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Freebage Part 4

**                                                         **
**                    -> FREEBAGE IV <-                    **
**                                                         **
**                    -> BOOTLEGGAGE <-                    **
**                                                         **
**                    ->  by DISMAY  <-                    **
**                                                 5/11/89 **

     Welcome to Freebage IV!  The fourth file in the Freebage
series.  If you don't have any of the first three, get em
while you can!  The first two explain techniques of getting
things for free.  The third is a story about the use of these
techniques by telling about getting into the Super Bowl for
free.  It's quite a long file, and i
s all TRUE!
     Ok, this is entitled "Bootleggage".  Bootleggage
discusses taping and bootlegging concerts.  If you have ever
tried this, you know it can be hard.  The outcome can be very
profitable, too, if you get a good tape and the music is
"desirable" to bootleg collectors.  So, on with Freebage IV:


     Your favorite band is coming to town and you got great
tickets.  You haven't seen them in years, and it's probally
the last time they will tour.  You manage to sneak in y
walkman recorder into the concert hoping to preserve these
moments in history.  When it's all over you can't wait to
hear how it all came out.  You run to the parking lot and pop
the tape in your car deck.  You rewind it with fury, you
can't fucking wait!  You stop it in the middle to see how it
sounds.  Hmmm..this can't be right, it's like listening to
bugs in a tin can!  Somehow the whole thing got fucked up.
It must be the deck, you think to yourself.  Well, it's too
late now to do anything about it,
 you made a two hour
recording of large reverberations and crowd noise.
     So, what can you do to get a good tape out of a concert?
The concepts are fairly simple.  It all depends on several
things, though, but once you are familiar with them you can
achieve high-fidelity recordings even if the hall is an echo


     Okay.  First thing that you need is a GOOD deck.  Not
something you bought at a flea market that has a little slit
in it labeled "MIC".  You need something that AT LEAST
in stereo.  That's (if you didn't know) where you are
recording two channels at once.  You can pay anywhere from
$50.00 to $500.00 for one of these.  The price usually
depends on the brand name and the size of the deck.  Also it
depends on the features.  If you have the money to get a nice
one (or some other method of getting one), get it.  It will
do much better in the long run.  When looking for a deck you
will want to look for these things:

     * 2 Microphone Jacks, labeled L and R, or a jack t
has a stereo adapter to be used with L and R microphones.
     * Dolby of some sort.  I like to use Dolby C.  Dolby B
is good also, but any will help.
     * Variable level controls.  This is so you can adjust
the input levels.  Decks with automatic levels record all one
volume, and then when the sound drops out, the levels rise,
also you get a drop out when a loud sound is made, knocking
the levels down until they can raise back up to a desired
     * Speed control.  This is good for tuning the
tape, or
changing speeds.  Also, you can maybe get a better frequency
response if you run the tape at the fastest speed, but then
you have to use the same deck to make copied of the tape.
     * A radio on the deck.  This is because if you get
stopped with it at the door and they ask what it is just say
"a radio" and tune it in.  I have told them that a couple
times when caught, and they say "I guess radios are allowed,
just not tape decks".  (Yea most of them are dumb asses)
This works good with the very s
mall tape decks.

     Alright, if you get a deck with these things you should
be set.  The levels aren't that important, only if you are
striving for a really good tape to maybe commercialize.  You
do have to remember that some places confiscate decks if they
catch you sneaking one in, so be ready to lose it.  If you
can't afford a real expensive one, a cheaper one will do
until you get used to sneaking them into shows.
     Microphones.  You gotta get some good ones, not little
tape recorder ones that you
 get with those voice recorders,

but ones made for music recording.  I have used some Radio
Shack mic's, the ones that look like magic markers, only
longer.  They are very thin.  They require one AA (I think,
the real small ones) battery each, and have a long cord.  You
need to get two of them, to use the stereo sound option.  If
you have a deck with just one plug, you need to make an
adapter that will let you plug the two mic's in and get
stereo sound.  This isn't hard to do, you can even buy a
cable for
it from Radio Shack for like 5 bucks.  Oh, the
mic's are like 19.95 each.  What is good about the
microphones is that they are small and can be fit into your
shoes upon entering a show.  I have also used the "2 headed"
stereo microphone from Radio Shack.  It works okay, but is
kind of awkward to sneak in.  When you have the deck and the
mic's you are set, all you need to do is get the supplies,
tapes and batteries.
     Tapes make a big difference in the sound quality of the
recording.  Don't use a cheap ta
pe.  A good tape can make you
some bucks, so don't get something that won't sound good.  I
always use Denon metal tapes, 60 minutes.  Longer tapes can
get eaten easily in a walkman type deck, and since most
people at a show will be moving around a bit, you will be
most likely shaking the deck a little.  This improves the
chances of getting the tape sucked up.  A 60 minute is a good
size without the same chances of getting eaten.  Batteries are
easy to get too.. I'm sure you know which are good, get some
d alkaline ones, and make sure that you are carrying a
couple sets.  It's not a waste to have too many batteries,
you can always use them next time.

I'm Losing my Mind!

     It's the day of the show and you need to plan your
entrance.  If you live up north, chances are that it will be
cold.  Then you can wear a heavy jacket.  This is where a
small deck will be good.  I have used heavy jackets to put
the deck in the lining in the back of it, with padding all
the deck, so when they pat you down they won't feel
it.  I don't think I have ever been caught doing it that way.
If you don't have a jacket like that, or it's too hot, like
it always is here in Florida, you gotta find another place
for the deck.  Something you can do is go to the show and
watch people going in before you decide where to put the
deck.  Check out the security and watch where they are
patting the people down, then put the deck where they aren't
feeling.  Sometimes they avoid the lower leg, th
en you can
put it in your sock, or maybe they don't reach the back of
you, so you can tuck it in your pants in back of you.  If you
are a large person you have lots of hiding places.  I am
quite thin, so I have a hard time getting a deck in.
     If you are caught with it, don't let them have it!  If
they find it, act cool about it.  Try telling them it's just
a radio.  They might buy it.  If they say "let me see it"
then show it to them, but don't let them handle it.  Once
they grab it, they won't give it
back.  So don't let them
touch it, if they have a problem with it tell them you are
taking it back to your car, then wait a while and try to go
into a different entrance.  If you make sure to watch the
guards before you enter the arena, then you should be able to
get it in with no problem.
     If you are at a show where they are using metal
detectors, or wands, you are fucked.  You will have to be
more drastic.  I have heard of people using wheelchairs to
get stuff in.  The security never would think of se
arching a
wheelchair real good, especially if you make yourself up to
look like you are in really bad shape!  I used this method
once, and it was to get a camcorder into a show.  I put it in
the bottom case in a wheelchair that looked like it was
electric, but it was gutted out so that there would be room.
I was all wrapped up in blankets and made up with T-Shirts to
match the band, buttons and banners, and drool.  I was NOT
making fun of handicapped people, I am not like that, but I
was only using this met
hod to get my camera in.  It worked,

"I can't fucking breathe in here!  There's SO much smoke!!

     Now you should be inside.  The hard part is over, well
at least some of the hard stuff is.  Now you have to locate
yourself to get a good tape.  A lot of people make the simple
mistake of not being in the right place to get a good tape.
Simply enough, the closer to the amps the better
.  This is
good because it reduces crowd noise.  If you can adjust your
deck, make sure you adjust the levels during the opening act.
Never let the meters red line or you will get distortion.  If
you can, get a pair of the really small earphones, the ones
that look like earplugs with wires.  Then you can "practice"
taping by taping the opening band in different places in the
auditorium.  Then before the main band comes on, review the
tape and find out which placement has the best sound.  It is
important whe
n making a good tape, to try to get as much
stereo separation as possible.  Often bands will pipe their
instruments into the P.A. in stereo, so it is good to pick
this up.  When making the practice tape, talk into the mic so
that you will know where you were.  You only have to record
in each spot for about 30 seconds.  When you have found a
good spot, then get ready for the main band!
     Alright, one thing that is important about recording,
microphone placement.  Before you even go to the show you
know where and how you will place your microphones.
If you have the two skinny ones I mentioned above, then you
can do many things with them.  A really good, and simple,
place for them to go would be a hat.  You just stick them in
your hat poking out forwards, and you've got them lined up
just where you are looking.  The drawbacks to this are if you
turn your head around then the sound will "sway" a little.
Also, if you are short, you will hear the person behind you
yelling at the top of their lungs.  This
isn't too good.
But, if you are tall, or can stand on top of a chair the
whole show, then cool.  Another good place for mics is a
banner.  This is something that you have to plan ahead to do.
All you gotta do is make up a banner with the band's logo on
it, like you see people waving around, and put it on some
sort of pole.  Ok, the banner will be strung across a T at
the top of the pole.  Then, you gotta wire in the microphones
at either end of the T.  This will result in great stereo,
and barely any indivi
dual crowd noise.  The crowd noise will
sound like it should, far away, and only between songs.  This
method is one of the best for making a really good tape.
Just be sure that if you try it that you find a place where
when you put the banner up there aren't people behind you
yelling for you to move it so they can see.  So be sure to
make it tall enough.  I'll leave some creativity to you.
     You should be able to find out how you like to hold the
mics.  There are many variations.  If you are with a frien
then you can maybe hold one mic each in hats.  This works
good if you are standing together.  You can get good stereo
effect if you stand as far apart as the cords will let you.
     Now, when you are making the tape, you should be timing
from the point when you started it.  Be sure that when it is
near 30 minutes that you flip the tape very fast.  Don't wait
for the tape to end, then you will lost valuable time.  The
reason for this is because the leader tape is usually five
seconds, and it takes about
two or three seconds to flip the
tape.  Taking into account the leader tape on each side, you
lose about 13 seconds if you wait till the end at least.  So,
before it gets to the leader, flip the tape.  Then you lose
maybe only four seconds maximum.  You can also tell how close
it is by looking at the spools and seeing how much tape is
left on the small spool.  If it is almost nothing, then flip
the muther.  Also, when you need to switch to another tape,
get it out and ready to pop in so the transfer takes o
nly a
coupe seconds.  Have the new tape forwarded past the leader
so that you don't lose more time.  As soon as you swap tapes,
take the one that is full of the recordings, and pop out the
tabs so that you don't fuck it up.  It's easy to pop in the
already used tape when flipping them like this.  So take the
precaution and pop out the tabs.
     Now you should have a pretty good recording of the show,
depending on all the things I mentioned above.  Congratulate
yourself on a job well done.

Flea Market Au Gratin...

     You've got a really good tape now, and you want to know
what the hell to do with it.  Well the first thing you should
do is make a copy for yourself to listen to.  Don't use the
originals to play all the time, especially if you are going
to be listening to them in a car.  When you make copies, make
them on a good deck, or if you used fast speed on your
recorder, then you have to use the recorder to make the
copies.  All this is common sense,
 so you should be able to
make good copies.
     Before you go and make copied for all your friends, make
sure that there isn't any commercial value to this tape.  If
you know you can get some money for it, then only give a copy
to friends that you can trust, because you don't want them to
make the money themselves.  It can sometimes be good to sell
them at a record store on consignment.  There are lots of
record stores around that sell bootlegs.  They are often ones
that will say "collectors" or "used" rec
ords.  Talk to them
about the tape that you have.  They will probally want to
hear it.  Make sure, though, that you trust them.  You don't
want them to buy one tape then turn around and make multiple
copies for themselves to sell.
     When you do something like sell a tape at a store, you
will need to package it.  Often, bootleg tapes are generic
looking, with photo copied wrappers.  If you make a nice
looking package, then you can get more money for it.  Also,
it's a good idea to make the tape "limited",
like only print
up 100 or 200, etc.  Or if you are going to making a lot,
then make the first 100 "special" like make the wrapper
color, or number them or something.  Things like this are
looked for by collectors.  The only problem with tapes though
is that they aren't too desirable by serious collectors
unless they have a really good sound quality or are something
unique.  Say, for instance, that Blue Oyster Cult is playing
a show and you go to tape it, and some nut jumps on stage and
sets the singer's hai
r on fire, and as a result they play a 2
hour version of "Godzilla", then having this on tape will be
VERY collectable.  It is a bit extreme, but you can see what
I mean.  Also, it's good when the band mentions where they
are at.  Like on a Dio tape that I made he screams "It's
great to be here in Lakeland Florida!!".  Now something like
that is cool because people in the area who saw the show
would be interested in that tape because they were there and
     When you make the wrapper, you can use a co
py machine if
you don't care about color.  It's good to make something that
makes fun of the band.  People who collect things of just a
single band like to find unusual packaging.  Find a picture
of the band and mix it in with something that doesn't quite
fit, like paste them into a picture with a bunch of naked
gals.  The more creative, the better.  A good example of
someone who has been exploited to the hilt is Frank Zappa.
There are hundreds of Zappa bootlegs floating around.  I know
a few people who wou
ld pay $30.00 for one even if it's shit,
just to have a copy.
     Ok, that's tapes, what about albums?  If you want to
spend the money, you can have the tape pressed into vinyl.
This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand
bucks.  Most independant record factories will press an album
without question.  If they do have a problem, then make sure
that you don't get the jacket printed there.  Get them
printed at a printer that you can trust.  Bootlegs are very
widespread now, and it can be quite
 easy to find a
manufacturer that will press your tape into a record.
     Records are what are most sought after by collectors.
If you make a really good tape into some well made albums,
then you can make some good cash.  The same things that make
tapes more desirable make records even more so desirable.
Collectors love something "special", like limited edition
fold out picture sleeves (expensive to make, but you can sell
them for about $20-40.00 each).  Also, colored vinyl is a
good thing to do.  Some of
my favorite bootleg albums are on
colored vinyl.  I have a few that only the first 10-100
printed were on colored, the rest were on regular black.
This is also a good idea to do if you want to make a really
first quality bootleg.
     Other things, when printing up the labels or sleeves,
don't put your name one them!  It's hard not to do, because
you'd like to have your name known, but don't do it!  Also,
make sure you list all the songs on the outside of the album,
so that when someone finds one, they will
 be more apt to
purchase it because it has the songs they want.  Make lots of
liner notes about the show, and how the band was.  "Rate"
each song... people like a lot of shit on an album, and the
more there is the better they are!  It's really good if you
have pics from the same concert too.


     What if you want to video tape?  Well, it's harder,
mainly because you can't slide a camcorder into your drawers,
(at least not yet).  So, you have to use other methods.  One
I mentioned
 before, a wheelchair.  I think this is the best
method, although you may think of something better or equal.
If you are going to video, be sure that you have all the
little lights taped off on the camera, they can be spotted
easily by security.  It's not like having a little deck that
you can keep down, you will be holding the camera up to head
     One thing I tried before was simple and effective.  I
put a wig on the camera, and went out into the field where
the crowd was packed in tight.  The cam
era looked like just
another head from a distance, and since the security people
don't like to get into the crowds, I was safe as can be.  The
only thing wrong with this was since there was a packed crowd
around me, I was bumped a lot, which you don't want on video.
You need to find a place that you can remain fairly still.
     If you are doing video, make sure that you audio also.
As long as you are sneaking in a big camera it won't be
anything harder to get in your deck.  So then afterwards if
you have a
 stereo VCR, you can mix the sound in for top-
quality audio!  A video tape with stereo sound of a big band
will get you anywhere from $50.00 to $300.00 a pop!

What the fuck?

     Well, this has covered just about everything... but..
soundboard tapes.  A soundboard tape is a tape that you
record off of the soundboard!  Simple, eh?  These tapes are
of the best quality of the band, but they lack crowd noise.
If you can get the sound man to record a tape for you, cool,
get it.
 Soundboard recordings are much more rare than
regular ones, so it's a good idea to try to get one.
     When you go to a show, try to locate the sound guy.  If
you want, you can offer him money to record the show, or
sometimes they will ask for drugs, etc.  Sometimes, though,
they will do it for free!  I don't know if it's because they
get pissed off at the bands, or don't care or what, but when
it happens, it's good!
     A lot of soundboards have a built in deck.  If they got
one of those just tell the g
uy you'd like to record with it,
or else bring cables that you know will work in a board.
This can be good, but if he records in the board, it may be
an unusual tape speed, then you will have to locate someone
with an appropriate deck later on.  If you have the chance to
get a board tape, get it, worry about computability later.
If by good luck you can use the built in deck, that means
that you can use your own deck to record the regular way,
then you have two good, and different, tapes of the show!
en you listen to a soundboard tape, it's kind of
boring.  That's because there's no crowd noise, and no
overdubs.  It's a raw tape of exactly what is being pumped
through the monitors.  So, you can hear every little thing
the band does, from missing a note to talking to each other
between songs.  Some people have taken a soundboard tape, and
a microphoned tape and mixed them into one, so that you get
soundboard quality with just a little bit of crowd noise to
fill it out just right.  This is a lot what band
s do
themselves when they make a live album.  They record through
the board, then add in cheering between the songs, and
sometimes boost it during the songs.  The only difference is
that the bands will most likely put tons of overdubs and echo
effects over the live stuff to make them sound better.
That's why a good board tape is the ultimate!

Ther're orbs hovering above my eyes!

     Well, I hope that you enjoyed Freebage IV, Bootl
I don't know what'll be next.. someone give me some ideas!
PLEASE!! heh heh  So to all you bernsteiners-- good hoarkin!

p.s. Don't mess with the file as per usual

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