|Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here and Animals Studio Rough Mix Tapes (Neonknight-Jimfisheye) (24-96)|
|From the info file:
Wish You Were Here studio rough mix tape, 1975
Animals studio rough mix tape, 1976
Neonknight was briefly loaned the two cassettes used for this release in 2012.
2016 mastering: Jimfisheye.
2012 tape transfer & executive producer: Neonknight.
The labeling as 'demo' on one tape aside, these recordings have the sound of studio rough mix tapes. Made from a cassette deck patched into the mixing board used for quick rough mixes during studio sessions. Mixes made well enough to listen to and critique the work are captured on the fly during playback after tracking and overdubbing. Different parts can be in various states of unfinished. There isn't time to go back and run rough mixes with more care or get tight timing between songs (like a finished album) on a nightly basis. Also with preserving the multitrack tape in mind, the cassette was allowed to just run because the multitrack wasn't going to be restarted for it for a missed entrance. That's why there is dead air with bits of click track and switch click sounds between songs.
The tapes offer a behind the scenes look as the albums were being recorded and should be listened to with an awareness that the mixes are not finished or even meant for presentation. Some of what became background parts are right up front in the mix. Some rough, obviously unfinished vocals. Studio chatter, etc.
Some of the early solos and a few other parts that were later replaced are still reminiscent of the early arrangements of these songs and give these versions a missing link quality. The Animals tracks show the songs evolving lyrically into the Animals theme. Dogs is further along whereas the lyrics to Sheep are more like Raving and Drooling.
The 1975 recording session notes in Glenn Povey’s Complete Pink Floyd book place the Wish You Were Here rough mix tape at May 9, 1975. The notes have Roy Harper recording on HAC on May 9. The next session noted is sax overdubs on SOYCD which has not happened yet at the time of recording this tape.
The Animals tape is sourced from a cassette given to an associate of the band in August 1976.
********** Songs **********
01. Have A Cigar
02. The Machine Song
03. Shine On You Crazy Diamond intro
04. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
05. Dogs part 1
06. Dogs part 2
08. Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The tape covers did not have any track titles.
********** Sources **********
*** Lineage ***
'Wish You Were Here Studio Demo' - TDK SA90 (1985-87) > Technics RS-B965-M > Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 > Audacity 1.3 > FLAC (24bit/96kHz) > Reaper 4.78 > FLAC (24bit/96kHz)
'Animals Rough Mixes' - Sony UCX-S90 CrO2 position tape (1985) > Technics RS-B965-M > Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 > Audacity 1.3 > FLAC (24bit/96kHz) > Reaper 4.78 > FLAC (24bit/96kHz)
Mastering with Reaper DAW with iZotopeRX, Universal Audio, and Waves plugins. Elastique Pro pitch/time expansion/compression is integrated into Reaper.
CD version reduced to 44.1k with SOX in XLD and then 16 bit with Waves IDR.
********** Mastering Notes **********
The aim was to restore the music to its original state, flaws and all, as opposed to attempting to aim for the final studio fidelity. Then at least stop the noise from stealing the spotlight during the quiet parts. Every attempt was made to do no further damage to the recordings while making them more presentable. The dead air between songs was omitted as it offered no content or perspective.
These recordings suffer from distortion and noise. The distortion in the WYWH set sounds like it may have happened on the original recording but I can only speculate. The tape hiss is louder than the music during the quiet intro/outro parts. There is noticeable classic cassette compression and high end attenuation. The Animals set has more severe high end loss. There are also random clicks throughout that sound like static problems from one of the generations of copies in the WYWH set.
Both recordings were slightly out of phase in channel relationship from a minor azimuth error in one or more of the generations. This was offset to correct. The speed/pitch was also corrected on the WYWH set.
The recordings were resistant to very much tweaking without doing damage. The noise was reduced to at least be behind the music in the quiet parts and the clicks were removed (both using isotope RX plugins). The high end attenuation was restored as well as possible with linear phase and parallel additive techniques to minimize any eq distortion. Gentle expansion was used on the low and high bands to offset the tape compression as much as possible using a UA multiband compressor.
The WYWH set contains a second copy of WTTM that appears to be a higher generation copy of the very same track. The high end is more attenuated. However the L channel is 2db louder, there is slightly less hiss, and some slight partial dropouts in the first copy are not present in this 2nd copy. The louder L channel in the 2nd copy sort of seems better balanced in the main body of the song on one hand but the intro and outro stereo synth parts are more balanced with the skewed main body of the first copy of the song. This is the only track that is skewed in balance like this on the first copy and looks like simply an artifact of the rough mix. The noise profile on the recording also remains consistent with the other tracks on the first copy. The clicks in the first copy of the song are repeated exactly in the second but there are also additional clicks in the second copy. This suggests the clicks come from one of the generations of copies down the line and possibly links a cassette deck used. The fidelity of the first copy is clearly better and lower generation sounding in general and thus was used for this master.
Jimfisheye, October 2016