Vinyl lovers can expect a very special kind of audiophile treat on the first album of the newly founded label Pro-Ject Records, which is now available with 7RAY feat. triple ace “Jazzy Zoetrope”. A live recording can be compared directly with the studio recording, both recorded completely analog, mixed and mastered.
It is already a good tradition that the world market leader in record players, the company Pro-Ject Audio Systems, invites partners to the summer party every year. For the second time this year, the party took place at the company’s new headquarters, and once again the evening was crowned by an extraordinary live concert. This year it was nevertheless a special event, because this time the tape machine was in action when a truly extraordinary formation of musicians took to the stage of the Pro-Ject Audio Systems headquarters in Mistelbach, Lower Austria…
None other than 7Ray formed an illustrious group of outstanding jazz musicians for this evening, among the best that Austria has to offer in this genre, and created an exciting programme. Together with 7Ray, Simon Pötzeneder, Oliver Kent, Dusan Novak and Uli Langthaler were on stage, whereby their performance, as just mentioned, was recorded this time.
The idea of recording the artists’ performance during the Pro-Ject Audio Systems summer festival had been toyed with for a long time, but it was clear that this would only make sense under very special circumstances. The idea was to create an exclusively analogue production, with as little technical effort as possible, no post-production work whatsoever, so that the live character would be perfectly captured on tape, yet still be technically perfect in the truest sense of the word. All this is of course not only a great challenge for the technology, but also for the musicians, who are under enormous pressure, knowing that everything they play live will be captured for “eternity”.
7Ray and his comrades-in-arms were ready to take on this challenge, and in fact only minimal equipment was used. An analog console served as the central mixing console, the Acousta DCA100E. At the beginning of the chain were outstanding microphones such as the Neumann U47 with modified capsule, the Neumann M269C, Neimann KM100, Neimann M49A, and models such as the MBHO MBP603, AKC C414EB, AKC C414COMB, and Schoeps CMC5. During the live performance, monitor speakers on stage were completely dispensed with, as they could compromise the goal of capturing an absolutely sound-neutral, dynamic live stereo image. Of course, the recording was done on a tape machine, an Otari MX-70, and David Kübelböck and Joachim Bäck were responsible for the recording.
For the mixdown they relied on a CADAC 36/24 Custom Studio Console and a Studer A80VU, with mega-byte-kitchen in the mixing studio, with 7Ray himself and Andy Beit at the controls.
It is interesting to note that ultimately no more than eight tracks should end up on the final album in order to be able to use the full dynamic range of the record. So there are no more than four tracks per side.
Nevertheless, it should be a double album, because the recording of the live concert alone was not enough. They rather dared a really unusual experiment, namely the comparison of a live recording with a studio production.
In the end, there could only be one suitable location for this studio production, namely the Baumgarten Studio in the Baumgartner Casino, located in Vienna’s 14th district.
This location has an immensely exciting history, which from an audiophile point of view begins in the 1960s. From that time on, historical recordings were produced here. The special feature of the Baumgarten Casino is first and foremost the extremely fine acoustics of the hall, so that a complete recording studio was set up here, and which essentially still exists today, i.e. with the technology from those early years. The Baumgarten studio therefore still allows recordings to be made today using analogue technology that has been tried and tested year and day, from the source to the master.
The studio production includes some tracks of the live performance as well as other titles, so that one cannot only draw “technical” comparisons, but the double album is a coherent work of art in itself. So here you can find a total of nine tracks on the record.
The production of the record was left by the newly founded label Pro-Ject Records, which was founded around this project, to the specialists austro vinyl, who immortalized this on two times 180 g high-quality vinyl with 33 revolutions per minute.
But that’s not all, as a completely analogue production from beginning to end, it is of course obvious to offer this album not only on record, but also on tape. So you can also buy 7RAY feat. Triple Ace “Jazzy Zoetrope” on master tape copy, which is 1/4″ SM468 tape on 2 x 10,5″ NAB metal coils with 15 ips / CCIR / 320 nW. Of course you get two coils, one with the studio recording, the second as a result of the live performance.
The price for vinyl is € 39,90, for the master tape copy on tape you have to budget € 499,-.
Getting to the point
Not only is 7RAY feat. Triple Ace “Jazzy Zoetrope”, the first album of the new label Pro-Ject Records, a completely analog production from start to finish, but also an extremely exciting comparison can be drawn between live performance and studio recording, whereby both are presented in absolute perfection from an audiophile perspective.