BAND: THE OTHER ONES "GRATEFUL DEAD FAMILY REUNION"
Show Date: 08-03-2002
Venue: Alpine Valley Music Theatre Main Stage
Location: East Troy, Wi
Set(S): Pre-Show / I / Intermission & Interviews / Ii / Encores / Post-Show
Audio Rating: Ar-1A
Media Required: Dat: 1X180 Min.
Cd-R / Mini Disc: 4
Released On: 10/10/02
Official Show Notes:
Lineage: Stage Microphones > Separate Mixing Console At Venue Mixing Area > Digital Satellite Feed To Wxrt-Fm
> Pre-Transmitter 24-Bit/96 Khz Wxrt Dat > Sssb; any/all editing, fades, NR, hiss elimination, phase
shifting, time smear correction, digital jitter elimination, and quantization noise elimination (when down-
converting audio for CD-R mastering), were all performed using 24-bit/96 kHz digital realm processing at
Serafin Station Studio B using the "Harpoon" editing software (V1.048.72 Build 103)
Jay's Personal Comments:
I'm not going to go into each and every song; I will let them "speak for themselves".
Although the audio quality for this show is VERY GOOD, this is NOT a "true SBD" show, as you will hear for
yourselves. According to the audio engineers who were working the venue, the audio sources for the 2-track
WXRT-FM feed audio mix came from a carefully-placed bank of 16 specific microphones; they were set up both
on and above the stage; all of these mikes picked up the audio from the on-stage instrument amplifiers, the
speaker banks to the left and right of the stage, as well as 4 carefully-aimed mikes (2 far stage left, the 2
far stage right) picking up both the "audience reactions and ambience" as well as the crowd nearest to the
physical stage. This explains why you can hear both the majority of the audience, as well as many individual
audience members to the stage itself.
So, while the mix was indeed a 2-track stereo mixdown, with specific instruments assigned/panned to the left
and right of "audio center", the audio is not as "clean" as a "pure SBD output mix" would be. It more
resembles an EXCELLENT FOB recording! The audio sounds crisp 95%+ of the time, and because of the "time
smear" elimination my editing program can provide; and I've been told from 26 people who were at this show
who have listened to this particular version of the show, that this particular version of the recording
sounds "as close to what the audience actually heard" as possible! Each and every microphone has it's
frequency limitations and pickup patterns, but that's why so many different types were chosen to be used for
the audio each mike was designated to pick up.
There's all for the necessary "pre-details". But, there is some additional information which is important to
be aware of in this particular version of the WXRT-FM transmission:
A) The "pre-transmitted" audio is slightly cleaner...
B) This recording contains audio frequencies up to 21.45 kHz (16 kHz is the legal audio limit the FCC allows
FM radio stations to transmit)...
C) The dynamic headroom varies between 3 to 5 dB GREATER than the "final compressed/limited signal" sent to
the physical transmitter for WXRT-FM.
D) You may well find that this version of the show is very close to that of the one which Chicago-area
listeners were able to hear for themselves. But again, the higher audio frequency spectrum, as well as the
little extra dynamic headroom, allows the sound quality to be slightly better. And in using the process to
reduce/eliminate the "time smear", the show will sound slightly less "muddy". Many people will hear the
slight improvement, while a few may not.
E) The commercials have been edited out, per legal restrictions and copyright laws; any references to the
companies who were sponsoring the concert were also edited out; this was performed in such a manner as not
to "interrupt the flow" of the host when he was speaking of "general observations" or specific information
such as doing the McNally interview.
F) The tracks are "named" in accordance to what you are actually listening to... the wording for the track
names is not mine, but were the names which were "strongly suggested" I use from my MCS.
ONLY TWO PROBLEMS WITH THIS RECORDING EXISTS:
1) When the pre-recorded Hart/McNally interviews were inserted, the deck which played those interviews was
inadvertently not hooked up to the 24-bit clock system, so you will hear low volume random little "ticks"
where the digital signals "dropped bits". I lowered the volume of these timing errors, but could not
eliminate them, without affecting the audio itself.
2) I could NOT get permission from GDP to include the song "The Wheel" that contained many Garcia and a few
other sound bytes mixed in. This was because the version of The Wheel was the one from Jerry's commercial
release. I tried, and the people I spoke with pushed for this to be included, but the legal eagles at GDP
stated that allowing this to occur could open the door for future problems in pursuing and prosecuting people
who profit from "Kindness shows". I can understand their point of view, and I respect that. I wish you
could have heard it, as it was a very well-edited piece that showed how humble Jerry was about his playing
abilities, as well as some sound bytes (from others) concerning his passing away.
It is funny, at times, to listen to the WXRT-FM's host at Alpine Valley, who was referred to several times as
WXRT's "Grateful Daddy-O", Bobby Skafish, when he was giving his personal comments, as well when reading off
the titles to the songs. He is a well-known Deadhead, but he was just too wrapped up in the energy of the
show a few times.
There are a total of three interviews during the post-Set I intermission; one was live from Alpine Valley
with Dennis McNally... the other two were clips from previously taped interviews conducted at WXRT-FM's
studio from their weekly talk show "Sound Opinions", both of which were with Mickey Hart (and one had a few
comments from McNally).
Some of the intermission "banter" by Skafish was informative. Learning how the "order for playing" for the
artists each day was chosen, how the whole Family Reunion began to take shape, and more. Some is just
"rehashing" of things most of us already knew. But, everything was kept intact and in the order it was
transmitted to Chicago-area listeners.
The owners, workers, and everyone associated with Alpine Valley Music Theatre...
Bobby Skafish, host and interviewer at Alpine Valley Music Theatre...
Metro Mobile, providing the digital mixing equipment and digital satellite feed to WXRT-FM...
Timothy Powell, head audio engineer at Metro Mobile/WXRT-FM mixing console...
Skinner Waies and Dan Dalton, assistant mixdown audio engineers to Timothy Powell...
Bill Artlipp, WXRT-FM remote location producer and director...
Matt Spiegel, WXRT-FM local producer...
Tom Lysak and John Farnita, WXRT-FM pre-concert coordination team...
Scott Gelman and Kate Darling from Clear Channel Communications...
Cameron Sears, Grateful Dead Productions...
Norm Weiner, WXRT-FM Program Director.
THANK YOU to these knowledgeable and hard working people for making this feed happen in the first place!
WXRT-FM was the ONLY station allowed to transmit this show live on 8/3/02! Sure, it probably cost quite
a bit more than the commercial advertising revenue WXRT-FM charged to make this digital feed happen, but
that's the type of radio station that WXRT-FM has ALWAYS been! From their early days as an "underground
music" station decades ago to their format, choices of music, and specialty shows they produce or
purchase all the time, WXRT-FM has always been the station which people listened to when they wanted to
hear anything BUT "Top 40", "constant playlist" repetition, or show hosts and deejays who follow the
beaten path. I am NOT just saying this because a contact at WXRT-FM gave me this recording to work with
(and who explained what could or could NOT be included in this release!), but because I've spent 25+
years enjoying WXRT-FM, and their "we're going to do things OUR WAY" philosophy.
PERSONAL RATINGS: (on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being excellent)
Audio Mix: 9.3 (slight muddiness on the vocals, due to how the audio was picked up)
Audio Quality: 9.4 (see the comment above)
Energy Level: 10+ ("off the scale!")
Show "Completeness": 10 (since only the commercials, sponsor names, and "The Wheel" were edited out)
Song Selection: You need to decide this for yourselves!
Surprises: Born Cross-Eyed (my opinion), as well as the 2 song "Tribute To Jerry" which started the show.