domenica 28 ottobre 2018

U2 - 2001-04-28 - Phoenix, AZ (ALD/AUD/SHN) by REQUEST


U2 Elevation Tour 
April 28, 2001 
America West Arena 
Phoenix, Arizona 

Birdman's ALD/AUD Mix 

Created from two excellent SHN sources: 

Taper: Brad Gardner <> 
Source: ALD > MD 

Taper: Unknown 
Source: Schoeps mk4 (in hat) > brbox > sbm-1 > M1 > CD-R > 
EAC (Secure Mode) > WAV > mkwACT > SHN 
Quality: Excellent Audience 

Discs follow the track listing of the original AUD source, because I love Keith's covers for the Elevation tour at 

Disc 1 
01. Intro / Elevation / In God's Country (snippet) 
02. Beautiful Day 
03. Until The End Of The World 
04. New Year's Day 
05. Kite 
06. New York 
07. I Will Follow 
08. Sunday Bloody Sunday 
09. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of / Band Introduction 
10. In A Little While 
11. Stay (Faraway, So Close!) 

Disc 2 
01. Bad 
02. Where The Streets Have No Name 
03. Mysterious Ways 
04. The Fly 
05. Bullet The Blue Sky Intro 
06. Bullet The Blue Sky 
07. With Or Without You 
08. Pride (In The Name Of Love) 
09. One 
10. I Remember You 
11. Walk On 

So why would I spend weeks getting this mix just right? Who cares? Well, if there's one thing I've learned in the last few years of trading Springsteen and U2, you can never have too many good shows in your collection :-) 

Another thing I have learned, is that ALDs, by in large, are crap. Nothing sounds worse, IMHO, than a pure ALD recording - and so it should - remember the purpose is to help hearing impaired individuals hear mid to high end sound. As bad as they sound though, ALDs are great for one thing though - enhancing already good audience recordings! 

When I started collecting U2, and I asked people what the best recordings were from the Elevation tour, and many pointed me to the 05-03 Cleveland show - the ALD/AUD mix known as the "Cleveland Tea Party". For the most part, I agree. CTP is a great mix, but not without issues. I disliked the fact that in some places, there are significantly loud crowd reactions, bad singers, yellers, screamers... I thought of recreating the mix from scratch to see if I could improve upon it, then figured I'd try a different show and see what happened... This is the result. 

04-28 is a great show to experiment with. The audience recording is almost perfect, with almost no fallouts or imperfections. This makes mixing infinatly easier. The ALD however is full of dropouts and digital noise, and that makes it infanetly harder. In all, I think it worked out evenly. 

The ALD for this show is incomplete as well - the last 3 songs are missing. At first I thought it was kind of stupid to go to all this trouble and fall 3 songs short of a complete show, but after listening to the last 3 songs, and doing a bit of remastering on them, it's almost hard to tell they aren't mixed with ALD. 

The ALD issues were mostly solved by experiment, but here's some of the things I used to get this as clean as possible: 

First off, all tracks are converted to 32 bit. All editing is done in 32, then the tracks are mixed down to 16 bit. All this does is minimize the digital noise created by some of the editing procedures. Remember this if you ever try it yourself... ALD tracks are also all run through a hiss reduction process, as almost all tracks had some form of background hiss. 

Digital artifacts were removed by a noise reduction filter that looks only for digital noise. There were 2 songs on this recording that were pure shite. The worst, was UTEOTW. My god what a mess. After removing digital noise, there was still parts of the song where the music was destroyed, and had to be recreated from scratch. I did this using various techniques, including: 
- use an advance digital noise filter, and increase the volume on the filtered segment 
- isolate the noise and remove it from the frequency spectrum (like the old EQ method) 
- use another part of the song that is sonically the same (i.e. a repeating word or verse) 
- take the same segment from the AUD recording, convert it to mono and remove the low end, remix it back to stereo, then mix paste it back into the ALD. This isn't that bad actually, and recreates the ALD fairly well. 
- remove it. Last resort. This ends up sounding like a half-dropout, and not too bad. Always remember to fade your dropouts though, or they sound much worse... 

In all, if you listen to UTEOTW, there are probably 2 or 3 places you can hear significant issues that couldn't be resolved to 100%. Not bad, considering the source. 

In a few places, I removed heavy claps or screams from the audience recording as well. Easiest way to do this is splice in a quieter part from elsewhere in the show. 

In all, I'm pretty happy with it. WOWY, my favourite song, had issues as well, and I was quite happy with what I was able to do with it. That's what convinced me to do the whole show.

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