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"Live" CD Mixes


Eric Carmen

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Eric:

Thanks for the detailed response on the Raspberries Live CD questions. I apppreciate you taking the time to respond to this fan. I'm now waiting in line with all the other Raspberries fans for this gem. Just wished it could have been released sooner. 21 songs...are we looking at a 2 CD set here? What is the projected date of release?

Don

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Re: baiting.... As long as we all seem to be casting "baiting/no baiting" votes.... Yeah, Donmand, I read baiting in your post. Sorry. Yours just didn't sound like innocent questions. (Plus, I have a lot of experience with baiting. My wife baits me daily ;) , and I usually walk away. So, I admire Eric's willingness to step up and "face the music.")

Re: live records.... You know what? There are enough live rock'n'roll albums out there from various acts that sound harsh and shrill that I'm happy --- really happy --- that the forthcoming 'berries CD is getting TLC. Who wants a live CD that suffers from crowd noise and feedback and harshness when, rather, it can benefit from Mark Linett's touch and all the time Eric has put into it?

Just reading Eric's assessment of "Should I Wait" should make us realize that yes, we should wait --- wait until it's ready.

After all, there are a lot of critics and potential fans out there who might be getting their first exposure to this influential band. Let them hear Raspberries on a well-mastered live CD, not a rush job. Better to go the extra yard and make it a richer recording, even if it takes a little longer....

Heck, those of us who got into the band via "Go All the Way" in 1972 have been waiting 32 years for Rasberries' fifth record (not counting compilations). What's another year or so between friends? :)

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It actually would have been far easier (and cheaper) to leave everything exactly as it was. Let me give you an idea of the kind of thought that goes into a recording like this. L.A. was, for many inexplicable reasons, a very strange night. We were plagued with problems that, for some reason, didn't happen anywhere else on the whole tour. As an example, on our second song, " I Can't Explain", Paul's shaker exploded. So at the beginning of the song you hear the shaker play for about two bars, and then the sound disappears because the beans inside it are now flying all over the stage, knocking a drink over on Wally's amp and lodging in between the keys of Jennifer's and Paul's keyboards where they would cause the keys to stick for the rest of the evening. In the video, Paul continues to shake the shaker, but the beans are now gone and there's no sound to be recorded. The intro of "I Can't Explain" now has dead air where the shaker was playing. What do we do?

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Mark records another shaker to pick up where Paul's stopped playing and continue through the intro, filling that hole. There are a hundred little things like this in the course of a performance. When a group has had the luxury of recording every performance of a twenty or thirty city tour, you simply choose another night's performance where that didn't happen. Mark only recorded one show, so that was it. The few bars of the new shaker helped the intro sound better and the video look right. I didn't think that would detract from the "liveness" of the recording. That's "post concert tinkering." ec

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Donmand said:

Can we assume the ORIGINAL soundboard recording was remastered with NO new overdubbed vocals, guitars or drums?

No offense, Don, but if your SHOUTS in the above question don't SCREAM baiting, I don't know what does. As for Eric choosing to "take the bait," well, he did a mighty fine job of it! Akin to a prized fish getting the worm, but when the fisherman reels it in, all he sees is his empty hook ;)

Bernie

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That's one of those things that if you DON'T fix it, people start to question if that was the real performance or not. Some CORRECTIONS have to be made.

Let's face it, unless you are at an event, and regretably I wasn't there, you're never going to be able to accurately capture the feel. But with the right processes and adjustments, I might be able to feel like I'm at AN event... but there is no way to capture the adrenaline rush of being one of the screaming, clapping, and cheering fans. :(

Plus, the idea I think is to make a CD & DVD that captures the quality of the band's music and musicianship. It doesn't matter if one thousand or one hundred thousand were in attendance, the idea is not to make a keepsake for those who saw it as much as it is to make a quality product for the masses to (hopefully) buy and to enjoy when they do.

IMHO.

:lol:

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When you really think about it, the fact that this CD was made from only ONE performance, is, in some ways, MORE honest and in keeping with the concept of a "live" album than a CD where the best performance of each song was chosen from thirty or forty takes during a whole tour. When you record an album in the studio, you do as many takes as you need to get it right. On this CD we only got ONE chance. Having said that, I understand that there are some people who will find fault with whatever I do. For some, the glass will always be half-empty. They can't take the fun out if for the rest of us. ec

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You know, whether Don was baiting or not, I think his question was legitimate...and Eric answered it well. It makes perfect sense to do some corrections where the unexpected happened and made things sound not quite the way they would have sounded if things had gone right. That's not cheating...that's putting out the best product you can. In a way, it's more honest than putting out the original live recording with no fixes or adjustments.

It's funny what will make people angry because it's not "authentic." I can give an example from the world of figure skating, if anyone cares...Some skating fans get all worked up because when a live performance is recorded by TV cameras for later broadcast, there's normally a session after the show in which the audience is asked to stay in their seats for a short while as the skaters who missed some jumps during the actual show go out and re-do the jumps for the edited version of the broadcast, in which the clean jumps will be edited into the rest of the performance replacing the falls. Although it's done as smoothly as possible in the editing room, a real fan is often pretty much able to see where a clean jump was spliced in. (One dead giveaway: an audience applauding and screaming wildly for what is actually a pretty minor jump. They tend to do this when they've been sitting there watching a skater try over and over again to land the same jump, and they finally hit it and everyone can go home!)

Some fans think there is some kind of terrible deception about this practice, though. They think that if the show doesn't appear on TV as it really happened, splats and all, they're somehow being sold a fake bill of goods. I disagree. Yeah, if it was a competition, and they edited out all the falls, that would be one thing. But it's just a SHOW. When you put a SHOW on TV, you want it to look the absolute best it can. But all skaters fall and chances are some of them will fall on a given jump on any given night. Or sometimes make some other stupid mistake. That doesn't mean it has to be part of the TV broadcast.

As for the 'Berries CD, I look at it like this: I didn't see the LA show. I wasn't there. But If this ends up sounding anything like Eric is promising us it sounds, it will be "authentic" to the way the band sounded when I DID hear them, in Cleveland and Chicago and New York. So even if they don't sound exactly the way they did on one night in LA if you were there listening to them, what do I care? I want to hear my Raspberries in concert. As long as this CD sounds like my Raspberries in concert, that's all I care about!

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A classic example of a live recording that should have bee fixed. The orchestra in "All you need is Love" was so distorted on the vinyl issue of "Magical Mystery Tour" I wished it had been redone. Some studio recordings as well I would never have released. Two in particular were the punch in on Layla (way too loud)and Roberta Flack's voice cracking on "Killing Me Softly" (this one always bothered me). Live recording is always a challenge. A vocal may vary in volume merely because a singer moves close or away from a mike, a mike might shift or fall from it's original position or a connection may be lost. What you hear from a certain position in a hall may be different from what actually makes it into the recording (particulary drums). Fixes in no way take away from the performance, they fill the voids not captured in the recording.

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WC1215 said:

Marlene and Eric, I am not finding fault at all. The reference to VIDEO is what I am referring to. I thought (and hope) this might be a clue that a video is forthcoming and not just the CD.

I'm sorry you thought my post was directed at you, WC. :) It wasn't. Sometimes I just make off the wall comments !! That was one of them... :):)

Marlene (who's a glass half full kinda girl !)

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