Friday, May 26, 2017

Living Colour 1993-05-02 86 Street Music Hall Vancouver, B.C.

Living Colour
Live in Vancouver, B.C.
86 Street Music Hall
Sunday May 2, 1993

Lineage: Living Colour live onstage > instruments plus monitors plus mains > room ambience > Sony PC62 stereo condenser mic (20 feet out 15 feet up from center of stage) > Sony WM-D3 professional cassette walkman (recording bias:chrome Dolby B:on) > Sony Metal Master cassette with ceramic composite shell > Denon DRM-500 precision audio component cassette deck (playback bias:metal Dolby B:off azimuth adjusted) > Soundblaster 16 Live! audio card (grounded and tweaked) > Wavelab 5.01b (re-recording capture, balance adjustment, EQ to boost bass and other minor mid tweaks, stereo enhancement, peak limiting, and tracking) > Trader's Little Helper (FLAC level 8, md5 creation, torrent creation) > YOU!

01 LC May 2 1993 CFOX intro
02 William Tell Overture with Cattle
03 Leave It Alone
04 Funny Vibe
05 Go Away
06 Middle Man
07 Auslander
08 Bi
09 Love Rears Its Ugly Head
10 Cult Of Personality
11 Nothingness
12 Postman
13 Elvis Is Dead
14 Type
15 Times Up!
16 encore break - Corey's Jimi
17 Memories Can't Wait
18 This Little Pig
19 Calhoun - Peace Y'all
20 aftershow afterglow
21 post show announcer - Peace Y'all reprise

Vernon Reid: guitar
Corey Glover: vocals
William Calhoun: drums
Doug Wimbish: bass

Notes: The first of two nights in Vancouver for the "Stain" tour, it was a pretty large crowd for a sunday night in a small club. I can't exactly remember how many people attended, but certainly it was near full capacity. There was a small second floor balcony-like set of bleachers set up above the main dance floor directly in front of the stage. I got in up there at the front row and center and mounted my microphone a few feet ahead of me above the crowd. Completely un-obstructed view and sound and still very much up-front and center, I had a great view from a 45 degree angle above and facing the band. I wish I had a video camera at this show, as it would have been a great spot to film from. It sounded great up there being eye-level to the PA speakers that were hanging from the ceiling. Perfect sweet-spot mid-way between the stereo PA system but still close enough to pick up the live stage sound and still far away from 95% of the crowd, I captured a very well balanced ambient sounding concert recording.
I'm amazed at how much improvisation the band does and how much more agressive the songs were when played live. I taped the next night's show as well, and while the set list is basically the same, the songs have many differences. This was (and still is) a great live band, always taking the tracks in new directions and not fearing the "clams" that would sometimes come up. I always thought the albums were weaker than their live show (not to say the records were weak - far from it!) because they blew my mind live!
The tape turned out quite well, in fact I would say it is in my personal top ten concert master recordings to date. I'm glad I spent the extra few dollars on the audiophile grade cassettes. Sony metal Master tapes are housed in shells made of ceramic material instead of plastic (think  shower tiles instead of pop bottles) using some of the best audio tape ever made for consumer use. These cassettes are not the standard run-of-the-mill variety but high-end high-grade and high priced to match. While I could find average good tapes for a couple to a few dollars, these cassettes cost me something like 15 or 20 dollars each. Google them. If you find some, and they're cheap, buy them! I'll buy them off you!
I played the tape back after re-aligning the playback head to track the original recording. Analog azimuth adjustment is critical for proper playback. My old WM-D3 always had azimuth drifting issues, as the heads were mounted on the same hinge as the door. I think that everytime a tape is inserted or removed, the heads shift a little bit. Both sides were independently remastered to digital, played into the computer flat. There were live analog recording level adjustments made during the first song, which I have smoothed out to be less noticeable. The original digi-version is as the tape is : loud and clear but a little thin of bass. I usually play tapes though an analog EQ to make fixes to the sound balance of lows to highs, but in order to achieve the desired results there would have been an extra layer of noise from the EQ. I used a Wavelab parametric EQ plug-in to digitally boost bass +10dB below 200Hz as well as adding a 1kHz spike boost (vocal definition), a 2kHz wide drop (guitar squeal cut), and a small 10kHz plus raise (slight extra cymbal sizzle). I widened the stereo field by 25%, balanced the two channels (left side was cut by 2 to 3 dB to match the right) and ran it through a final limiter (no peaks above -0.1dB, but no compression) although the levels only touched 0dB a few times. There is still ample headroom in this CD. I fought the loudness war and I won!
I haven't got any "real" coverart but have made some artworx scans of my master tape and cassette cover with ticket stub. It is a start to some real photoshop-y art project. If you make something for a true cover, please share with the others, and please email me a copy of your contribution to the coverart pool!
Please share this recording freely - don't buy or sell it, as that's just not right. The band owns the rights. Send them some cash if you really like this! Burn discs freeely for your friends and neighbours, upload it somewhere losslessly, press it on vinyl, whatever! Give! Please if you're giving it to someone who will re-share it, provide them with a data disc of the original FLAC fileset. Don't try re-ripping those audio CDR's! Please don't EnCrap to eMPty3 unless for temporary personal use only. Delete all eMPty3's when done. Better yet if you want lossy files - get your hearing tested! Friends don't let friends listen lossy! Smash your IPood, you festering nerd!
The technical mumbo-jumbo from TLH follows....


1 comment:

  1. Glad you like it enough to post it! They were (and still are) a smoking hot live band! I should do up my second night's cassettes still never digitized! Or, the 2 nights I saw them at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver in 1991 plus a William Calhoun drum clinic I saw between shows. MuchMusic was there following the band and filmed part of the second night for broadcast... Great tapes also still never digitized yet! D'oh!

    One of these years....