in History Posts: 2
Hey y'all. I have a question regarding the early recordings of Django. Does anybody have any idea what mics were used in the studio? I cut records and am looking to purchase some new mics. Any info would help out a lot!


  • Posts: 4,804
    I remember that Fapy Lafertin was trying to recreate Django's recordings on his Le Jazz CD which says:
    "A very few photographic references, and a little experimentation pointed towards using one principal microphone (in our case BBC circa 1938) for the whole band, and one or two ambience mics to high light different dynamics."

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393

    Yes, "recorded acoustically with a single ribbon microphone from about 1938", according to the sleeve of the original cd "Swing Guitars".

    More from the same sleeve:

    "So we used a single, retired pre-war BBC ribbon microphone with a retired BBC sound engineer to drive it, hung it up in a barn somewhere in the West of England and adjusted the mix by moving our chairs. Only then did the monophonic sound with its flat dynamic range, poor frequency response and absence of harmonics seem good enough to invite Fapy Lafertin to join us."

    Now we're deep in into details, but maybe the ambience mics were added in the recording of the second cd, "Hungaria", and not present on "Swing Guitars"? (There were two separate cd's, now available as a double cd.) Anyway, I couldn't resist quoting this part, with the retired BBC man, the barn and all.

  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Another great quote from the liner notes, accompanying a photo of the engineer:
    "Lance Andrews, our engineer, smiling after seven days creating a sound he's spent his professional life trying to avoid."

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Why anyone would want to recreate thatsort of sound is beyond me
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • edited May 2018 Posts: 0
    Well......there's several ways to get the sound. To do it authentically will cost you a fortune and the microphones will be the cheapest part of it. If its for the sake of novelty just do it digitally and cut either the high or low frequencies. I can't remember which of the two it was.

    On a side note there is a microphone by Placid Audio called the copperphone and another model called the carbonphone. The point of these is to capture the sound the way you describe. I imagine that If you mix one of the mics with a normal mic, you might find the sound you're looking for.

    If you want a cost effective way of doing Django in 1928 which isn't too desirable, pick up an Edison cylinder phonograph. Most of the Edison photographs used in elementary schools will have a reproducer attachment that will allow you to make a cylinder recording. Keep in mind, you'll have 2 minutes to record and the process is a bitch because your microphone is the giant horn so you will have to play fairly loud. If you mess up, its fine because the material of the cylinders is a lot like a bar of soap so you can wet sand the thing and keep going until the cylinder is gone. I've experimented with this and the point is that you have to play like your life depends on it.

    Personally, I like the sound of Tchan Tchou Vidal and Matelo Ferre's records. The 50s and 60s sound. I have a Violet Black Knight condenser micophone plugged into an electro-harmonix Mic-pre(which is cool because you can switch the tubes out and get different sounds). All of that is plugged into a reel to reel. Reel to reel are my favorite because you can go to a flea market or an antique mall and get a beautiful portable one for no more than 60 bucks. If it dies on you, toss it and get another one. The limits are sort of endless with them. Just overdrive the mic preamp and you have warmth and clarity and a sound that is timeless.

    But.... If you cut records you maybe know all of this and I apologize if I insult your intelligence. If not, I hope that is helpful.
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