Go help Charlie Miller; he’s helped you. There’s fewer and fewer guarantors of quality in these shoddy days, but his name on a transferred show means that show will sound as good as it’s gonna get; all the possibilities of the master tape shall be exhausted. There are a number of guys–it’s all guys–doing this yeoman’s work, and some are consistently good: Charlie Miller’s the best.
Give him some cash, and if you can’t, tell someone who can. Also, a matching contribution to the Donate Button would be tax-deductible, possibly.
A man has a right to plug.
How does Charlie Miller make such clean-sounding, effervescent re-masterings? Well: it’s actually not a computer thing, nor even an analog tape thing; the process is physical–digestive, of a sort.
I’m not going to get into particulars of what Charlie Miller does with the tapes, but you ever hear of civet coffee?
Sound quality is the thing–it’s a deal breaker for me. I need my shows to sound like a closeted preacher’s marriage: clean and separated.
“You gotta kinda struggle to hear everything, man, but it’s totally worth it.”
No, it is not. It sounds like a Belgian farting in a laundromat. There must be separation: Garcia and Phil at 12 o’clock, Keith and Bobby at 10 and 2. Billy spreads out along the bottom or Billy on the left and Mickey on the right. No exceptions.
My quest for aural satiety continues, festers, defines. It broods in the winter and sweats like a holy man in the summers. Some enthusiasts of an audiophile bent will settle for nothing less than FLAC files, while others–confused, spotty lads and broken old men the lot of them–content themselves with mp3 files.
I, on the other hand, make Charlie Miller come to my house and sing to me.
All nonsense, of course. No stereo here in Fillmore South with which to crank tunes, bitchin’ or otherwise. Just one of those little dock things and the computer, whom I hate and fear and will one day beg to come back. You know: Dad.
Computers combine the worst qualities of dogs and cats: they’re as stupid and literal and single-minded as dogs, and as annoyingly independent as cats. (To think of the computer this way falls into what I call the “canine fallacy,” which is that adorable habit humans have of thinking of all animals as weird-shaped dogs, much to their chagrin as a bull moose stompjacks their heads over and over with his dinner-plate sized foot. Fewer people would get mauled and eaten each year if they remembered that, out of the entire animal kingdom, only dogs have a category called “buddy.”)