On 06/09/2014, Paul Stamler wrote:
> The Lomax-Asch comparison is fascinating; Tom I think you've hit the
> nail on the head. But Asch considered himself a documentarian too --
> he said that Folkways Records was his attempt to document the
> twentieth century in sound. Hence the joke, "Why did the chicken cross
> the road?" "To record 'Sounds of an American Highway' for Folkways."
> And yet his studio recordings were carefully edited.
> Still, he made his studio recordings very simply, with few microphones
> and no apparent EQ, in a neutral room, and he reissued lots of
> folklorists' field recordings. He once told an interviewer something
> indicating that he issued those without high-frequency pre-emphasis,
> though the interview was kind of garbled and he may have just meant
> that he didn't add eztra treble boost over and above RIAA. I asked
> Peter Bartok (who cut a lot of discs for Asch) about this, and it
> didn't ring any bells with him -- he didn't remember cutting anything
> without pre-emphasis. So I may have misread the interview. But in any
> case, Asch put out very straightforward LPs.
The other person to compare with these two is Hugh Tracey, who recorded
vast amounts of African folk music from the 1930s to the 1970s.
He normally used a single microphone, not on a stand but held in his
hand, and he would move closer to a soloist that he wanted to bring out
in the sound. A different way to record acoustic space.
Most of the CDs that have been released from his tapes are from the
earl;y 1950s. Many LPs also appeared.
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