David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars
Green's Playhouse, Glasgow
First show (?) 18 May 1973
VERY GOOD QUALITY audience recording
01 Hang On To Yourself
02 Ziggy Stardust
03 Watch That Man
04 Quicksand/Life On Mars?/Memory Of A Free Festival
05 The Prettiest Star
06 Moonage Daydream
08 Space Oddity
09 The Jean Genie
11 Width Of A Circle
12 Let's Spend The Night Together
13 Drive In Saturday
14 Panic In Detroit
15 Suffragette City
16 Cracked Actor
17 Rock'n'Roll Suicide
This is a *fantastic* show, in great quality sound...to me it sounds almost like a mixing desk recording as there are no close audience sounds, simply the en masse audience sounds...is it en masse! As Pimm Jal de la Parra (RIP) pointed out in his
brilliant Concert Tapes book, the enthusiastic Glasgow crowd make a 3500 seater venue sound like there 10,000 there! Bowie is cleared bowled over by their ecstatic response, saying "We love you Glasgow, thank you!" as the concert ends.
I should point out firstly that I was sent two tapes of this show - one was labelled the 'evening' show, the other - the same show - simply was labelled 18th May and was the tape I used here. I should also mention that the tape labelled the 'matinee' show was the recording the 'Hot Shit' bootleg labels the evening show.
Not sure we'll ever know definitively which show was which, unless someone who attended both shows pipes up some point.
Both the tapes had several issues, but underneath those was a great quality recording struggling to get out.
The tape I used had gradually (very slowly) increasing speed. I dealt with this by changing the speed on side 2 per track - and during The Width of A Circle in stages. I did this by locating points where a small change would be undetectable to all but the most trained ear : there were already minor speed fluctuations during the recording and during this song, so if anything the method did not seem inappropriate. I should also point out that I used my own methods - mixing in Audacity, and using the speed change facility within. I am aware there are more sophisticated methods than the ones I employ. At some point I do want to work with an engineer I know on this, but it's finding the time to do so. For now, considering this is an old recording from 1973...well is it perfect, no. Does it sound very good for a recording of this vintage - certainly, yes! In my opinion and hopefully yours too.
I did manually introduce some separation, by using a mixing method I detail below, and a little of mda_image. I feel the end justified the means as the clarity this brought means that each instrument can be heard.
I should point out this gig, and in particular Width of a Circle, despite the faults in the recording, to me it feels like the Santa Monica 72 performance, albeit being a near match for sound quality (in my opinion), but with a band playing with more panache and more self assurance by this stage.
The process I use in Audacity to widen the sound, usually consists of the following -
-9db decrease (as the mixing and combining needs space)
double up the tracks, add .01 sec delay to one of the channels, split channels and mix either side (balance achieved through trial and error)
Combine above doubled up track with untouched track with the latter at a higher level. The above mixing while giving a nice widening effect I am more than aware can sometimes sound artificial to some, and I have found combining it with the untouched file means a balance is achieved between the raw sound of the original and the mixed version. Studios used - and I'm sure still do - used to resort to all sorts of double tracking and compression effects and the bottom line is this method I found by trial and error sounds good to me and others. Those who do not approve or find it does not sound good to them - no-one is forcing you to download this.
Voila...I listen to live recordings in headphones for the most part, and many people listen in headphones / earphones these days.
This may sound better to many like that, and I am aware that through conventional speakers this sort of mix / re-work may or may not sound as good as an untouched version. It's very subjective, and very much down to individual preference.
Where I don't provide samples the downloader who is unsure about this can simply pick one or two tracks to ascertain how good this is, just as I do.
** CAN ANYONE HELP ON THIS? **
THE EVENT OF DAVID BOWIE
3LP of Bad Segeburg 18 June 1983.
I am well aware that there was a CD version, and torrents of that and a tape version of the LP version have been shared...can someone share a direct transfer from the LP, please?
Thanks for any help!