On the weekend of October 20 and 21, it finally happened: the very first Recording Workshop from TRPTK. For music lovers, it’s a great possibility to have a look behind the scenes of a professional jazz recording.

Day 1: Theory

We started the workshop in our studio and all participants brought a jazz recording as a reference, which we compared with each other. The recordings differed quite a bit from each other, which once again shows that different ways of recording, especially if you compare older and more modern jazz albums with each other, provide a huge variety of sound. One way is not better than the other, it’s just a choice.

Ben, besides being executive director of TRPTK also owner of Acoustic Matters and responsible for the acoustics of the studio of TRPTK, gave a presentation about acoustics, the most important element of (jazz) recordings. How do you control the acoustics and how do you capture the sound of the room on a record beautifully?

We showed which equipment is needed for jazz recording and why. The whole recording chain was discussed, from the various microphones to the microphone pre-amplifiers and all cables in between.

After everything has been discussed, the participants made a theoretical plan for recording the Sun Mi Hong trio, consisting of Sun Mi Hong (drums), Alessandro Fongaro (double bass player) and Paul van der Feen (saxophonist).

Day 2: Practice

On day two, the participants put the theory into practice, at a very special location: The MCO Studio 2 in Hilversum. This is where VARA had its first radio studio and after that, many legendary jazz artists were recorded in this studio, including Oscar Peterson.

While the jazz trio was warming up, the participants started to walk through the room, listening to the acoustics. Where the musicians should be placed and what microphones were going to be used where, was all decided by the participants, according to their recording plan. It’s a matter of trial and error, a great experience to go through.