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recording at the Fillmore East, NYC 1971
Old 10th December 2021
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
recording at the Fillmore East, NYC 1971

Here's a good account (a little short on technical detail) of recording the Allman Bros Band for their legendary double live album at the Fillmore East, NYC in March 1971:

https://www.guitarplayer.com/players...-fillmore-east

Rolling Stone adds a little on horns mic leakage, and leaving vocal mics on for ambience:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...istory-240779/

Wikipedia lists the engineering credits for the March '71 dates as :

Tom Dowd – producer, liner notes
Bruce Malamut – assistant producer
Aaron Baron – engineer
Sam Whiteside – engineer
Larry Dahlstrom – assistant engineer

....(apart from Dowd) anybody know if these guys are still active in the recording field ?

Last edited by studer58; 10th December 2021 at 05:56 AM..
Old 10th December 2021
  #2
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➑️
Here's a good account (a little short on technical detail) of recording the Allman Bros Band for their legendary double live album at the Fillmore East, NYC in March 1971:

https://www.guitarplayer.com/players...-fillmore-east

Rolling Stone adds a little on horns mic leakage, and leaving vocal mics on for ambience:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...istory-240779/

Wikipedia lists the engineering credits for the March '71 dates as :

Tom Dowd – producer, liner notes
Bruce Malamut – assistant producer
Aaron Baron – engineer
Sam Whiteside – engineer
Larry Dahlstrom – assistant engineer

....(apart from Dowd) anybody know if these guys are still active in the recording field ?
Which tunes on that record had horns? Can't think of anything.

Listened to this album so much in college, played all the songs in cover bands for years. Not sure how many clients wanted to hear extended jams on Elizabeth Reed or Whipping Post at their art walks and wedding receptions but it's what they got
Old 10th December 2021 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➑️
Which tunes on that record had horns? Can't think of anything.

Listened to this album so much in college, played all the songs in cover bands for years. Not sure how many clients wanted to hear extended jams on Elizabeth Reed or Whipping Post at their art walks and wedding receptions but it's what they got
I'm guessing it was the first night of the 3 they played that location, and Dowd seems to have canned the idea pretty quickly !

From Wikipedia:

Things went smoothly until the band unexpectedly brought out saxophonist Rudolph "Juicy" Carter, an unknown horn player, and longstanding "unofficial" band member Thom Doucette on harmonica. "I was just hoping we could isolate them, so we could wipe them and use the songs, but they started playing and the horns were leaking all over everything, rendering the songs unusable," said Dowd. He rushed to Duane during the break to tell him to cut the horn players; while Duane loved the players, he put up no fight with Dowd. The final show was delayed because of a bomb scare, and did not end until 6 am

Apart from Thom Doucette on harmonica, I don't think any brass is audible on the original album release, thus your memory is correct.

However since then there have been several extended CD releases with additional tracks....and again, using Wiki as a source...the following additional players are credited:

Guest musicians
Thom Doucette – harmonica on "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'", "Done Somebody Wrong", "One Way Out", "Stormy Monday" and "You Don't Love Me"
Jim Santi – tambourine
Guest musicians (The Fillmore Concerts and The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings)
Bobby Caldwell – percussion on "Drunken Hearted Boy" and on March 12 shows starting with "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"
Rudolph ("Juici") Carter – soprano saxophone on (only) both March 12 shows, starting with "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"
Elvin Bishop – vocals on "Drunken Hearted Boy"
Steve Miller – piano on "Drunken Hearted Boy"

The Rolling Stone retrospective has this:

Butch Trucks: "There were three guys who used to play with Jaimoe out of Mississippi: Juicy, Fat and Tick. Juicy was the baritone player, and he used to play with us a lot β€” for years and years. Fat played the alto, and of the three of them, he was probably the only one that could really play. And Tick played tenor. You put all three of them together with us playing at the level we were playing, and they just weren’t there.

After the opening night when we finished, Tom said, β€œNix the horns! No way! That sucked! No f***ing way!” Duane looked at him like, β€œHuh? I thought this was our band.” Luckily Duane trusted Tom’s judgment enough to say, β€œOK.” Duane was just of the mind that you gotta include the whole world in what we’re doing. He was constantly looking for ways to expand what we were doing"
Old 10th December 2021
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I guess Dowd didn't go along with the typical "shotgun mics forward of the stacks pointed at the audience" idea, for crowd ambience:

Butch Trucks: "If it wasn’t for Tom Dowd and his genius at knowing acoustics and setting up microphones … There were certain things that he did to get the sound that you just can’t miss on At Fillmore East that every engineer out there would scream and holler is completely heretical.

For one thing, Tom Dowd always told us that the most important thing about making a live album is that the most important microphones on that stage are pointed at the audience. He wanted all the sound on the record to feel like what it was like if you were at the Fillmore East, so he opened all of the vocal mics onstage and left them open for the whole show. Not once did he shut anything off.

He knew that we could play well enough and that as long as we were playing our best, [the album] was not going to have to be remixed or repaired or anything else. You get all that ambience coming at you, and you don’t have to add a whole lot of outboard equipment or reverb or this, that and the other"
Old 10th December 2021
  #5
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Whose remote truck was used? Fedco's?

D.
Old 10th December 2021
  #6
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Summer of 1971, I was 14 when this album was released and it was a life changing event for me. As young as I was, I noticed how the mix captured the "you are there" feel - Dowd did a great job positioning the players in the band left to right, he also brought the house mics up and down - listen to "you don't love me", the mics are almost all house until about 8 bars in when Dowd transitions over to the the stage mics.

in later years, I heard the mixes with horns and they were awful, it's hard to understand why the brothers would've considered it, given the gravity of the event.

The original two-disc vinyl release will always be the best version, imo, it's the one the band approved and wanted as a testament to their live shows - subsequent remixes and additions of less than stellar versions don't help the band's legacy. I feel this way about bootlegs, too, but at least those are outside the band's control and are a "buyer's beware" curiosity item. The Fillmore release should be sacrosanct.

I have a red brick in my studio closet which came from the Fillmore east when it was torn down - if I put my ear right up to it, I can hear the sounds ....
Old 11th December 2021
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
The summer of 1973 I traveled to the west coast with a high school friend in his van. We had a limited budget for 8 track tapes for traveling music for the van stereo. Live at Fillmore East was one we bought along with Layla, Stage Fright (The Band), and Madman Across the Water. Never got tired of those for the weeks we were driving.
Old 11th December 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➑️
Whose remote truck was used? Fedco's?

D.
Gearspace....the forum that just keeps on giving:

...post no.30 in link below is the real mother lode !

OK Oldtimers

Also......Location Recorders/Bearsville Sound Console
Old 11th December 2021
  #9
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Wow! Woulda never called the Bearsville truck on this one. Thanks.

D.
Old 12th December 2021
  #10
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Cool articles.

I do love the closing of the Fillmore radio broadcast, I have preferred it at points. Wonder if it was the same truck?
Old 13th December 2021 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr ➑️
Cool articles.

I do love the closing of the Fillmore radio broadcast, I have preferred it at points. Wonder if it was the same truck?
I'm pretty sure a large portion of the ABB's set for the closing of the Fillmore East (June 27th '71 ?) is on CD 2 of the Deluxe version of 'Eat a Peach'

The credits outlined in the following Wiki summary suggest it was the same truck and crew :
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eat_a_Peach

Last edited by studer58; 13th December 2021 at 01:21 AM..
Old 13th December 2021
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I posed this thread to John Chester, who was the Fillmore's sound engineer at the time, and he had these memories of that:
-----------------
I was there, working with Larry and Aaron on setting up the live
recording. I don't remember whether they were still Location Recorders,
or had become Bearsville by that time. The 2 recording trucks that
spent the most time at the Fillmore were theirs and Fedco, and they were
both highly competent and good to work with.

The first time Larry & Aaron appeared at the Fillmore they didn't have a
truck yet. All of their equipment was in flight cases, and the company
name was Fly By Night Recorders. The story I heard about the name
change was that they tried to get a bank loan, and the company name made the bank very unhappy, so they became Location Recorders.

I don't remember anything about the "horns" controversy. If a horn
player suddenly appeared, they either would have commandeered one of the vocal mics, or we would have brought out an extra mic. No problem for the house mixer. However, I imagine the sudden appearance of the horn player would have caused considerable consternation in the recording truck.

IMO, the best live recordings were ones where the same engineer did
tracking and mixing. They saw the stage setup, heard the sound in the
hall, and were well prepared to deal with leakage and use it to their
advantage. I don't recall Tom Dowd requesting any changes in the shared
mics. Our standard vocal mic at that time was Shure 565, and
experienced live recordists never asked to use anything else. For
shared instrument mics, Larry, Aaron and I would have agreed on what to
use, and we were usually happy to use their mics if they had nicer ones
than we did. For mics used only for the recording, they could use
whatever they wanted, and we just had to be prepared to set them and
strike them if the mics were on stage.

I only remember one occasion when the recording company insisted on
using their own vocal mics. It was RCA Records, trying to record the
Jefferson Airplane. They insisted on gaffer taping their vocal mic to
the side of ours. We told them that was a bad idea, but they had to
hear it for themselves to realize we were right. Vocalist walks up to
dual mics, sings into first one and then the other, realizes that only
the one on the left comes out of the monitors, thereafter sings into
that one and ignores the other. They got so much leakage that the vocal
was unusable.

Don't remember where the audience mics were located for the Allman show, or what mics were used. The usual location was above and perhaps a little behind the speaker stacks for the main floor, and the audience mics were never shotgun mics -- except once. The recording was John Mayall's Turning Point album (July 12, 1969). I was setting it up,
because the recording was done on Hanley's 8 track in the basement,
recording engineer Eddie Kramer. Fillmore shows usually had a full
house, but for this show the house was only about 1/3 full. The
audience mics were EV 642 dynamic shotguns hung from the sound booth and lighting booth (the left & right boxes just in front of the stage),
aimed at the front of the audience (because there was no one in the back
of the hall).

In my experience, the vocal mics picked up a reasonable amount of hall
reverb, and if the vocal mics were properly positioned in the stereo mix
so that the leakage sounded good, it wasn't necessary to add audience
mics during a song. But I have no idea how much audience was used in
the Allman's mix.

-- John Chester
-----------------------------------------
Another person pointed out that Larry Dahlstrom has passed away.
Old 14th December 2021
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks to GLouie and kudos to folks like John Chester for sharing these insights into the methods used in an earlier era...they deserve to be encouraged on a historical and general interest level.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
thanks for posting this
πŸ“ Reply

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