You’re probably already familiar with LivePhish’s Colorado ‘88 release, which includes a significant number of songs performed by Phish on their first trip out to Colorado in the summer of 1988, nearly thirty years ago. But you haven’t heard those shows in full, because none of them ever circulated in full. Thanks to Niel Ringstad (who attended several of the Colorado ‘88 shows), 7/29/88, 7/30/88, 8/4/88 and 8/5/88 will now circulate almost in full for the first time. They were taped by Niel’s friend Mike Lynch.
You heard that right: among hours of other Colorado ‘88 music, the so-called “Jazz Odyssey” set----when Fish was uhm unavailable, and Mike and Page accompanied Trey on drums for a few jazz standards----is now about to circulate for the first time. (There is must-hear banter from Trey in the “Antelope” about Fish’s unavailability earlier on in the evening.) And if you’re wondering where the tapes of 8/3/88 are, well. They have yet to be located, but might turn up in another 30 years, who knows. Enormous thanks are also due to Jeff Goldberg, who did the transfering from Niel’s analog masters, as well as the restoring and mastering work to make these recordings sound as good as they possibly can. Jeff’s words are below. -charlie
Cassette deck: TASCAM 112RmkII w/ LA-112 balancing kit installed for XLR ports
Analog to digital conversion (ADC): Apogee converters @ 24-bit, 96 kHz
CPU: 4.0 GHz Intel Core i7
OS: macOS Sierra (10.12.6)
DAW: Avid Pro Tools 2018.1
Restoration: iZotope RX Audio Editor 6.10
Mastering: iZotope Ozone Mastering Suite 8.01
Process: Niel's tapes were played back on a TASCAM 112RmkII (a pro-level, three-head deck with the heads freshly cleaned and demagnetized) using the balanced XLR outputs. The signal was sent into an Apogee ADC, and was recorded into Pro Tools at a bit depth of 24-bit and a sample rate of 96 kHz. Each file was then cleaned-up using RX 6 to remove any low-frequency hum (and harmonic intervals thereof) that had made it onto the cassettes via either the recording equipment itself or the electricity configuration of the venue at the time of the recordings. Any tape hiss or noise that had existed above around 3000 Hz (in order to preserve high-end frequencies from sonic elements such as cymbals and microphone sibilance) was then cleared-out. From there, the waveforms were edited, separated (or combined in some cases) by track, and saved as individual files. Mastering was completed in Ozone 8 in order to ensure consistent equalization, loudness, and normalization amongst the tracks, before the files were finally dithered down to 16-bit, 44.1 kHz (to make them CD-compatible) and uploaded to Dropbox.
[DropBox put a stop to the links for downloading the Wav files. Kevin Hoy has generously come to the rescue and made the following links to the MP3s available:]
July 29, 1988: http://www.mediafire.com/file/j97tt32cfvfc5vp/1988-07-29_-_The_Roma_-_Telluride%2C_CO.rar
July 30, 1988: http://www.mediafire.com/file/54h43e0w8fl0gyh/1988-07-30_-_The_Roma_-_Telluride%2C_CO.rar
August 4, 1988: http://www.mediafire.com/file/kbi23ekcc6fvh8d/1988-08-04_-_The_Roma_-_Telluride%2C_CO.rar
August 5, 1988: http://www.mediafire.com/file/v5kmtfe5p5fzegb/1988-08-05_-_The_Roma_-_Telluride%2C_CO.rar
Words from Jeff Goldberg:
Working on these projects for Phish.Net has been an extremely fun experience. For this Telluride ’88 run of tapes, I was connected with Niel Ringstad through Charlie Dirksen, and now consider him to be a good friend, and a wonderful guy with whom I now communicate outside of the Phish context. I’m eager to continue bringing his long-lost treasures to the surface for all to enjoy. Charlie, whom I’ve known personally for many years now, was one of my brother Mark’s first connections and friends from rec.music.phish back in the early ‘90s. Thus, when Charlie recently began talking to me about the possibility of converting and restoring some old, as-of-yet to be circulated Phish tapes, I jumped at the chance. I run my own audio recording and mastering studio, but before I officially went out on my own in the world of sound, I had worked in the IT department of the Boston Public School system, where I focused on professional development and the production of multimedia-based training modules, voiceover work, and various audio archival tasks for the faculty there.
Before Charlie’s referrals, I had already done a great deal of restoration projects during the process of converting older forms of media (VHS, cassette tape, reel-to-reel, vinyl, etc.) into the digital realm. But as someone who started listening to Phish (via my brother) in 1992, and then got involved myself through geeky discussions and debates about the band’s equipment and other topics of interest on rec.music.phish shortly thereafter, working on Phish's material holds a special place near and dear to my heart.
Having been involved since the tape-trading days, I’ve always had a love for excellent-sounding Phish shows, and was always drawn to those tapes first. Ergo, personally taking part in contributing to the community by putting my best efforts into making material (that to this point has not yet been heard by many fans) sound as clean as I can puts a smile on my face. And I hope listening to them puts a smile on yours.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be an ongoing part of this project, and hopefully, you’ll all be hearing much more material from whence this came!
Principal/Owner, The Audio Specialist, LLC
7/29/88, Set 1:
- You Enjoy Myself is missing most of the composed section, and begins with the pre-scream ascent prior to the “Boy, Man, God, Shit” funk section
- Fire has a tape-flip cut and is missing all but the last 0:45 of the song
7/29/88, Set 2:
- Colonel Forbin’s Ascent has a tape-flip cut between the two verses
7/29/88, Set 3:
-Whipping Post has a tape-flip cut about 2/3 of the way through the jam section
7/30/88, Set 2:
-Funky Bitch has a tape-flip cut at the beginning of it, and is missing the opening hits
-Corinna has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the ending
7/30/88, Set 3:
-La Grange has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the opening
-Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the ending
-Harpua’s final few measures are cut
7/30/88, Set 4:
-Fluffhead’s first few measures are cut
-Run Like An Antelope is cut during the height of the jam section, and is missing the reggae section, final lyrics, and ending (i.e., it’s unfortunately missing the banter Trey tells in the version on Colorado ‘88)
8/4/88, Set 1:
-Poor Heart has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the opening section
8/4/88, Set 2:
-No Dogs Allowed has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the ending
8/4/88, Set 3:
-Run Like An Antelope has a tape-flip cut in the beginning segment, shortly before the five big hits which start the rock section
-Fluffhead has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the final part of the jam section/ending
8/5/88. Set 1:
-Dinner And A Movie has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the ending
8/5/88, Set 2:
-Slave To The Traffic Light has a tape-flip cut, and is missing the ending
8/5/88, Set 3:
-Contact has a tape-flip cut in the middle of the “I woke up one morning…” section
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This is incredible. Thanks @Jeff_Goldberg and @icculus and everyone else who helped get these out in circulation!
The blog post has been edited, and new links to high-quality .mp3 versions of the files have been put up in their stead. To be clear, I still have the Dropbox links to the uncompressed .wav files. They'll be available again for download tonight; Dropbox puts a daily bandwidth limit on even their highest-tier account (which I am using), so what happened was that so many people were downloading the .wav files at once, that it hit the limit fairly quickly. Send me a message or an email if you would like the links to the uncompressed .wav files. Thanks for the patience, everyone!
I love new old Phish so much.