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Fresh Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#18797 3 years, 5 months ago
You should have heard how bad the sound was at Portland's Memorial Coliseum. It was like they had a natural tape delay bringing back every note. There was nothing they could do about it, so they made lemonaid and played off it all night. Did an impeccable Black Throated, West LA and an Amazing Scarlet Fire. I was lucky that our seats were really close.

Interesting...I thought that was one of if not the best sounding shows I'd ever been to. Maybe that's just where I was at though, upper concourse on the far corner of Jon's side. Come to think of it it sounded way better there than the few other places I was at in the show before.

I thought the "natural tape delay" and the way the energy travelled through the show in a spiral off the weird metallicness of the dome was really awesome. Maybe that's just me.

I think it's all about where your at. The dynamics really change when you switch your place.
Junior Boarder
Listen To The Flower People

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#18820 3 years, 5 months ago
I don't believe very many in the other thread were so much complaining the sound was bad AT the soundboard, but rather it wasn't as good as it could be throughout the entire venue.

This isn't exactly an easy task, but I've personally witnessed how standing on that first "tree pad" (below the wharf rats' pad) at red rocks was a shell of the sound which was produced by SCI a couple months earlier ... where I had zero issues hanging out at for 80% of the time all three days. The VERY thin mix there for furthur caused me to move away. Granted this was up close and just to the outside and "below" the main speaker bank, I don't think it's a configuration issue given that SCI was able to provide a very solid mix there.

I don't know, maybe it is a volume issue. I realize it might be viewed as a "brute force" method, but it might just allow the "spillage" of sound to be delivered more effectively to some of dead zones at some venues. On the other hand some venues have been spectacular (furthur fest).

My suspicion is the sound engineers might be very "soundboard centric" in their approach ... in so far as both quality and volume. In other words, everything is probably dialed in perfectly as far as the mix @ the board ... some venues will naturally allow this sweet spot to cover more ground then others. If they are also "anti volume" it might compound the issue because they're getting the good mix/volume & are maybe under a very rigid believe that volume ought not exceed such and such a level at the board ... which again, sounds great to them, yet the system really needs to be turned up a notch or two for the mix to fill in elsewhere.

I don't know, just guessing. But I do feel it's somewhat of an issue.
Junior Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#18852 3 years, 5 months ago
Vocals on official Binghamton disc that I bought sound like they are in tin cans, particularly Bobby. I do hope something can be done to improve things. There is definately room for improvement. Other lives that I have purchased (i.e. recent Phish) are far better sound quality.
*pict groover*
Fresh Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#19227 3 years, 5 months ago
This seems to be a common issue the last few tours, "absence of volume". I know the board guys are always going to about dynamic headroom, but w/ the state of the art electronics they're using, and the very nature of the band and their counterparts in the booth it would seem something is being left out. It has always been something to behold, pressure enough to feel, yet clarity enough that at times you could talk to the person next to you between notes. But I think everyone (except for TOURists) would agree, we want to feel Bobby's licks, and those deep down throaty wails that only he can deliver, and lack of DBs or volume takes away from the experience. We don't want to try to listen. BLOW OUR HAIR BACK, PLEASE!!
Junior Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#19312 3 years, 5 months ago
I have to agree bout the recordings. They are better than when they first started but the mastering is horrible. I know most major touring bands that sell their shows like wsp Phish cheese etc all sell 24bit recordings. Really wish Furthur would, but its more bout the mastering lots of simple obvious work needs to be done to the SBDs. I recently saw a SCI remaster its nice knowning they care that much for their sound. Just wish Furthur seemed to care that much.

As for venue sound..I dunno its bout where your at a lot. But still lil improvements can be made. I'd love to see/hear em do a 3-5 night Warfield run. Love that venue.
Junior Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#19416 3 years, 5 months ago
Excellent sound (and extraordinary effort to make it so) is a Grateful Dead tradition.

Hopefully WestchesterDeaD will not mind my quoting him from the LMA comments on 6/18/83:

Next, let me bore you a bit with the technical aspects of the sound system that the DEAD rigged up at SPAC (feel free to correct my shoddy recollection, too). In the case of SPAC, you had the stage area and the roofed audience area (if I recall, the balcony sat on top of a portion of the seated area that was under roof). On either side of the stage, the Dead had their fat assed stacks of Meyer Sound Lab speakers. Phil was about six months into playing his six string bass, and the Dead were using these big huge subwoofer boxes on each side of the stage, in addition to the standard speaker boxes that were sitting on either side of the stage, and also in addition to the wedges that were flown overhead those boxes, stage left and right. This made for a huge low end sound for Phil to drop his bombs, and they were plentiful that night. But wait – that’s not all – they threw a whole lot more in than a set of Ginzu Knives. Just outside of the roofed seating area, you had the lawn area. I happened to be in the lawn area. The Dead flew additional arrays on each of the support columns that housed the balcony, if I recall correctly. These arrays had about four or six wedges each, and right below each of these arrays were a stack of Amps (can’t recall the manufacturer – after all, this was 25 years ago, and I was just coming off a dose at that point). They also had a security dude by our column that kept his eye on the amps so they didn’t get trashed. This layout gave Healy the ability to do these amazing stereo sweeps of Jerry’s guitar – he could have Jerry’s leads fly from one end of the lawn area to the other, an incredibly long distance, with this amazingly large and loud clarity. This really was an impressive sound, and it blended just beautifully with the natural environment, especially during songs like The Wheel, and of course, Morning Dew, which was a monster Dew, mainly from Phil’s six string bombs. The dead really did it up nice that night.

And it is definitely fun to read how tapers (and everyone but special nod to the tapers) literally risked their lives to participate in this event:



More about Spac in '83:


Last Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago by spinneresque108.
The following user(s) said Thank You: 83msg1sttyme
Junior Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#19423 3 years, 5 months ago
Vocals need to be turned up and JK's guitar needs to be turned up. Phil and Chimenti are drowning him out
Junior Boarder

Re: Phil, Bob: Please Upgrade the Sound System

#21964 3 years, 5 months ago
Amazing how universal it is that the vocals are so poorly mixed. Since 04 or so Phil's projects have seemed to intentionally downplay the vocals in the mix.

With bob and the back up singers, vocals are now not a wek point and the mix should be adjusted accordingly.
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