10 May 2021
And...back in the room. Bathroom finished, workman gone, back to the regular routine.
As I type I am listening through Gary Numan, live from his debut 1979 tour of the UK, listening out for errors in the recording - weird gaps, fadeouts, tape dropouts - and finding a few to fix along the way - about 6 in the first 40 minutes, including one where the sound completely changes for a couple of seconds - all gone now, you'll never tell where they were. 😎 I've already reduced ambience (this is a very old audience recording, with a lot of ambience) and done the noise reduction. Once all the defects I can catch are gone (I'm about half way through the show at the moment), next stage is EQ and a little "studio magic"...and then doing the usual blablabla intro and outro.
All being well, this will see the light of day at the end of the week! Stay tuned...
30 April 2021
As I type, we're into day 5 of a new bathroom being put in. Ironically, given what I do on Live and Loud!, my ME makes me incredibly noise sensitive - so I am parked in a bedroom at the other end of the house as far away as possible, with industrial ear defenders on! The alternative is far worse than the worst hangover you can imagine, trust me.
So...no studio work being done right now. But I am currently downloading some live recordings for possible future use. Early Roxy Music ones at the moment, from 1973, 1979 and 1980 - the 1974 one I did a while back (if you missed it click here) went down really well so I'm looking forward to doing another. And some Queen from 1979, and a copy of the last gig by The Beatles in 1966.
Before anyone gets too excited, there are often reasons why I can't actually restore a gig and put it on the site. For example...it might be legally available elsewhere, or there might be plans to put it out officially - I once announced on the "Live and Loud! Shows" Facebook group that I was going to be doing a show by The Jam very shortly...while I was working on one, they then announced they were releasing a box set with a whole load of live recordings in it - including the one I was working on...
Alternatively, it might just sound so bad, I can't do anything with it. I was doing a Stranglers show once but after spending some time on it, I found parts were so distorted, it just wasn't possible to go on with it.
So I might mention stuff I have but that doesn't mean it might appear imminently. But you never know. Feel free to comment below, or in the FB group on what you might like to hear.
In other news, this week I was sent a lovely quality live recording of a band called Messengers, who were Ultravox's support band in the 1980s, and played as part of their live set up at that time. They got together again to play in 2010 in London at the famous 100 Club, which is where this was recorded. I plan on doing some work on this and putting it up on the site sometime soon.
Fans of Gary Numan who used to attend fan get togethers in the mid 1980s in London and the South East of England might remember an electronic band called Dymaxion. They released 1 single and a cassette EP, both called Rainbow Warrior, around 1986. 1 of the things I'm working on improving at the moment are those released tracks after being sent a copy of the single and cassette. I was also sent a unique live recording from them, comprising part of their set when they played The Flag in North Wembley in 1986. I plan on the whole lot being made available on the site soon but it will take some time to clean up.
Last weekend I found a live recording of Gary Numan from his first headlining tour of 1979. All recordings I've heard from this tour - apart from the official release of the London gig - are terrible quality. However, I have found one that sounds so far like it might be rescuable! Thanks to the bathroom work, this is on hold for a couple of weeks but it was starting to sound ok. Hopefully more on this very soon.
Oh, and I also received some Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk gigs recently - hoping to do an early one of each in the very near future too.
That's it for now. Cheers!
Any comments are welcome in the box below - I have to approve them before they appear, thanks to spammers and - well, assholes, basically! - so they won't show up straight away.
28 April 2021
I thought I'd just add extra info here as I go along - anything related to Live and Loud! in between uploads. Thoughts, stuff that happens (that's relevant!), that kind of thing. I guess that makes this the first entry...
Blogger doesn't allow me to create unique posts and add them here so you can click on them individually, so it will just be me, manually editing this page, adding in what I want to say, and making this one page longer and longer...
What have I been up to recently? Well, I've had a couple of paid bits of work in recent months which helps keep the site going. A German collector of Slade bootlegs got in touch earlier this year, and offered to pay for my time in downloading a list of around 20 Slade live recordings and then burning them to CD for him. He was so pleased with what I did, he's since asked for another 20, which I'm in the process of doing. He then plans to ask me to do a full Live and Loud!-style restoration on a selection of those - some of which no doubt will eventually end up in the Live and Loud! Archive here on this site (Slade shows are always popular).
As a sideline I offer sound restoration services - restoring old cassette recordings (or even MP3s) for example. It's surprising how GOOD you can get these to sound. Anyway, recently I did some work for the rock band Shed Seven, transferring some old songs from a cassette from the 1990s, which was the only copy they had (yes, a band that still plays arena gigs entrusted ME with their only copy of a tape that had been in storage for over 20 years...). That was nervewracking, praying my cassette deck didn't chew it up! But it was ok - and I then worked on restoring the contents to sound really clear and punchy again. They were really pleased - with the work and the cost; Paul, their guitarist, was a pleasure to deal with.
Another one I've been working on is a very old cassette containing a copy of a home reel to reel tape recording from 1962 of a piano recital. Again, it's really rewarding resurrecting something of such personal value to somebody.
I can copy and restore old tapes from as little as £5 - so if you have anything you want rescuing get in touch! My email is on this page. Instead, you can of course buy those little USB cassette players and do it yourself - but believe me, the sound quality is usually far worse than transferring from even an average quality cassette deck (even if you fiddle with it later with audio software). As I said, I can of course also improve old MP3s or other format digital files.
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Last week saw the upload of the 6th live restoration of 2021 - Genesis at Wembley, from 1981. My source for this was a lossless copy of an old vinyl bootleg. I have to say the recording wasn't originally very good! Just because bootlegs appear on vinyl or CD does NOT give you a guarantee of decent sound quality. That doesn't stop people telling me their old version of a gig I've restored sounds far better "because it's on CD". To those people, I nod and smile (and run away).
Anyway, Hopefully owners of the Genesis vinyl bootleg will one day find my restored version and enjoy the gig all the more. More details on what I did to clean up that recording are on the page - but it took about a month, on and off.
Those bits of paid work mentioned above (and ongoing "life" stuff) have rather delayed work on the shows at times this year but I'm confident things will speed up a bit - I have literally hundreds of recordings here and people contact me fairly regularly with more - either ones they have as files, or old tapes they ask if I can make use of. So I am never short of material!
Several shows are in the current plan for the next couple of months but the plan changes sometimes for several reasons - might talk more about that another time. I have several things I'm currently doing work on with a view to uploading soon. More on those next time.