SADiE Retouches Grateful Dead Track

Dec 12, 2002 12:00 PM, Editors

When Jeffrey Norman, mixer and mastering engineer for the enormous archives of Grateful Dead recordings, encountered an audio glitch on a recording made in 1972 at a concert in the United Kingdom, he found that SADiE's CEDAR Retouch software was the solution.

The track, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," appears on the four-CD album released last summer, another installment of Dead archive recordings that Norman has mixed and/or mastered. However, while working at the Dead’s private studio facility--Club Front in Novato, Calif.--on this particular track, he found that a guitar part had bled into the piano pickup, creating a sonic problem that would render the track unusable. "Usually, the way I pan the band is the same as they would be onstage, with the piano on the right and the guitar on the left," Norman said. "But with this bleed, you could hear the guitar part in the piano track, and it was smearing it in the midrange area. It really was unusable the way it was, and it would have been a shame to lose the track."

Norman transferred the piano track along with time code onto a CD-R and sent it to SADiE U.S. VP Gary Rosen, who applied the Retouch. "When it came back, it was pretty amazing," Norman said. "It had been made usable. Without what the Retouch software on the SADiE was able to do, I wouldn’t have been able to use the song.

"We do a lot of archival work here," Norman continued, "and many of the tapes are showing signs of needing corrective surgery. Based on this experience with SADiE and Retouch, I would say they’re leading contenders when the time comes."

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