The Many Mysteries of Rudy Van Gelder

analog tweaking
magna tweaking until the cows come home

Rudy Van Gelder is considered to be the vital ‘fifth Beetle’ on a zillion of the best jazz records ever made. Though he considers himself strictly a recording engineer, the Van Gelder sound is as signature as any great musician’s. Have you ever mucked about trying to get his sound or even kinda sorta his sound on a direct to 2 track session at home? I have and it has not been pretty. I have come to the conclusion that there are 3 main reasons for my failure:

  1. I don’t have his mikes and it is almost impossible to find out what his mikes are. He uses decoys in photos.
  2. I don’t have his room nor do I have his understanding of room acoustics.
  3. I am not Rudy Van Gelder.

If anyone can help me overcome any of the above please get in touch and I will try again.

Here is a 2008 NEA jazz interview of the man himself.


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comment 4 comments
  • Roger DiVito


    I was interested in what model magnecord preamps those are.

    Are they yours?

    Please email me.


  • jp

    Roger – sadly I do not own any of these beauties. They are model PT6-P I believe.

  • Doug Neal

    Hey JP…I am working on a book about CTI Records and and would like to collect any and all stories about RVG, the studio and the interactions between RVG and the musicians. Please let me know if you have any insights. Thanks sincerely!

  • jp

    Hi Doug – Just sent you an email. Thanks for letting me know about the CTI book – count me in.

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