AFFETTO Recordings, LLC, Princeton, New Jersey, specializes in the classical music genre, ancient to modern, choral, instrumental, solo and ensemble, as well as organ. Established in 2004 by John C. Baker with a jazz release, the label was rekindled in 2014 to serve the plethora of artists from across the country and overseas, for which many albums were already recorded, seeking a label with the ability to release their music to a wider audience, and to that end joined the Naxos family of labels in 2015.
John C. Baker, founder, began his interest in recording in his teens, releasing his first album, a Big Band, through RCA in 1968. He was a radio personality during college and beyond, began recording classical music professionally in the late 1980s, switching from analog to digital (DAT and ADAT), founding John C. Baker Recordings, LLC, in 1995. Recording for other labels was a staple, as was moving forward in technology, and the Affetto label was founded to serve the needs of many classical ensembles which deserved to have their recordings released to a wider audience but had difficulty interesting labels in a time of decreasing numbers. A Naxos recording by him of composer James Whitbourn’s “Annalies”, the first musical setting of the Diaries of Anne Frank, performed by the Westminster Williamson Voices conducted by Dr. James Jordan was nominated for a Grammy in 2013. Since 1992 he has recorded more than 200 CDs, both self-released and for labels. He is a New Jersey native, born in Princeton, and earned both his B.A. and M.B.A. at Rutgers University.
Sam Ward, Associate, has been with John C. Baker Recordings since 2011, coming from the University of Tennessee where he majored in Classical and Jazz upright bass. Recording on his own computer-based equipment while at Tennessee (and manufacturing his own upright bass bridge-mounted microphones), he used his highly-intense music theory and performance education to refine his approach to recording, editing, mastering and ultimately producing. As the partner who is at the cusp of technological changes, part of his job is to research and advise on changes in the industry.
Affetto – John C. Baker Recordings, LLC: At first the company used recording techniques which were a combination of digital recording on DAT media for two-track recordings, or ½” tape for multi-track recording, transfer to, editing and mastering on analog tape using DBX noise reduction techniques, and transfer back to digital media for replication. With the introduction of Sound Forge digital two-track software in the mid-1990s, the switch to a complete digital path was made, and quickly advanced into digital multi-track ADAT recording. Computer-based Pro-Tools software replaced the hi-res ADAT recording in 2006, and is the standard recording system for the company. High-end microphones which were rented during the late 1990s and early 2000s are now part the company’s microphone suite, using many DPA matched stereo pairs. Schoeps, Neumann, Microtech, and some very rare 1940s and 1950s RCA ribbon microphones which have been reconditioned and brought back to factory specs by Clarence Kane, an engineer for RCA from 1940 at the Camden, NJ, plant where these microphones were manufactured until it closed in the 1980s. The company has also retained analog equipment for transfer purposes, Otari and Ampex reel-to-reel tape decks along with high-end cassette decks.