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Author Topic: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?  (Read 436 times)

J. Mike Perkins

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Does anyone know what this unusual looking overhead mic is on Cal Tjader's vibraphone, which is on the cover of this classic 1958 Cal Tjader and Stan Getz album on Fantasy Records?  I assume this photo was taken in Fantasy Records Studio in San Francisco?  It appears to be an actual session photo. Yes, I know the mic on Stan Getz sax is an Altec/Western Electric 639, but I am clueless as to the strange looking thing on Tjader's vibraphone.  Maybe a strange ribbon mic? Never seen anything like it. Great record by the way.
 
https://www.amazon.com/Stan-Getz-Cal-Tjader-Sextet/dp/B004JZJ7QK
http://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=qOZ0epD9&id=99EEF931A0A156EAA6CC826507D50291E51289D4&thid=OIP.qOZ0epD9C49qEB_SBUMz7AEoEs&q=cal+tjader+stan+getz+sextet+fantasy+8005&simid=607991491649210905&selectedIndex=1&ajaxhist=0
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soapfoot

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Re: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 07:51:35 pm »

It appears to have something baffling the back and sides that looks weird, most likely not part of the microphone.
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Michael O.

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Re: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 11:57:47 pm »

It's also an Altec/WE, just with a weird baffle and photographed at an odd angle. That record sounds so beautiful, two geniuses of smooth

boz6906

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Re: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 08:01:15 am »

The 639 have a warm, organic sound that works well with acoustic jazz  We have a pair of WE 639B we use in X-Y with Cloudlifter preamps, very musical results.
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uwe ret

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Re: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2017, 03:15:42 pm »

What you describe is the microphone perched at the edge of the vibraphone. However, I believe the initial question concerns the strange contraption hanging from above.
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Michael O.

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Re: What is this strange overhead mic on Cal Tjader's vibraphone?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2017, 05:45:13 pm »

What you describe is the microphone perched at the edge of the vibraphone. However, I believe the initial question concerns the strange contraption hanging from above.

I've got a copy of the album, and you can tell with the higher level of detail that the mic on the boom in front of Tjader is also a 639, like the one near Getz's sax. It's hard to recognize because it's pictured from the bottom/cable side, with the front of the mic angled downward and slightly toward the treble side of the vibe, but you can still make out the signature ribs and cross bands. Plus it has that odd-looking v-shaped baffle above it (probably to increase directionality) that makes it even less recognizable.
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