To complement his exceptional critical ear, Rudy Van Gelder also had a talent for choosing the recording equipment that would get him the best results. Sometimes he piggybacked off what he saw other studios using, other times he was ahead of the curve. In either case, he was consistently an early adopter of equipment that has obtained legendary status over the decades.

Table of Contents

1. Disc Recorders

2. Tape Recorders

3. Microphones

4. Mixing

5. Mastering

6. Outboard Gear

7. Monitors

8. Keyboards

9. The German Connection: Interfacing the Neumann U-47 with American Consoles

Please note that this equipment overview focuses on the decades of the 1950s and 1960s and does not cover the equipment Rudy Van Gelder used after this period. Also, this overview is not exhaustive. While it covers much of Rudy’s preferred gear, it does not cover all equipment used by Rudy Van Gelder during this time.

Main photo: The Hackensack control room in peak form, 1955-56 (Source: The Van Gelder Estate)