Liona Boyd, since her debut performance at Carnegie Hall, New York, has enthralled audiences worldwide with her romantic and unique brand of classical, folk and world music.
This very naughty recording of Frank Zappa and this incarnation of the Mothers of Invention was made on January 23rd, at Melbourne's Festival Hall. It was recorded on a virtually new Superscope C mono cassette recorder very carefully stuffed under my jacket where it couldn't be seen too easily, with the corner containing the microphone just protruding into the open air, facing roughly towards the stage.
I noticed that Zappa himself was also recording the performance using a dummy head on stage with microphones stuck in its ears but he probably Live concert paper better results than we have here.
A few minutes into the concert you will probably hear that the sound gets a bit muffled as I had to hide the recorder completely under my jacket when we were moved along a few seats to make room for a few latecomers who insisted we were in their seats.
We ended up sitting in the sixth row back from the stage, a few seats right of dead centre - ideal seats to watch from, but unfortunately the PA stacks were way off to either side of me.
As a result the vocals aren't all that clear, but the audience applause in the surrounding seats came out really, really well. Zappa and the band were in fine form this night but they weren't playing much new stuff, mainly repeating material from earlier albums.
The audience response was enthusiastic especially when calling the band back for the encores.
I managed to capture all of the first encore, but the tape ran out after a minute or so into the second. As it was I probably missed a few minutes when turning the tape over.
Well, on the original copy there's a huge peak centred around Hz, probably caused by my copious armpit, combined with the legendary resonance of Festival Hall and its iron roof.
Well, in two words, it didn't. A couple of sneaky tricks are being played upon your ears to give the impression of stereo. The mono signal was fed to the Mac via two seperate paths. The left channel was fed via one EQ directly into one channel of the Mac's audio input.
The right signal was fed firstly through a short delay of about 5 milliseconds before going through the second EQ and then into the other channel of the Mac.
This delayed signal through one channel tricks the ear into perceiving depth, somewhat akin to stereo. Considering the jiggery pokery that has been done to the recording on this ancient cassette, it doesn't sound all that bad apart from a few tape dropouts here and there. I hope you enjoy this particular piece of Zappa history.
If you are going to attempt to play these CDs back in mono for some reason, I suggest you listen to one channel only.
It really doesn't matter which channel you listen to as they both sound pretty much the same, but if you listen to both channels summed together into mono you will find that the short time delay between the two channels makes it sound quite weird.
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