Grateful Dead in Surround

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Fourplay

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There are two officially mixed and released Grateful Dead studio records in surround:

Workingman's Dead in DVD Audio

American Beauty in DVD Audio & DualDisc

There are a number of other Grateful Dead releases in surround, and not much has been written about them on QQ. Here is what I have found:

Releases featuring live video:

Sunshine Daydream -
The famous Veneta Oregon show from August 27, 1972, with a better than ambient mix. Released in DVD & Blu-ray versions. It includes some video. See:


Crimson, White & Indigo -
John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, PA from July 7, 1989. A sticker on the shrink wrap promises "Mixed from multitrack master tapes, DVD includes stereo and 5.1 mixes." This hopeful promotion does not "pan out" as the DVD is a weak ambient mix. I would characterize this as a 3.03 mix, as the rears are very weak ambient, there is nothing in the center that is not in the fronts, but the sub does fill in a little low end (even that is a little weak at my nominal setting). Released in a CD sized format with three CDs and one DVD. Not recommended for surround.

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 -
Gizah Sound and Light Theater in Giza, near Cairo, Egypt on September 15 and 16, 1978
I just opened this to check it for this post, and I was pleasantly surprised. The performances are not renowned as being the best the Dead had to offer in this era, and in fact I just heard one train wreck during Good Lovin', but there is plenty to like here. The mix is not fully discrete, but much like the Veneta show there is some spreading of elements and the rears are all music, some of it not identical to what is happening in the fronts. The lead vocal is nearly alone in the center channel, with some spill into the other four channels. The piano is nearly isolated in the left rear.

This is a Rhino release in a CD format package with two CDs and one DVD, and there is a DTS surround option. Recommended for surround, but be aware that some of the video (and playing) is shaky and unstable.


The Grateful Dead Movie -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA - Edited from five-nights in October 1974 . Released on DVD & Blu-ray from the original theatrical release. It contains three different soundtracks — the original multi-channel theatrical mix which was overseen by Jerry Garcia, a new 5.1 multi-channel mix created for the DVD, and a stereo mix. In checking these I find the original quad mix to be less discrete and subject to phasing issues. The modern 5.1 mix fares better, and while there is much crowd in the rears there is also strong rhythm guitar in the right rear and strong piano in the left rear, with some drums also in the rears. There is vocal reverb in the rears. Lead vocals are spread across the fronts with lead guitar, drums and bass. There is some piano and rhythm guitar in the fronts. So maybe not as discrete as one might like, but far better than ambient/audience. There is also a very cool optional commentary track from the production team. Recommended.


The Closing of Winterland -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, December 31, 1978 Released on DVD in 2003. Mixes in DTS, Dolby Surround and stereo. In listening to the DTS without front channels I can hear the lead guitar biased to the right rear with some weaker elements - drums are weakest here. The rhythm guitar is biased to the left rear, with strong drums and bass, and vocal reverb. Vocals, piano, drum reverb and bass are in the center channel. Lead guitar is nearly absent from the center. The fronts have stronger harmony vocals and drums along with bass and lead guitar. Piano and rhythm guitar are weaker in the fronts. In essence very little is fully discrete, but there are definite biases of sound around the field. The Dolby and DTS tracks don't sound that different. Recommended.

There are quite a few other Grateful Dead video releases which I do not have, so I cannot comment on them. Perhaps other members would like to fill out this list.


Radio Broadcasts:

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 10/4/70
One show simulcast in quad on two radio stations: fronts over KSAN FM and rears over KQED FM. Video was also broadcast live.

"This was touted as the world's first quadraphonic broadcast and ... I remember it was a fabulous success. The audio was from two FM stations and the video was supplied by KQED Channel 9, who still owns the tapes and keeps them in their vault. Supposedly they are not of high enough resolution and quality to package by GD Prods/Rhino, and that is a shame because the Dead really shine. I would love to see a 5.1 surround sound DVD of this entire show, but it would be a monstrous restoration project. Maybe some day..."

Quoted from: https://archive.org/details/gd70-10-04.sbd.cotsman.4942.sbeok.shnf


Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, CA, July 18, 1976
Broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in SQ on 11/28/76
A great show, but I do not know of a circulating quad version. Read here:


Vinyl Era Quad:

Grateful Dead - Steal Your Face
Vinyl release of which all editions are said to be QS encoded. I have never heard a decode of this.

So that is what I know about that!
 
Last edited:

Fourplay

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If anyone around here is interested in the Grateful Dead, I just updated the links above for one-stop shopping on QQ. Member quicksrt was kind enough to share the 1976 KBFH broadcast with me. I sent it off to Oxford Dickie but he was in the process of withdrawing from the conversion business. If anyone else around here is handy with SQ conversions, please PM me and I will supply the files. Would love to hear this recording in quad!
 

mrcond

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There are two officially mixed and released Grateful Dead studio records in surround:

Workingman's Dead in DVD Audio

American Beauty in DVD Audio & DualDisc

There are a number of other Grateful Dead releases in surround, and not much has been written about them on QQ. Here is what I have found:

Releases featuring live video:

Sunshine Daydream -
The famous Veneta Oregon show from August 27, 1972, with a better than ambient mix. Released in DVD & Blu-ray versions. It includes some video. See:


Crimson, White & Indigo -
John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, PA from July 7, 1989. A sticker on the shrink wrap promises "Mixed from multitrack master tapes, DVD includes stereo and 5.1 mixes." This hopeful promotion does not "pan out" as the DVD is a weak ambient mix. I would characterize this as a 3.03 mix, as the rears are very weak ambient, there is nothing in the center that is not in the fronts, but the sub does fill in a little low end (even that is a little weak at my nominal setting). Released in a CD sized format with three CDs and one DVD. Not recommended for surround.

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 -
Gizah Sound and Light Theater in Giza, near Cairo, Egypt on September 15 and 16, 1978
I just opened this to check it for this post, and I was pleasantly surprised. The performances are not renowned as being the best the Dead had to offer in this era, and in fact I just heard one train wreck during Good Lovin', but there is plenty to like here. The mix is not fully discrete, but much like the Veneta show there is some spreading of elements and the rears are all music, some of it not identical to what is happening in the fronts. The lead vocal is nearly alone in the center channel, with some spill into the other four channels. The piano is nearly isolated in the left rear.

This is a Rhino release in a CD format package with two CDs and one DVD, and there is a DTS surround option. Recommended for surround, but be aware that some of the video (and playing) is shaky and unstable.


The Grateful Dead Movie -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA - Edited from five-nights in October 1974 . Released on DVD & Blu-ray from the original theatrical release. It contains three different soundtracks — the original multi-channel theatrical mix which was overseen by Jerry Garcia, a new 5.1 multi-channel mix created for the DVD, and a stereo mix. In checking these I find the original quad mix to be less discrete and subject to phasing issues. The modern 5.1 mix fares better, and while there is much crowd in the rears there is also strong rhythm guitar in the right rear and strong piano in the left rear, with some drums also in the rears. There is vocal reverb in the rears. Lead vocals are spread across the fronts with lead guitar, drums and bass. There is some piano and rhythm guitar in the fronts. So maybe not as discrete as one might like, but far better than ambient/audience. There is also a very cool optional commentary track from the production team. Recommended.


The Closing of Winterland -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, December 31, 1978 Released on DVD in 2003. Mixes in DTS, Dolby Surround and stereo. In listening to the DTS without front channels I can hear the lead guitar biased to the right rear with some weaker elements - drums are weakest here. The rhythm guitar is biased to the left rear, with strong drums and bass, and vocal reverb. Vocals, piano, drum reverb and bass are in the center channel. Lead guitar is nearly absent from the center. The fronts have stronger harmony vocals and drums along with bass and lead guitar. Piano and rhythm guitar are weaker in the fronts. In essence very little is fully discrete, but there are definite biases of sound around the field. The Dolby and DTS tracks don't sound that different. Recommended.

There are quite a few other Grateful Dead video releases which I do not have, so I cannot comment on them. Perhaps other members would like to fill out this list.


Radio Broadcasts:

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 10/4/70
One show simulcast in quad on two radio stations: fronts over KSAN FM and rears over KQED FM. Video was also broadcast live.

"This was touted as the world's first quadraphonic broadcast and ... I remember it was a fabulous success. The audio was from two FM stations and the video was supplied by KQED Channel 9, who still owns the tapes and keeps them in their vault. Supposedly they are not of high enough resolution and quality to package by GD Prods/Rhino, and that is a shame because the Dead really shine. I would love to see a 5.1 surround sound DVD of this entire show, but it would be a monstrous restoration project. Maybe some day..."

Quoted from: https://archive.org/details/gd70-10-04.sbd.cotsman.4942.sbeok.shnf


Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, CA, July 18, 1976
Broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in SQ on 11/28/76
A great show, but I do not know of a circulating quad version. Read here:


Vinyl Era Quad:

Grateful Dead - Steal Your Face
Vinyl release of which all editions are said to be QS encoded. I have never heard a decode of this.

So that is what I know about that!

Also, the Amazon documentary “Long Strange Trip” (Martin Scorsese was Executive Producer) - I definitely recall some discrete surround elements when I streamed it when it was first released. Available on blu-ray with bonus material included here:

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead (Blu-ray) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GVXHY9R/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_vt2ZCb2PN8NEK


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

marpow

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There are two officially mixed and released Grateful Dead studio records in surround:

Workingman's Dead in DVD Audio

American Beauty in DVD Audio & DualDisc

There are a number of other Grateful Dead releases in surround, and not much has been written about them on QQ. Here is what I have found:

Releases featuring live video:

Sunshine Daydream -
The famous Veneta Oregon show from August 27, 1972, with a better than ambient mix. Released in DVD & Blu-ray versions. It includes some video. See:


Crimson, White & Indigo -
John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, PA from July 7, 1989. A sticker on the shrink wrap promises "Mixed from multitrack master tapes, DVD includes stereo and 5.1 mixes." This hopeful promotion does not "pan out" as the DVD is a weak ambient mix. I would characterize this as a 3.03 mix, as the rears are very weak ambient, there is nothing in the center that is not in the fronts, but the sub does fill in a little low end (even that is a little weak at my nominal setting). Released in a CD sized format with three CDs and one DVD. Not recommended for surround.

Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 -
Gizah Sound and Light Theater in Giza, near Cairo, Egypt on September 15 and 16, 1978
I just opened this to check it for this post, and I was pleasantly surprised. The performances are not renowned as being the best the Dead had to offer in this era, and in fact I just heard one train wreck during Good Lovin', but there is plenty to like here. The mix is not fully discrete, but much like the Veneta show there is some spreading of elements and the rears are all music, some of it not identical to what is happening in the fronts. The lead vocal is nearly alone in the center channel, with some spill into the other four channels. The piano is nearly isolated in the left rear.

This is a Rhino release in a CD format package with two CDs and one DVD, and there is a DTS surround option. Recommended for surround, but be aware that some of the video (and playing) is shaky and unstable.


The Grateful Dead Movie -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA - Edited from five-nights in October 1974 . Released on DVD & Blu-ray from the original theatrical release. It contains three different soundtracks — the original multi-channel theatrical mix which was overseen by Jerry Garcia, a new 5.1 multi-channel mix created for the DVD, and a stereo mix. In checking these I find the original quad mix to be less discrete and subject to phasing issues. The modern 5.1 mix fares better, and while there is much crowd in the rears there is also strong rhythm guitar in the right rear and strong piano in the left rear, with some drums also in the rears. There is vocal reverb in the rears. Lead vocals are spread across the fronts with lead guitar, drums and bass. There is some piano and rhythm guitar in the fronts. So maybe not as discrete as one might like, but far better than ambient/audience. There is also a very cool optional commentary track from the production team. Recommended.


The Closing of Winterland -
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, December 31, 1978 Released on DVD in 2003. Mixes in DTS, Dolby Surround and stereo. In listening to the DTS without front channels I can hear the lead guitar biased to the right rear with some weaker elements - drums are weakest here. The rhythm guitar is biased to the left rear, with strong drums and bass, and vocal reverb. Vocals, piano, drum reverb and bass are in the center channel. Lead guitar is nearly absent from the center. The fronts have stronger harmony vocals and drums along with bass and lead guitar. Piano and rhythm guitar are weaker in the fronts. In essence very little is fully discrete, but there are definite biases of sound around the field. The Dolby and DTS tracks don't sound that different. Recommended.

There are quite a few other Grateful Dead video releases which I do not have, so I cannot comment on them. Perhaps other members would like to fill out this list.


Radio Broadcasts:

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 10/4/70
One show simulcast in quad on two radio stations: fronts over KSAN FM and rears over KQED FM. Video was also broadcast live.

"This was touted as the world's first quadraphonic broadcast and ... I remember it was a fabulous success. The audio was from two FM stations and the video was supplied by KQED Channel 9, who still owns the tapes and keeps them in their vault. Supposedly they are not of high enough resolution and quality to package by GD Prods/Rhino, and that is a shame because the Dead really shine. I would love to see a 5.1 surround sound DVD of this entire show, but it would be a monstrous restoration project. Maybe some day..."

Quoted from: https://archive.org/details/gd70-10-04.sbd.cotsman.4942.sbeok.shnf


Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, CA, July 18, 1976
Broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in SQ on 11/28/76
A great show, but I do not know of a circulating quad version. Read here:


Vinyl Era Quad:

Grateful Dead - Steal Your Face
Vinyl release of which all editions are said to be QS encoded. I have never heard a decode of this.

So that is what I know about that!
Thanks for the above work, fascinating information that you took the time and effort to share with us.
 

Fourplay

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Also, the Amazon documentary “Long Strange Trip” (Martin Scorsese was Executive Producer) - I definitely recall some discrete surround elements when I streamed it when it was first released. Available on blu-ray with bonus material included here:

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead (Blu-ray) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GVXHY9R/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_vt2ZCb2PN8NEK

Great addition. By the by mrcond, I was in Vernon two weeks ago. I grew up in South Windsor. Funny.
 

quicksrt

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If anyone around here is interested in the Grateful Dead, I just updated the links above for one-stop shopping on QQ. Member quicksrt was kind enough to share the 1976 KBFH broadcast with me. I sent it off to Oxford Dickie but he was in the process of withdrawing from the conversion business. If anyone else around here is handy with SQ conversions, please PM me and I will supply the files. Would love to hear this recording in quad!
While that program I forwarded to you was a direct transfer from the reels sent to radio, I've never heard a KBFH quad recording that had anything other than ambient rear channels. I'd expect more of the same from the Dead's SQ mix. Sometimes they do a nice job of a hall sound in rear chans, but ain't that about it?
 

Fourplay

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While that program I forwarded to you was a direct transfer from the reels sent to radio, I've never heard a KBFH quad recording that had anything other than ambient rear channels. I'd expect more of the same from the Dead's SQ mix. Sometimes they do a nice job of a hall sound in rear chans, but ain't that about it?
Considering how good the show is, I would love to hear what is there. Worth a try, I say.
 

CPR

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Always remember while listening to Workingman's Dead/DVD/A, on my Acura ELS system, LOUD;
someone came up to my car, during Black Peter, & told me it sounded like Jerry Garcia was singing live.
Anyway, both WD, & AB are fabulous great mixes; there are verses & back-up lines that are unavailable on the originals
 

jhw59

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Always remember while listening to Workingman's Dead/DVD/A, on my Acura ELS system, LOUD;
someone came up to my car, during Black Peter, & told me it sounded like Jerry Garcia was singing live.
Anyway, both WD, & AB are fabulous great mixes; there are verses & back-up lines that are unavailable on the originals
Purists don't like these as Hart remixed the tunes and eliminated the fadeouts. Works for me though.
 

Fourplay

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Purists don't like these as Hart remixed the tunes and eliminated the fadeouts. Works for me though.
I thought he did a great job, and I wish he had done more of the studio albums. But apparently he took lots of time and invoiced large sums for the work, and that upset some in the GD camp. For me, the results were worth whatever it ended up costing.

As for alterations in the material, a purist can always go back to the stereo studio version and ignore the remixes. I never did understand why people consider one mix to be sacred. It still exists, can be accessed any time, and a new mix sheds new light on the performances. I love hearing new mixes of any music I enjoy.
 

Fourplay

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A bunch of home made surrounds circulate in the usual places. Quality varies but one I like is 8-6-71, a matrix, but the audience part is famous for its quality so the overall sound is quite good.
I have a couple of these including Cornell 1977. They are interesting, but not so much so that they are my preferred way of hearing the material.
 

John Svensson

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I'd have to say you nailed it on the qualities of the 3 video sources that you named that I have. Have never heard/seen the Giza video though, which is odd as I saw them 3 times in the months leading up to that performance. (Columbus/Indianapolis/Lexington, KY) I may have to track that down.
 

Fourplay

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By the way, I note I have been remiss to not have mentioned David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name" as a significant Dead related surround title. There is plenty of discussion to be found here:


Be assured that this is an excellent surround title featuring Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh.

On the flipside of this, there is the aural oddity called Seastones!:


This quad title also features Garcia and Lesh, but the recording is not remotely musical or, some might argue, even interesting. And the quad decode I have heard does nothing to enhance even the curiosity factor. Thumbs down on this one.
 

CPR

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The Crosby IICORMN/DVD/A is superb; actually it's 5.0 surround; never understood why
Anyway, there's a whole host of SF musicians on this one; Kantner, Slick, & Casady, from JA
Also Neil Young, among others; therefore, it's hard to call it a Grateful Dead disc
Although, there's some incredible pedal steel from Garcia
 

haikubass

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I believe this fits in this thread...
Rhino announces the details for an upcoming boxed set that explores the evolution of the Grateful Dead’s stadium concert experience. GIANTS STADIUM: 1987, 1989, 1991 includes five previously unreleased shows that were recorded at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on: July 12, 1987; July 9 and 10, 1989; and June 16 and 17, 1991. Each show has been mixed from the multitrack master tapes by Jeffrey Norman at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael, CA, and mastered in HDCD by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering. The first three shows are mixed from 24-track masters and the final two from 1991 are the only Grateful Dead shows ever recorded to 48-track tape.
The set is available to pre-order now at Dead.net and will ship to arrive on September 27. Production of the set is limited to 10,000 individually numbered copies and will be available in two incarnations: 4,000 copies of the 14CD/2DVD set for $149.98; and 6,000 copies of the 14CD/Blu-ray set for $159.98. Audio from the set will also be available in its entirety exclusively from Dead.net as a digital download in Apple Lossless and FLAC 192/24.
Both June 1991 shows were recorded to 48 tracks of analog audio tape, the only recordings in the Grateful Dead’s vault that went beyond 32 tracks. The second show (6/17/91) is widely considered to be one of the greatest shows the Dead played in its final decade of performing. The entire concert was filmed and the performance is included with the GIANTS STADIUM collection on either two DVDs or a single Blu-ray, both with a surround mix by Norman.
GD.jpg
 
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Fourplay

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From the Grateful Dead Taper's Compendium Volume III:
July 12, 1987 - 1st set is recommended, next two sets more of a shrug
July 9, 1989 - 1st set mixed bag, 2nd set high energy
July 10, 1989 - Both sets favorable with special guests the Neville Brothers at the end of the 2nd set
June 16, 1991 - Both sets mixed bag.
June 17, 1991 - Reviewer agrees that this is a must-have show. He puts this show in the top 30 or 40 of their entire 2000+ performance career. Bruce Hornsby plays on the whole show.

In case anyone was wondering...
 

halbroome

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I believe this fits in this thread...

View attachment 42428

HDCD! I replaced my old AVR with used OPPO 203 simply because both could play HDCD (two GD boxes use it, and it's the only hi fidelity you can find of Stills' first solo, DEJA VU, Joni Mitchell's main albums, and Jerry Garcia's first solo, to name a few).

Personally I can tell a difference between HDCD and regular redbook!
 
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