|Pink Floyd - Marbal's Rotterdam '67 Tape (24-96) (LPP)|
|Recorded at the Hippy Happy Fair, De Oude Ahoy Hallen, Ahoy Heliport, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Very good audience recording.
From the info file:
**Important new lineage information included in text below**
Marbal's Rotterdam '67 Tape (24bit/96kHz)
Hippy Happy Fair
De Oude Ahoy Hallen, Ahoy Heliport
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
November 13th 1967
-Artwork by Moonwall-
Lineage: 3rd Gen Cassette (Maxell XLII90)(Dolby On) > *Technics RS-B965-M (Dolby Off) > Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 > Audacity 1.3 > Wav (24bit/96kHz) ----> Adjustments (32bit float/96kHz) > Wav (24bit/96kHz) > CDWave (1.98) > FLAC (24bit/96kHz)
*The Technics RS-B965-M is a deck heavily modified by expert tapehead A.N.T.- for details see the Tapeheads.net forum
01 [01:19] Audience/Tuning
02 [04:13] Reaction in G
03 [11:53] Pow R Toc H
04 [04:37] Scream Thy Last Scream
05 [10:07] Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
06 [14:02] Interstellar Overdrive
== [46:14] Total
Given the late 1967 date for this gig anybody unfamiliar with it might expect to find a poor performance from an exhausted Syd. Some commentators describe the gig as weak but I believe the opposite is the case. Richard Wright provides typically accomplished keyboard playing and holds the arrangements together. He is backed ably by pounding rhythms from Roger and Nick. Syd drifts in and out and when he is in full flight his playing is both radical and mesmerising. The high point is Interstellar Overdrive, which sounds nothing like earlier versions or those that the band played after Syd left. It is arguably amongst the Floyd's best recorded work.
Grolsch told us the tale of this recording. It was made by Gerrit M, who also did Utrecht '68. He was a very early taper and Bob Dylan collector, who traded with other early collectors such as Michael K from Copenhagen. Michael and at least one other collector from the US, Dan W from San Jose, obtained copies off the master. Gerrit moved from the Netherlands to the US in 1973. Fast forward to the early 1990s and Grolsch tracked him down in New Jersey. It turned out that he left most of his belongings in Holland, thinking that he'd get them shipped later on, but never did. When Gerrit asked 10 years later most of the stuff including his reels had disappeared.
At least two sources for first gen copies of Rotterdam are therefore possible through the US or Danish route and may one day surface. Grolsch tells us that the uncirculated second gen copies from these reels are both very similar. Marbal is not sure of the source of his 3rd gen cassette he acquired in 1986 but it seems likely that it was copied from one of the second gen reels.
People have often referred to Benard's reels as masters or 1st gens when in fact they are 3rd gen at best. A friend has Bernard's copy and we have transferred it on many occasions using different and steadily better equipment over the years. The results have consistently been marginally better each time since the first proper transfer to CDR in November 2001. This 2001 transfer was sent to Eskimospy for use by Harvested in August 2005 for the 'What Syd Wants' release. The lineage for Bernard's reel went something like Gerrit M > Michael K > Unknown UK collector > Bernard in the mid 1970s, making it a 3rd gen. The sources from this BW branch seem to be missing more than a minute of the beginning of the recording and the second reel of the two BW reels, which contains the second half of STC and IO, is of lessor SQ than the first reel.
Marbal's 3rd gen cassette has been transferred before by other collectors and it seems from our experience that due to the limitations of the equipment used, they were not able to bring out the best in the recording. I find Marbal's tape more dynamic and notably less worn than Bernard's and this is evident in the raw version. Unlike the BW branch, it is also complete, containing 73s more audience/tuning at the beginning and no SQ degradation on STC and IO. Marbal's tape is a welcome improvement to a very important audience recording (it's easy to overlook that this is the last known live recording of Syd's Floyd). In my view the only way in which Marbal's tape will be improved upon is if one of the second gen reel sources were to surface.
I recommend headphones to help bring out the acoustics of the hall, which amazingly, can be heard on this version. As a friend who used to regularly go to UFO told me, listen to this concert loud and you'll get an accurate impression of how the band sounded live at their peak.
***Littlepieces' Mastering Notes for - Marbal's Rotterdam '67 Tape - Raw version***
Marbal's cassette is a mono recording that was dubbed as two channel stereo. Due to the previous transfers with less than perfect head alignment, it has a phase shift that varies from ~6-15 samples. The output of each channel was similar until the last track, Interstellar Overdrive, when the right channel dropped ~1.2dB. Through some of the recording it seemed that the left channel had a bit more high end. After testing each channel by itself and with the channels manually aligned, I decided to retain both channels and manually align them through to just prior to IO and retained only the left channel from that point until the end of the recording.
This recording was marked as Dolby encoded but we transferred it without Dolby. Transferring a Dolby encoded recording without decoding the Dolby on playback is done often when playing the tape back on a different deck than that which it was encoded. The differences in decks often results in the decoding profile varying from the original encoding creating a poor result. Though this recording did not have its Dolby decoded, the expected boost in the higher frequencies are not near as apparent as usual.
Thankfully, the speed of the recording was close enough, so I decided to not subject it to a resample.
Since the recording was not subjected to a resample and manually aligning the channels and using only one channel on a portion are the equivalent of an edit, no DSP-digital signal processing was used in this 'Raw' version.
***Littlepieces' Mastering Notes for - Marbal's Rotterdam '67 Tape - LPP version***
To accompany the 'Raw' version I have produced a LPP version in an attempt to provide a copy with less interference from artifacts and more detail which should make for a clearer recording.
No EQ increase was applied to the low end. The EQ increases I used were applied to only the upper half which as we all know is rather subdued and distant in this recording. Fortunately the quality of this source and transfer allowed me to use what I consider an aggressive increase in the upper half ending at ~8kHz. The EQ curve was adjusted at times throughout the recording.
Sprinkled throughout all sources for this recording are over-driven low frequencies mostly around 170Hz. I selectively moderated the segments where they were more substained. This helped the remaining content be more apparent in the mix.
I utilized and varied moderate noise reduction settings working entirely above 8kHz and only slightly lower on audience and a few quieter sections while being diligent not to encroach on the harmonics. I suppose I could have worked the entire spectrum and squeezed most of this hiss out, but I generally don't like what this does to the nature of the sound. In this recording for example, I can really sense the accoustics of the small hall they are playing in and if a more aggressive NR approach is taken, then this characteristic disappears.
There were many micro drop outs, mostly ~20ms, that I either removed a short piece of damage or was able to use the other channel to repair the damaged segment. There are one or two segments that I chose to leave alone where the volume slowly fades down and back up for a couple seconds.
I selectively reduced some low frequency hums during the audience/tuning segments. These seem to be present and prominent in all unprocessed sources. Also removed several tics and pops using the spectral tool.
After working on this for many hours, there is no question that this show is in my top 10 Floyd live recordings. I love the version of 'Pow R Toc H' and the early version of STC has a different vibe than later versions and of course the unique version of IO is great as well. One of the things I appreciate about this source is the stronger lower half.
Marbal Tape / Neonknight Transfer / Little Pieces Production (LPP) September 2012