Genesis Live Bataclan France 16mm January 10, 1973
I was talking with my friend Josh the other day, prompting our discussion down the rabbit hole of progressive rock. I’ve been a major fan of progressive rock for much of my life, although I’ll admit I didn’t gain interest in Genesis until a later age. I’m annoyed at myself for taking so long to dive into their work, but better than late than never I suppose. Above is an excellent Genesis 16mm performance from Bataclan France, check it out!
Technical Details from G Music:
This was a really big project. Not that the source was bad, the source was actually very nice. However, the source had many anomalies, but enough “clay” was there to mold this into something even better. The entire process was helped immensely by Ikhnaton, who provided material as well as suggestions and many many previews.
The first step was to work on the sound, as the sound was missing for the first part of The Musical Box. The sound still exists but, well…this is another even longer story. Unfortunately, there were not many great recordings that were close enough in time to match the video performance. The best match turned out to be from the official Live LP, although I had to jump through many hoops to not only match the video from a month earlier but also to match the rest of the audio in “tone”. I then inserted a “patch” of audio to erase the overdub from the narrator. This also had to be EQed to match as reasonably close as possible. In the end, I used more than one source as the camera is behind the keyboards during this portion, and they needed to be higher in the mix than found in most soundboard Musical Box recordings.
I then remastered the rest of the audio to give it a bit more life, some compression and reverb, and stereo effects, though not too much as this is a small club and would be strange if it sounded like Giants Stadium. There were also some odds and ends like the sound reel being flat as it spun up to speed, some ambient audience needed between songs, etc. Most of the audio quality was nice however so it didn’t need too much surgery.
The video was much more of a process. AI tools are becoming very useful and fairly fast, but often make things worse when used improperly. There are also about 25 different AI models that I use, each with several different settings. I try many different models in order to get the result I am looking for on the source I am working on, without creating unwanted artifacts.
I also normally have to do more than 1 AI pass. These video tools basically do 3 things well. Noise reduction, up-sampling (increasing size), and enhancement (adding detail), and there is rarely 1 perfect model or setting to get all three, without some very strange things happening. For example, one of the models I tested did a great job on the foreground, but determined that the curtains were hair and they started flowing:) For this film, I did 2 passes with 2 totally different models, one of which was still in beta release. I also upscaled higher than desired and then Lanczos reduced back down to get even more detail without adding size.
I also used AviSynth for spot/dirt removal and cleanup, scratch removal on one of the camera reels (mostly during Hogweed), and additional sharpness. I used Neat Video for some additional NR/blending in the lights, which are brighter than normally seen on concert films of the time, and it was very difficult to train a tool to recognize the difference between foreground and background in this case. Then I used FFMPEG for frame interpolation to get smooth motion. Finally of course some color grading in TMPGEnc, to give it more realism, despite some color and lighting inconsistencies between the camera angles.
For the production, we decided to move the interviews to the end, as they are mostly annoying during the performance. There was also only a lower quality source for the final reel of The Knife, so the brightness and detail is greatly reduced during the final minute or so.
I won’t say that all of these processes were without penalty. But as always, the benefits of each process have to be weighed against the penalties. For the processes we used, we felt there was enough added benefit. Is it definitive? No. Not only do we know there was more of this show filmed, if all the reels could get a higher resolution direct transfer without compression, the results could be better still. But in my opinion, the results we were able to obtain rank this film up there with the best of the Gabriel-era Genesis films.
As always, we hope the fans enjoy this. But we ask that our work on this film not be used without permission or credit to those who put all of the time, effort, and money into making this happen. Otherwise, those involved will not share their work in the future.
Ikhnaton & http://GenesisMuseum.com
00:00 The Musical Box
10:03 Supper’s Ready
21:22 Return Of The Giant Hogweed
26:48 The Knife
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