Elvis at the International Hotel Las Vegas 1969 Box Set

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by emjel, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Sex Lies And Master Tapes

    Sex Lies And Master Tapes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nantes, France
    Amazing. First time i see such a bass drum configuration.
    Thanks for the answer.
     
  2. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Mine is late.

    Maybe today.
     
  3. Sebastian

    Sebastian Forum Resident

    Great post!

    Some observations regarding the allocation of the instruments and vocals on the 8-track-tapes:
    • In one song where Mohoberac switches from acoustic piano to electric piano, on the Anesini mix you can hear that the signal switches from the left side to the center of the stereo image. From this I conclude that both instruments were recorded onto different tracks and locked in with different instruments that were positioned left and center, respectively.
    • Male and female background vocals were probably recorded onto different tracks as well. They can be heard from fifferent sides of the stereo image on some songs on the Anesini mixes.
    • The same applies to horns and strings.
    • It seems that the audience was recorded onto at least one separate track.
    Overall, it appears that quite a few instruments had to share a track with other instruments or vocals. It would be really cool to know the exact instrument allocation. This would give us a better understanding of the various mixes.
     
  4. Sebastian

    Sebastian Forum Resident

    Exactly. There's already enough excitement in the performances. It is not necessary to add more excitement during the mixing and mastering stage. On the contrary, to my liking, the recordings need to be tamed a bit. They benefit from a "relaxed, vintage" approach.
     
    RSteven, BlueSpeedway and Matthew like this.
  5. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    What a raw multi-track recording usually does not adequately capture though is the excitement and atmosphere of the room, or the energy of the cranked-up PA system.

    Now, it may be possible to approximate the latter in our living room solely by cranking the volume knob (especially for those of us who coincidentally do have PA systems in our living rooms!), but it also kind of defeats the point. The idea is to simulate the same sound without inspiring the neighbours to call the police, or when listening on headphones.

    Whether one prefers a mix that simulates the room and PA is obviously personal taste: I go to a lot of concerts, and I tend to like my live recordings to sound like a real show. The audience and performer both heard a lively ambient sound, so I like to hear live recordings in that context also.

    Everything can be taken too far, of course, as demonstrated by Prince From Another Planet, which I thought was simply a badly done example of that mixing philosophy, rather than an indictment of the entire method. A much better example is the FTD of Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis, which is one of the more authentic live albums I've heard.

    Either way, it's good to have both alternatives available; usually in multiple versions when it comes to Elvis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    RSteven and Sebastian like this.
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    Ferrante’s mixing work on the 3-CD That’s The Way It Is is probably his finest effort when it came to live Elvis, alongside An Afternoon In The Garden. Nothing sounds fake or added on.

    But it also showed inconsistency in approach. Whilst I also think the work on disc 2 of Live In Las Vegas is generally good, there is a layer of vocal reverb that sounds unnatural, especially compared to the aforementioned 3CD set.

    For his August 1970 work I rank:

    #1 - TTWII 3CD
    #2 - One Night In Vegas (FTD)
    #3 - Live In Las Vegas (Disc 2)

    None of these feel overdone, and they have a nice spread of sources around the stereo image. More importantly I find Elvis’ vocal track more open and full sounding, whereas it sounds kinda thin and restricted on the 8CD set from 2014.

    In stark contrast I cannot really get with any of his 1969 Vegas work, and find Live In Las Vegas disc 1 to be particularly abysmal. Flat, fake and one-dimensional. If I had to run with one it’d be FTD’s All Shook Up, because as dry sounding as it is, at least I can convince myself that I’m listening to some kind of reference mix!
     
    RSteven, PepiJean, minkahed and 4 others like this.
  7. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    Completely forgot about that set. Thank you.
     
    CBackley likes this.
  8. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    It turned out great that all those shows were recorded by RCA. For it became "easy" for the producer to edit the original 1969 live disc (my favorite), capturing great performances along with a balanced mix. Very kool to have all the "perfect" and imperfect outtakes all these years later!
     
    GillyT, RSteven and artfromtex like this.
  9. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Beyond the hype, it seems to me the Anesini mixes have their own share of peculiarities.

    Take In Person disc 2. The backing vocals are often fuzzy, the drums are at times buried and, due to the vintage styling, sound like they were recorded somewhere in Burnham-On-Sea. The soft-sounding balance of instruments is pleasant on the ears but doesn't sound particularly like a "real" concert.

    And the keyboards are still missing. Ferrante and Jorgensen have been excoriated for apparently making the decision to extract the piano from the mix on Live In Las Vegas, but the truth is the keys are also absent on much of Anesini's In Person disc 2.

    Now, theatrical prosecution over, I think In Person disc 2 is great. Anesini knows what he is doing. And overall it's technically a more refined mix than Live In Las Vegas disc 1.
    But it's Ferrante's cobweb-shifting barnstormer from the 24th evening show (and Live 1969, albeit with the incongruous slapback echo that will once again divide opinion) that sounds the most like a live concert recording.

    And it's also a superb performance, which is presumably why it was the first one to be issued, despite not being the best recording of the series. If I was to pick one show from 1969, this would be a contender.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    JLGB and Shvartze Shabbos like this.
  10. So the 3 CD set of That’s The Way It Is was released before the 8 disc set? I have the latter and thought it was just an expanded edition (same mix/mastering etc.,) Is the 3 disc set necessary or essential if I’m not an Elvis completist?

    @PacificOceanBlue
     
  11. minkahed

    minkahed Forum Resident

    I was thinking about that August 1970 Las Vegas concert where Dennis Ferrante was in control of the mixing console.

    I vividly remember having a discussion with Michael Omanski when he had personally told me that this was going to be the ultimate Elvis live experience, possibly the best concert Elvis ever gave.

    I was totally psyched and I can remember getting a promo copy of that 3 CD set.
     
  12. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    The 8/12/70 m.s. was a great set, executed by Elvis and his band at a very high level. It is no surprise that Omansky and Jorgensen promoted it as possibly being the best live show in the archives. And while Ferrante’ work was justifiably maligned, he did a good job on this show.
     
    RSteven and PepiJean like this.
  13. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Location:
    England

    Essential for the unique mix of the legendary 12th August Midnight show.

    It flatters Elvis' voice better than the thinner-sounding live recordings on 8-CD set, I think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  14. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Yes, the 3CD set (That’s The Way It Is - Special Edition) was issued in 2000 and contains different mixing and mastering. The original album (and mono singles) from the 8 disc set were mastered by Anesini, and the masters sound significantly better on that release. The live disc from 8/12/70 m.s. on the 3CD set is very good, but not worth seeking out on the secondary market considering you have the 8 disc set, which is more than adequate.
     
    Shvartze Shabbos and RSteven like this.
  15. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    I spent the morning listening to the first two shows from this box on Spotify. It sounds good to me, got to pick up the CD set when funds allow.
     
    RSteven, artfromtex and johnny q like this.
  16. minkahed

    minkahed Forum Resident

    So, in your opinion, you're saying that the 3 CD Special Edition of "Elvis-That's the Way It Is" is not worth re-seeking out ?

    I'm very upset now cuz I went digging into my Elvis collection looking for the specific set and only found discs 1 and 3 !!!

    Where the hell did my concert go ???
     
  17. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    Aug. 24 1969 dinner show “Can’t Help Falling In Love” — Compare and Contrast

    This particular Ferrante mix always felt sloppy. There are many more examples, but here are a couple:

    1. Listen to how badly the Sweet Inspirations are distorted at 0:44 on the Ferrante mix.
    2. They are not distorted on the Ross-Spang mix.
    3. At 1:01 in the Ferrante at the start of the horn passage, the horns are too low in the mix and you hear Ferrante react about four seconds late and bring them higher in the mix.
    4. In contrast, in the Ross-Spang mix, the horns are at a consistent volume throughout the passage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    RSteven likes this.
  18. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    Did anyone have a chance yet to hear the 8/26/69 vinyl release, issued as part of this Live 1969 campaign?

    Curious how it sounds, the quality of the pressing etc.
     
    CBackley likes this.
  19. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The horns get louder and the Sweets' vocals are also distorted on Vic Anesini's (AKA The Messiah) In Person disc 2, but I never hear any fuss about this!

    (I agree Live In Las Vegas disc 1 is rough around the edges, swampy, bassy, etc etc etc. None of this stops it being a fun listen).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    JLGB likes this.
  20. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I know some people have asserted Ferrante’s mix of the 8/12/70 m.s. is the better mix, but I’m not convinced. If it is, it is nominal. I personally reach for the recent remix from the 8CD set.
     
    minkahed and RSteven like this.
  21. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    @RoyalPineapple: If you are unconvinced of Ferrante’s inferior mixing on 1969 shows, let’s turn to another show!

    1. This time, let’s listen to the August 23, 1969 midnight show. The Ferrante mix is on Elvis at the International (FTD 2002)
    2. Play “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and compare the Ferrante mix vs the Ross-Spang mix at approximately 0:09, 0:15, 0:35, 0:50.
    3. Why is James Burton’s guitar track mixed low and virtually buried in the Ferrante mix at the above track times but clear and audible in the Ross Spang mix?
    4. Why does the Ferrante run 2% slower?


    (Note also that both mixes have the acoustic piano fade up at the start, illustrating that remote location recording engineer Al Pachuki was late in bringing up the acoustic piano mic at the start of the song)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    RSteven likes this.
  22. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored


    I really enjoyed it. My system is pretty basic, but it sounded very good.
     
    minkahed likes this.
  23. RoyalPineapple

    RoyalPineapple Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I said that I enjoy the Live In Las Vegas mix, whatever its flaws, and that very similar flaws or peculiarities in the Anesini mixes just get completely overlooked by internet "experts".

    I did not say that I've now become Dennis Ferrante's posthumous defence lawyer and am going to sit here all night discussing every EQ tweak!
     
    frightwigwam likes this.
  24. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kansas City
    Nice dodge! A virtually inaudible Burton in the mix is not an EQ tweak. It’s a mixing decision.

    A tape running 2% slow is not an EQ tweak. It’s a lack of attention to basic detail.
     
    RSteven and PacificOceanBlue like this.
  25. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    Come now, Vic's reputation isn't built on a name, it's built on a body of work which has proven itself extremely consistent over the years (beyond just Elvis titles mind). For a long, long time Elvis releases didn't have this level of high quality consistency.

    As for the keyboard's being absent, not to these ears. He plays a lot of electric piano this set and it's right there in the left (not hard left). And the acoustic piano also (i.e. Heartbreak Hotel, beyond the piano led titles like Memories and Yesterday).

    Re. the backing vocals, they are for sure dry in this mix, and could've benefited from a little added ambience there.

    By the way, for those who do not have the In Person FTD, you can sample some recordings from the disc 2's Anasini mix elsewhere, as a handful of them made up the bonus content on Sony's Legacy Edition of On Stage, of which In Person is disc 2.
     
    RSteven, BeatleJWOL and artfromtex like this.

Share This Page