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Django records sound on live concerts

TomasTomas CzechNew Oval By luthier Jakub Hřib
in Recording Posts: 10

Hello everyone. I'm new here and I have first weird question. I'm wonder if I could have a sound at a live concert similar to django on the old recordings. What gears do I need? I couldn't find anyrthing like that on the internet. Maybe old or cheap microphone and some eq? Is it possible with pickup? Is it possible at all? Thank you for suggestions and ideas.



  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,419
    My religion is, I worship Lang the Father, Django the Son, and Oscar the Holy Ghost...

    While converts are always welcome, I get to be the Pope because I thought of this religion before you did...
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,419

    And in reading through that old thread, i would especially recommend Bob Holo’s link...

    My religion is, I worship Lang the Father, Django the Son, and Oscar the Holy Ghost...

    While converts are always welcome, I get to be the Pope because I thought of this religion before you did...
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    edited December 2019 Posts: 541

    Those '90s Fapy recordings for Lejazzetall did a good job of recreating the old sound. Some liked it, some didn't, I loved them all. I would think if anyone seriously wanted to know more to get in touch through the Lejazzetall website, I am sure they could tell you exactly how they achieved that sound.

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    edited December 2019 Posts: 155

    Love those recordings... The sound is so good. Almost too good. The playing is also masterful, Fapy never plays more notes than necessary. And the videos are fun too, I was always really intrigued by the band placement in the rooms.

    You get a great view of the mics and setup in the Songe d'Automne video. In addition to a ribbon mic, add a small table and chair to gear list ?

  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    edited December 2019 Posts: 541

    Agreed about Fapy, while many of the stars are dazzling us with their lightning arpeggios, often to the detriment of the tune, Fapy never loses sight of where he is going and is always musical. I had the pleasure of seeing him play several times when I lived in England and he remains my # 1.

    And yes, the old way of recording, one take live in the room, often does sound best, as long as the musicians are good enough (and in this case they certainly are). And yes, I know Fapy then recorded several solo takes over the original tracks but the end result and the sound that they achieved was recorded effectively 'live'.

    Probably a good example of how that was done best would be the records Sinatra made with various orchestras at Capitol in the 1950s. The engineer's responsibility is to understand the sound of the room itself and the placement of the mics, I wonder if in the last fifty years of multi-track and digital studios today's recording engineers have lost that ability to do a one-take live in the studio record.

    I suspect the sound of the original Django records you are referring to is a hard one to pin down because there would have been limitations back then for both the mic's ability to pick up all frequencies equally, and also some more would have been lost in the cutting of the disc, but yes you may get close by experimenting with old school ribbon mics and as I said above, you might contact Dave Kelbie at Lejazzetal; he was on those Fapy sessions. There is a contact link at

    So, back to your original question, as all of the above examples rely on the room too, it would be harder to advise regarding playing live. The choice of mics and amps will have some effect but the ambient sound will vary. Maybe some of it can be compensated with an EQ, but you are probably going to need a good sound engineer on your gigs to monitor the balance while playing. There will always be a big change between doing a sound check in an empty room and then playing to a room full of people.

    BucoTomasmac63000Bill Da Costa Williams
  • TomasTomas CzechNew Oval By luthier Jakub Hřib
    Posts: 10

    Thanks for all your advice. Fapy sounds great. I want to use this just sometimes and I dont want to pay too much money for it. So the answer is old time ribbon type of microphone and the eq. The mic is quite hard to find in our country. I just find somethig like this: But Tesla is old communist company form czechoslovakia and not so great. And another way is buy something from ebay. Like Melodium Its from France so easy delivery to my country: Czech R. And the prise is mabye maximum I want to pay for it. Plus buy some eq and mabye some amp for acoustic guitar. I have just amp for bass.

  • TomasTomas CzechNew Oval By luthier Jakub Hřib
    Posts: 10

    And first I have to be better on the guitar and then I will find some good sound engineer. :D

  • edited December 2019 Posts: 2,805

    I can't back this up with any technical details but I believe the microphones of the era when Django recorded were of very good quality. I think they are able to capture all of the instrument's frequencies as well as modern microphones can. Of course just about every mic, new or old, has it's own signature and character. The reason for "vintage" sound is more the recording medium, that's what advanced exponentially, much more than microphone technology. And then subsequent transfers, loss of original discs and the ones that exist are usually in terrible condition. Plus the monoaural recording gives you a different sounding "picture".

    I wouldn't chase the vintage sound for it's own sake but a longtime wish of mine was to mic the entire band on the stage with a stereo set of really high quality mics. The reason for that is I was at this high end audio show (I was audio installer and ran my own tiny company until a few years ago) and walked into a room where some jazz played and I commented to the presenter how good the recording sounded. He answered "you're in luck, that guy over there is a sound engineer, he recorded it, go talk to him". So I did and he explained that all he's ever used for the last 20 years is a pair of AKG414 matched set. He did say he's very particular about the year they were made, I think his preferred era he said was from the early 70s (there are articles on the internet explaining how AKG changed 414 line over the years and how different they sound). But that's the core of it as far as the equipment. As I started reading articles about this micing the whole band on the stage with a single or a stereo set I found that a lot of people in bluegrass are going back to this. This I think is a worthy pursuit. But giving your audience a vintage sound during the concert is going to be a lot of headache I'd think. Plus think about this, how did Django sound to his audience?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 490

    If anyone knows the Dutch group "The Beau Hunks," they may have suggestions for obtaining vintage sound - in the 90's they did a bang-up job reconstructing and recording the incidental music from the Hal Roach films of the 30's. It's not Gypsy Jazz, but it is really nice jazz from that era, recreated perfectly.

  • TomasTomas CzechNew Oval By luthier Jakub Hřib
    edited December 2019 Posts: 10

    So..I'm little bit lost. So microphone is just a small part of the sound? So my biggest option is buy and play a little bit with eq. I will make some experiments and I will see. We have in our city band and they play music from 30s. And the live sound was vintage too. So I will contact them. And thank you for all your tips. :)

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