15: Richard Alderson pt. 2

SLN #15 Richard Anderson pt. 2

In pt.#2 Alderson discusses building his own studio, RLA Sound on W. 65th St in NYC with backing from his friend Harry Belafonte. He produces ground breaking free jazz from the likes of Sun Ra and many others for the ESP label.

Heliocentric edit

Always on the cutting edge of audio technology Alderson uses A P I solid state amplifiers (precursor to Melcor Amplifiers), faders in his stand up board, speakers of his own design, sticks with the Altec 1567A for mixing and mic preamps and an early  Ampex 1″8 track tape machine.

He has a hit with Johnny Nash “Hold me Tight” recorded partially in his studio and partially in Jamaica.


Alderson scores another hit L P with the Pearls Before Swine’s “One Nation Underground” which is about to be rereleased by Drag City on vinyl and other formats with the original Mono mix restored by Richard.


The quality of Alderson’s recording of the 1966 Live tour is an acknowledged fact. Nevertheless CBS decides to send another recording team to record 3 of Dylan and the Band’s shows. When CBS finally releases as Bootleg Series #4, the “Judas” Manchester Free Trade Hall show, erroneously  known as The Royal Albert Hall Show for years, they choose Richard’s 2 track recordings from the P A microphones because they sound better than the 3 track tapes their recording team produced. You can hear the difference in “Visions of Johanna”. Ricard’s tape ran out on the phrase “my conscious explodes” the next line is “The harmonica’s play…”( at 20minutes 37 seconds running time in Podcast #15).  The difference in sound is obvious. The acoustic guitar becomes “boomy” and Dylan’s voice becomes distant. Once again, thank God for Richard and his recordings. 

We recommend Robbie Robertson’s book “Testimony.. a good read


Here is the 36 C D box set that Richard Alderson recorded in 1966 on tour with Bob and the Hawks. You need to get it while you can


We can’t go any further without acknowledging the many contributions of our recording engineer, Mike Crehore who has been present for all of the SLN podcast recordings. Mike is front and center on this podcast contributing his knowledge of audio recording to the discussion with Richard, much appreciated Mike. 
Mike Crehore.jpg-1

We do hope you have enjoyed our conversations with Richard Alderson. There is so much more to his story much of it yet  be written. We eagerly await listeningto his new projects and hope to get him back for more stories. 

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