Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY
Saturday, September 8, 2001
Last Show of the US leg of the YesSymphonic Tour.
Jon Anderson - vocals, guitar & percussion
Steve Howe - guitars, vocals
Chris Squire - bass, vocals & timpani
Alan White - drums & percussion
Tom Brislin - keyboards, vocals
with William Straumburg conducting the Long Island Symphony Orchestra
3 taper composite 5.1 mix
Taper: Jon Babcock
Location: 1st mezzanine, 3rd row center aisle.
Gear: Coresounds Binaural Mics > Sony D8 @ 32kHz
Master DAT > PCM R-500 > Onkyo SE-U55 > Sound Studio > xACT
Location: Orch 3, row YY, seat 311
Gear: Sonic Studios DSM-6S > MiniDisc
Lineage: MiniDisc > CDR > USB Flash drive
Location: pit, 4th row right
Gear: AKG 391 > Sony M1
Lineage: Master DAT > PCM R-500 > ? > CDR2 > xACT > Sound Studio > xACT
When Ron asked me if I'd be interested in creating a surround mix for this show I agreed because of the uniqueness of the show with an orchestra compared to any other average Yes show. I was sent the three recordings as they were generally released to the trackers and decided on which one to use for what location in the surround field based on their characteristics.
What I heard was essentially three recordings in a line moving away from the stage. The Smashmark tape was neraly in mono and very tight to the music, not much reverb and only close audience members. Recorder 1 had decent stereo separation and audience, and Tapehead2's had a big hall reverb. This made them perfect candidates for center, front and rear, respectively.
When I began trying to sync tapes 1 & 3 I ran into problems that just couldn't be resolved and brought this up to Ron. He contacted the tapers and got fresh master rips for us to use. Taper 1 gave me two transfers from his DAT, one digital and one analog. I tried the synchronization again, but found several errors in the digital transfer. I finally decided to use the analog transfer for the front left and right channels. It has a little hiss, but is an unbroken transfer of the entire show complete with intro and outro music. I also found out that the release master I was using before had a multitude of micro-edits in it to remove loud claps, which was why I couldn't get the sync correct. With this new transfer it was no problem.
In the meantime Ron told me he had been editing the video to sync up to Tapehead2's recording, so I decided to use her recording as a base for speed correcting the other two.
Tapehead2's recording was from her CD-Rs and had minute edits in some of the dialogue and several disc change breaks. These breaks were re-timed to match the unbroken taper 1 stream, then filled in with ambience from elsewhere in the recording. The same was done for the Smashmark tape, which also had several breaks in it. In no case was it necessary to patch one taper with another, so the sound field should remain unaltered throughout.
...Speaking of which, I must hand it to all three tapers, all of whom performed brilliantly and professionally. These recordings are all free of particularly annoying audience (well, taper 3 has a singer), and the soundfields on all do not waver in any way. Volume and mic placement are consistent throughout. It made for an easy mix where the levels didn't have to be adjusted frequently as they would have if one of these had been limited or compressed in any way (a situation I've come across several times).
After all the mixing was done the low end from tapers 1 & 2 was summed together and sent to the sub.
What you get in the end is a recording that begins with the orchestral introduction in stereo, then when the band comes on stage the other three channels join in and create an immersive sound experience that puts you in the center of the Radio City Music Hall.
All work on this was done with Adobe Audition 1.5, along with some plugins. Each recording was EQd so as to sound best with the other two, and considering it's placement in the room. For the DVD stereo PCM track the 5.1 mix was reduced to stereo with the jbabcock and Tapehead2 tapes panned to the sides and the Smashmark tape in mono in the center to give the recording a tighter image.
A 16/44.1 resample is provided in this package as well. This is the same as the stereo PCM track on the DVD, but at CD quality, and is designed for both continuous seamless playback on harddrive based players and for CD burning. It contains optional tracks at the end of the sets to be used for different purposes. For seamless playback put the fadeless segues in your playlist. For CD burning optional fade-ins and -outs are also provided. Use these instead of the seamless segues and your CDs will have smooth fades at both ends.