Sunday, May 30, 2010

June 2009 Revisited: Kenny's Picks, pt. 1 of 3

(these are not remasters, but most shows have been level-corrected when volume was low originally.)

Clicking on the date will take you to the page, and the numbers at the end of the taper info will take you to the Etree db page for that source.

5/31 - Telefunken USA Ela m262 (hyper) by Jesse Hurlburt (99250)
                FLAC pt 1        FLAC pt 2        mp3          AAC

6/2 -  Microtech Gefell M210 by M.Watson (99537)
                            FLAC          mp3         AAC

6/4 -  Telefunken USA Ela m260 (tubes) by Jesse Hurlburt  (99376)
                            FLAC          mp3         AAC

6/5 -  Telefunken USA Ela m260 (tubes) by Jesse Hurlburt (99377)
                            FLAC          mp3         AAC

6/6 -  AKG 483s by Chris King  (103431)
                            FLAC          mp3           AAC

To honor the 1-year anniversary of Phish's full comeback tour, I am rolling out my picks for best AUD available for each show.  I will do this in three 5-show increments, hopefully getting the next two installments up in time for the anniversary date of the first show in each group.

While many phans may not have the urge to listen back to June '09 after witnessing the undeniable progression of the band's playing and confidence level throughout the year, I thought this project was an important one for a couple reasons.

The LivePhish SBDs of this first leg were notoriously lambasted by the community as sounding woefully flat and sterile, with very little bass presence.  While a big reason for this was the way new sound engineer Garry Brown was mixing the band back then, I can say from being at a couple of the shows that there was a lot more bass and a much better overall sound at the shows than the SBDs would lead you to believe.  Because of all the negativity I heard about the first few SBDs, I resolved myself to the AUDs on bt.etree and did not even bother with the boards.  I was happy to find that the AUDs sounded fantastic overall, with a good enough bass presence (almost too much bass presence on some sources) and a much more natural, warmer sound than the SBDs LivePhish was serving up.  After eventually sampling some of those 1st leg boards, I can confirm that they are light years behind the boards of '03.  The boards improved dramatically for the second leg, so I feel the colossal difference between the AUDs and SBDs from leg 1 warrant celebration of the AUDs.

On a more personal note, it was this June 2009 tour that created the passion in me for gathering and analyzing all available AUD sources for every show and choosing my favorite, or favorite two or three if it was a tough call.  I would pick a certain song from each show (usually a longer track with multiple sections and volume fluctuations), and create a playlist of that song from every available source for that show.  I would then listen through my headphones and jot down on pen and scrap paper my gut impressions of each source, noting pros and cons, eventually narrowing it down to fewer and fewer sources until I had my pick(s).  Once I had made my decisions for each show, I would transcribe my notes onto a Word/Google document for future reference.  Here are the notes I've compiled thus far for 2009.  For the shows with a single source with an asterisk preceding it and no technical notes, that means it was my definite favorite source for that show.  I'm sure this is more information than most of you want to know, but I felt it might help to see where I'm coming from.

Similar to my TAB Feb 2010 Tour post, these June 2009 picks are not remasters.  While a couple shows could have used a little EQ love, I purposely have refrained from altering the dynamic structure at all to emphasize the point that these are some really great AUDs, and thanks to the tapers we are not stuck with those LP boards.  The only thing I have changed about the files for most of the shows is level adjustments if the volume of the original track was several db's lower than the peak level.  A few of these were recorded reeeeeally quiet, so I thought it would be better to have them all at a more equal level for your listening pleasure.  I have added ID tags where they did not exist and attached album art, which is usually a photo from the official "Phish From The Road" Flickr page, which can also be accessed here.  I have also included a separate folder within each show that has all of the photos from each show.

Just a couple quick technical notes:  if you're wondering why I went with the MG m210's for 6/2 instead of the Telefunken source (which would have been more consistent with the other two nights), I just thought the m210's had a nice amount of low end which was lacking in the other sources, yet had good clarity as well.  The Telefunken and, even more so, the AKG 460 source are much clearer for 6/2 but sound too bright to me...And finally, you may notice that 6/5 sounds significantly rougher due than 6/4, and that is due to the weather.  It was pouring and windy, which is a bad combo for AUDs.  Still sounds the best to these ears of all the sources.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

coming up next: VA Beach 7.21.97

due to a few's a pretty darn good source already but i think i can give it some more pop :).  Should be up shortly after pt 1 of the June 2009 series.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Spectrum 12.29.96

. show page

Sunday, 12/29/1996  CoreStates Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

Set 1: Poor Heart, Caravan, Cavern, Taste, Guelah Papyrus, Train Song, Rift, Free, The Squirming Coil, La Grange

Set 2: David Bowie, A Day in the Life, Bathtub Gin, The Lizards, You Enjoy Myself -> Rotation Jam -> Sixteen Candles -> Vocal Jam, Harpua -> Champagne Supernova -> Harpua

Encore: Rocky Top

Notes: Mike performed the Phish debut of Sixteen Candles solo on piano. Tom Marshall contributed the vocals to the Phish debut of Champagne Supernova as Harpua, Poster, and Jimmy were confronted by the “Über Demon” and the “evil sound of hell.” This show featured the breakout of Caravan, which had been shelved since December 2, 1994 (160 shows).

v0 mp3 .zip file

The boys sure love the city of brotherly love.  Though I was at both Boston shows during the '96 holiday run and had a major blast, one could say the tapes confirm that Philly got the stronger shows.  This show has been requested by a couple readers and I'm happy to oblige, as this one was a great remaster candidate.

The original source is a really nice, classic OTS pull.  It has a great combination of clear and precise audio from the stage, three-dimensional crowd eruptions, and minimal distracting chatter nearby.  The one glaring issue was that the track was recorded at a very low level - much like the source I used for the 11.7.96 remaster.  I mean really low.  I had to raise the level about 10 db's to attain peak amplitude with no clipping.  After doing so, it is now easier to rock this show at an appropriate volume.

The high end was the only area of the spectrum (no pun intended) that was lacking, so I bumped that up a good deal.  The low end was a tad muddy, so I tamed it a small amount for a cleaner sound.  I'm pretty pleased with this sound of this one, and hope you like it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Osaka Disease

6.15.00 Down With Disease (only) remaster - mp3 - 48 MB

(UPDATE - the entire show has been remastered here)

Since I haven't had the time to remaster a whole show lately, I thought I'd feature a single jam today.  An amazing, all-encompassing, 28-minute DWD from the 6/15/00 show at "Big Cat" in Osaka, Japan.  If you haven't heard this yet, do it now.  If you have, give it another spin.  Although I think the Fukuoka show bests this one narrowly as a whole, this is my single favorite jam of the entire Japan tour.  Click here and scroll down to read Mr. Miner's take on this masterpiece of improvisation.

Also of note is that I have chosen to remaster a source that is not a straight AUD.  This is reportedly a SBD/AUD matrix according to the Etree database source info, although some have contested that it is just a great-sounding AUD.  I personally think it's a matrix because of how up-front in the mix the instruments sound and how precise the stereo panning is at times.  Also, some straight SBDs at small clubs can sound like matrices because the mics onstage pick up the folks in the front of the crowd more audibly than in larger arenas/ I think some people may lean more towards thinking it's a straight AUD because of how clear and nearby the crowd chatter/clapping sounds.  Anyhoo.

You may be wondering why even bother remastering a matrix.  Simply, as I was listening to it I just felt the dynamic range was a little flat, especially for a matrix.  Also, the levels could have been higher.  After an A/B comparison I prefer my remaster easily, but your mileage may vary.  I only posted a v0 mp3 version because I just wanted to get this up quickly while I had a chance...but I'd be happy to up the FLAC and AAC later if there's interest.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

recovery mode....

Hey everyone, just thought I'd drop a line in case anyone's wondering where the hell the next remaster is.  I'm still recovering from The Hangout...boy, I've never been to a festival that was so tailor-made for drinking all day and night.  There were more coozies and 16oz High Lifes than I've ever seen in one place.  It was a blast, but damn I feel old.  And I managed to not lose my flip-flops until the last night.

Anyway, with my recent travels and with Phish tour coming soon, my remaster output will be way down because the little spare time I have in between all this fun unfortunately needs to be spent taking care of other responsibilities.  That's the double-edged sword about life in New England:  the winter sucks but gives you lots of time to work on shit like this, and the summer kicks ass but is so busy because it's so damn short.

But rest assured, I will bang a few out whenever I get the chance.  I'm working on a couple sizeable multi-show projects, and my next post will be a bit different:  a single song/jam remastered.  Thanks for all the requests...I have received more than I can possibly get to, but I will try my best!

cheers, KP

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

9.14.99 Boise, ID show page

Tuesday, 09/14/1999 Boise State University Pavilion, Boise, ID

Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, The Sloth, The Curtain > Waste, Loving Cup > What's the Use?, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Farmhouse, Nellie Kane, Taste, Rocky Top

Set 2: Peaches en Regalia > AC/DC Bag > Gumbo, Down with Disease > Frankenstein

Encore: Simple, Hello My Baby

Notes: Peaches was played for the first time since February 28, 1997 (161 shows). This long AC/DC Bag featured Trey on keys and Fishman on vacuum for part of the jam. Gumbo included an Another One Bites the Dust jam. Fishman again grabbed the vacuum for Frankenstein and quoted One of These Days.

v0 mp3 .zip file

My goodness, the boys were locked in this fateful Tuesday night in Boise.  After a varied and well-played first set, they threw down the gauntlet from the start of Peaches through the end of Gumbo.  There is just some serious full-band improv going on here, spanning from sublime ambience to triumpantly soaring rock to endorphin-throttling funk.  We've all come to know and love the way our heroes channel their myriad influences and bring us a decidedly Phishy take on them.  Sometimes they attempt to emulate various bands and styles to a precise degree, and what we get is Phish doing their best Earl Scruggs or Bob Marley or Frank Zappa or Stevie Wonder musical impersonations...which is of course awesome, but is still Phish.  But from 6:55 until 10:03 of Gumbo, Trey IS James Brown's rhythm guitarist.  It's just straight-up dirty, and I don't want a napkin.

Anyway, this is a really, really nice FOB Schoeps mk4v source.  It might be one of my favorite arena AUDs ever.  However, with no tweaking and as with many '99 and '00 AUDs, this one was heavy on the low end and in need of increased clarity.  I almost scaled the bass back a little more, but Mike sounds so thick and juicy while maintaining a well-defined sound that I decided against reducing his frequencies any more than I did (which wasn't much).


Monday, May 3, 2010

coming up next: 9.14.99 Boise, ID

by popular demand...
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