Grateful Dead

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Joined: Jul 17 2007
Healy and the Matrix mix

From what I understand, Healy was responsible for creating at least some of the matrix mixes that are in circulation. Here is what I was able to dig up online. If you're more interested, you can follow this link:

This is an excerpt from that link. Super technical, but informative.
04-13-05, 11:46 AM
OK, here we go again. What are commonly (inaccurately) referred to as "Matrix" recordings are in fact "Blends" of independently recorded SBD and AUD sources of an event. In the audio world, a matrix recording is in fact:

Mid-side Matrix
One cardioid mic (M) points at subject (0°), and a figure-8 mic (S) picks up ambient sound by pointing at sides(90° and 270°).

The signals are then run through a decoder matrix (software or hardware) which creates two stereo channels:
n M+S = channel one
n M - S = channel two

One channel is a mix of M and S and the other be a mix of M and Sø (which means S is 180° out of phase)

n The more S, the stronger the separation.

MS Matrix recording is mostly used in acoustic concert settings to capture the true image of the hall.

One technique that Dan Healy perfected when mixing and recording the Grateful Dead, was to place a MS Matrixed microphone array at the mix position, and record it on a source that was locked to the same source as the SBD recording (assuring that the recordings were sped accurate to each other) What Dan called an "Ultra Matrix" was (as I understand it) actually a BLEND of a Matrix recording and a SBD recording. There are also time coincidence issues that are addressed when combining these sources.

Many "Matrix" recordings in circulation are simply blends of 2 different recordings and present a significant challenge in Post Production in terms of correctly time and pitch aligning the sources. The results of these efforts often sound really good, but are difficult to produce.

The cow has left the barn in terms of correcting the proper use of the term "Matrix", but in fact, it's nice to know the proper terms to apply to these very different methods.

andré's picture
Joined: Jan 6 2008
looking for Flac Player Software for IMac

Please somebody tell me whether such software exists. Or not. And in case there is some, also shares it's name and/or where to download a software, that plays flac audio files on my iMac (OSX 10.4.11 that is).



andré's picture
Joined: Jan 6 2008

Just stumbled into this topic. Because I use to have trouble with my iMac, I decided to read through all the posts. And as I already have had my share of trouble with mit iTunes dealing with gap's, (at least some of) the following might be helpful to (hopefully at least one of) you.

I have used the path mentioned in a previous comment on "Gap's" to adjust "none" as the duration of silence between tracks.

On my iMac I can use Garage Band to cut tracks into little pieces to juggle them around, delete and whatever. IMAGINE "three Dark full Star days" ... )

My Microsoft times PC doctor still runs his pc with Windows 98. And I have seen his WinOn software not only cut tracks into segments, etc. but also chose Nothing/none/0 as the length of silence between tracks. And that's for sure the same with newer Win On versions or other Windows sound software.

The bad thing is that my iTunes had this siiod (Self Induced Ignoring Orders Desease) phase .... Although I had set it on "none", it started to make 2 seconds gaps on the copies. I checked and it said still "none". I copied an official CD with gaps, told my Mac to have "none" and it kept/made them.

So I was glad, when, out of a sudden, with no changes, except usual uploads for my iMac software several times,

It must have been the smell of all the Dead audio roses coming in, that made my iTunes decide to follow my instructions again. After I had added decoded flac files for the first time.

So I am sure, the tools are amongst us,
to shut the gaps up. PEACE


Sunshine-daydream1951's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

correct me if i am wrong but i believe the Healy Matrix shows are around were made by healy at the shows, putting an aud feed with the sbds, to try to get more what the aud would here

so are different from the Sick Bits etc matrices


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Spanish Jam

Hal R's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
Check this out now-- new Traders Little Helper

Hey folks,
Tonight I was trying to decode some shn files that I had decoded before and they kept coming up as errors and were not decoded. So I found that there is a new version of Traders Little Helper, downloaded it and now files are decoding fine. I don't get it, I don't understand it but somehow it works now. So if you are suddenly having problems decoding download the new version.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

D00Dah's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Maybe best to start over..

Same story here, 400-500 hrs of Maxell XL-II laying around, I found the Archive and the vines here on the boards and started over. I'm not set up for bit torrent, I just wanted to replace the stuff I had with quality digital copies I could play in car, truck, at home, etc... I got a good 500gb HD from and went to town. I now have much more than I used to have and have an ipod chock full of tasty bits to satisfy the jones while I'm on the road. Thanks to all for the sharing of the music and the knowledge, Best wishes in '08.

His job is to shed light, not to master...

KJ7XJ's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2007

I have the same thoughts as Yama. I to have 1000+ cassttes and started to run them through various programs designed to take analog and upload it to the computer for future CDs (see my posts from this past summer). However, it is a VERY time consuming project and I have found it much easier to go online and download shows some of which sound 10x better then my copies. Thus, you already have the digital file and dont have to mess with the cassettes. Good luck!


yamadog's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
Just Something's To Think About

Digitizing Tapes Of The Amount You Have Is A Project In It Self.But Fairly Easy If Your Set up For It.You Might Want To consider Sending A Couple Of 500gb External Hd's With Package.Then You Can Get Your Shows Back Loaded On Hard Drives In flac.Format.This Eliminates Ton's Of Dvd's Laying Around The house.Of course You Are Also Getting Into A Pretty Hefty USPS bill With The Weight Of your Parcells.Of course You Can Get The Hard drives,Get Set Up For Bit torrent And Get Awsome Charlie Miller Sbd's From B-etree And Download away.You'll Be Suprised How Quckley You Will fill Up The hd's And Grow Your collection.I Would Love To Help But time Is At A Premium For Me Right Now.But Mabey In The Future If You Don't Have Any Takers.Have A grateful Weekend...Brian.

jomay's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2007
tape trading

I'm wondering if anyone is interested in helping me digitize some tapes. I have maybe 1000 GD audio tapes (+ several hundred other live band recordings) that I would love to have in digital format. The vast majority of the GD tapes are Maxell XLS soundboards.

While the shows span 30 years, what I think are the best years are well represented (68-77, 85, 90, 91). I live in Chicago and the tapes are in storage in Northern CA. If there is anyone seriously interested in helping me digitize some of them, I can create a database of what I have and send it to you and we can talk about working out some kind of trade or form of compensation.

richard's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007

Healy did not do the matrix mixes. Those are done by various folks who have secured an SBD and a high quality AUD tape, then blended them together. Check the source and recording info in the text files to learn more about how this was done.
The theory behind this is to try and re-create an authentic live-listening experience. IMHO, some folks do a better job of this than others. I don't think it comes off as well in stereo as it does in DTS 5.1 surround sound. I have some of those where the mix has the SBD on the front and center channels and the AUD on the rear channels. When this is done well, the result is awesome.
Regarding the Iowa show, I would love to have the straight SBD tape, I just haven't found it yet. So I vined the best of what I have.

Hope that helps.



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Technical Discussions - Vining