Interview: Rudy Van Gelder (Part 4) - JazzWax

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February 16, 2012


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Steven C.

A very relaxed and interesting final (?) part of the interview.


Great stuff. I'd like to post a link to this at

Win Hinkle

Has Rudy and/or his assistant ever thought about making a sort of engineer's discography of all the sessions Rudy has done at his own studios and share it online? I think his studio sessions are the most important to have information about since he could exert the most control over the sound. I assume that all the track sheets, dates, timings, etc. have not been transferred to a computer database of some sort, nor have the actual working master tapes been digitized, or have they? Next question would be how Rudy feels about digital mastering.


I noticed, in the discussion on the mastering with Scully lathes, a Model 501 picture (with gearbox) was shown. From my recollection, and based on one of the parts of the interview, Van Gelder used a later Scully model with the lpi pitch controlled by a knob (which, I.I.N.M., preceded the 1955 model 601; the one he used was introduced in late 1950 and was the first with variable pitch and depth control, the only question I have is the model number of the Scully he used).

Paul Stubblebine

W.B.--with apologies to all of you who have no interest in the techno-geeking--the Scully lathe shown on this page may be a stock shot. As you say, it's the gearbox version, the 501, though it has a stereo head mounted. But if you look at the photo in part two of the interview, the one with RVG leaning on his lathe, it is clearly the 601. The part most in the foreground is the variable pitch indicator, though it's shown from a low angle and not so easy to see. But as someone who uses one on a daily basis, I can recognize it easily.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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