SH Spotlight QUESTION: Vintage Van Gelder BLUE NOTE LPs, stereo or mono titles. Which are better?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cassius, Aug 20, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lafayette, Co
    The majority of the classic 60's bluenote titles I have in my collection are the 80's McMaster's stereo cds. I never liked the RVG remasters, and have started aquiring a lot of my favorite sessions on wax.

    Mono titles usually go for a lot more, so I have been looking for RVG stamped stereo presses to stay within my budget, but also get quiet nm/vg++ copies as a lot of jazz have soft passages that requires a quieter surface than your average RnR record would.

    My question is is there a consensus on what Rudy was doing in the mid 60s Stereo vs Mono? I can't imagine much difference in the mixes. RVG approach (much "discussed" here), studio, and pressings would seem to have fewer variables or chance for great differences between sessions. So I am guessing that it wouldn't be as title specific, and I could get away with lumping the question together such as I have.
    That said my favorites from the era would be:
    Grant Green
    Herbie
    Dolphy


    Also was there ever a stage later on in the decade, when he went stereo only and BN started creating fold downs, ie when was the last true RVG mono release.

    Thanks in advance

    Clay
     
  2. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
  3. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Horace Parlan thread

    Steve Hoffman said:

    "It really doesn't matter which RVG studio was used..

    Engineer Rudy usually has carefully split a band with a horn on the left and a reed on the right, bass and piano in the middle and drums on the right with a nice bleed through to the middle and thick, swirling stereo reverb that encircles the band in a 360 degree angle. This was not done in a haphazard fashion; it was done in a delicate, deliberate manner, well thought out and well balanced for the best stereo impact.

    Don't believe the legend, believe the tapes. Trust Steve on this...

    If you must hear it in mono, get a double Y chord and combine the channels of your turntable to L+R. Problem solved. But don't gyp yourself and miss out on the fantastic lifelike stereo image that RVG created; it's quite wonderful for that time (or any time)".
     
  4. sungshinla

    sungshinla Vinyl and Forum Addict

    I have had many many late 50's/early 60's Blue Note originals in both Mono and Stereo.

    I really hate to burst the bubble of the Mono-maniacs, but the Stereo most often is the winner.

    In fact, if you take a clean Stereo and a clean Mono original Blue Note LP from this era and listen REALLY carefully, sometimes you will note that some of the instruments' sounds will disappear (or become undistinguishable from another instrument) in Mono. I cannot explain why a fold-down would do this, but it did in several instances.

    I was basically the only Jazz LP nut in the 80's and 90's who would pay more for a Stereo original Blue Note than a Mono, and that was the reason why. Original Stereo Blue Notes sound better usually, at least in one important area, which is, you can hear the musicians better.
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    As I wrote in the other thread and as I keep trying to explain to the folks, certain cues are lost when RVG stereo tapes are folded down to mono. Also, all of the out of phase information that occurs when recording live CANCEL OUT in L+R mono. They vanish, poof! Nobody knows this more than RVG himself. The monos were good enough for a 1961 Webcor phonograph but just because that sound was a compromise back then doesn't mean we are stuck with it now. The actual stereo (binaural) tapes reveal a sonic panorama "time machine" back to the past. We are lucky to have such a clear record of such amazing music.
     
  6. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    Location:
    new zealand
    That's a great post Steve!

    Rudy and his Scully

    :thumbsup:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    Location:
    new zealand
    Nice shot here of Van Gelders vaulted roof in his Englewood studio. 1960.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    What???? Look at that photo from 1960; note the date-----1960.

    You mean the players are not standing on top of each other for that famous BLUE NOTE mono sound?

    It looks like, wait a minute!!.....It seems that, gee whiz, it's like the players are actually standing away from each other like a real band would! The sax player is on the other side..

    Does this mean that, gasp, Rudy painted a deliberate stereo picture? Well I guess so. And that is how we need to hear this stuff.:agree:



    As I said in the Horace Parlan Blue Note thread:

    "It really doesn't matter which RVG studio was used..

    Engineer Rudy usually has carefully split a band with a horn on the left and a reed on the right, bass and piano in the middle and drums on the right with a nice bleed through to the middle and thick, swirling stereo reverb that encircles the band in a 360 degree angle. This was not done in a haphazard fashion; it was done in a delicate, deliberate manner, well thought out and well balanced for the best stereo impact.

    Don't believe the legend, believe the tapes. Trust Steve on this...

    If you must hear it in mono, get a double Y chord and combine the channels of your turntable to L+R. Problem solved. But don't gyp yourself and miss out on the fantastic lifelike stereo image that RVG created; it's quite wonderful for that time (or any time)."
     
  9. Parkertown

    Parkertown The Boy with a Grin in His Voice

    Ahhh...that looks like the "Blue Hour" session by Stan "The Man" Turrentine with The Three Sounds. Great set.

    Steve,

    When you say L+R mono, is that truly what was done? Because I believe I read that Rudy's instructions for creating the mono mix (as Bernie G. is doing for Classic) is to fold the channels in 50%.

    Is that different?
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    I am talking about what was done to make mono from the stereo tapes way back in 1960.

    The modern compromise of folding in the channels 50%? I hate that. HATE it. That's not creating anything.

    50% is half way between the right or left speaker and the center. Does floating there sound natural to you? Not me. Also, in order to halfway fold in the channels you need to run the signal through a mixer with pan pots, further degrading the sound. Urggh.

    This rant brought to you by---Steve; Blue Note Lover.:)
     
  11. serge

    serge Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    this is definetly my musical discovery of the year..

    not much more i can add... finding original blue notes be it stereo or mono has become virtually impossible for me so its not like i can go out and buy the stereos anyways...

    just finished listening to larry young's into somethin' on original mono issue....
     
  12. bw

    bw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH, US
    Nice picture. Now I can envision what a Blue Note session looked like. Very cool.
     
  13. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Wow! I always wondered how he got that sound in what I thought was a tiny studio. Look at those high ceilings. Now I now. :agree:
     
  14. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I think we're talking about different things. What the RVG notes say is 50/50 (50% Left and 50% Right) not folding in half way to make the mono. That doesn't make any sense.

    What Steve is talking about is the narrowing the stereo image by 50%, which some modern Blue Notes CD's have.
     
  15. acjetnut

    acjetnut Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do "Birth of the Cool" masters exist as stereo twin-track tapes?
     
  16. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lafayette, Co
    Thanks for taking care of this thread, and giving all the details I needed. Seeking stereo copies will not only save me $, but give me a better pressing. It's a win win.

    I must say that I am VERY happy with recent acquisition of the stereo Out to Lunch. I know that some are wary of the later labels, but I have found the vinyl on this later solid dark blue issue, with the VAN GELDER stamp to be dead quiet. The session sounds better than I have ever heard it.

    Do the same rules apply for non-Blue Note output from Rudy, cut at the Englewood Cliffs studio during the 60s?

    Clay
     
  17. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    That point happened actually in the late 50's. The last mono/stereo session was BLP4003, which IIRC was Art Blakey's "Moanin'". Every single mono LP after that is a fold down. Before that there were mono and stereo masters created. Now Steve has said that these are essentially fold downs anyway. I'm not so sure. But if they are essentially fold downs, IMO they are fold downs in the way that the mono "Please Please Me" is a combination of the two track and not just a blind L+R combination.
     
  18. edb15

    edb15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york
    Steve, I've wondered this about Blue Notes and many other mono/stereo tapes. Presumably, the stereo tapes for classic Blue Note (or Prestige or Impulse or Columbia etc) on certain titles have been used many times for various LP, CD, CD remaster, Japanese issues, DVD, SACD, and so forth but people are just now showing new interest in mono versions. Are the mono tapes possibly closer to what they sounded like 30 or 40 years ago than the stereo tapes, at least in some cases?
     
  19. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I've been wondering that myself. I have a number of mono LP's from Verve recorded there. :shh:
     
  20. Parkertown

    Parkertown The Boy with a Grin in His Voice

    Can 'o worms... :-popcorn:
     
  21. Neta

    Neta Forum Resident

    Location:
    VT
    Were any of the 1500 series recorded in stereo?
     
  22. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    "Orgy in Rhythm", which was BLP 1554 was the first stereo session. Most of the rest of the 1500 series (but not all) were recorded in stereo.
     
  23. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
  24. Another Side

    Another Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Why what? :shh:
     
  25. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    Is there a list somewhere of all the RVG Blue Note lps?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine