Actually, Philips did minimal-mic'd quad recordings (reissued on Pentatone SACD, in the true
4-channel format of the master tapes). They used the rear channels for additional ambience, in cases
like their small-organ recordings it gives the sensation of sitting inside the church toward the
organ pipes, with much added width and depth and height to the soundfield. If I recall correctly,
Hans Lauterslager told me that the quad recordings he engineered used fewer than 8 mics total, maybe
only 4 or 5 for those organ records.
Capitol/EMI/Angel engineer Carson Taylor experimented with quad, according to his article in the AES
Journal. His approach was to use cross-axis stereo mics back-to-front in the orchestra and out in
the hall. He also used the quad-matrix mic developed by CBS, but if I recall correctly he said he
used that for a Mexican television/FM radio production and it was used to combine main orchestra
pickup with audience pickup.
Consumers en masse have never embraced many-speakers systems, but for those of us in the niche who
enjoy this kind of listening, creative approaches to recording and production are appreciated.
Modern SACD many-channel classical productions have more adhered to the Philips model of using the
surround channels for added width, depth and height. I like it when it adds to the musical
experience, either by placing the orchestra more in balance or presenting a more-encompassing
listening experience, or in the Columbia manner of highlighting the score. It's all interesting.
I liken all recorded music, in varying degrees, to sports broadcasts on TV. You can never experience
a football or baseball game in-person in the detail you can by viewing a TV sportscast. The
sportscast is not a document of the game, it's a production using the game as its source material.
It's the same with successful classical recordings, to widely varying degrees. Another thing the
sportcast and a CD have in common is that by taking you out of the real-time 360-degree all-senses
experience of being there at an event or concert, they can concentrate all their focus and firepower
on only one or two senses (ears and/or eyes). Without the "distractions" of the 360-degree sensory
input, your mind can focus most acutely on details of sound and/or vision. To make this compelling,
a good production technique must be applied.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gray, Mike" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Andrew Kazdin, Record Producer, Dies at 77
> Producing for quad demanded Kazdin-type multi-tracking and orchestral positioning. Decca itself
> made several quad-destined masters in Cleveland and Los Angeles, but never issued them. Let's not
> forget that Quad never really caught on with consumers - they didn't want to spend money on
> additional amps and speakers.