Celebrating the 40th anniversary of arguably the most significant musical event in history, Warner Home Video has released â€œWoodstock: 40th Anniversaryâ€”Ultimate Collectorâ€™s Editionâ€? on Blu-Ray disc. The release features a re-mastered directorâ€™s cut of the original film, including many previously unreleased performances. Legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer, who engineered the original recordings that captured the 1969 event, was called by Warner to mix this wealth of previously material. For the project, Kramer relied on a 5.1 JBL LSR6300 studio monitor system to bring the tracks to life in Capitol Records Studio C control room.
According to Kramer, â€œThe original recording during the festival was pretty scary in the sense that there was no communication between the stage and myself in what was essentially a tractor-trailer,â€? Kramer said. â€œWe had to mix everything on the fly, so the first song in each set was basically an experiment in identifying where
everything was in the mix.â€?
Thanks to modern recording technology, Kramer has been able to restore and improve the quality of the recordings from those historic three days. â€œInterestingly, with the technology that is afforded us today, one can now repair things that were irreparable even 15 years ago,â€? Kramer said. â€œItâ€™s great, because where a lot of things werenâ€™t working in those first songs, weâ€™ve salvaged a lot of great performances and literally raised tracks from the grave.â€? The project includes unreleased performances of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Band, Santana, the Grateful Dead and other iconic acts.
For the project, Kramer utilized a 5.1 surround system comprised of JBL LSR6300 series studio monitors during his mix sessions. â€œFor the longest time, I have been looking for a set of monitors that I can feel comfortable with, at high volumes as well as low volumes, because I do a lot of my mixing at low volume,â€? Kramer said. â€œAnybody can turn a speaker up. But when the volume comes down and the relative quality and definition does not change as you pull the monitor fader down, that is a very key element in what Iâ€™m doing. I want to hear the detail, and I can hear tremendous detail in these JBL monitors. I think JBL is really doing it right these days.â€?
In addition to the detail, the neutral and even coverage of the LSR monitors has also proven advantageous for Kramer. â€œI love the LSR monitors because theyâ€™re so smooth and the top end doesnâ€™t take my head off,â€? Kramer said. â€œI can sit in the studio all day long, for 12 or 14 hours, and my ears donâ€™t fatigue.
â€œI needed to get this to sound as good as it possibly could,â€? Kramer added. â€œWhen people are listening to this on a 5.1 system in their living rooms, I want it to feel like theyâ€™re dead center in the middle of the crowd, they can smell the smoke, feel the mud and get the vibe.â€?