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Universal and Euphonix Team Up to Archive Unreleased Multi-track Recordings

(October 16, 2001)
Reggae legend and Rastafari leader, Bob Marley is truly one the great forces in modern culture. Bob Marley has appeared on the Billboard charts longer than any other artist in the history of music. “Exodus” was named by Time Magazine as the Best Album of the 20th Century. The New York Times stated that Bob Marley was the most influential artist of the latter half of the 20th century. Through his music, Marley's positive message continues to reach and inspire millions of people around the world.

Universal Music Group, in partnership with Euphonix, has embarked on a project to recover and restore Marley’s precious legacy. To date, numerous multi-track live recordings made between 1973 – 78 have been rescued from Universal’s vaults in London.

Jeff Glixman, Director of Studio Operations for Universal Music stated, “with several of the tapes, there was only one chance to make the transfer. These tapes were in various degrees of decay, and we wanted to pass the oxide over the heads as little as possible. The problem with 3M tape of this vintage is that the oxide flakes off, while with the Ampex formula, the adhesive has deteriorated and will not hold the oxide to the backing. Given the circumstance, we were able to bake the tapes in a specific way to allow a short-term cure for the problem.”

It is my understanding that Universal plans to turn these recordings into releases over the next year. We are also re-mastering and releasing other classic Marley albums; there are plans for up to 15 Marley releases over the next year. Video footage of these concerts also exists, so there is the potential for DVD releases or DVD-Audio discs as well as regular CDs,” Glixman added.

Stephen Smith, VP of Artist Relations, spearheaded the project for Euphonix by working with Chris Blackwell and the Marley Estate. “Obviously there are thousands of multi-track masters out there that are in danger of being lost. With the tremendous potential for release of product in new high-resolution formats, such as DVD-A in 5.1 surround, it’s time the recording industry wakes up and begins digitally archiving before they have vaults filled with dust and gum. This project has been one of the most gratifying of my career. There's a live show recorded at Leeds Polytechnic in England (1973). It’s like no other recording of Bob’s I’ve ever heard. Frankly, there were a few of us in the studio that had tears in our eyes listening to this amazing show for the first time. What a crime it would have been if it were lost. With only one chance to make the transfer, it’s essential that it be done right. The Euphonix R-1 and AES 31 TransferStation is the only archiving technology that makes sense,” Smith said.

Glixman commented, “I've logged many hours on other manufacturer's multi-track digital recorders, both linear and non-linear. In my opinion, the Euphonix R-1 is the premiere multi-track digital recording system. I like the sound, I like the way it works, and I really like the people and support at Euphonix. There was a choice to make as to which system to use for this archiving project; I chose the R-1. The R-1 not only allows me to archive 96K/24bit AES-31 files, but when these files are restored you have multi-track recordings that are as workable as the originals.”

Glixman continued, “Before beginning the transfers, I set up an A/B comparison of the original analog source and the R-1. To all the engineers and other people present in the Battery Studios, the sound was indistinguishable. The beauty of the R-1 is it's ability to faithfully capture the subtleties and nuances of the analog recording while providing the flexibility, access, and storage advantages of high resolution hard-disc recording.”

I have been familiar with and have used the Euphonix R-1 throughout its development. After completing the Marley Project with this latest version, I have recommended that Universal acquire R-1 systems for all future multi-track transfer/archiving projects,” said Glixman.

The Euphonix R-1 is a 48-channel multi-track digital recorder with 24-bit 96 kHz audio quality—equal to the new audiophile DVD-Audio standard. The Euphonix AES31 TransferStation is an option for the R-1 that allows audio to be transferred into the new Audio Engineering Society standard AES31 format, retaining the 24/96 quality. AES31 preserves the recording, offering future compatibility with digital recording equipment.

About Euphonix
Euphonix is a leading manufacturer of large format digital consoles and digital peripherals for broadcast, post and music production. Euphonix consoles offer uncompromised digital audio with the highest audio resolution in the industry. The standard of the future will be 24-bit 96 kHz and is available today from Euphonix. Euphonix consoles offer familiarity and ease of use through elegant control surface design, and are built with a modular approach offering flexibility and expandability assuring reliability and a sound investment today and in the future.

Founded in 1988 in Silicon Valley, Euphonix has satisfied more large format digital console users worldwide than any other manufacturer.

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Related Keywords:Bob Marley, Reggae legend, Rastafari leader, Billboard charts, multi-track live recordings


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