NYA Question of the Moment: Riverboat Recordings
Mindblowing details continue to emerge on the forthcoming Neil Young Archives.
From yesterday's Archives Guy Q&A Session: Tuesday, 5/26, Steven asked:
We know that Neil and the rest of the team want the very best sound possible, but with the variety of studios, equipment, etc. that the original recordings were made at/on/with, was attention paid to getting the music on the Archives pitch perfect? Songs that are sped up or slowed down (with the exception of Expecting to Fly) drive people with perfect pitch crazy.
To which Archives Guy Q& replied:
In particular, the Riverboat disc needed a lot of work to correct speed and pitch issues.
Here are some details on that process:
This Archives Blu-ray/DVD disc has been compiled from the original 2 track, ¼” analog Riverboat master tape reels, which were recorded at 15ips.
The HDCD® 24-bit 192kHz digital transfers were edited into an assembled program and then sample rate converted to 24-bit 96kHz for audio restoration after it was discovered that the original recordings had varying and uneven speeds.
Through the series of performances, tape speed was found to vary 4% overall and at times as much as 2% during the course of a single song. Audio restoration techniques solved these inconsistencies and brought the program to correct pitch.
After the speed correction process was completed, the audio program was then edited and mastered at 24-bit 96kHz, becoming the DVD master.
In the case of Blu-ray, the audio program went through a final upsampling after the 24-bit 96kHz mastering. This final stage, utilizing a Pacific Microsonics HDCD® Model 2 processor, resulted in the 24-bit 192kHz Blu-ray master.
From Archives Guy on 250+p book:
- Art direction and design: Gary Burden & Jenice Heo for R. Twerk & Co.
- Photographs, artwork, text and credits researched and compiled by Joel Bernstein
- Production: L.A. Johnson
Also, see Unique NYA Moments.
Stay tuned for more Archives Guy Q&A!