characteristic that would result: a boost of about 5.2 dB at 10 kHz
(the difference between +1.4 dB shown for the lower
curve at that frequency, and the +6.6 dB shown for the
upper curve labeled "R ").
A reverse procedure was used to obtain the curves of
Figure BIB. This time we recorded a frequency sweep
on the TD20A -SE using the normal EQ switch position, but played it back using the SE switch position.
The lower curve shows how treble frequencies would be
attenuated. The error is virtually the same, as might be
expected -5.4 dB (the difference between the +1.6dB
reading for the "flat" curve and the -3.8 dB reading for
the incorrectly equalized playback).
Individual Comment by L.F.; Tandberg has
taken the bold step of reducing the amount of treble
boost (equalization) built into the playback circuitry of
this deck on the premise that today's better tapes do not
need nearly as much treble emphasis in playback as
tapes did in "the old days." Based upon the lab
measurements and my observations during use, this
new "SE" combined with Dyneq makes for a system
that offers tremendous dynamic range without the
need for any electronic noise reduction. and it still
manages to provide extended frequency response with
very low distortion. The various graphs reproduced
here help to confirm this conclusion.
I can recall being extremely pleased with the performance of the Tandberg TD2OA when we tested it
some time ago. As you can imagine, the improvements
in S/N and dynamic range resulting from Tandberg's
new alternative equalization setting make me just that
much more enthusiastic about the TD2OA -SE.
Individual Comment by N.E.:
This newest
version of the Tandberg open -reel deck incorporates a
genuine improvement in its circuitry that makes an
already fine machine that much better. The upgrading
is in terms of greater dynamic range with reduced
distortion. Mechanically, nothing has been overlooked
either-the wow- and -flutter measurement is almost
unbelievable, and the deck handles like a real
thoroughbred. The "product personality" of the
TD2OA -SE is such that it seems to me it would appeal
to a fairly broad group of users -advanced amateur
and semi -pro or even full -pro recordists-who want to
work with the half -track format for two- channel stereo
mixdowns or. with the sel. sync feature -or an ex-
ternal mixer -for multi -track original tapings.
With regard to using the new special EQ for record
and playback on the TD20A -SE itself, it does make for
cleaner -sounding tapes. especially when the program
General Info: Dimensions are 17% inches wide:
material includes a lot of high- amplitude high 17;2 inches high: ti inches deep. Weight is 37.5 lbs.
frequency information.
Price: $1595.
Frequency response, 15 ips
at 0 dB record level
Frequency response, 71/2 ips
at -10 dB record level
THD at 0 VU, 15; 7'/2 ips
±2 dB, 20 Hz to 30 kHz
±2 dB, 24 Hz to 31 kHz (using
SE, to 22 kHz for -2 dB)
±2 dB, 20 Hz to 21.5 kHz (using
SE, to 17.5 kHz for -2 dB)
0.14 %; 0.11% (at 385 nWb /m)
with SE at 15 ips, 0.11%
with SE at 7'/2 ips, 0.17 °
+8 dB; +8 dB
±2 dB, 20 Hz to 25 kHz
0.5% max from tape at 320 nWb /m
record level
Record level for 3% 3rd order HD,
15; 71/2 ips
Best S/N ratio
Wow -and- flutter, 15 ips (WRMS)
Wow- and -flutter, 71/2 ips (WRMS)
Fast-wind time, 3600 ft tape
Erase ratio
Mic input sensitivity
Line input sensitivity
Line output level
Headphone output level
80 dB wtd: 70 dB unwtd
-.2 mV
50 mV
1.5 V
1.3 V/8 ohms
76.5 dB; 70 dB
0.008% (0.041 °/o peak unwtd)
0.013% (0.062°/o peak unwtd)
85 seconds
>70 dB
0.2 mV (self- adjusting)
42 mV
1.41 V
1.3 V/8 ohms
Reviewed By:
producer; Glyn Johns, engineer;
THE WHO: It's Hard. [Glyn
recording location not listed.] Warner
Bros. 23731 -1.
Performance Also Sprach Pete
Recording: Versatile, submissive
Uneven, disoriented, searching.
That's how this new Who album
sounds at first, and the current state
of their art can be distinguished right
down to the group's thematic core.
Pete Townshend and his colleagues
are uneven, disoriented, and searching at this point in time.
Because the music here seems
almost careless in its new -found
fervor, some listeners might be left
with a raggedy first impression. It's
Harr! is not as cohesive as classic Who
works such as Tommy or W//Hs .Ve.if.
When the band is in its most familiar
sounding groove ( "Athena," "It's
Your Turn, ") they sound good but not
great, at least not ambitious or
memorable. Fortunately, the majority of the cuts here are inspired by
Townshend's personal intensity, and
a renewed focus on global issues as
Townshend's private life turmoil,
adequately documented elsewhere,
has pumped an almost evangelical
energy back into his songwriting.
"Cook's County" is the third song into
this LP and, after more traditional
Who anthems, the "Cooks County"
realism hits with a disquieting
"People are suffering
I'll say it again
People are suffering
I'll say it again..."
© 1982 Eel Pie Publishing
This is a powerful, unusual song
about social injustice in the '80s.sung
by Roger Daltrey with real nerve and
commitment. It's also a song that
breaks the mold and sets the tone for
much of the music to follow.
The title cut is another brutally
honest measure of contemporary
Western society:
"Any kid can fly -few can land
Any gang can scatter -few can
Any kid can chatter -few can
© 1982 Eel Pie Publishing
One by one, Townshend shakes down
the misconceptions of youth and self
indulgence. And similarly on other
cuts ( "Eminence Front," "I've Known
No War." "Why Did I Fall For
That ? ", "A Man Is A Man ") it is the
wizened, often aphoristic edge to
Townshend's lyrics that makes this
perhaps the most important Who
album ever made, though possibly
not the easiest to love. Important
because guys like Townshend, Daltrey and John Entwistle have been to
that existential abyss and back ...and
with potent songs like "Cry If You
Want" they're offering their followers
a kind of exorcism.
Musically. It Hard covers plenty
of big beat rock ground, but also
works its way back toward some of
the rhythm & blues essentials that
really are an important part of the
band's roots (Daltrey once did a mean
James ßrown). Despite a range of
styles utilizing complicated Entwistle horn charts ("One At A
Time "), Townshend's classical piano
"One Life's Enough "), and jazz
influences "Eminence Front "), Glyn
Johns' production takes a mandatory
backseat to the musical message making. It is the heart of the matter
that is most important here, and after
two decades together The Who are
showing more "heart" than ever
before. It's not a pretty album. but it's
unforgettable and it's hard.
Novo Combo
Gerreortiorr. the group should be
poised for takeoff.
And frankly, they've done quite a
job technically with some of these
t ion
tunes, especially soundwise. "AnimaNOVO COMBO: The Animation Generation. [Novo Combo and Elliot
Scheiner, producers; Elliot Scheiner,
engineer; recorded at A &R Studios,
Mediasound, and Soundworks, New
York.] Polydor PD -1 -6356.
tion Generation," "Too Long Gone,"
and "Welcome Innervision" may not
have the Sting. so to speak, of a Police
record, but the hollow bass sound and
pushy polyrhythms are there, and the
engineering is excellent. Instrumentally, these musicians are highly
Performance: Two -dimensional
Recording: Clean and calculated
competent, and drummer Shrieve
(Santana founding member, also
with Stomu Yamashta's Go) adds
an element of surprise that would
otherwise be lacking. The well travelled Carlos Rios (Quincy .Jones,
Tom Scott, Mark -Almond. Chuck
Mangione) also whips out some
original guitar phrasings.
Vocally, Pete Hewlett (also guitar)
and Stephen Dees (bass, formerly in
the Hall & Oates band) trade vocal
Novo Combo has come together
from several rock directions to form
an unabashed 1980's pop semi supergroup. They're smooth, they're
appealing, and they're definitely
tuned into what makes for some of
today's more successful pop -rock
Take The Police, please. As if
combining elements of The Police.
Journey, and Hall & Oates. Novo
Combo layers high- voiced rock heroics between a musical mixture of
Anglicized reggae and a touch of
blue -eyed soul. The band's Michael
Shrieve recently described the perfect pop song as one marked by
..simplicity. clarity. and a hook you
can hang a winter coat on." Having
met those prerequisites on ,animaDECEMBER 1982
duties, and seem to be major league
quality. Unfortunately, they haven't
really established a niche of their
own. Whether it's the Steve Perry
sound of "Keep Your Love Alive" or
the Pages /Hall & Oates feel to "Slow
Fade." the Novo singers seem to be
assimilating the better aspects of
more original performers. And a lack
of lyrical strength ( "She Runs,"
"Anyone Can See ") does not help any
in their bid for individuality.
Novo Combo manages to skim the
cream from the top of today's pop,
turning out a sweet mix (engineer
Scheiner is a two -time Grammy
winner for work with Steely Dan)
soundwise and a highly saleable
product. Their willingness to experiment with a variety of popular styles
is bound to result in some degree of
commercial success, but they'd do
better to dig a little deeper. The
Animation Generation is two- dimensional and just a bit calculated, and
like TV itself is most enjoyable in
half -hour episodes.
HOLLY NEAR: Speed of Light [Evie
Sands and Leslie Ann Jones, producers; Leslie Ann Jones, engineer;
recorded at The Automatt, San
Francisco.] Redwood RR 403.
Performance: Passionate, polished
Recording: Flamboyant
For the past decade Holly Near's
music has reflected the politics of the
Left: feminism, peace, and ecology.
This was quite an unfashionable
program for a pop singer trying to
commercially succeed during the
disco -dizzy Seventies. Anachronistic,
The Thompson Vocal Eliminator can actually
remove most or virtually all of a solo vocalist from a
standard stereo record and yet leave most of the
background music untouched! Not an equalizer! We
can prove it works over the phone. Write for a
brochure and demo record below.
Studio Echo /Reverb
Tape Noise Reduction
Parametric Equalization
Electronic Crossovers
Comp /Limiters
certainly evident during her initial
releases on the tiny Redwood label.
The most individual quality of those
early recordings could be -found in
the distinctively feminist cast of her
Last year Near released her least
political sounding recording. Fire in
the Rain. No longer was a solo
acoustic guitar her primary backing
instrument. This album had plenty of
We manufacture a full line of high quality audio
and recording equipment. You will probably have
to pay twice as much elsewhere to obtain
comparable quality. Only Direct Sales make our
prices and quality possible. Send $1 for a 24 page
brochure and 20 minute demonstration record.
Write to: LT
Dept. MR, P.O. Box 338,
Stone Mountain, GA 30086
(404) 493 -1258
some might say. Such music peaked
during the Sixties with the likes of
Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton,
and the grand daddy of them all, Pete
Seeger. The debt that Near owed to
to all of these singer songwriters was
the lead synthesizer
that has
electric instruments -plus arrangements as slick as New York side walks come December. The album
featured love songs, and though they
were directed to her female lover
(there goes AM airplay in Kansas!),
the lyrics were ambiguous enough,
and the melodies catchy enough, to
make the album a commercial hit.
Truth to tell, I didn't think much of
it. A little too polished and vapid for
my taste. Even her voice sounded
strained. Too many nights getting
ready for a potential gig on prime
This rambling introduction provides a context for comprehending
the stunning achievement of Speed at'
Light. This album is every bit as
commercially appealing, as lushly
produced as Fire in the Rain. The
difference is that Near has learned
how to write, perform, and package
her political as well as love songs in a
manner that doesn't compromise the
vital spark implicit in her mission.
The songs pack a wallop- musically
as well as politically. And, surprisingly enough, they are also pretty.
Side one features both upbeat love
celebrations ( "Dancing Bird," "Room
for Me ") and an absolutely stinging
rejection of a manipulating lover
( "Back Off "). Few pop singers can
address the failures of intimacy with
anything more than a burst of
adolescent nastiness. Near's approach is mature and thoughtful. I
can't remember the last time I heard
a white female vocalist sing about
maintaining "self respect" with
conviction. The only overtly political
cut on this side, "Emma," is dedicated to the late great Anarchist
leader (who was warmly dramatized
in Warren Beatty's film "Reds ").
Near's voice positively glows when
she sings: "But I will laugh and sing
and dance /and make love with
consenting humans /in our evolution."
A very snazzy set of arrangements
for various horns propels the tune
along fervently.
it all
You've always had A lot of options.
You could have the convenience and easy operation of a normalized synthesizer if you were willing to give up the versatility of modular equipment
Or the unlimited spectrum of tone colors and timbres of
modules if you didn't mind the curnbersome patch cords and
time required to set up or change a patch.
You could have programmable presets If you could raise the
bucks. or low -cost equipment if you could stand the snap
You could even have such technically innovative features as
computer control of voice and sequence if you had the
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Direct mail orders and inquiries to: Dept12M
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1020 W.
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Holly Near
1405)843 9626
Side two gets off to a roaring start
with a handclapping chorus while
Near wails: "I'm afraid I'm falling in
love with you /And I really didn't
want to." Sheila Escovedo adds lovely
percussive touches on this and on
several other cuts. Drums, congas,
and various percussive instruments
are mixed high and lend rhythmic
life to many numbers. "El Salvador"
is a stark protest song, uncom promising and driving. The tone reminds
me of Gil Scott -Heron. Lots of bitter
agitprop poetry. Two more politically
inspired songs follow. A cover of
"Power," an anti -nuke anthem by
John and Johanna Hall is passable.
Near's own "Family Promise" which
pits child raising against the threat
of war is more inspiring and convincing. The album closes with a reggae tinged plea for political unity. The
reggae band backing her will hardly
put Peter Tosh into early retirement -but they suffice. Her regular
band of female backing musicians
supplemented by jazz /fusion electric
guitartist Ray Obiedo -are ingenious and forceful musicians.
The production is examplary. I
appreciate how unobtrusively strings
and horns are mixed with Near's
vocals. Backup vocals are well situated. The overall sound is remarkably
glossy and present. I can imagine any
cut from Speed of Light sounding
bright even on a Sony Walkman
Is it impossible idealism to dream
that a few thousand kids with Speer!
of Light on their tapeplayers might
work to make this a more peaceful
and loving world?
THE KLEZMORIM:Metropolis.[Stuart
Brotman, producer; Peter Sutheim,
engineer; recorded February
3 -7,
1981 at The Great American Music
Hall, San Francisco, Ca., except
"The Shepherd's Dream," recorded
March 13, 1981 at Audio Engineering
Associates, Pasadena, Ca.] Flying
Fish FF 258.
Performance Deliciously sentimental. robustly
By Nat Hentoff
One of the year's mostexhilarating surprises is a previously unissued "live" Thelonious Monk
session. Part of Columbia's admi-
rable Contemporary Masters se-
ries, Thelonious Monk-Lire At
The It Club was recorded in Los
Angeles in 1964. Since I used to
hear Monk just about every chance
I could -you never knew how long
the silences between gigs would
can attest to this being one
of his most celebratory sessions.
Monk was always worth hearing,
but some nights his playing was
especially joyful. It was on those
nights that he would get up and
dance more often during a solo. I
think he danced a lot on this night.
Not only is Monk enjoying the
act of surprising himself but tenor
saxophonist Charlie Rouse has
never before on record sounded
as fresh, bitingly authoritative
and indeed playful as he does here.
Also very much in the careening
collective groove are bassist Larry
Gales and drummer Ben Riley.
It's a two-LP set, and so there is
an ample array of Monk classics,
among them "`Round Midnight,"
"Straight No Chaser," and "Misterioso." I must have heard just
about every tune here at least a
couple of hundred times, probably
more, but it's all new again. Monk
could not abide playing the same
way twice, and on a night like this
when everything was coming together, his inventiveness never
The sound is exceptionally clear
and vibrant, giving the sense of
immediacy that should be there
in a "live" date.
Charlie Rouse and Ben Riley
have now decided to pay the best
possible tribute to Monk-keeping
his songs alive in the night. They've
formed a co- operative combo
called Sphere, and their associates
are pianist Kenny Baron and
bassist Buster Williams. The first
album is Sphere: Four in One Musician, distributed by Elektra/
Wisely, Sphere does not try to
imitate any of the Monk groups
of the past. The spirit of Thelonious is clearly present, but these
four improvisers have not circumscribed themselves to fit into
any sequence of Monk literalisms. They are very much themselves; and the group as a whole
has its own warm, crisp, often airy
A particular note about Buster
Williams, long undersung by the
jazz public. His time, his room filling sound, his incisive imagination -all these elements make
Buster perhaps the most deeply
satisfying bassist in jazz.
Among the legacy of Monk originals in this set are "Four in One."
"Monk's Dream," and "Evidence."
Since jazz is so personal and so
fired by spontaneity. I used to be
skeptical about whether you could
be 'sufficiently individualistic if
you based your repertory largely
on the originals of someone else.
Sphere shows it can be done. The
engineering is first- class, very
warm and resonant. And I do not
think Buster Williams's bass has
ever been so completely realized
in recorded sound as here.
The It Club. [Teo Macero, producer; Don Puluse, engineer.]
Columbia C2 38030
SPHERE: Four in One. [Damu
Productions, Ltd., producer -no
human name given; Rudy Van
Gelder, engineer.] Elektra Musician 9.
Recording: Surprisingly ample
given the recording
Nat Ilentoff tells of introducing the
late Charles Mingus to .Jewish "soul
music" by playing recordings to him
of particularly inspired cantors.
Apparently Mingus recognized some
jazzy and soulful quality in those
recordings. But had Mingus lived a
few years later, he would have had
the chance to hear a thunderously
robust example of Jewish ethnic
music married to,jazz: a group of six
young musicians who identify themselves as ho Klc_/mwio,.
The group takes its name from
Klezmer. the label applied to a -MO
year old body of folk and popular
Jewish music from Eastern Europe.
Klezmer music is a great gumbo, a
stew comprised of musical ingredi-
ents from gypsy music. military
marches, light operatic songs. and
American ragtime and ,jazz. It was
often played by roaming bands of
impoverished musicians. The years of
its heyday in America were from the
start of this century to about 1930.
The Klezmorim have carefully
resurrected this long ignored style
with great aplomb and verve. They've
done so in a modest yet captivating
fashion on Metro/Bs/is. First, they
present only instrumentals. thus circumventing the problems of whether
to sing in Yiddish or English. A
number of the Klezmer lyrics I've
heard sound somewhat bizarre in
English- requiring listener knowledge of an entire cultural situation
long since erased from the earth.
Second. they present the upbeat and
optimistic face of the music. Authentic Klezmer music does have its
tediously ilmrr moments. Finally. The
Klezmorim opt for a hefty. brassy
sound. forgoing the violins and other
potentially too -too -sweet string instruments. So the total sound texture
created by the band is gutsy. forcefully energetic.
How can one begin to describe what
The Klezmorim's music sounds like.
My first impulse is to respond: it
sounds like a crazy mixture of Benny
Goodman. Dixieland. /''üh/1cr on thy
/tiof il and Charles Ives. To be specific:
a great deal of the swinging nature of
the songs is sustained by the clarinet.
Suffice it to say that David .Julian
(;ray's clarinet playing on 3/Om/no/is
is stunning. On "Bucharest" he
punctuates the complex musical
layers with a tone that is at once
sardonic and loving. The speed of his
attack on "Ileyser Bulgar" made me
believe my turntable had accelerated
to îK RPM. Kevin Linscott's solid
trombone playing was redolent of
la Preservation hall.
crisp and danceable
.John Raskin's
percussion evoked the rhythmic
vitality of the songs in l'7í/t11 r oo thy
iim : And ('harles Ives'. His spirit is
drawn to earth by the uncannily odd
,juxtaposition of Sousa -like horn
anthems with sweetly delicate religious tunes. A heady brew. and one
heroically sustained by each of these
six dynamic musicians.
The recorded sound is surprisingly
ample. I say "surprisingly" since the
following recording information is
printed on the album jacket: "All
tunes were recorded directly onto two
tracks without overdubbing or mix down." I had nay qualms initially
reading that data. Yet the sound is
delightfully bright and well separated -which is no easy task in a band
that counterpoints xylophone with
tuba! The producer and engineer did
their jobs with accuracy.
And Flying Fish Records did a
service for the American musical
community by recording this rousing
young band with one foot in the past.
another strikingly in the future. You
don't have to be Jewish, as the rye
bread company advertisement once
read. to enjoy this. Music this soulful
crosses all artificial boundaries of
body and soul.
BAND: Volume 2. [Allan Jaffe. producer; Skip Godwin. engineer; recorded Dec. 3rd & 4th. 1981 at SeaSaint Recording Studio. New Orleans,
LA.] CBS FM 37780.
Performance Another generous
helping of red beans
ricely styled jazz
Engineering Spectacularly
I'd give this record five stars for the
fine New Orleans jazz as played by
the gang from Preservation Hall and
another five stars for the recording
which sounds like it just happened
that way. Then I'd take away eight or
nine stars because public domain
material like "Shake It And Break
It." "Just A Little While To Stay
Here," "Bucket's Got A Hole In It"
and "Down On The Farm" are
credited to Preservation Hall .Jazz
Band and published by Preservation
Hall Music Company so somebody
can collect the few pennies royalties.
What is sacrificed is honesty, tradition and truth -the kind of things
that I would hope any band with a
name like Preservation Hall would
respect. Public Domain ought not to
mean a license for anyone to stick
their name on an existing work
whose composer has been forgotten
in the long line of aural tradition
which brought most of the New
Orleans /Chicago jazz repertoire to
its current state. It should also be
noted that the Preservation Hall
version of "Shake It And Break It" is
in no way related to the piece
composed by Friscoe and Clark
bearing the same name.
The band itself never sounded
better. Allan Jaffe must have put in a
lot of practice time on the tuba. His
playing has improved infinitely from
the time of the band's earlier recordings. He now provides a bass line of
great interest rather than just
humping back and forth from tonic to
dominant or subdominant.
The star of the band, despite fine
performances by the Humphries
brothers and Frank Demond, is still
banjoist /singer Narvin Kimball. His
work on "I Ain't Got Nobody" is
The recording itself is a masterpiece of restraint and understatement. It would be so easy to overkill
performances like these with added
echo and other technological improvements. I am sure the engineer
who made the recording is well
versed in his craft and could have
come up with a dozen gimmicks to
enhance the sound. In a recording
like this, that's not what's called for.
It's better just to hear the music
captured the way it goes down in the
studio or on location with enough
clarity that all three separate contrapuntal lines (trumpet, trombone and
clarinet) can be clearly distinguished
in the polyphonic ensembles, and
with enough range on the bottom that
the tuba doesn't get lost. The job that
Skip Godwin has done on capturing
the essence of the band is to be
applauded. So is the music that the
Preservation Hall band plays. Although P. H. has suffered heavily the
losses of such major talents as Orange
Kjellin, .Jim Robinson, George Lewis.
Billie and Dee Dee Pierce and others,
Allan Jaffe usually manages to pull
replacements out of thin air. I do wish
that on one or more of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's major recordings we could hear some of the other
players who work the hall like the
great Kid Thomas. Emanuel Paul
and Emanuel Sayles. Maybe next
of Jazz. [Milt Gabler, producer: no
engineer listed: recorded in New
York, N.Y., March 25th, 1941 and
Sept. 30th, 1944.] Commodore XFL
Oui. oui. Pee Wee.
Recording Par for small labels of
the forties
To paraphrase a title from Irving
Stone. Pee Wee Russell -Missouri
born clarinetist, played the Agony of
the Ecstasy. Pain and pleasure were
always side by side in Pee Wee's playing. The squeak and the squawk were
part of the beauty. If he had played
the clarinet correctly. legitimately, in
tune, he wouldn't have been Pee Wee.
he would have been Benny Goodman.
Pee Wee played with a sound that
matched his surroundings -rough.
ragged, always ready for a blast of
notes that sounded like they were
wrenched from the tormented soul of
a mad monk wrestling with the inner
values of life and death. good and evil,
and forever tormented by that thin
line between the beautiful and the
ugly. That was Pee Wee Russell.
He was, like most of the best traditional jazz musicians. basically an
ensemble player yet he made a
number of sessions highlighting his
clarinet. Two of these are included
here on this Commodore reissue. The
Three Deuces of 1941 paired him
with my second favorite pianist (Joe
Sullivan) and a drummer who had to
rank with everybody's top ten (Zutty
Singleton). It is interesting that these
for Immediate
1/4" & 1/2"
1233 Rand Rd.
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Pee Wee Russell
records are being reissued as Pee
Wee Russell LPs because the original
78s came out under the name of The
Three Deuces with no specified
leader. Had there been a leader it
probably would have had to have
been Zutty Singleton who was already well known as a drummer with
Louis Armstrong by the time that
Sullivan and Russell were getting
established as recording artists in
New York. Pee Wee's Hot Four of
1944 featured another Missourian
jazz musician who was to become so
associated with Eddie Condon and
the Chicagoans that he was often
mistakenly thought of as being from
Chicago -pianist .less Stacy. Although drummer George Wettling
was close enough in age to be considered a contemporary of Jess and
Pee Wee, his late appearance on the
scene in Chicago put him chronologically behind Gene Krupa and Dave
Tough though both Krupa and Tough
were younger than Wettling. Bassist
Sid Weiss was the baby of the Ilot
Four but he learned his craft well in
the big swing bands of Benny
Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Artie
Shaw. But by that time it really didn't
matter that much. Pee Wee Russell
had established himself as the patron
saint of the clarinet to the patrons at
Nick's and it was definitely Pee Wee
being accompanied by Stacy,
Wettling and Weiss -not, as three
years earlier, a collaboration between three equals. By 1944 the guys
in the "rhythm section" knew their
place and backed Pee Wee to the hilt
without calling undue attention to
themselves. The one exception was a
moment in the introduction to the A
or published take of "Take Me To The
Land Of Jazz" when Pee Wee and
Stacy are running at right angles to
each other and for that brief interlude
they collided in improvised ensemble
,just like the good old days. Perhaps
the Pee Wee style doesn't show up
that much in today's players. I think
McDonough needs to spend more
time listening to players like Perry
Robinson. Kenny Davern and Frank
Chase if he really believes that.
As far as the sound goes, it's about
what you'd expect from the 1940's in
the independent studios that Gabler
and the rest of the small jazz labels
tended to use. If the results were
better than some of the other Commodore releases, it's because one horn
with piano and drums or even adding
a bass is easier to balance than a
whole band with three or four horns
plus rhythm.
The main thing these records have
to offer today's listeners is a chance to
hear a musician who was practically
without rivals in his domain and his
time and who left a peculiar, particularly identifiable mark upon the
music of his generation. McDonough
keeps referring to Pee Wee as a man
who lived on the brink. He lived,
indeed, on the brink. He played on the
brink. Whenever Pee Wee played it
counted for something important.
that's what makes the difference
between Pee Wee with rhythm accompaniment and the collaborative
efforts of 1941 is what makes The
Three Deuces superior, in my mind,
to the Hot Four. There are moments.
particularly in the slow evocative
blues "The Last Time I Saw Chicago,"
when Pee Wee. Sullivan and Zutty
operate in the ensemble style that
makes traditional jazz different from
the forms that came after (and that's
not an easy effect to achieve when
you're working with only one horn).
And again thank heavens for the
alternate masters (on all but "Jig
Walk" from the 1941 session and
everything from 1944). Although
Gabler's judgement on the A take was
invariably correct even the safeties
offered us something new. Pee Wee
couldn't have played it the same way
twice if you offered him all the money
and all the whiskey in the world.
The liner notes by John McDonough
of Down Brvrt are written professionally and they include some
interesting sidelights and anecdotes
about the sessions. I do, however,
question several of McDonough's
value ,judgements and statements,
especially as concerns the comparison
between two such individual yet
totally different players as Frank
Teschmaker and Pee Wee Russell
and also McDonough's feeling that
PUG HORTON: Don't Go Away.
[Debbie Berman, producer; Fred
Miller, engineer; recorded at Vanguard Studios, New York, N.Y., May
30th, 1979.] Bodeswell BW 102.
Performance: A dozen glimpses of
the versatile Horton
Recording: Tight. close. intimate
After listening to this record for
the first time I was left with the
somewhat uncomfortable feeling
that I didn't really know who Pug
Horton is. There was, however,
enough of musical interest in the
diversity of Pug's programming that
put it away for awhile and came
back to it later. I'm glad I did. It
would be near to impossible for
anyone to relate to material from the
varied sources on this LP. It goes
from the rock of David Gates' "If" to
the Hollywood pop of Henry Mancini's
"Send A Little Love My Way" to the
jazz classics of "Melancholy," "Sweetheart O' Mine" and "I Found A New
Baby" to the classic Broadway show
material of "By Myself." There are
also two original pieces of material
by singer Horton and her husband,
reed virtuoso Bob Wilber, "Don't Go
Away" and "Miss My Lovin' Time." It
would take someone with the vocal
resources of a Streisand, an Ethel
Waters, an Ethel Merman uìu/ a
Linda Ronstadt to approximate this
varied program.
I won't say that Pug Horton is
universally successful in making this
hybrid program believable, but I will
say that she is flexible enough that
she comes close to the mark in a
repertoire that stretches over a
dangerously wide gap of emotions
and generations. The sparse accompaniment furnished by a rhythm
team including pianist Roland Hanna
and bassist Milt Hinton with the only
other available voice being that of
saxophonist, clarinetist Bob Wilber,
sometimes helps such as in jazz
oriented material like "Melancholy"
and sometimes works against the
Engineer Fred Miller and producer Debbie Berman have managed
to get a very clean tight intimate
ensemble sound from Vanguard's
New York Studio which has brought
forth some enigmatic results in the
Performance. Two perfectionists
combined to make
perfect music
Engineering Typical 40s 78 sound.
some pristine pure,
others in various states
of decay
As this is being written this
recording is nearly already three
years old. The past three years have
Francis Albert Sinatra, a skinny
kid from Hoboken, graduate of the
been, as those of us who've heard her
recent performances can attest.
Major Bowes Amateur Hour and
veteran of the Harry James band
joined the Tommy Dorsey band in
January of 1940. He was there about
two and a half years. When he left he
had the world, especially its female
population, at his feet. The fact that
Sinatra was not the first such
phenomenon (Rudy Vallee and Russ
Columbo had engendered much the
same hysteria) nor was he the last
(Elvis and the Beatles were to follow)
in no way reduces the magnitude of
the effect that he had on the so- called
bobby soxers of the '40s. What was
years of growth for Pug Horton. I
would hope that her next record
might concentrate on a smaller piece
of the history of pop music than this.
Then, on the other hand, knowing
Pug and her versatility and the pride
she takes in being able to hr so many
different characters in her songs, it's
likely to be even more of a mix and
match affair than this one. Like her
husband Bob Wilber, Pug resists
being pigeon -holed.
& Don Wardell, producers; Trinie
Austad, Paul Austad, Bob Auger,
Brian Snelling, reissue engineers;
recorded between Feb. 1, 1940 and
July 2, 1942 in Chicago, New York
and Hollywood.] RCA CPL 4334,
RCA CPL 4335 and RCA CPL 4336.
We've Put
surprising about Frank Sinatra,
even in his early days with Harry
James, was that he was good. While
other band singers just got through a
song harmlessly providing a vocal
variation sandwiched between two
band choruses, Frank Sinatra had
personality. He brought something of
himself to every tune he sang. That
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effect such as in current material like
"Send A Little Love My Way," a song
that would benefit from increased
orchestration to hide the fact that the
songs they write today ,just aren't as
good as the songs they wrote years
ago. Yet, like another British singer
of an earlier generation -the late Al
Bowl ly. Pug Horton gives all she has
in the way of dedication and artistry
equally to those songs from the
bottom of the barrel and classics by
Dietz and Schwartz. .Jelly Roll
Morton and Richard Whiting.
I think the closest that Pug Horton
comes to revealing herself is in the
original tunes she and Bob Wilber
have composed and in a performance
of the World War I classic, "Tipperary," which strikes a performance which owes not only to the jazz
influences to which Pug Horton
readily admits but also a touch of the
British music hall and Gracie Fields.
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goes for the good ones (like "I'll Never
Smile Again" and "Star Dust ") and
the bad ones (like "The Call Of The
Canyon" and "Light A Candle In The
Chapel ").
These 40s were pivotal years. They
changed Tommy Dorsey. They
changed Frank Sinatra. They
changed the music business. They
changed you and me and everybody
else in the world. There was, remember, a war going on. Dorsey's
previous male vocalist, Jack Leonard,
after a brief career as a radio soloist.
went into the armed forces. While
Leonard's following was not as
fanatical as Sinatra's was to be, it was
a loyal herd, which was totally
unwilling to accept his successor. His
unlucky successor had been a singer
named Alan DeWitt. The herd didn't
like him. Neither did Dorsey. He
lasted a couple of weeks or so and
then Dorsey sent somebody over to
get that skinny kid that was singing
with Harry James. Lured by the then
magnificent sum of $100.00 a week
the kid was willing to go with Dorsey
and James wasn't about to hold him
back. So it all began, for the record,
with a date in Victor's Chicago
studios on Feb. 1st, 1940. We hear an
obviously nervous kid, not only
getting through the lyrics of "The
Sky Fell Down" and "Too Romantic,"
but putting some meaning into them.
Even we Jack Leonard fans had to
admit that. while the kid was no Jack
Leonard, he wasn't bad and in time
we'd probably grow to like him. We
did. The Dorsey Band was always
like a revolving door. Guys were in
and out of that band as they fell in and
out of favor with the temperamental
and demanding leader. Of those
present in the band on Feb. 1st, 1940
the only ones still there for Frank's
last date with the band on July 2nd,
1942 were trumpeter Jimmy Blake
(who'd been in and out a few times in
between), Sax man Fred Stulce and
drummer Buddy Rich and, of course.
TD and FS. Let it be said for Tommy
Dorsey that despite all the drinking,
the brawling and the temper tantrums, Tommy was a perfectionist
and nothing but perfection would
suit him. So was Frank Sinatra. He
worked harder than any other band
singer to achieve a vocal blend with a
group. You can hear the results of
this on "I'll Never Smile Again." And
yet Sinatra was not yet the finished,
polished artist he was to become. He
matured in his two years in the
Dorsey band. Tommy smoothed out
the kinks in the kid's phrasing -and
nobody turned a smoother phrase
than Tommy did on trombone or a
smoother one than Frank was soon to
with his voice. The band itself was in
transition. It had been a fine dixieland- styled band with soloists like
Max Kaminsky, Sterling Bose, Pee
Wee Erwin, Johnny Mince, Bud
Freeman and Davey Tough giving a
strong Chicago style tone to the
band. By the time Sinatra joined
Dorsey, all the dixielanders except
for Johnny Mince and Dean Kincaid
were out of the band. Kincaid was
important as an arranger but not as a
player and his arranging duties were
being slowly usurped by the new kid
on the block, Sy Oliver. Mince stayed
with the band almost until Sinatra
left, but his clarinet work could
comfortably walk either side of the
line that separated Benny Goodman's
swing style from the Chicago Dixieland style epitomized by Frank
Teschmaker and Pee Wee Russell.
The change from 2 beat dixie to 4
beat swing was aided and abetted by
Buddy Rich, a loud but effective
drummer. Eventually, with the
addition of players like Charlie
Shavers on trumpet, Buddy De
Franco on clarinet, Louis Bellson on
drums and others of the be -bop
persuasion, the change would be
The change in the band which took
place during Sinatra's stay was just
as drastic but a lot more subtle. And
the changes it brought just about
killed the band business. When
Frank Sinatra started singing with
Dorsey, the band played the first
chorus. usually with Tommy taking
the melody on solo trombone, the
singer sang one chorus and the band
came back for either a half chorus or
another full chorus depending on
how much more room there was on
the old 78 RPM records. This was all
changed May 23, 1940 with "I'll
Never Smile Again." The vocal
chorus came first, then Tommy got
eight bars of trombone solo before the
singers came back in. If one record
could be said to have launched the era
when the singer became the star and
the band became the extra added
attraction, this would be the one. It
sold. It sold millions. Every juke box
had it. Every DJ played it. Some
people still break into tears of
nostalgia at the sound of the first
measure of it. It was the record that
finally won over this Jack Leonard
fan, and probably a few others as
well, to Frankie's fan club. It was
another departure for Tommy Dor-
sey. His initial fights with his kid
brother Jimmy -including the one
that broke up the Dorsey Brothers
band right there on the stand at the
Glen Island Casino, were over tempi.
Jimmy thought that ballads should
be played extremely slowly. Tommy
took them at a good medium bounce
clip and the fast numbers went up
from there. Tommy must have sensed
that with the sentimentality of those
separated from their loved ones
during the war, the times had
changed: even Jimmy never beat off a
slower tempo than Tommy did for
"I'll Never Smile Again." It hit the
right groove -it worked. From then
on there were as many fans out front
waiting to hear Sinatra's vocals as
there were waiting for Dorsey's
trombone work. Once the girls
started swooning in the aisles that
was it. Sinatra mania was in. And
with Tommy Dorsey's inflated ego,
that must have hurt. Another band
member who was not too happy about
the attention Frank Sinatra was
getting was Buddy Rich, the drummer. Their egos clashed on the stand
with Rich hitting loud rim shots
behind Frank's romantic vocals and
spoiling the mood. Their egos clashed
off the stand when one of them (I
forget which one) threw a water
pitcher at the other. Fortunately the
missile missed it's mark but made one
heck of a hole in the wall behind the
bandstand at the Hotel Pennsylvania.
The Hotel Pennsylvania is gone now:
they changed the name to something
else. The hotel still stands at the same
place but it's not the same hotel by a
long shot. I don't know if they even
have a rooftop dance floor anymore.
Tommy Dorsey is gone-Nov. 26th.
1956 he choked to death in his sleep.
Frank Sinatra's still around. He's not
the same Frank Sinatra though. The
kid who sounded almost like a boy
tenor on his first records with Dorsey
(the arrangements had been made to
suit a singer with a higher range and
Dorsey refused to have them redone
in Frank's key) developed a finely
voiced baritone and while his voice is
long past it's prime (my favorite
Sinatra is the Sinatra of the 1950s
Capitol records), there's still enough
there to make his performances
rewarding. Buddy Rich is still going
strong -but then it's easier for an
instrumentalist than it is a singer.
When Buddy's drums wear out with
age he can get a new set from the
factory. There's no place a singer can
go to get a new voice when his wears
out, or at least wears down, with age.
The world never stands still. From
the moment we're born 'til the
moment we die, nothing stays the
same. The best we can do is listen and
remember. These records document
an important part of the careers of
many artists, not the least of whom
are Sinatra and Dorsey. They document an era when public taste was
changing from bands to singers.
They document 83 performances of
tunes that, like the tunes of any era,
had their share of winners and their
share of garbage. For me, at least,
they document two and a half years of
my life; where I was, whom I was
with, the war. If you were part of that
generation, you'll remember too.
[Producer not listed, engineers and
studios not listed; recorded between
1939 and 1951, mostly in Los Angeles,
CA.] MCA 1507.
Performance: The Stardust road...
Hoagie's way
Engineering: Period
Performer. [Ethel Gabriel, producer;
various engineers and studios; recorded between 1927 and 1959 in
various locations.] CPL 1 3770 (e).
Performance: The Stardust road,
halfway Hoagy, the
rest All Star Stardust
Engineering. Fake stereo; they
should've left well
enough alone
[Georgie Fame, Rod Slade and John
Lambe, producers; Steve Short, Terry
Evenett and Dan Reynolds, engineers; recorded circa 1981 at Pye
Studios and Trident Studios in
London.] DRG SL 5197.
Performance: A rocky trip down the
Stardust road, plus a
bit by Hoagy
Engineering: Up to date, up to snuff
Hoagy Carmichael is dead and the
tributes come. The earliest of these.
the RCA, was issued before Hoagy's
death: the others are memorials.
There is hopefully at least one more
in the can because CBS/Columbia
has Hoagy material (including a
recording of "Rockin' Chair" with a
vocal by Hoagyand Louis Armstrong)
that surpasses anything here. Yet
even at his least monumental Hoagy
recordings. This alone makes the
always brought something charming
and engaging to his authoritative
performances of his own songs.
By all rights the MCA /Decca
should be the best album. It's all
Hoagy and two cuts in particular
have him in the excellent company of
Glen Gray's Casa Loma Orchestra.
Their versions of "Little Old Lady"
and "Washboard Blues" are the best
things on the MCA release. Other
recordings have him with a typical
L.A. studio band conducted, in at
least one case, by Lou Bring, and with
a trio that included a fellow named
Lindley Jones- before he changed
his name to Spike, and became
famous (or infamous). Little of this
information appears on the album
cover-MCA doesn't believe in listing personnel. Yet there is much to
admire in this "collectibles" issue: the
two sides with the Casa Loma band
and a particularly hot "Stardust"
sung by Hoagy much under the
Armstrong influence.
The RCA album, which I hope is
still available, is about half Hoagy
and includes an earlier "Washboard
Blues" recorded with a Paul Whiteman band that included Bix Beiderbecke and the Dorsey Brothers. This
1927 version beats all for hot jazz but
somehow more justice is done to the
tune by the simpler arrangement the
Casa Loma band uses with no hot
solos to detract from Hoagy's vocalization. Fortunately. it is not an
either /or situation and the collector
who has both "Washboard Blues"
album worthwhile for the jazz collector. There are other good moments
like Peter King (who plays alto sax on
"Stardust" and sounds like Freddy
Gardner would have sounded if he
had heard Charlie Parker) and a
delicious Mildred Bailey -like "I Get
Along Without You Very Well" by
Annie Ross accompanied only by
Martin Kersha -'s guitar. The band
is dreadful, with a drummer who
plays with all the taste and subtlety of
a "Wurlitzer sideman." Yet if Georgie
Fame's name will get some of the kids
to listen to Hoagy Carmichael's
songs, there is some good will come of
this album.
There are things that are common
to all three albums. Wouldn't you
know that "Stardust" would have to
show up everywhere? "Rockin' Chair"
and "Georgia" also get three performances. RCA is the only label to
include "Skylark," "Moon Country"
and "Judy." If you want to hear "Ole
Buttermilk Sky." "Doctor Lawyer
and Indian Chief" or "Little Old
Lady" you'll have to go to MCA for
those hits. "One Morning In May,"
"Drip Drop" and "Two Sleepy People"
show up only on D. R. G. There's also
an item on D. R. G. called "Hoagland."
No composer credit is given on the
label, but judging from both the
lyrics and melody I would suspect the
tune was not composed by Hoagy
Carmichael, but by someone (probably Georgie Fame) as a tribute after
recordings in their collection is
indeed fortunate. The classics selected by RCA, done by other performers than Hoagy, are somewhat
less fortuitous. Except for Mildred
Bailey's superb version of "Rockin'
Chair" it seems to fall into the
"greatest hits" categoy including the
lamentably slick version of "Stardust" recorded by Tommy Dorsey,
Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers
and the umpteenth reissue of "Riverboat Shuffle" by Muggsy Spanier
and His Ragtimers
great record
'tis true but one that I suspect
everybody and his brother must own
by now.
There are no reissues on "In
Hoagland." The record consists of
Georgie Fame (a rock star from the
Beatles era). Annie Ross (of Lambert.
Hendricks and ...) and a band that
sounds very rock -oriented indeed,
plus Hoagy singin' "Rockin' Chair"
and suggesting various arranging
ideas in what's advertised as his last
Hoagy died.
Of course. the D. R. G. has the
better sound. The RCA has excellent
liner notes by Richard M. Sudhalter,
while neither D. R. G. or MCA have
any liner notes to speak of. MCA has
the most Hoagy -but CBS will have
(if they come out with it) the best
Hoagy. There's a great "Ilong Kong
Blues" and a marvelous "Riverboat
Shuffle" which Hoagy made for them
in Los Angeles in 1938, the Armstrong/Hoagy "Rockin' Chair" and a
couple of duets with Ella Logan from
1938. If you can afford all the Hoagy
Carmichael reissues that are out, and
those which are to come, you are
indeed fortunate because you'll have
an awful lot of good music. If you
have to be more selective, just pay
your money and take your choice.
[No producer or engineer listed;
recorded mostly in Vienna and London between 1967 and 1979.] London
PAV 2013.
Performance: More golden hit
Recording: Excellent. non -digital
Luciano Pavarotti's recent major
TV special on A BC is the latest
occasion for another London sampler
of various Pavarotti recordings.
Some, but not all. of these selections
were featured on the recent TV
special but this is not the TV soundtrack. It is previously commercially
issued material.
For the neophyte fan who discovered Pavarotti with the TV special
this album is a godsend. It includes
Luciano Pavarotti in some of his
greatest triumphs and in other
selections which are obligatory for all
tenors regardless of whether or not
they are associated with the artist in
question. Therefore we have Pavarotti
singing "E lucevan le stelle" from
7'osca and "Che gelida manina" from
Roheore -roles which are inevitably
associated with him. In addition we
have showpieces like "Vesti la
giubba" from Pagliacci (which he
already sings better than he did on
this 1977 recording) and "Celeste
Aida" (recorded rather early in his
career and I would presume even
better today since he has now done the
complete opera on stage in San
Of course the things to which most
Pavarotti fans will turn immediately
are the familiar canzoni on side two of
the LP. Pavarotti's "Torna a
Surriento" and "Mari Mari" are
already well known phonographic
staples. I don't know how they missed
"O sole mio." As an anthology collection the buyer will need to be careful
not to duplicate things he already
owns to a greater extent than he
wants to. If, for example, one has the
famous "O sole mio" album you have
half of the selections on side two but
none of those on side one so at the
"special low price" the album is
selling for it may well be worth your
while to buy it. On the other hand, if
you already have the twofer Para rottik Greatest Hits you already own
nine of the fourteen selections contained herein and you might be best
off to purchase some other recording
by Pavarotti instead.
As far as sound goes, London,
which used to be Decca FFRR of
England, was a pioneer in high
fidelity sound and one of the first
companies to get on the LP bandwagon. Generally speaking, the
London recordings are as good in
sound as their competition and in the
exceptional cases quite better than
their peers.
I'm a bit bothered by the lack of
liner notes. When one considers that
with the gimmick of the TV special a
lot of the people buying this album
may well be making their first foray
into the operatic repertoire I think
this was a had place to omit the
libretto (with English translation as
well as the sung Italian, French or
Latin) plus a brief synopsis of the plot.
London could even have turned this to
their advantage by citing the album
numbers from which these selections
were culled so that if a first time
listener finds himself or herself
attracted to the Neapolitan Songs
they can ask their dealer for the "O
sole mio" album London OS 26760.
For a general overview of the singer.
this LP does what it sets out to do. I
am a bit surprised that "Una furtiva
lagrima" from L'F,lisir d'nonre was
omitted but in a way I'm glad it was
because had it been included. the aria
from Da ¡wider Of The Regiment, also
by Donizetti, would probably have
been omitted. I already have the
L'EI .ir excerpt while the selection
from Daughter C)f The Rcrii meld is one
I didn't have in my collection 'til now.
BRAHMS: Variations and Fugue
on a Theme by Handel, Opus 24;
LISZT: Grandes Etudes after Paganini (No. 2 in E Flat and No. 6 in A
Minor); Dante Sonata. Andre Michel
Schub, piano. [Max Wilcox, producer
and engineer; recorded at the American Academy and Institute of Arts
and Letters, June 29 and 30, 1981.]
Vox Cum Laude D -VCL 9009.
Performance: Definitive
Recording: State of the art
About a month before making this
recording Andre -Michel Schub made
media history by taking first prize in
the 1981 Van Cliburn International
Piano Competition in Fort Worth,
His victory was no surprise. All the
newspaper reports coming back from
Fort Worth had been studded with
his name and predicting his excellence if not his victory. At first I felt
this somewhat unfair-that an artist
who had been around as long as
Andre -Michel Schub and whose
career had been visible enough that I
knew who he was should be competing in this sort of affair which I had
always thought ought to be reserved
for newcomers. Schub, having played
with the Boston Symphony, the
Chicago Symphony, the New York
Philharmonic and the Mostly Mozart
Festival, seemed to me to have an
unfair advantage. He well may have
had an unfair advantage. He also, as
this recording reveals, has a heck of a
lot of talent. He also has a good sense
as to what repertoire works best for
him. If Schub is a virtuoso of the
highly technical variety such as
Horowitz, Cliburn or Kapell he
always uses his technique for the
most musical of ends. There's no
show- offy, 'look what I can do' playing
here. The main people served by the
pianist are Brahms, Handel, Liszt,
Paganini and the listener.
Andre -Michel Schub has another
advantage which, while it might be
considered unfair, certainly is one of
which any pianist can (and should)
avail themselves. If ever the superiority of the Hamburg -built Steinway
piano was in question this recording
should settle it once and for all.
There is yet another advantage that
Andre -Michel Schub has been lucky
enough to catch the brass ring on as
he went by on the merry -go -round of
record companies. Max Wilcox, a
former producer for RCA who turned
out some excellent recordings by
Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. did the kind of a sonic job for
Andre -Michel Schub that is going to
make a lot of people sit up and take
notice. The period of tone decay
following the close of Liszt's Dante
So1rrNrr (the actual title is "Apres un
lecture de Dante, fantasia quasi
sonata ") was enough to startle even
this reporter who mistakenly thought
he'd heard it all.
The album notes by Richard Freed
are informative and interesting. The
graphics on the album cover are eye catching if maybe a little unreal. But
the music. the main reason to buy a
record, and the sound, either the
reason of secondary importance or
perhaps as important as the performance depending on what the
buyer is looking or listening for, are
without question and without flaw. If
this isn't the best piano recording
released this year, it is surely the one
to beat.
LIQUIDATION: JBL 2441 Diaphragms
new $79 ($42 each). New JBL E -140 15"
speakers $129 ($28 each). Barney (614)
268 -5643.
FREE CATALOG !! Complete selection of
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Yamaha -PM 2000 32 x 8 for rent or lease.
Includes flight case, extra power supply,
and cord. Available by the day, week or
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PROPHET 5. Complete with tape interface, 800 Sequencer, Anvil Case. 18
months old. All in Mint Condition.
$3400.00 for everything. Liben Music,
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Sacrifice-Model 5 and 5ex Tascam, 20
input with patch bay, parametric eq., and
model 1 in custom flight case. Looks nice!
$3500.00 or best offer. (405) 233 -3255.
10 -6 pm, Mike.
WANTED: Shure SR -107 10 Band EQ in
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Allison Kepex and 4 Gainbrains Rack
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242 -2100 Paul.
SENTRY -V studio monitors $550 pair. EV
SENTRY -100 $400 pr. SHURE MICS SM33 $230. SM -59 $125. SM- 78TNCN $120.
USED TEAC PB -64 Patch Bay $60, Shure
A15PRS Phase Reversers $15. Rocky
Mountain Audio. Box 2577, Silver City,
NM, 88061. phone: 505 -388 -1123.
Recording Secrets Most Engineers
Won't Tell. $7.95, Tunetronics, No. Hackensack Sta., River Edge, NJ 07661.
FOR SALE: Professional tape flutter and
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Audiohouse sells Ecoplate, EXR Exciter.
Micmix, Symetrix, Valley People at the
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MICROPHONES, mixers, amplifiers,
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Send or call for free list. SONIX CO., INC.,
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Phone (301) 753 -6432.
buss, 32 monitor. $80,000. (914) 725 -3519.
UHER and Sony Recorders. Sony and
FOR SALE: 1 -pair JBL 4311B monitors
used $350. -pair JBL 4312B monitors
mint $450. 1 -pair JBL 4312B new $475.
Barney (614) 268 -5643.
(513) 232 -1395.
Tascam 40 -4, Tascam model 5A, dbx 165,
Orban 111b, AKG BX20E, Best Offer (303)
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AKG Professional line microphones.
Audio -Technica microphones (in quantity). Send SSAE (specify models and
quantity). JA Carpenter (Sound). P.O.
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Yamaha- PM2000 32x8 for rent or lease.
Includes flight case, extra power supply
and cord. Available by the day, week or
month. FOB Davenport, Iowa. Contact RM
Submix (319) 323 -6500. Tour inquiries
C -24, M49 and other old mics and used rec
gear for sale. 415 -441 -8934 or 415 -527-
WANTED: McIntosh, Marantz tube amplifiers. EMT 927DST, 930ST, Western
Electric tubes, amps, mixers, microphones, drivers, speakers, horns others.
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residents add 6% sales tax. Foreign orders
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textbooks, charts. suggested session
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anything until you have checked our
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Order by phone using Visa or Mastercharge by calling (213) 708 -2933.
Otari MX5050-QXHD ' 4 -track w /cases
& rack mounts. Used 2 hours. Real
Bargain at $1800. Steve (212) 698 -6973.
Quantum Gamma Console -28 main-
Cover 4
"Practical Techniques for the Recording
Engineer'. by Sherman Keene is endorsed
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Correspondence Students around the
world. Recommended by reviewers of the
MIX, Re /P, Guitar Player and other top
THE BOOK: hard cover, 380 pages, 28
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certificate course using two textbooks,
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dialog with the author via cassette, Basic,
Intermediate and Advanced levels.
THE CURRICULUM: for schools only.
Teacher's Manual (lesson plans for two
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JBL Hartsfield & EV Patrician Speakers.
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Only technology this advanced
can achieve music reproduction this pure.
The Technics Digital Cassette Recarder.
No tape hiss. \o wove' and flutter. Not even nead contact
d stortion. W th the digital technology in the Technics
"SI--P'00 Cass°_te Recorder, they no longer exist
Lt lizirìg the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM! digital
p-ocess tf-e SA.:-P100 instantaneously translates musical
notes into an exact numerical code, stores them on any
standard VHS tassette, then "translates" them back into
music ai playt:ack. Duplicate tapes are exact y :he same
as the c.riginal. Thus, every recording and every copy is
a "masser.'
Thy revalut onary size of
Technics SV P100
Cassette Recorder '17 "x11 "x10 ") is the result of stateor-the-art seniconductcr technology. The bu It-in
videotape transport mechanism brings the ccnrnenience
normally asscciated with conventional front-loading
casse te decks to a digital application. Tape lcading is
completely automat c. And, frequently used contro s are
conveniently grouped on a slanted panel with LEDs tc
confirm operating status.
Despite its compact size, the SV -P100 Zecorder
offers performance beyord even professional open -reel
decks. since the digi :al signal is recorded en the video
track, tie space usually available br audio can therefore
be used for editing "jump" and search" marks. The urit
employs the EIAJ standard for P1_M retorting. And in
addition, editing and purely digita dubbing are easily
accomplished with any videotapedeck employing the
NTSC format.
The Technics SV-P lOC Digital Cassette Recorder is
currently available at selected aucic deale-s To say that
it must be heard to be appreciatec is an incredible
The science of sound.
That's what Lee Ritenour has to say about
his Ibanez UE400, UE405 and AD202. The
UE400 and UE405 combine eight effects in
rugged rackmount cabinets. The simple and
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all of these effects in at the touch of a single
switch and the Ibanez Insta-Patch system lets
you custom tailor your effects chain to your
own taste.
The AD202 is the ultimate analog
time processor for live preformance
and the studio. It offers a choice of
flanging, doubling, chorus and echo
with full stereo capability. Make
the effects connection at your
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Tomorrow's Innovations
a full color catalog send $2.00 to: IBANEZ Dept. MR P.O. Box 886 Bensalem, Pa. 19020-0886 327 Broadway Idaho Falls,
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