Monday, July 11, 2011

July 1, 2011 Superball IX, Watkins Glen, NY

It's been a little over a week since these shows, and the more I listen to them, the more I think they are some seriously top notch stuff.  Given the fireworks of the 3rd and 4th sets from night 2 (figuratively) and all of night 3 (figuratively and literally), this night is somewhat overlooked.  However, to my ears, the Sand, Crosseyed, and Simple from this show are all top notch.  The Wolfman's and Quinn in the first set are also really good.  At the time of this writing, there are 9 sources available from this night.  My hat goes off to all the tapers.  To put in the effort at a festival where you can pretty much party as hard as you like, is an even more difficult task than at a regular show.  Thanks a lot fellas.

Source 1 (hereafter CK93 source)
Source: AKG-CK93 > PS-2 > DEAD-20 > MARANTZ-PMD661
Location: BOB

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter DPA source)
Source: DPA 4023>Sonosax SX-M2>Sound Devices 722 (24/96)
Location: DIN/FOB/DFC 6' stand
Transfer: 722>Firewire>Macbook>Sound Studio 3.6(fades, normalize peak, track)>Wave Editor (iZotope Resampler/MBIT+ Dither)>xACT 2.12(align on sector boundaries, encode, tag, fingerprint)>flac16 (level 8 )

16 bit source

Source 3 (hereafter CCM4 source)
Source:Schoeps CCM4(ortf) Schoeps/VMS5u>R44(ocm) 24/96
Location:FOB/DFC 6' stand
Transfer:SDHC>Audacity 16/44 >Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 4 (hereafter MK41 source)
Source:Schoeps MK41(din) > Kcy > Sonosax SX-M2/LS2 >R44(OCM)24/96
Location:FOB/DFC 6' stand
Transfer:SDHC>Audacity 16/44 >Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 5 (hereafter MG source) ***24 bit only***
Source: Microtech Gefell um900  + Schoeps mk41v > kc5 > cmc6 > lunatec V3 (digital out) > SD744T (24/48)
Location: MG:omni, 52cm split, fob MK41v: dina, fob
Transfer: Wavelab 5 (matrix, fades, tracking)

24 bit source

Source 6 (hereafter MBHO source)
Source: MBHO KA500HN >>> Hi Ho Silver Actives >>> MBHO MBP 603A >>> Darktrain Silver Interconnects >>>
Naiant LittleBox[Output Transformers] >>> Darktrain Silver Interconnects >>> Sony PCM-M10[24-Bit/96kHz]
Location: DINa/FOB/LOC
Transfer: Sony PCM-M10 > WaveLab 6[Normalize/Crystal Resampler/UV22HR Dither] > CD Wave 1.98 > CKRename >
Traders Little Helper v2.6.0[Encode To FLAC/Level 8/Align On Sector Boundaries]

16 bit source

Source 7 (hereafter Oktava source)
Source: Oktava MC-012s  > Edirol UA-5 (DIY digi-mod, 44.1kHz) > optical > Creative Nomad JB3 (WAV)
Location: omni, OTS, 10'up, NOS
Lineage: Creative Nomad JB3 > USB > Creative Play Center > CDWav > Trader's Little Helper (FLAC Level 8)

16 bit source

Source 8 (hereafter AKG 392 source)
Source: AKG392's(OTS/DFC) -> Hydra Silver XLR's -> Edirol UA-5 (Oade warm mod) -> Microtrack II 24 bit @ 48 Khz
Location: Omnidirectional 39" separation, 75 HZ bass rolloff, Mics aimed at PA Stacks, approximately 12 ft high on stand.
Transfer: Microtrack II-> USB -> PC-> CD WAVE Editor -> Flac Frontend

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 9 (hereafter SKM184 source)
Source: Neumann skm184>sd702>wav24/48
Location: OTS>13ft
Transfer: CF>goldwave(dither resample 16/441)>cd wave>flac level 8

16 bit source

Phish - 7/1/11 "Simple" > "Bug" from Phish on Vimeo.

The CK93 source is a bit tinny, especially compared to the robust bass on so many of the other sources.  However, the highs, as might be expected, are excellent.

The DPA source has great bass, but at the lowest end tends towards the boomy side.  This is a problem with several of the recordings, perhaps the bass was just kicking a bit more than usual at the show.  However, there are other sources with a bit more tightness on the bass.

The CCM4 source is a bit distant sounding, and like the DPA source, is a bit boomy down low.

The MK41 source, like its sister source, the CCM4's, is also boomy down low.  Though, it does sound, on the whole, better than the CCM4's.

The MG source, as often happens with matrix mixes, is fairly muddy down low, without the tight warmth that comes with the best MG sources.

The MBHO source is very thin compared to the other sources.  Just needs a lot more bass response.

The Oktava source has several problems that may turn people off of it.  First of all, it is not complete, several of the tracks have been patched with the CCM4 source.  Further the last several tracks of set 1 were recorded in 256kHz MP3 rather than wav files.  Also, there is a fair amount of crowd noise, which is a bit surprising to me, given that it is an OTS source and the mic stand was 12' in the air.  All of that said, this source sounds the best to my ears.  The highs are excellent, the low end is full without being boomy and the attack on Mike's bass is fantastic.  I listened to this source on the treadmill today and it only confirmed to me that is sounds great.

The AKG 392 source is either the 2nd or 3rd best of the bunch.  The main issue with it, compared to the Oktava source, is the lack of bass response.  The bass is nice and clear, though the tone isn't as good as the SKM184 source, but it just doesn't kick the sub.  The highs, as you expect from AKG's are just fantastic. 

The SKM184 source is a very warm recording with great bass tone, all the way into the lowest frequencies.  However, like the AKG392 source, it just doesn't kick the sub the way the Oktava source does.  I would say this is right there with the 392 source as the 2nd or 3rd best recording.

Happy listening!

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