Friday, July 28, 2017
June 27, 1977
Steve Hopkins Master via JEMS
This direct-to-digital transfer of Steve Hopkins' cassette master tapes is different from the following which have other digital format generations in their lineage:
This is also a different source recording, made by Dan Lampinski:
Recording Gear: Sony ECM-99a Stereo Mic > Sony TC-158SD
JEMS 2016 Transfer: Steve Hopkins' master cassettes (Dolby B encoded) > Nakamichi CR-7A azimuth-adjusted playback (Dolby B decoded) > Sound Devices USBPre2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96 capture to .wav) > iZotope RX > iZotope MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1
02 Pigs On The Wing Part 1
04 Pigs On The Wing Part 2
05 Pigs (Three Different Ones)
06 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
07 Welcome To The Machine
08 Have a Cigar
09 Wish You Were Here
10 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)
12 Us And Them
-Sheep: slight cut in
-Pigs On The Wing Pt 1: splice
-Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX): splice
In 2012, Steve Hopkins was kind enough to loan JEMS his master cassettes of Pink Floyd, Boston, June 18, 1975, an outstanding recording from the famed Boston Garden, and one of the best tapes of the 1975 tour. We always planned to follow up that well-received project with his equally excellent 1977 master tapes from the same venue and now we have.
This torrent marks the first time Hopkins' master cassettes have been digital transferred without a media generation in the lineage and in high resolution. Hopkins himself transferred the show to DAT many years ago and there are circulating copies both from CD-R and multi-generation DAT rips. This should be the best transfer of the material to date.
Steve's seats for the show were Section AA, Row 10, Seats 3-4, which put him ten rows back, directly in front of the PA stack stage left (AA being one of four floor sections running right to left facing the stage). I often joke about the "Three Ls of Taping" being location, location, location, and if there was ever a tape to prove that axiom, this is it. His Sony stereo microphone is directly in front of what had to be an extremely loud and stunning clear PA. And while the stereo field of the recording is somewhat narrow, the trade-off in proximity is well worth it.
There is almost no sense of distance from the music to the microphone and ultimately playback. This is nothing short of a breathtaking recording in my opinion.
Over the last decade, I've posted hundreds of shows on behalf of JEMS and mastered nearly all of them to improve the sound. Those I didn't bother to master, I wish I had. I can't think of another recording in all that time that I listened to and thought I didn't need to do anything to improve it except this one. It has exceptional balance, warmth, high highs and low lows. As such, I've elected to leave it as is from a mastering perspective because it is just that good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Samples provided.
That being said it has undergone de-clicking, azimuth-correction, level adjustments and other minor fixes we do to everything we post, but we haven't touched the sound characteristics. To offer the best possible quality, we are making the recording available in both 16/44.1 and 24/96 editions, each of them unmastered (in contrast to Steve's 1975 recording, where we mastered the 16/44.1 and left the 24/96 virgin).
It should be noted that Steve missed approximately seven minutes of the show due to taping issues. We have not filled in those gaps from the Lampinski source, though I'm sure the release of Steve's true master will prompt a redo of the extant matrix recording of the two sources. Our pal Goody recently redid the Boston 1975 matrix to much acclaim; perhaps he will do so again for Boston 1977. He was kind enough to review this transfer for pitch issues and gave us his blessing. Much appreciated, Goody.
Thanks once again to Steve Hopkins for allowing JEMS to present another of his outstanding audience recordings in a fresh light. As someone who has worked with a lot of audience tapes, Steve's work continues to amaze me as some of the very best. I defy anyone to make a better audience recording today, 40 years later. Please show him some love in the comments, he deserves it.
Tip of the hat as well to mjk5510 for doing the final prep work on both versions of the show. It really helps the shows keep flowing.
BK for JEMS