|Pink Floyd - Town Hall, Birmingham, UK (24-96)|
|Recorded at the Town Hall, Birmingham, UK. Good audience recording.
From the info file:
Town Hall 1970-02-11 (24bit/96kHz)
**Lord Snooty Low Gen Cassettes**
February 11th 1970
Lineage: Low gen cassettes > Nakamichi 700 > Zoom H2 > Wav (24bit/96kHz) ----> Adjustments (32bit float/96kHz) > Wav (24bit/96kHz) > CDWave (1.98) > FLAC
This recording has a presence and immediacy missing from all the other circulating copies and transfers and the overbearing background noise common to most copies is much reduced. For those who find it reassuring, as I do, it is largely replaced with some authentic low gen hiss and occasionally the sound of what appears to be machine noises from the recording device. We speculated that what we dubbed the 'rotating noise' which you will hear on this and other copies, is from a reel to reel player.
The taper was probably towards the back of the auditorium and we think they had their recording levels set low. The way the high end falls off indicates that basic equipment was used. The recording levels have probably been subsequently optimised during copying. There was a similar issue with the short tape that I torrented on Yeeshkul back in 2008 where a different, less pleasing to the ear approach had been taken. Both cassettes are from the 1970s.
It's difficult to draw any clear conclusions about the Town Hall's acoustics but they may well have contributed to the overall ambience of this recording. Those not familiar with it might be a bit put off at first but my experience is that it ceases to be distracting when your ear dials into the sound.
If you are outside of the UK or have never been to Birmingham it's worth taking a moment to to get a feel for the Town Hall's neo-classical architecture by looking it up on wikipedia. Internal pictures from the time suggest that the hall was quite long and slim with a balcony at the end furthest from the stage.
Little memorabilia from the concert appears to exist. The only thing I could find was a ticket on google image search. I tried contacting the Friends of Birmingham Town Hall but they were unable to assist.
11 February 1970 was a Wednesday and the concert started at 19.45. It was promoted by big name promotor Roy Guest, who had joined NEMS Enterprises in the autumn of 1968.
I have some strong doubts about the lineage of the various recordings doing the rounds. People whom I have spoken to who have been active in the Pink Floyd collecting world for many years freely admit to having never got near the masters.
Most copies from the late 1970's onwards started out from a major tape collector in San Diego. He was selling and trading using low quality unbranded cassettes. His collection was passed to another collector who continued distributing tapes and then another one after that. There is also a guy from Wales, DT, who was probably the source of the San Diego trader in case anybody reading this recognises themselves or can offer a lead. My short tape was from a Midlands collector and I don't have his name, unfortunately, as the person who gave it to me has forgotten it.
I am very grateful to Lord Snooty for sending me his transfer and agreeing to it being shared on Yeeshkul. Set aside an evening to listen to LS's copy of this fascinating concert all the way through - you will not regret it!
***Littlepieces' Mastering Notes***
This is a mono recording that was dubbed as two channel stereo as is often the case. Due to the previous transfers/dubs with less than perfect azimuth (head alignment), the recording has a phase shift that varies from 16-20 samples which creates over a 10db deficit between 2-3k. A significant phase shift exists in all versions of this recording. Accompanying the phase shift is the usual difference in the channels output levels and content with the left channel 1.5db-2.7db lower than the right channel for most the recording.
I chose not to eliminate the weaker left channel since it was not clear that it was contributing relevant content. Given this, both channels were retained and the phase shift was addressed by manually aligning the channels which restored the more than 10dB deficit between 2-3k. I also selectively increased the gain of the left channel 1.5db-2.7db to help balance the output. An additional 3dB increase was made to both channels leading into VS thru STC since it was lower than the preceding and subsequent segments.
As with most sources of this show, the speed was fast though not near as fast as most other sources. The speed varies from 3-5% fast which required different adjustments throughout the recording. It now has a more consistent speed, but as is expected with old audience recordings, the speed still varies from time to time and includes a few spot drags and wow & flutter.
Compared to some other sources, this source is missing ~1m of audience/tuning between STC and TAP, and Sysyphus begins fading out 20s before it cuts and cuts about 10s earlier. Like the other sources, it has the same rougher SQ at the beginning of Embryo, some distortion during high output segments, applause segments at the ends of some tracks sounding faked, and the occasional tic.
A unique artifact in this recording and some other versions is an oscillating level that is most noticeable in the upper end and eventually diminishes as the recording progresses into the second half of the show. I also recall that Harvest mentioned in some notes that one of the sources they used for 'Project Birmingham' had the same oscillation. I don't recall whether it is on the so-called 3rd gen HiFi-Jim Shoes source, though they used some analog compression during the transfer so that could have obscured it. It is not apparent on Neon's 16kHz/48kHz torrent or pinkrabbits torrent from many years ago. The point is that some sources have the oscillation and some do not. This, among other things, would seem to indicate that there are at least two different source branches emanating from the master.
IMO, this source 'sounds like' the lowest gen unprocessed source to have surfaced so far and is a welcome improvement to an important document in the history of Pink Floyd.
01 [11:55] The Embryo
02 [11:28] Main Theme from More
03 [00:49] Tuning
04 [10:09] Careful With That Axe, Eugene
05 [11:57] Sysyphus
06 [05:45] Heart Beat, Pig Meat
07 [06:24] Quicksilver
08 [04:21] Moonhead
09 [08:02] The Violent Sequence
10 [13:32] Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
11 [22:57] The Amazing Pudding
|| [107:24] Total Time
Lord Snooty Tape Transfer/ Little Pieces Production (LPP) / Arrangements and research by Neonknight (February 2012)