Andrew Kazdin Brought Music to Life

Sound Recording Equipment, circa 1941(Photo: US National Archives)
Sound Recording Equipment, circa 1941(Photo: US National Archives)

Studied Engineering at MIT and Music at New England Conservatory

Early recordings were rough-sounding things…singers had to bury their faces in a huge funnel-shaped horn, narrow frequency response meant that sound was thin and tinny, and the equipment it took to make these recordings was cumbersome.

Andrew Kazdin Changed the Way Symphony Orchestras Approached Recording…

…but he had to drag them kicking and screaming into the “modern era.”  In Kazdin’s time at Columbia Records, he pioneered the use of multiple microphones, placing mics in each section, and began to ask for retakes of sections of a piece so finished products were as near perfection as possible.  One musician commented that NY Philharmonic musicians would play a game with Leonard Bernstein, seeing how many wrong notes they could play before he noticed.  That game ended when Pierre Boulez and Andrew Kazdin were in the room.  “We can’t do that with Boulez and Kazdin,” the musician said. “Their ears are too good.”

Read Andrew Kazdin, Record Producer, dies at 77 (NY Times)

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