I was literally set-up in a back guest room with a Pro Tools rig that we would normally use on the tour bus, organizing all the tracks, determining which reels we needed to use for each show, and cleaning up cycle hum and its harmonics and air conditioning noise — all the prep work that is required to clean up raw live tracks from this era.
It took about a month to organize and clean up the reels before we would begin to mix. Then, of course, the SSL arrived. Bruce had previously maintained the desk and also de-commissioned the board at its previous location.
Bruce is absolutely brilliant, having previously been employed by SSL in Oxford and he is intimately familiar with vintage SSLs and all of their typical foibles. Large format consoles never like to be moved, but Bruce was able to easily identify and overcome all issues that occurred.
We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Danielle at Tangerine Loving On Borrowed Time - Various - Rock Box (CD) Interface in Toronto, who spent countless hours on Team Viewer, modifying the automation system for this particular desk configuration and our Pro Tools system.
Gateway Mastering also relies on the Antelope Atomic Clock in their mastering suites, so our first decision was to keep the entire project locked to the Atomic Clock from tape transfer to mix to final mastering.
We had started to familiarize ourselves with the recordings before the Atomic Clock arrived Loving On Borrowed Time - Various - Rock Box (CD) Bulgaria, and became used to the sound of the raw recordings passing through the Burl Audio Mothership interface.
Once we installed the Antelope 10MX, the whole sonic landscape changed. Suddenly, the Chicago brass no longer sounded like a vintage recording coming off of tape, but as if the instruments were playing live right in front of us. The same was true for all 16 tracks. The 10MX Atomic Clock has a proprietary method of managing clock error in such a way that everything sounds far more organic and natural.
This is exactly what the Carnegie Hall recordings have been needing for 50 years! Perhaps this is true at lower sample rates, but at kHz, both Lee and I can distinctly hear the 10MX over the internal interface clock every time. It truly is astonishing. The Carnegie Hall performances were recorded simultaneously on two track tape machines, which were off-set in start times, so when the tape would run out on machine A, the end of the song would still be captured on machine B.
This of course created many redundant recordings of the same songs. The project began by investigating all of the takes on both the A and B machine reels to determine which takes were redundant, and which were actually needed to assemble full songs.
I tended to use recordings that included only complete takes of a song. In the entire 16 CD set, there are only three songs that required editing between reels A and B to create a complete recording of those songs. Of course, being on separate reels, these edit pieces were also separate mixes on the board, that needed to match precisely.
This brings us to a global technical issue that we fought with throughout the entire project. As we proceeded to mix through all of the designated reels, we discovered that the audio quality of the B machine was degrading over the course of the entire week. It was losing high-frequency definition and gaining high-frequency distortion, which was particularly apparent on the horns and some vocals.
At first, I wondered if it was a bad batch of tape, but then the issue would appear on both A and B reels. It may have been magnetic build-up on the B machine record head, that may not have been properly degaussed over the course of the week, or perhaps the problem was failing capacitors in the line amps feeding the B machine from the house mixing board.
As we moved further through the shows, I began making stereo pre-masters, rather than flat mixes for Gateway Mastering, in the ongoing battle to keep all of the shows sounding as consistent as possible. We worked closely with Mastering Engineer Adam Ayan on this issue for each show, and he also worked his magic to achieve greater consistency and mask the high-frequency clipping induced by the B recorder.
Adam was able to help us achieve astonishing results in consistency throughout the entire compilation and effectively eliminate this problem on the masters. It was an extraordinary team effort. During the mix, we used a hybrid of old-school analog processing, together with select tools that would not have existed back in the day, to surgically deal with both tonal and technical issues that came up.
Even with racks of analog outboard gear, we still ended up using something like plug-ins at kHz! What began as a track recording was eventually spread across about 42 channels on the SSL desk.
This is primarily due to all of the on-stage microphone leakage embedded in the original mix. You feel the power of the band coming off the stage. You can hear presence and detail that does not translate from the original mix, and the low end is as bold and solid as what you might have experienced if you had been sitting in the venue. They were mortified by both the performances and the sound of the vinyl pressing. The entire effort was an embarrassment to the band, and certain members, like Lee Loughnane, could not listen to the final release.
One of the major contributing factors to the sonic deficiencies of the original Carnegie Hall recording was how the mix handled the overwhelming stage leakage, bleeding into the open brass and vocal mics, as well as the drum overheads. This balance changed throughout every reel and every song, as Walter moved around on stage. While leakage in the studio can be your best friend, on stage at Carnegie Hall it is a nightmare.
The solution to this problem was to use a high pass filter and roll-off all the bottom end on all of the brass mics. However, the actual flat recording of each horn track sounded far more natural than what actually made it into the original mixes.
To resolve the stage leakage issue, Lee and Loving On Borrowed Time - Various - Rock Box (CD) became an Edward Scissorhands editing team. Working as a tag-team on two Pro Tools systems, we manually sliced out all of the stage leakage between notes and phrases on all of the horn tracks and vocal tracks in every show.
We spent months manually cleaning up these tracks and hand drawing region fades, in order to dynamically process and EQ the brass and vocals without having to compromise their sound. With the stage leakage sounding like a complete stereo mix of the whole band, bleeding into the drum overhead mics, this was more than enough stage leakage to effectively masque all of the slicing and dicing on the brass and vocal tracks.
By manually drawing the fades in and out of thousands of regions, we were able to successfully mask the patch-work of editing that enabled us to present the Chicago Brass with full tonality and presence.
Kazoos no more! Instage monitoring was still very poor, and the Chicago brass developed a habit of overblowing their instruments to be heard over a rock band! Tools such as those I just mentioned were invaluable in controlling specific harsh resonances and helping to fatten and warm up the historically thin brass sound.
Inhis live drums typically translated like cardboard Loving On Borrowed Time - Various - Rock Box (CD) miked from a distance. In the Carnegie Hall tracks, they were also overwhelmed by stage leakage, and we had limited control over the drum mix. All of the drums were originally assigned to only four tracks; kick, snare, Drums Left and Drums Right. The stereo drum mix included all tom fills, cymbals, and what amounted to a full stereo mix of the entire band in the stage leakage.
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Canada's Drag Race. Drag Race Holland. The Pit Crew. Mimi Imfurst Team Mandora. All-Stars 2. Coco Montrese Season 5. I'm known for being really messy! Alyssa: I'm leaving this a better Alyssa than I came in. That's the win! I didn't go to fucking school for math! Alaska: Fuck you! All-Stars 3. Thorgy Thor Season 8. It's me, BenDeLaCreme!
Our thoughts strayed Loving On Borrowed Time - Various - Rock Box (CD) and without boundary The ringing of the division bell had begun. Peter Jenner: Syd was a handsome boy, he was beautiful and one more part of the tragedy is that he became such a fat slob, he became ugly. He was true flower power. He came out in this outrageous gear, he had this permanent, which cost 20 pounds at the time, and he looked like a beautiful woman, all this Thea Porter stuff.
He had a lovely girlfriend, Lindsay, she was the spitting image of Syd. I've no idea whose idea it was to have someone wailing on it. Clare came into the studio one day, and we said, "There's no lyrics. It's about dying — have a bit of a sing on that, girl. And we all said, "Wow, that's that done. Here's your sixty quid. Careful with that axe, Eugene In my rear view mirror The sun is going down Sinking behind bridges in the road I think of all the good things That we have left undone.
The outer lock rolled slowly back, the servicemen were heard to sigh. For there revealed in flowing robes was Lucy in the sky. David Gilmour: It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realised and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for.
The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff
Eves Volcano - Julian Cope - Eves Volcano (Vinyl), Earthe - The Soil Bleeds Black - Quintessence (CD, Album), Hey Jude - Paul McCartney - Out There Tokyo (DVD), Stanley Clarke - I Wanna Play For You (Vinyl, LP, Album), Necrorgasm - Death Courier - Ep And Demo (Vinyl, LP), Si Es Tan Solo Amor - Revólver - Que Veinte Años No Es Nada (CD), Agents Of Good Roots - Come On (VHS), Selassie I Highway - Jonah Dan Meets The Bush Chemists - Dubs From Zion Valley (CD), I Still Need You - The Dave Clark Five - I Like It Like That / Try Too Hard / Satisfied With You (CD, Oiga Doctor - Joaquín Sabina - Hotel, Dulce Hotel (Cassette, Album), Slip - Lit - Atomic (Cassette, Album), Already Dead - Artimus Pyle - Fucked From Birth (Vinyl, LP, Album), Ride The Sky - New Protection (CD, Album), Chrystian - More Than You Know / Swingin (Vinyl)