I have posted an update on the downolads here: http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/pages/ycfosa
The text below is what you will find on the YCFOSA page - which incidentally has been there since the site started but most folks have not visited it.
2008 "You Can't Fit On Stage Anymore" downloads:
For clarification, only the code holding audience members from the YCFOSA tour are eligible to receive the downloads. Only the YCFOSA tour offered such downloads.
All eligible code holders have been issued a complete Chicago show #1 download to listen to while they wait for their own show to be released. This was a gesture of kindness and good faith on my behalf as I did not want anyone to be without some souvenir listening material. The benefit to all code holders is that in the end you all will have received a bonus download.
Inevitable question #1:
Since the bonus download for everyone has been Chicago night 1 what if I am a code holder from Chicago night 1, what's my bonus material?
Answer: I haven't decided yet but you will get a bonus download as well.
Upon completion I will release all of the downloads at once. This way everyone will get their show at the same time.
Inevitable question #2: Why is it taking so long to get my download?
Answer: There are a number of reasons. I'll start with the one important creative decision that was made when the project was started. It was never my intention to deliver FOH - Front Of House mixes to everyone, which is the standard procedure for this type of on site souvenir event. The reason for this is twofold. I knew those mixes would be deficient in certain frequency ranges based on the ratio of equipment, stage volume and size of venues. The second reason is that I care about the sound quality and I didn't want to release something to all of you that sounded way out of balance or like a miserable bootleg. I wanted it to be special.
After the first Chicago concert was performed I went to the hotel and listened to the recording to see what it sounded like. Even though it was multi tracked and each instrument had it's own track we were playing on a small stage with a lot of equipment in close proximity. There were phasing issues caused by audio bleed across stage microphones. It is not an altogether pleasing sound. Studios are controlled environments and live stages are not. This was the case for the whole tour run.
While I could have just said "F U C K IT" and mixed it as is, leaving the unpleasant artifacts intact, I chose to find a solution to make it sound as good as possible. The solution was to do micro muting across all 48 tracks. The process to accomplish that is extremely time consuming when you are talking about the length of each show and the amount of tracks (48) per show (20) that required treatment. Individual edits are made where there is a gap between instrument entrances, basically creating silence between each individual instrument's entrances. This removed the bleed and phase issues and allowed the recordings to become more mix friendly. More like a studio environment.
These shows started to be mixed on the road. Everyday a makeshift studio was erected and the mix engineer went to work in a new mix environment. This was challenging as well. The mix engineer that was hired to do the job caused a big delay when he was not able to be admitted into Canada while on tour. I had no idea he had something on his record that would cause this. After that initial delay there were many more to follow and the engineer ultimately flaked out on doing what was required of him shortly thereafter, leaving the project at a standstill. It was never my intention to have to mix all of the shows myself but it became my responsibility.
2 Chicago shows were released and I wanted to continue with that level of quality. The project was delayed further because of the added time consuming work required to do the muting. Micro mutes on a full show done none stop 8-10 hours a day takes 10 days minimum for one person to do correctly. I enlisted a group of recording school students to do the muting but had to check their work frequently to make sure that necessary performance elements were not being accidentally muted. Things like a missing tom tom hit or bass note or guitar noise. They did not have time to devote to doing all of this non stop so over a period of several months the muting got done. No mixing could be done until this process was completed.
So a little more about delays. During this time my own personal life was turned upside down by a divorce. This is still an ongoing process for me 2 and a half years later. Anyone who has been through a divorce, let alone an acrimonious one knows that everything changes. There is an extraordinary amount of financial pressure placed on the breadwinner. That and all of the other responsibilities that come along with being a newly single parent with 2 daughters. So understandably I didn't have much time or the resources to continue any real pace on the downloads. Life still had to move forward and in these trying times I've had to work incredibly hard to survive paying astronomical legal bills as well as all other expenses in life. After selling my house and much of my musical/recording equipment just to pay bills I had to eventually create a new place to continue to work. That in and of itself is a long process especially when you have to do it yourself.
Now more about logistics. I'm assuming the majority of the folks asking this question about why it's taking so long may not be familiar with what is generally involved with mixing audio. Setting aside the creative aspects and all of the choices that require time in that department let's focus on the grunt work. There are 20 shows to mix in total. All of the concerts were well over 2 hours each. For the sake of argument let's say they are all 150 minutes long.
The show doesn't get mixed in real time. It's a very tedious start and stop check as you go process. You may listen to a few minutes of music or less more than 250 times in fairly rapid succession throughout the day before switching to something else.
Individual tracks need careful attention for eq and compression to control levels and allow the tracks to blend together pleasantly as a whole. Multiple sets of speakers are involved and tests in multiple environments are necessary as well, i.e. car stereos etc.
In a normal album mix situation you may be dealing with songs that have typical lengths of 3 to 5 minutes and consistent audio that has already been tweaked to blend well through the recording process. This would mean that you could conceivably mix a song and a half a day in an 8-10 hour day of mixing. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with well known mix engineers like Bob Clearmountain and Frank Filipetti on different projects in my career and this has been the pace for the kind of material I described above. There are professional engineers who pump things out faster by using preordained drum samples and factory style setups that allow them to do cookie cutter mixes for that "hit" record sound but that doesn't apply to this project.
What does apply is the fact that there are 22 to 24 songs in each setlist, let's call it 22 for an average. There are 20 shows. The songs are usually more than 5 minutes, with "Billy The Mountain" being 28 on average, so a song a day is just about possible. Not "Billy" though. That one usually takes 5 or 6 days. Working 8-10 hours a day without days off you would be looking at 28 days minimum to get the results that were achieved on the first 2 shows that were released. In reality those took longer because there were days off. For the sake of argument let's apply the 28 day minimum to 20 shows. 28x20 = 560. There are 365 days in a year. I don't have the time to work at that pace and my children would never see me. I don't have the resources to outsource this project because of the divorce. So what is the alternative. Do the best I can do.
I still have to continue moving forward in order to support my children. Touring for me is not just some hobby I do for fun, It's a lot of work. It ultimately takes me away from my daughters which I would prefer not to do but it puts food on the table. I also have the responsibility to keep the band and crew employed. They all rely on this project for their livelihood.
Until I can find a better alternative I will have to continue to tour and there are many people out there who are appreciative of the sacrifices I have made to create opportunities to experience my father's music live. Recently I have begun working on other CD/Album projects that have the ability to generate income. Some folks question why I would take time away from the downloads to do this. They are more of a priority as a simple matter of survival. They are also worth checking out because there is some fantastic musicianship involved.
I have not neglected working on the downloads because I don't care about them. If I didn't care about them I would have released crappy versions of them to you all a long time ago. There has been a lot more to all of this than you might think and a lot of effort has gone into making the downloads sound great. The delays are long and I have apologized. But I have also provided a listening alternative to all of the code holders. While a very small handful of you may feel entitled to your grievances because of the delays I would like to remind you that I have done everything possible to give you an alternative to listen to. If you want to keep complaining you may feel free to do so although it will not speed things along in anyway shape or form.
As I have said before, they will get finished and they will have the same level of quality as the 2 that were released previously. They will be released all at once when they are complete. I have 6 shows done so far, including the first 2 that were released.
I will keep you all posted on the release date.