Grateful Dead

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paisley's picture
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
FM Frequency Taping

...shall we go, you and I while we can...

FM frequencies were used to accomplish the wireless transmission of the soundboard mix to speaker arrays as early as 1987, probably before. The way it worked was like this: Healy would select a low bandwidth frequency on the FM dial that was not being used by local radio. He would then send the board feed to that channel, with equipment just like a radio station would broadcast a signal. Speaker arrays would function like radio receivers and pick up the signal and send it out to the hall, or remote locations (you may remember that at places like the Greek Theater, there was a field outside the venue where you could hear the show even if you didn't have a ticket).

So, Fred, you only "heard" that FM signal if you had an FM receiver in the show, or in your car,or at an alternate location(and knew the signal number on the dial) . Remember that FM signals are inferior to the "live" sound because FM involves a lot of signal compression, which dramatically effected the mid-range sound. Healy compensated for that on the array end by using "expanders" essentially to decompress the compressed FM sound. In short, even if you had a recording of the FM feed, it would be inferior to the feed from the board, which is where it came from prior to being compressed. There was no direct feed from the stage, just the monitor mix which Harry Popick controlled through most of the late seventies,and only the band heard through the stage monitors. Some one may have those compressed FM recordings, but I doubt it, since none have really surfaced in circulation.

Yes, Fred, with the advent of the ear bud monitors in the nineties,anyone in the band could speak directly to the board mixer. This was accomplished through a "defeat" mode that would stop the signal from a microphone from going anywhere but to the board mixer's
headphones.This allowed each member to give the board mixer feedback on how to mix the sound for each players ear bud system. So by the nineties, there were seven different mixes being performed just for the musicians on-stage! Pretty complicated,eh? And, none of them were hearing the house mix or each other if they didn't want to! Some of these ear bud tapes have surfaced (eg. Deer Creek '95 as the gates were crashed). What's interesting about these recordings is that they contain individual members telling the board mixer who to turn up or down in their mix. So, by 1993 or so, the band that thrived on improvisation by listening to one another had developed the capacity to literally turn off other players in the band. I believe this had a striking effect on the quality of the performance for obvious reasons. Generally, the quality of these recordings is inferior to the board mix, but a few exist.

BTW, the band used FM in one other way. Beginning with "Shakedown Street", Healy picked a low frequency FM band in San Rafeal and broadcast tracks from the studio tapes and rehearsals on it so the band members could listen to them while in their cars to and from the studio on Front Street. This was supposed to help them finish a record on deadline(HAH!) but a little sidetrip to Egypt got in the way... Hope that answers your questions, Fred.

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Joined: Jun 13 2007
FM frequency taping

Does anyone rember what form was used with the so called fm frequencies that some folks picked up on. What I rember is that in some arenas one could tap into the frequency that was coming from the stage to the board. Essentially you could tap into that frequency and make a recording that way. You would pretty much get the music before it hit the soundboard and then it was sent out to the house speakers. Does anyone have any of those recordings or was that just a myth? Also in the later years they had a foot pedal they could hit and talk directly to the board without it going through th PA. It would be fun to hear some of those conversations!!!!!

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Joined: Jul 19 2007
Hard Drive Recorders

So has anyone used the Sound Devices 722 or the Korg Mr 1000?

If so what do you think?

~Make us SNAPPY!~

KJ7XJ's picture
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Joined: Jun 16 2007
Opened up Pandora's Box....

...But this is what this place is for!! I go away for a couple days and come back to find a couple new pages on tape>CD copying. YEA! Im jazzed to see what you all are doing out here to combat moving into the 21st/22nd century etc.... Ive taken on a mentor somewhat and looked into the Torrent side of transfer (BitTorrent>FLACfrontend>Sonic CD Burner). Id say in the last week I have DLd 3-4 shows and have modem chuggin' along as I type. I am still glad to hear that there is intrest in the transfer of cassette to CD too! I will diffently look into those suggestions mentioned in the last pages and try a few things. I will eventually give my 1500 hours away after all is said and done so those who want to have a real nice and large tape collection will want to conatct me when it gets down to that... Peace
Eric

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
actually, pais...

I'm not sure this would be such a stretch as a business expense. After all, the primary use of my iPod is to record interviews, like the D6 and the minidisc before it. And it would sure solve the problem of dumping that Jerry interview to CD before the tape rots in a more efficient fashion than any of the other options. The issue is more one of rather more urgent things to do with any extra bux that may come along--took me forever to afford the iPod!

But at least it's good to know what's out there. And now, back to your regular discussion!

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Joined: Jun 13 2007
lost generation

Right on big D, I agree with using the older equipment. They made some pretty good stuff back when. You young-uns should hear reel to reel sometime and listen to how good those were! I still have three single tape decks( not the double decks ) and I refuse to get rid of them because they work(ed) so well. I also don't think you lose that much when transferring tape to CD. With an EQ bewteen the two you can actually filter some hiss and aud noise out if its a bad recording. I do have a question for yamadog, what program allows you to grab livestreams off of a site?

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Joined: Jun 22 2007
Nope, not losing a thing - no extra generational loss at all . .

Good question paisley - I should have explained my set up a litle better:

Nak DR-3 (analog RCA out) > Tascam DA-40 (analog RCA in)
Tascam DA-40 (digital coax out) > Sony CDR-W33 (digital coax in)

There is indeed one generation added when going from the cassette to DAT - not any different than the generation added when going from cassette directly to CD. The copying from DAT to CD is a clone - digital-to-digital exact bit-for-bit duplication. Just like DAT > DAT or CD > CD as long as the digital in/outs are used. No generation added at all for direct digital copies.

This, of course, is why I even own two DAT decks. I traded analog cassettes for years before making the DAT investment. Well worth it, though. Recordings that sound as good as the source every time, no matter how many copies of copies of copies your tape came from.

Anyway, hope this explains the generation thing.

paisley's picture
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
C'mon Mary

...shall we go, you and I while we can...

You mean to say that with your important position moderating this technical discussion that your bosses won't just buy you one? Maybe you could deduct it if you bought it yourself as a job-related expense! (Yuck Yuck Yuck) I can imagine that conversation with the IRS....

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
I gotta say...

that standalone burner sounds like the answer to my prayers. Now to win the lotto...

paisley's picture
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
Big D

...shall we go, you and I while we can...

Hmmmm... so you don't think you're losing anything putting in that extra generation? cassette>DAT>stand alone burner must sound good to you and I respect that. I wonder how they would sound to me...anyway, whichever way your pleasure tends!

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