The Stereophile Test CD Tracks 11-12

Track information, Tracks 11-12

[11] Improvisation on Jerome Kern's "I'm Old Fashioned" (DDD) 3:39
Bruce Dunlap (acoustic guitar)
Recording Venue: Tijeras, NM
Recording Date: December 5, 1989
Recording Engineer: Robert Harley
Microphones: two EAR The Mics, set to omnidirectional pattern, spaced by 18"
Microphone preamplifier: EAR 824M
Recorder: Nakamichi 1000 R-DAT

[12] Bruce Dunlap: "Threedledum" (DDD) 4:16
Bruce Dunlap (acoustic guitar), Dan Kolton (double bass)
Recording Venue: Chapel of Loretto, Santa Fe, NM
Recording Date: August 1989
Recording Engineer: Robert Harley
Microphones: two EAR The Mics, set to figure-8 pattern, coincident at 90 degrees
Microphone preamplifier: EAR 824M
Recorder: Nakamichi 1000 R-DAT

Shortly after moving to Santa Fe in 1989, Robert Harley met a local guitarist named Bruce Dunlap who had some original material to record. Coincidentally, Bob was about to review the Nakamichi 1000 DAT recorder (see Vol.12 No.11) and needed to record live music to assess the 1000's performance. Thus began several interesting recording ventures.

Bruce had arranged some of his compositions for guitar and acoustic bass and flew his friend, bassist Danny Kolton, to Santa Fe. Bob arranged to use the Loretto Chapel, a 140-year-old church near the Stereophile offices, for the recording. The chapel is extremely reverberant, creating a nice sense of space around instruments (footnote 4). Bruce's gentle compositions are well suited to this environment.

This was Bob's first experience with Stereophile's EAR The Mic tube microphones and EAR 824M tube mike preamp, and he was surprised by their transparency and tonal neutrality. The soft top end of the recording is actually how the instruments sounded in the Loretto Chapel. The mikes were placed about 10' from the musicians in a Blumlein pattern (vertically coincident figure-8s crossed at 90 degrees). This arrangement seems to most accurately capture the spatial information present in the room, with the beautiful chapel acoustic enveloping the musicians. The bass player plucked his instrument with a very legato style, which led to very soft attacks; the listener should be aware of his contribution without it either overpowering the guitar or losing definition.

The solo guitar was recorded in the Harley living room, using the EAR mikes in a spaced omnidirectional configuration and the Nakamichi 1000 DAT machine. The microphone technique was chosen by recording small sections of a variety of mike placements and patterns, and then playing them back through a system consisting of Martin-Logan Sequel II loudspeakers, Audio Research SP-14 preamplifier, and VTL 225W monoblock power amplifiers. "I'm Old Fashioned" showcases Bruce's exceptional guitar talent.

Footnote 4: The solo violin tracks on Stereophile's 1998 Duet CD were also recorded in the Loretto Chapel.