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Detailed Kevin Shirley article from 2003 ~ Mixing the Led Zeppelin DVD

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Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley

Mixing Led Zeppelin's Live DVD


A Detailed (full) article from November of 2003 in Sound On Sound with Kevin Shirley


An excerpt from the article:

Shirley's involvement with Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page goes back to the latter's collaboration with the Black Crowes. In 1999 and 2000, Page and the Black Crowes toured together, playing a mixture of rock & roll standards and Black Crowes and Led Zeppelin material. Shirley had produced, engineered and mixed the Crowes' album By Your Side (1999), and did the same for the million-selling live recording of Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes called Live At The Greek (2000). In April 2002 Jimmy Page invited the Caveman for a meeting in London. "Jimmy wanted to know how I dealt with new technologies," Shirley recalls, "like surround sound and digital, and asked if I was interested in helping him with some live material that he wanted to put together from archive and bootleg footage."

Being a long-standing Led Zeppelin fan, Shirley was very excited about the prospect. He had some premonitions about the technical challenges such a project would pose, and with his commission as yet unconfirmed, Caveman jumped the gun, and laid out $100,000 on a brand new, enhanced Pro Tools HD system, much to the "disgust" of his business manager — who, understandably, thought this was utterly irresponsible. "I took a big chance and trusted my gut instinct," recalls Shirley. "And I knew that at that time there were no systems in the world that could do what I wanted to do. I wanted huge capacity, great quality, and 100 percent reliability. I've worked with rental systems and they always have problems. I didn't want any crashes or noises from radios or cellphones. So a guy in upstate New York, Vincent Gutman of Märc Systems Inc, built a Pro Tools rig for me that is unbelievably stable. He'd also built my previous rig and since 1998, when I began using Pro Tools, I've never had a single crash. Everything is gold-tipped and stripped up and with super-quiet fans and the best cabling, unbelievable. He does a great job earthing and isolating the whole system. The new rig was fantastic, the best in the world, and perfect for this project."

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