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July 19th, 2003

The Taping Community

The Grateful Dead was known for not only letting their fans record live shows, but encouraging them to, as long as they weren’t sold for profit later on. I had thought the “taping culture” had pretty much died off, with only a few bands encouraging it these days (Dave Matthews, Black Crowes, etc.), but last night I went to a show where probably 10% of the audience was taping, most of them at a special “tapers table” where they hooked their fancy ADATs, Minidisc recorders, etc. directly into the main mixing board. I was planning on taping the show with my Nomad with a new microphone I had just bought, but the various tapers were nice enough to lend me a cable and let me daisy chain through their recording devices. The end result: an incredibly good sounding recording of the show (one set of straight reggae and dub and one set of the reggae version of Dark Side of the Moon).

If I could, I’d tape every show I attended. There’s often something special about live performances, and being able to have them archived is pretty cool. I wouldn’t care so much about performances I wasn’t at (ie. trading) in most cases, but I can think of at least three shows in the last five years that I really wish I had a quality recording of.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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