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Grateful Dead 02/22/74
Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
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Source # 8623 Other Sources
Entered by dr.unclear
Checksums shn-md5 , orig-sbefix-ffp , st5
Disc Counts 1 / 1
Media Size
Date Circulated
Date Added
Source Summary soundcheck, reportedly this date although mislabeled as 2/24/74 on shn set; SBD > RTR @ 7.5 i.p.s. > D > SSSB; no PCM- see info file; via Jay Serafin to gdlive 
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Grateful Dead [ 02/22/74, apparently mislabeled 02/24/74 ]
Winterland Arena  San Francisco, CA
SSSB Audio Rating: AR1a

LINEAGE: SBD > RTR @ 7.5 i.p.s. > D > SSSB

This is the majority of the soundcheck for that evening's show; due to this being a version which does NOT have the PCM tape in it's lineage, it is released as a NEW SHOW "Let It Grow" is missing 02:18 from it's beginning, "Instrumental Jam is missing approx. first 2 minutes and last 1:38 seconds (both of these verified by my Marin County source) due to RTR tape decks being patched in and out; any/all editing, fades, NR, hiss elimination, phase shifting/"time smear" correction, jitter elimination, EQ, and quantization noise elimination (when down-converting audio to 16-bit / 44.1kHz for CD-R mastering), were all performed using 24-bit / 96 kHz digital realm processing at Serafin Station Studio B [this show was released 08/01]

Track 01: Let It Grow (04:51.789)
Track 02: They Love Each Other (06:56.092)
Track 03: U. S. Blues #1 (06:03.467) ->
Track 04: U. S. Blues #2 (05:50.149)
Track 05: Attics Of My Life (03:47.289)
Track 06: It Must Have Been The Roses (13:34.552) ->
Track 07: Instrumental Jam (song unknown) (02:36.380)

Uploaded exclusively to by:
John "Jay" Serafin, owner/audio engineer @ Serafin Station Studio B
"Making Kindness Dubs For Everyone!"
No Profits Or Copyright Infringements EVER!
Web Info:
E-Mail: [email protected]

To begin with, this recording has been listed as a NEW RELEASE (rather than a re-release), due to the fact that this version was put onto the DAT master directly from the 2-track RTR tape, bypassing the PCM archive tape. By not having the 8-bit PCM media in the lineage can make a big difference in the amount of overall hiss, sound quality, etc.

Many of the sound check recordings from the 70's were never kept (unless they were Betty Board shows). This particular one was (as were most of the early 1974 shows), as new equipment was being tried out during the late Winter/early Spring tour. It is my understanding that a new monitor mixing console, updated outboard effects, and newer microphones for Jerry and Phil were being used for this run. By having these tapes on hand, the band and the audio engineers would be able to use this recording for comparison and reference purposes, hearing how the new gear worked when compared against their older equipment.

While not "really stellar" in overall quality (if you compare this to my version of 7/16/66 for example), this sound check is still VERY CLEAN, crisp, and unusual (but very easy) to listen to.  This is why I gave it the highest possible analog media-originated rating.  I mentioned "unusual" in the fact that this wasn't the mix which would have been used at the show, but was just to "isolate" Jerry's guitar (he's only in the LEFT channel). The keyboards don't get put into the mix until part way into U.S. Blues #1 (Keith was late getting there), etc.  You can hear the engineers making small (and sometimes overly "compensated") adjustments to the mix.  Phil's bass is sometimes louder and softer, Keith's piano gets distorted (but not louder) in the mix, due to the compression/limiting used, etc.

You'll notice, right from the first few notes of "Let It Grow", that the right channel is LOWER in overall volume by an average of 4.2 dB.  This is because of how the mix was made.  You will hear the vocals, Phil, and the percussion "dead center" (which is pretty much a clear indication that neither channel is loudest than the other).  Jerry's guitar (left channel) is MUCH louder than Keith's piano (right channel), and this accounts for the appearance of the mix being out of balance.  But it's not, if you go by the "standards" that the Dead used... vocals, bass, and (when they had only one drummer) the snare drum in the percussion mix were equal in the left and right channel, this giving the "illusion" of those items being "right in the middle of the mix".  So, if you turn your balance control more to the right channel, you're going to lose the "stereo center" effect.

Phil really starts to get pissed off when the stage monitors and the overall venue aren't loud enough (track 5), and he let's the responsible person know this in no uncertain terms!  Jerry even questions how the stage monitors are being utilized, which is pretty unusual for Jerry.  The Dead almost always relied on Phil's excellent knowledge of mixing techniques, what works at any given venue or situation (and what doesn't!). Phil was very adamant a lot of times during setup and sound checks on letting the audio engineers know what he expected of them and what was not acceptable.  The only person he never really gave any lip to was Betty Cantor-Jackson.  Phil knew that Betty had a great "ear" for mixing at venues, and he almost never questioned her techniques.

During track 3, and in several other short sections during this recording, you can hear where the compression and limiting is pushed too far on Keith's piano, giving it almost a digital keyboard sound. Slightly annoying, but since he's not really loud on the mix, it's 100% bearable. These are things which MUST be worked out at a sound check, and only fine-tuning should ever be needed for the actual show.  The Watkins Glen sound check (which turned into a complete show!) was a great example of how a sound check should be once everything was "in place" and 90% balanced.

Bobby is in his Country & Western mode for his rhythm chops.  To me, the early and mid-70's were a very much a C&W time for Weir.  And, to me, it's better than hearing his late 80's until the end of the Dead "angular" style of playing, and being less in the mix.  Bobby added so much to the overall sound, even though you can't always hear what he's playing.  But if he was very quiet in a show's mix on any given night, one could sense that the band's "balance" was off.  The vocals are great, as they were already balanced.  Billy was just playing "mildly", as there was no need for any type of showing off... he just was needed to keep the tempo steady for the session.  "It Must Have Been The Roses" was played much faster than normal, and it sounds quite unusual to listen to this faster tempo.  Both versions of "U.S. Blues" had a "New Orleans jazz / honky-tonk feeling to them... it's subtle but it's there.  Just goes to show that the Dead were quite versatile with their musical stylings.  This has always been a trademark which I've enjoyed, and when I hear an unusual styling, I will always make mention of it, either in the "Detailed List" objective comments as well as my "Personal Comments".

While this is not a "show", per se, it's very nice to sit back and listen to, just to hear how things were done.  If you want to really hear Jerry's playing (as he's always "center of the mix"), this is an excellent selection to get.  You really hear how he never stops playing for a moment, once the song starts!  Even when you hear him "noodling" during regular shows, there's this feeling you get that if he stopped playing or paused for any reason, he wouldn't start again!  To just listen to his hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides are a work of art for the years.  And you can really get to hear every note he plays on this sound check.

I think this recording is worth having just to be able to hear the Fat Man playing on his own, to hear Donna in very good harmony vocals, Billy just performing "basic drumming", Weir's C&W noticeable chord progressions, and a number of "Phil Bombs", as they had him pretty high in the mix.

Because this was just a rehearsal, the RTR deck wasn't using the high quality grade of open reel tape they would normally use, so there was quite a bit of hiss.  Thanks to the digital editing system, I was able to drop the total level of hiss by almost 60% (which is VERY noticeable) and yet keep the high frequencies of Jerry's guitar and Billy's cymbals from being affected. It took 8 noise reduction passes to get the hiss down to a very low level and not introduce any unwanted musical distortion.  This is something a lot of people who try to reduce hiss do not try.  Rather than attempting to reduce this hiss "all at once", which can lead to phasing and "flanging" (the metallic-sounding result of overly ambitious hiss reduction), try doing a MINIMUM of TWO passes, reducing the hiss slowly. You know when you've hit the limit of noise reduction when those audio anomalies I mentioned begin to occur.  Yes, it takes more time, and requires more work.  But you'll be happier with the end result (as will anyone who gets dubs from you!) by trying it the way it's done in professional studios.
Show Checksums
9fc1b4bd75a32445e00f3cb093a53b7f *gd74-02-22sc-d1t01.shn
604c97001f9a7209c31766fe38ce7d90 *gd74-02-22sc-d1t02.shn
3bf60abccf7e6a7b359ac4a7240ec449 *gd74-02-22sc-d1t03.shn
5aacc6583c088284e5d15b5a365c015f *gd74-02-22sc-d1t04.shn
c52768db3fb3b8e87c8435bbd3e10124 *gd74-02-22sc-d1t05.shn
7035001e1f40f6895e215259272ff7b8 *gd74-02-22sc-d1t06.shn
a6096dbc7608e31fb626ee0f09164033 *gd74-02-22sc-d1t07.shn
ec701ded0edcd9988ad03156da6e9d71 [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t01.shn
f995f725a74d1f45ff74399b7ae3c026 [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t02.shn
09924c7543eb0e85bc894e2b08b0a162 [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t03.shn
85c6a01219977ef765341d587adbea9c [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t04.shn
4e916a4593b7bece99c5d11e7d4c2e2e [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t05.shn
b753113060a2644e9e2a37ccea2f75d7 [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t06.shn
6352556a09e808dc63a156e37c789cb0 [shntool] gd74-02-22sc-d1t07.shn

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Other Sources (comments)
SBD > ? > SHN; Missing... (3) Lineage: SBD > D > CD >... (0) Sources: 1 - sbd > ? > shn... (0) mixed SBD sources: Vault... (11) flac16; Recording... (0)
Date User Comment
01/01/2009 Joe Grimes The last track sounds like an early run-through of Estimated Prophet.
01/01/2009 hanno right on! for me this belongs in the same category as the infamous Ungano's Night Club.
01/01/2009 Hamilton, Diana I've updated both db setlists now to reflect the likelihood that the soundcheck is 2/22/74. However, I'll leave the shns on this date since many users are going to list it/look for it under this date now (same with the the Ungano thing). I can always add a duplicate shn entry for this under 2/22/74.

Hey, that said, I notice no one seems to have publicly circulated a shn set of the 2/22/74 show in all these years?! Hmm. We have a CM > C > D copy, but .t's site lists a Reel master > DAT > circulation...

01/01/2009 Diana Hamilton OK, this shn set now has a parallel entry under the presumably proper date of 2/22/74.
01/01/2009 GDLIVE http download
from gdlive gd74-02-24sc_sssb

09/04/2009 mvernon sbes were fixed using shntool "round" option for "fix" command