Jazz at the Pawnshop SACD remaster in 2002 by FIM records. Album has become a hit in the audiophile world and is one of the most critically acclaimed jazz recordings ever made. Palmcrantz rigged the main microphone pair facing the stage, about two metres above the floor. These microphones were Neumann U47 cardioids, spaced 15-20 cm and inclined at an angle of 110-135 degrees. – Real stereo effect can only be achieved by placing the microphones in a similar way to the disposition of the ears.
After the recording, the original tapes were edited to a double LP by Gert Palmcrantz in collaboration with the musicians and the producer Jacob Boëthius. The sound quality of this record soon won the reputation of being remarkably fine, much to the surprise of. Palmcrantz’ microphone technique transmits Bengt Hallberg’s subtle touch, Arne Domnérus’ characteristic tone and Egil Johansen’s distinctive drumming
Such a pair stood in front of the stage at Stampen and another pair was placed to the right of the stage, facing the audience in order to recreate the right “live” feeling. Some auxiliary supporting microphones were also necessary. One microphone was placed next to the grand piano standing on the right-hand side of the platform with its lid open, and Palmcrantz hung two cardioid Neumann KM56s over the drums on the left side of the stage. The bass, standing in the middle, and connected to a little combo amplifier on a chair, was supported by a Neumann M49, also in omnidirectional mode. The microphone was placed in such a way that it caught sound both from the instrument and from the amplifier’s loudspeaker. The electric amplification of the acoustic bass is particularly noticeable in the song In a Mellow Tone, where there is a slight distortion.
Once the microphones were set out, all that was needed was to connect them all up. In those days there were no multi-cables, so Gert Palmcrantz had to lead all the eight cables from the stage, past the bar and through the kitchen to a little nook between a refrigerator and a pile of beer-crates where he had built his makeshift studio: a Studer mixer, two Dolby A 361 noise reduction units and two Nagra IV recorders which he used alternately since the seven-inch reels only lasted for 15 minutes at 38 cm/second. He rose the U47 microphones slightly in the treble. The audition was made through two old Ampex monitor loudspeakers with built-in amplifiers.
No soundcheck or balance test were actually made. Once the quartet had started playing, Palmcrantz quickly had to set the levels as precisely as possible. After two tunes he had managed to achieve the right balance.
On really good equipment you can hear people eating, the clinking of cutlery against the plates or conversations round the small circular tables. Here and there, among the chink of glasses and the rattling of the till, you can clearly hear the musicians talking, difficult to understand for listeners who don’t speak Swedish. Sometimes you can hear other music in the background – that of another jazz band playing in the basement below, the so called Gamlingen (Oldie). There are undoubtedly many details to be discovered here!
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