Tuesday 09/08/2020 by wforwumbo

FROM THE TAPERS' SECTION: PART 4 (7/13/99)

Greetings, everyone! @wforwumbo back at the helm with a new edition of From the Tapers’ Section.

Let’s start with a quick PSA: protect your ears. Go out and buy a pair of solid, inexpensive, reusable earplugs. I suffer from tinnitus - hence the delay of nearly two years between the last edition of FTTS and the words you read today. It does more than get in the way of enjoying music; tinnitus interferes with sleep, understanding of general conversation, and general mental/emotional irritation because of constant ringing. Earplugs today are pretty good, and the better ones don’t muffle sound but rather act as a general "volume knob on the world" thanks to hearing research. Three short hours of joy at a Phish show sans earplugs is not worth the resulting lifetime of pain. I am lucky that my tinnitus happens to be treatable - but this is a rare exception to the rule, and it’s still an expensive and slow recovery process.

Today, we journey deep into the heart of my favorite tour: Summer ‘99. In my opinion, no other tour in the Phish catalog has peaks this high. There is a signature goopy, washy, swirly haze that just hangs thick in the air over these jams. The grooves are tight with a spunky snap to the snare; the feedback is ferocious; the synthesizers (both Page’s Prophet and Trey’s AN1x) are warped tidal pools of glory; and Mike’s bass roars and rattles. Jams have both quiet, patient ambience and intense skull-pounding intensity. And big jams are sprinkled everywhere throughout first and second sets.

7/13/99 - Great Woods night 2 - is a great example of much of this. There’s not a lot of fluff, only the appropriate breather for the band to catch its breath. An overlooked and under-discussed guest appearance from Scott Murawski - Mike's longtime bandmate - in the form of "Possum" set closer and the debut of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Tuesday’s Gone" populate the end of this show. Oh yeah, and we have a massive bustout in the form of "NO2" - the first in five years.


PHISH | Tuesday, 7/13/1999 | Tweeter Center, | Mansfield, MA
Set I: NICU, The Curtain > Halley's Comet -> Roses Are Free -> NO2, Lawn Boy, Reba > Carini > Funky Bitch
Set II: Wolfman's Brother > Piper, Bug > Mountains in the Mist, Run Like an Antelope > Possum
Encore: Tuesday's Gone

NO2 was played for the first time since July 16, 1994 (356 shows) and, for the first known time, included the instrumental ending originally included on The White Tape. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Antelope included Meatstick teases and Trey acknowledging his friends Dave and Luann Abrahams, who were in the crowd. Possum and the Phish debut of Tuesday’s Gone featured Scott Murawski on guitar. Possum contained a Lazy (Deep Purple) tease.


Set 1 has noteworthy jamming in "Halley’s Comet," which contains a slick -> into "Roses Are Free" (which itself slips into the aforementioned "NO2"). "Reba" flirts with greatness but does not peak, instead making a left turn into a thick "Carini." Set 2 has the meat and potatoes in the form of "Wolfman’s Brother." I can write essays on this "Wolfman’s." The pacing up top is slow and thick, matching the hazy humidity of northeastern summer nights. This one is patient and rhythmically dense; Mike and Fish lead the charge for much of it while the collective band seems to trod along with little agenda. At 16:50, Trey lets the feedback purr, melding it into whale call and firing up the looper. From this point on, the jam begins to blossom and unfurl, coasting through the cosmos on weightless momentum. Eventually the jam winds its way into a delicate "Piper." The second set is rounded out by a classic ‘99 feedback-laden "Bug," and a "Run Like an Antelope" that proves Phish can still do dissonant and chaotic jazz with aplomb. The show finishes strong, with Scott Murawski's guest spot in "Possum" and again for the "Tuesday's Gone" encore.

By now, you should know that I enjoy Schoeps microphones. Deploying them myself at shows, there is something about the holographic and larger-than-life midrange, combined with an incredible penchant for detail in dynamic range that I consistently find in Schoeps tapes. The mk41 is a supercardioid microphone; it sacrifices depth in the bass, in exchange for solid clarity and a narrow pickup pattern allowing the mic to capture more PA and less room/audience. The benefit to mk41 tapes is that they generally reduce audience chatter, and give a very direct recording that is mostly devoid of unfortunately-timed reflections (which can make a tape sound very washy and echoic in the wrong spot). I have offerings from multiple mk41 tapers for 7/13/99 - the usual suspects like Taylor Caine, plus Rob Clay and Van Murphee (running Craig Hillwig’s rig) have recordings on eTree. However, it is Dave Flaschner’s pair that just happens to be in the right location - a mostly centered image, a nice bloom to the kick and bass notes rather than echoic slapback, and that lush Schoeps midrange bringing Trey and Page to the front are all in perfect harmony on this tape. This comes at an expense - a great-sounding spot also happens to be surrounded by a very chatty crowd, and while the mk41 does reduce audience talking there is still lots picked up on tape. On top of the chatter, it seems a limiter was applied somewhere in the chain to squeeze a bit more volume - this could be from the dynamic range of the house mix, the mic preamps or converter clamping down on the waveform, or even during transfer from DAT to a computer. Further, there were a handful of spikes on the tape I had to quickly edit out, opting for silence over a loud pop. But at the end of the day, I think the music is best enjoyed on this tape relative to all others - warts and all.

In production work, I always prefer the results of gently nudging a great recording into perfection rather than trying to polish an imperfect result. This tape already sounds great without my production, but I do feel the aforementioned gentle nudging helps this tape really shine. A small dip in the lower-mids helps separate the kick from the bass guitar, and the gentlest treble lift helps the high end complement an already-forward midrange.

With this, I cease my yammering and allow the tape to do the rest of the talking for me. If you are hearing this show - especially the “Wolfman’s Brother” - or Summer ‘99 for the first time, I gladly welcome you with open arms to a combination of serenity and firepower in my favorite tour. If this show is already an old friend to you, I am excited to share a stellar recording that allows the detail to punch through, in a manner that is hopefully novel to you.

FLAC and MP3 file sets can be found at this link (Google Drive): DOWNLOAD HERE

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Comments

, comment by akjed
akjed I know I've heard this show before, but it's been awhile. Looking forward to another listen, this time perhaps more intentionally. I'm always a sucker for a birthday show, and there are a few good ones out there (2014 is probably my favorite). Thanks for doing this, and glad you got your ears taken care of. A few years ago I had a tympanoplasty, and I remember tears of joy my first show back after the procedure. Yes, plug them ears!
, comment by justino
justino Thank you! Thank you! I still get chills every time I listen to that Wolfmans. I remember Trey moving to the front of the stage, dead center with that shit-eating grin. I think it's that moment that caused the crowd to erupt. Well that and the dirty groove.
, comment by OrangeSox
OrangeSox Very glad you're back in better shape @wforwumbo! Your remastering work is where it's at! Thank you!!!

And, i want to thank you for your PSA. Tinnitus really is an important issue for all music-lovers to be aware of. It hits close to home because my dad, who was my gateway into great music, has struggled to enjoy music nearly at all since his tinnitus began over a decade ago. And, he's tried everything with little or no help. Plus, since his is associated with a significant loss of hearing as well, it's been a double whammy. Hey, not trying to get in the way of anyway just trying to live while you're young but ear protection is not uncool. Thanks again
, comment by UbiquitousSmokey
UbiquitousSmokey aww yes this Halleys is one of my most favorite jams - always wanted a soundboard to surface of this show, but this flac is already way better than the version i've been spinning since i discovered it
so smooth
so groovy
so soaring - those long trey notes are quintessential '99

Earplugs are a must for me. Once I started to see live music nearly weekly I knew it would be a good investment. I actually prefer the sound with plugs in rather than out - it cuts down on the static-y stuff on the higher end. Initially I was apprehensive because the loudness is such a integral part of live music, but i quickly realized the intensity of the sound still hits your whole body and you feel it that way, while still enjoying the music in your ears.
(and it cuts down on chompers)
, comment by ucpete
ucpete Listening now - thanks @wforwumbo!

This Halley's is incredible - I like it more than I like the Wolfman's, the latter of which I find could be just as enjoyable if it were 5 minutes shorter. Even though I've listened to this show many times, I totally got fooled again in the Halley's outro thinking they were heading for Ghost. I'll take Roses though!
, comment by Madtaper
Madtaper Cool glad people are digging my tape
, comment by Madtaper
Madtaper Ran soft limit on my apogee.
Let’s you run preamp hotter
Talkers suck
, comment by wforwumbo
wforwumbo @Madtaper said:
Ran soft limit on my apogee.
Let’s you run preamp hotter
Talkers suck
I was chatting with Craig Hillwig about this, he guessed it was the Apogee soft limiter.

Thanks for the brilliant tape, Dave! This is one of many that's been getting me through quarantine.
, comment by krivraq
krivraq Sweeeet. I was there in the section Camden>Oswego. I unfortunately was only able to afford my DA-P1 at the time, no mics sadly, only patches. I'll have to check my lineage on these DATs, I may even have a clone of your master, Dave. This may have also been the show during that run that Clay spilled his beer on my deck during setbreak, looked me in the eye only uttering to move my stuff out of his way as if it was my fault, even though no one's gear had moved since preshow, and then just stepped over it and everyone else's bag on the way back to his seat. ????

Schoeps always seemed a bit bassy and lacking mids, to my ears. Maybe it the 41s that make that different. I'll relisten to compare. I always liked the warmth of AKGs, but hypers are their own class and the nuances are usually more on the individual set of ears anyway. Overall, the Tapers know what they're doing and sometimes I feel it's like choosing one restaurant over another in relation to taste of same dish and sound of same show between different sources. One Chef likes more garlic in his sauce, one Taper prefers more bass, etc.....
, comment by wforwumbo
wforwumbo There’s a lot of truth to this. I have an overall preference for Schoeps tapes and the Schoeps “house sound” - I’m on Team Schoeps today myself, currently running a pair of 2s, a pair of 21s, and a pair of 4s - but they are mostly my general preference, and not necessarily the superior microphone.

I’ve heard many tapes that I love from BK/DPA (FTTS3 was a 4011 tape), Neumann, Gefell, AKG, Audio Technica (I used to run 4031s in NOS when I started taping) - the list goes on. Every taper in the section that I’ve encountered has always been about the common goal of capturing the magic happening on stage, and letting the end product speak rather than smack talk.

I think the most important aspect to any tape is location. I will take a pair of iPhones duct taped to a configuration in the right spot over a pair of vintage $10k microphones from the back corner of a room.

I find the Schoeps have a higher probability of pulling a recording I enjoy from a non-ideal spot - their ceiling is lower to my ear, if that makes sense. They are not inherently better, I’m just less likely to botch the recording, for which I only get one shot to get right in the section. And I’m not infallible - I’ve still screwed up recordings whether it’s wrong layout, bad gain staging (both too quiet and too loud). But once I understand my signal chain and a location in the venue, the rest tends to fall into place.

Lastly, I’m not sure I’d call the AKG SDCs warm. The LDCs sure, but I also find their LDC to do weird things to the upper mids and treble. Different strokes for different folks and all that, though - if there’s only an AKG tape or the AKG was in the right spot, I’ll reach for it.
, comment by wforwumbo
wforwumbo An edit to the post above this one, as it’s too late for me to go in and edit the post: I find Schoeps’ floor is higher, not the ceiling is lower.
, comment by krivraq
krivraq @wforwumbo said:
And I’m not infallible - I’ve still screwed up recordings...
The first show I recorded was Lemonwheel when I showed up with my D8 and didn't even know about the Oade digital cable. I only was using high-end coaxial for my analog input. (So yes, I've got an analog DAT master of Lemonwheel, which might be worth something to an audiophile somewhere.) During the DWD opener I was adjusting my gain, slipped and shot it up way high and then had to bring it back down 2 or 3 times during the intro. It was one of those noob moments. After Lemonwheel I returned home, returned my D8 in exchange for a DA-P1 and from then on it was seamless digital patching. Haha it may have you been you at some point. Usually I was hooked up with Chad Henderson, who was my first patcher at Lemonwheel.
, comment by metawhy
metawhy KRIVRAQ

You should check at etree.db to see if any of your patch sources don't circulate yet, it would be great to hear them!
, comment by youenjoymyghost
youenjoymyghost Beautiful sounding recording. This Halley's is giving me chills, gorgeous jam and a SOLID -> into Roses. Wow thanks for sharing.
, comment by liveaudiotapir
liveaudiotapir Hello all, Bean here. I haven't been on P. Net in years, and haven't listened to phish much since 3.0 came around. I did however record FOB/DFC for the 12/4/2019 Pittsburgh show with all of my old Phish homies (Noah, KC, Jesse D) and it was absolutely glorious. Since then, I've been listening to LOTS of my old Phish recordings from 1997-2019. I ran akg 480's from 99-2008, mbhos from 2008-2011, and Phinally, after recording Superball with Taylor Caine, Lenny Stubbe and Chris King, I sold my mbho -> SD 722 setup and bought a nice setup of Schoeps mk41 > KCY > Lemosax (Sonosax SXM2 with a special KCY input), and I've been rawking the Schoeps ever since Superball was over. Now I run MK4v & MK41v capsules > 2x KCY cables > SD Mixpre6 and Mixpre3, so I have two almost identical rigs, minus the capsules for recording two stages at festivals!!!

Anyway, long story short, I owe a LOT of gratitude and thanks to Dave Flaschner especially, among other Schoeps tapers like Taylor Caine and Chris King, as well as my great phriend, Noah Bickart. Schoeps mics just have this symbiosis with the complete Phish sound that NO other mics have IMO!!! Its really a damn shame i didn't buy Schoeps mics back in the summer of 1999, with my HS graduation money, instead of the akg 480's i bought.

But out of the AKG, MBHO & Schoeps mics I've run, the Schoeps have been BY PHAR, the most consistently sounding and amazing mics I've ever run. Period.

I don't know what im trying to say other than a major shout-out to Dave Flaschner, Taylor Caine, Noah Bickart, and all of the other old school tapers that have given me LOADS of amazing recordings with the Schoeps mics. Once I bought my own back in 2011 (I've gone through mk41, mk21, mk4, mk4v and MK41v capsules), i have ZERO reasons to run anything but my MK4v and MK41v now and will die happily with them!!! So thanks for all of the amazing "tapes" fellas!!!

And I've been rawking out to my favorite year of Phish lately, which is 1997. I only saw a few shows that year, but i have loved EVERY 97 show i have ever listened to, and im proud to say that they're ALL Schoeps sources. I started from the beginning of 1997 on the European tour, and now I'm on the famous/infamous Hampton Coliseum night two show now (11/22/1997)!!!

Long live us tapirs and the AMAZING Schoeps mics LoL ????????

Bean

P. S. - i have only seen 20 3.0 shows (i used to see 20+ shows a year in 1.0 & 2.0), but im finally at the point where I want to do another run of like 20+ shows in a row again. I can't wait to see all of my phriends, both tapers AND non-tapers ????????✌️????????????????????????????️????????
, comment by liveaudiotapir
liveaudiotapir And if any wants a good recommendation for earplugs, check out the "Comply" earplugs. I use their eartips on my expensive earphones)ieams, and theyre an amazing memorty foam. Well, the earplugs are the same material, and instead of muting all of the sound frequencies and muffling everything, they simply turn the levels down a few notches. Well worth the $20 or so they cost and now they're the only earplugs i use ????✌️????????

https://www.complyfoam.com/products/comply-sonicfilters/
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