Monday, February 28, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 2-25-11 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA

Trey tour starts its westward push with a Friday night show in Pittsburgh.  For the first time all tour, the acoustic set has been complemented with several full electric pieces to end the first set.  Once again, we have several sources to choose from.  My hearty thanks go out to all the tapers who not only record the shows, but share them with the community at large so quickly.

Source 1 (hereafter MK22 source)
Source: Schoeps MK22 (DIN) > KCY > VMS5U > Oade Ambient Mod R4 Pro
Location: FOB
Transfer: R4 Pro Harddrive > Audition 1.0 > CDWav > WAV > FLAC

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter MBHO Hypers source)
Source: MBHO KA500HN[DINa] >>> Hi Ho Silver Actives >>> Naiant LittleBox[Output Transformer] >>> Darktrain Silver Interconnects >>> Sound Devices 722[24-Bit/96kHz]
Location: DFC/FOB
Transfer: CF Card > WaveLab 6[Gain Added/96kHz>44.1kHz/Apogee UV22HR Dither] > CD Wave 1.98 > CKRename > Traders Little Helper[Encode To FLAC/Level 6/Align On Sector Boundaries]

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 3 (hereafter ADK source)
Source: ADK A-51TLs (hypercardioids DINa) > Gepco multi-pair XLRs > Edirol UA-5 (Oade Warm Mod) > iRiver H120 (@16bit/44.1kHz)
Location: FOB @FOH, ~10' ROC, ~10'high
Transfer: iRiver H120 > USB 2.0 > Cakewalk Sonar 4.0 > CD Wave Editor (exported as FLAC)

16 bit source

Source 4 (hereafter MBHO 603a source)
Source: MBHO603a/KA200N > Fostex FR2-LE

16 bit source

First off, all four of these sources are excellent.  The differences between them are minute and really it came down to a matter of levels, and for the first time, had more to do with subtle differences in the acoustic portions than in the electric set.

The MK22 source comes out the best, but only by a smidge.  The levels during the acoustic portion are quite nice, and you can really hear some subtleties on the acoustic, the ring of the strings, that is missing on the two MBHO sources.  The high-end isn't as nice on the MK22 source as on the MBHO sources, however, the richness of the source edges out this difference.  Crowd noise is evident throughout the acoustic set, but no more so than in the other sources.

The MBHO KA500 source has very nice high-end on the acoustic portions, but misses some of the small things you hear on the MK22 source.  The bass is quite nice during the full electric portions, though it could certainly be a bit more in front to my taste.  All of the sources suffer from a general lack of bass during the acoustic full band sections, and I presume this is just a matter of the mix, rather than the mics.

The ADK source has a nice presence on the acoustic, but there is a hollowness to the sound in the mids on the electric portions.  There is also a slight ringing at the very highest frequencies, it sounds like a PA on the verge of feeding back, but not quite there.  I don't know what causes that on a mic recording, but its there.

The MBHO 603a source has low levels during the acoustic portion, which causes the acoustic to sound more distant than in other MBHO or MK22 source.  However, during the electric portion, the levels are excellent.  The bass is rich and full and well balanced with the entire band.

Like I said in the introduction, the electric portions of the 2 MBHO sources and the MK22 source are frankly, very, very similar.  However, the acoustic portion of the MK22 source is just ever so slightly better, and that is the recording I have chosen for my personal collection.

Happy Listening!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 2-23-11 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA Sources Review

Wow! 7 sources available for this show a mere 36 hours after the show.  That is some serious dedication and effort by the tapers.  Thanks a ton guys!  By all accounts, this was a seriously hot show and there are some great sources to choose from.  In fact, between the final two, it's really a gut call.

Source 1 (hereafter MK41v source)
Source: Schoeps mk41v's(DINa)>kc5>m222>nt222>744t
Location: @ SBD/SLOC
Transfer: 744t>CD Wave>Wavelab 5>Flac

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter MK4 source)
Source: Schoeps MK4(DIN)> Nbox+ >Sony PCM-M10 From OTS

16 bit source

Source 3 (hereafter AKG 463 source)
Source: AKG C460Bs/CK 63-ULS (~70 hz roll off, DINAish)->Kind Kables->Naiant LittleBox->Segue Dogstar Silver-Clad Interconnect->Edirol R-09HR (24 bit/48 kHz)
Location: OTS LOC, on stand ~9'
Transfer: SDHC -> PC
Processing: Fade in, fade out, dithered to 16 bit, resampled to 44.1 kHz & tracking using SoundForge 9.0.
Conversion: FLAC frontend 1.7.1 used to align on sector boundaries and for Flac16 Conversion @ level 8

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 4 (hereafter CCM4 source)
Source:SchoepsCCM4s>Grace Design Lunatec V3 aes/spdif>R44(Ocm)24/96
Location: @ SBD/SLOC
Transfer:SDHC> Audacity 16/44>Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 5 (hereafter MK41Vms5u source)
Source:Schoeps MK41>KCY>Vms5u>R44(OCM) 24/96
Location: @ SBD/SLOC
Transfer:SDHC> Audacity 16/44>Amadeus Pro>xACT

16 bit source

Source 6 (hereafter FOB MK41v source)
Source: Schoeps mk41v (dina, fob) > kc5 > m222 > nt222 + mk5 (omni, 51cm split) >kc5 > cmc6 > lunatec V3 (analog out) > SD744T (24/96)
Location: FOB
Transfer: Wavelab 5 (matrix, fades, resample, dither UV22HR, tracking)

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 7 (hereafter AKG CK93 source)
Source: AKG-CK93 > PS-2 > DEAD-20 > MARANTZ-PMD661

16 bit source

The MK41v source has a bit of low rumbling on the attack of Trey's acoustic.  It has noticeably less treble than either of the two AKG sources.  However, when Tony comes on, the bass response is very nice, except at the very lowest frequencies.  The bass is rich, but not over the top.  Even with the full band, the bass continues to be probably the nicest of any of the sources.  However, this source just seems to be missing something in the highs and mids that you get from the AKG 463 source.  If you want more bass though, go with this source. It is very, very good.

The MK4 source again doesn't have the nice highs like the AKGs during the acoustic part.  The crowd noise on this recording is very similar to all of the recordings.  The crowd was apparently much, much more respectful than at some of the other shows on this tour.  Perhaps playing on a Wednesday night had something to do with that?  The bass is not as potent as on the MK41v source, however the tone is still quite nice. 

The AKG 463 source has a really crisp sound on the acoustic, with much more treble than in any of the Schoeps sources.  The bass is a bit low when Tony comes out for the full band with Trey on acoustic portions.  However, once the full electric band is in effect, the bass is quite nice with good distinction all the way to the lowest frequencies.  The bass doesn't kick quite as hard as on the MK41v source, however the highs and mids are so nice that this is the recording I decided to go with.   Like I said above, if you really want to have that extra bass, by all means go with the MK41v source, its really good too.

The CCM4 source sounds really good with the acoustic, but like the other Schoeps sources, just doesn't have the treble response of the AKG sources.  During the full electric portions, the bass is full, but a little muddy at the lowest frequencies with more thud than tone, though not nearly as muddy as the AGK CK93 source.

The MK41Vms5u source (that's a mouthful!) has a nice guitar tone, right out front.  The bass doesn't have as much punch as the CCM4's, however it is not as muddy at the lowest frequencies as the CCM4's either.  This source just doesn't have the great high's and tight bottom of the AKG 463 or MK41v source.

The FOBMK41v source has the same low rumbling on the attack when Trey plays the acoustic.  The bass is quite muddy compared to any of the other sources.  At times the bass is just plain overwhelming.

The AKG CK93 source, like the other AKG source, has great treble response on the acoustic.  However, once the rest of the band comes in, there is a bit of a hollowness to the recording.  The bass is not as nice on this recording as on the other AKG or the MK41v. 

Like I said above, its really a toss up depending on your preferences between the AKG 463 and the MK41v, however, for my tastes, the AKG 463 edges it out because of the superior nature of the highs, even though it gives up a little bit on the low end.

Happy listening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 2-22-11 Terminal 5, New York, NY Sources Review

Wow, already 4 nights into Trey tour.  I think this band is playing really well and I suggest that everybody who is close to a show should try and catch at least one.  The acoustic sets aren't nearly as dreary as many imagined they might be, though the crowd noise tends to be problematic on the recordings, and as I've heard, in person as well.  Show a little respect for your fellow fans please and keep the conversation down during the music.

Source 1 (hereafter SP source)
Source: Sound Professional AT853 Cardiods -> SP P/S -> Edirol R-09HR
Transfer: Edirol R-09HR -> USB -> Cool Edit Pro -> Trader's Little Helper

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter AKG source)
Source: AKG se300b/ck93>Edirol UA-5 (bm2p+)>iRiver h120
Transfer: iRiver h120>usb>MacBook Pro>Audacity 1.3.7

16 bit source

Neither of these two sources is perfect, however it is clear from listening which one rises to the top.

The SP source sounds very distant on both the acoustic and electric portions of the show.  However, the crowd noise does not sound very distant, and as a result the acoustic portion is sullied mightily by conversations.  When Trey brings the rest of the band on to complement his acoustic, the bass sounds very thuddy, is buried in the mix, and overall just lacks tone particularly at the lowest frequencies.  The bass does not improve during the fully electric portions either.

The AKG source immediately sounds more in your face than the SP source.  The acoustic sounds nice and out front.  Though there is still crowd noise, it is not nearly as evident as on the SP source.  Unlike the previous night, this source suffers from a lack of bass rather than a surfeit (and I know they are two different rooms, two different AKG mics, two different tapers, etc.).  However, the bass does sound better than on the SP source.  While neither source is perfect, the AKG source is clearly the better of the two.

Happy listening!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 2-20-11 House of Blues, Boston, MA Source Review

Third night into tour and we have 4 different sources to choose from.  The sound quality of all of them is generally good, but there are definitely some that are better than others.  I want to thank all of the tapers for taking the time to record this show.  Also, on etree some folks have been posting the Europe tour from 1997.  Let me highly, highly recommend that you download 2-23-97 from Cortemaggiore, Italy.  It is one of my all-time favorite shows and it was great to see it show up today.

Source 1 (hereafter MG200 source)
Source: Microtech Gefell M200's(DIN)>Audio Magic Hyper-Conductors>Edirol R-4(Oade T mod) @ 24/96
Location: @ sbd (DFC)
Transfer: R-4>USB>pc>Sound Forge 7(track, resample and dither to 16/44.1)> Flac Frontend 1.7.1

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter BSC source)
Source: BSC1 (K3 hypers) > Lunatec V3 Analog > FR-2LE [BA TMod] (24/96)
Location: a foot or so right of DFC/DIN/8' high/behind SBD
Transfer: CF Card > Audacity (fades, tracking, amplify) > r8brain (downsampling) > TLH > Flac (level 8)

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 3 (hereafter MK 41 source)
Source: Schoeps MK41>KC5>CMC6>Sonosax SX-M2>Apogee Mini-me(aes out,24bit/96khz)>COAX>Edirol R-44
Transfer: SDHC Card>USB>Macbook Pro>Wave Editor(tracking,fades,resample(izotope)/dither(mbit+)to 16 bit/44.1k)>XAct(FLAC 8,ffp,fix sbe)

16 bit source
24 bit source

Source 4 (hereafter AKG source)
Source 1: AKG c480b/ck63(DINa,OTS) > Lunatec V3 Digital > Tascam DR-680(24/48)
Sourec 2: AKG c460b/c60m/ck22(AB,3'Split) > Tascam DR-680(24/48)
Transfer: Waves > Soundforge 9.0(Vol+,Normalize) > Vegas Pro 8.0(Mix,EQ Omni,Resample,Dither 16/44.1) > Soundforge 9.0(Fade,Track) > Flac

16 bit source

The MG200 source sounds more in front and has a bit more low-end on the guitar than the BSC or the AKG source.  The bass response is not as robust as the AKG source, however, the bass is clear and distinct.  It would be nice if the bass was had a bit more punch to it, however, on the whole, this is the best sounding of the four sources.

The BSC source is very tinny sounding, both on the acoustic and the electric portions of the show.  The bass disappears completely, though it is more distinct, as far as the notes, than the AKG source.  It's just very trebbly throughout.

The MK41 source is very good sounding, as you would expect from these mics.  However, the bass response just isn't as nice as the MG200, though again, the bass is more distinct than in the BSC or AKG sources, but in different ways.  It is more robust than the BSC, but doesn't have the muddiness of the AKG.

The AKG source sounds very good, but once Tony comes on, particularly for the full band stuff, the bass is just a muddy mess down low.  The bass response is excellent, and it really kicks my sub, but you can't make out what he's doing, just that he's doing something.  If you could combine the bass levels of the AKG's with the clarity of the MG200's or MK41's, you'd have a great tape.  As it is, I give the nod to the MG200's because when given the choice, I'll take clarity over levels.

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 2-19-11 Palace Theater, Albany, NY Source Review

Hey folks! Thanks for sticking with me through Trey tour.  The band is playing some great music and they sound really good together.  In case you missed it, Phish announced their Summer Tour Dates today.  However, I suspect that if you are reading my blog, you already knew that.  Big item there is that it looks like no fall tour this year, or at least that's what I get out of "band has no touring plans for the rest of the year."  Anyway, Trey band is still touring and we have two sources available for this night.  Once again, thanks to the tapers for recording the show and getting it out to us so quickly.

Source 1 (hereafter Busman source)
Source: Busman Bsc1 (Hypers)>HYDRA silver Shorty XLR's>Fostex FR-2LE(Busman T-mod)@24/96
Location: orch center Row 0 Seat 105 DFC/DINA from stage 8' high
Transfer: CF Card>Wavelab 6.0(Resample and Dithering>CD Wave(tacking>TLH(flac 16 level 8)

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter Neuman source)
Source: Neumann U89i (Hyper, DINA, -80h)> Grace Design Lunatec V2> Mytek ADC192 + Neumann AK40/LC3/KM100 (XY)> Oade M248> Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Modified) @ 24/48 on a SDHC card.
Location: OTS/Center
Transfer: SDHC Card> Card Reader> PC> Samplitude SE No. 9> CD Wav (tracked and converted to flac @ level 8).

16 bit source

Once again, a great show.  The number of shows the northeast gets definitely makes me jealous, but I can do without the 2 feet of snow that comes with living up there. 

The Busman source is, as usual, very crisp on the high-end, but just doesn't have much punch on the low-end.  For the acoustic portion, this makes the Busman source very good, until Tony comes out, and then you just can't hear him distinctly and forget about feeling him.  The crowd is noticeably quieter than in Portland, not just the conversation part, but even the sing-along portions, while audible, aren't overwhelming.

The Neuman source has more low-end in general.  This makes the acoustic sound a bit bassy, but the high-end is still nice.  However, once Tony comes out, it is clear that this is the superior source.  The bass is rich and nice, while the high-hats are still crisp and the horns are well balanced.  This is the source that will end up on my hard drive.

Happy Listening!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band 02-18-11 State Theater, Portland, ME Source Review

After a 6 week hiatus following the Holiday Run, Trey Anastasio is back on the road for an interesting acoustic/electric combo that has offered some interesting surprises and some great music taboot.  Not surprisingly, there are fewer sources for this show than for your typical Phish show, but where there are two or more sources available, I will be here to tell you which one I think sounds the best.  As always, a big thanks to the tapers who go to the effort to record these shows and get them out into our hands.

Source 1 (hereafter binaural source)
Source: Sound Professionals SP-BMC-12 (Croakie mount) -> custom battery box with -10db pad -> Zoom h4n line-in (to 24bit/48kHz wav)
Location: (FOB) center of lower orchestra section, at the rail
Transfer: SD Card -> Computer -> Mastered in Reaper (x64) EQ -> Dynamics -> Tracking -> 16/44.1 ->Trader's Little Helper to fix SBEs and encode to flac (level 8) -> foobar2000 to tag metadata

16 bit source

Source 2 (hereafter MK4 source)
Source: Schoeps mk4>kc5>cmc6>fostex fr-2le w/Oade HD Concert Mod@48-24>CF
Location: FOB Right of Center
Transfer: CF>Soundforge-editing/tracking>Wavelab-SRC44-16>Flac Frontend>flac

16 bit source

The binaural source, as the taper makes note of in his comments, has a ton of crowd noise.  The taper apparently made great effort to minimize this with software, but alas, there is still a lot there.  When I say a lot, I mean that you can hear entire conversations going on, not just the low rumble of the crowd.  Trey's acoustic sounds quite nice, with good response up and down the frequency spectrum, picking up the squeak of his fingers as he moves to different frets.  There isn't a ton of "shimmer" on the acoustic, which I generally like, but that could have been the result of the soundman's tastes or Trey's preamp rather than the mics.  At a couple of places there is a weird stereo effect (see early in the vocals of My Friend) which I can only assume comes from somebody actually bumping into the mics.  I have a set of binaurals myself that I have used for stealth taping and I know this is common if you move your head (I usually mount mine to the brim of a ballcap).  The bass is boomy, but lacks clear notes, in other words, lots of muddiness down low.  The crowd noise also carries over into the electric set.

The MK4 source doesn't have as nice levels as the binaural source, however there is noticeably less crowd noise.  The acoustic guitar is not as up front on this source, but neither are there any conversations going on.  Once the full band comes on, the main complaint is that the bass is just a bit low in the mix.  The notes are distinct, just not as thumping as on the binaural source.  Overall, neither source is perfect, however the distractions of the crowd noise in the binaurals give the nod to the MK4 source.

Happy Listening!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trey Tour Is Upon Us

With Trey Anastasio starting his spring tour tonight, look for updates to this blog as soon as multiple sources are available.  On shows where there is only one source, I will post the link to the source, but I will only comment on the sound in passing.  Thanks for stopping by.

Happy listening!