BAS Message
March 2012

1.  Andrew Kazdin 1934-2011 by Alex Kozin

Mr. Kazdin was a perfectionist in the recording studio, having performers play a work dozens of times in a session, often small patches when an otherwise acceptable complete performance was marred by a wrong note or by what he called "notes that didn't speak." By that he meant notes that were technically correct but that were not phrased in a way that carried their full potential. He pioneered an approach to symphonic recording that borrowed from popular music--putting microphones on every section of the orchestra and with a 16-track recorder creating his own sound mixes long after the players went home.

In "The case for Multiple Miking in Recording," a 1981 article for Stereo Review, Mr. Kazdin argued that even the most minimalist approach to microphone placement introduces distortions of balance for which a producer must compensate.

In the early 1960s he landed a job at Columbia Records. While there he produced some of Szell's last recordings and almost all by Boulez and Mehta. He made many of Glenn Gould's recordings, which he chronicled in a book, "Glenn Gould at Work: Creative Lying"(1989). When in 1979 2-track [only] digital recording became possible, he objected that that limited his prerogatives. He was dismissed. He went on to make recordings for CBS as a freelancer and to oversee the sound of "Live From Lincoln Center" TV broadcasts.

Musicians respected the acuity of Mr. Kazdin's hearing, as well as his inherent musicality. After a session with Boulez and the New York Philharmonic in the 1970s, one player said that when they recorded with Leonard Bernstein, they made a game of seeing how many wrong notes they could play before Bernstein or his producer John McClure, stopped them. "We can't do that with Boulez and Kazdin," the musician said. "Their ears are too good."

He spoke before the BAS in 1984 (BASS 13-1,2) and, when asked for an example of his recording technique, he said the NYPO performing works of William Schuman and George Crumb on New World records. The complexity of the Crumb is such that it could not have been recorded with a minimalist mike technique. [I believe he also recommended Britten's Prince of the Pagodas as a good recording. DBH] NYT 1DE11

2.  From the product catalog of Make Magazine —
Premium Berliner Gramophone Kit

Create an actual working gramophone recorder/player. Record onto many different types of materials, like old unwanted CDs (yes we're talking about your Wham collection) or any hard, smooth surface material you can cut a groove in. $119.99   (Webmaster's note: sadly, they have discontinued this.)

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updated 5/5/12