The Saga of the Bonus Video Tracks from Cuneiform Records’ 2014 Remastered CD of Present’s “Le Poison Qui Rend Fou” Album

Cuneiform Records release the 2 CD remastered version of Belgian band Present’s classic 1985 album, “Le Poison Qui Rend Fou” on February 4, 2014.  CD 2 is an 80 minute live concert from Livry-Gargan, France on January 23, 1982, which features bassist Christian Genet’s final concert with the band.

Appended to CD 1 are approximately 25 minutes of Quicktime video files from the same concert.

Every effort was made to include a DVD of the entire concert.  Unfortunately, the concert was shot using a primitive color VHS video camera, and the resulting footage was generally so poor that only 25 minutes was deemed to be usable, and even with that, the quality was not sufficient to justify a DVD.  After more than two years (off and on) of trying to salvage the entire concert, the decision was made to take the best sections and release them as bonus Quicktime files.

Here is an unusable section that is fairly representative of most of the footage:

These things don’t just happen overnight.  Here is the general timeline for this project (from my notes and emails):

October 14, 2009 – Receive an email from Cuneiform Records’ boss Steve Feigenbaum alerting me that an old PAL VHS tape will be coming that needs to be captured digitally and converted to NTSC.

November 9, 2009 – Receive the VHS tape from Aymeric Leroy.  The handwriting on the tape says “1981”.


November 20, 2009 – First attempt at digitizing the VHS tape.  The quality of the video is not very good:


Some of it isn’t too bad:



November 21, 2009 – First attempt at converting the PAL video capture to NTSC.

November 28, 2009 – Stripe the video with timecode and convert the file to MPEG-2.

November 29, 2009 – Complete test DVD and mail to Steve.

December 2, 2009 – Steve receives the DVD.

April 25, 2010 – Extract the audio from the video and send it to Udi Koomran so he can work his audio restoration magic on the file.

October 23, 2010 – Begin experimenting with various filters to try to salvage the video of the entire concert.

March 8, 2011 – Steve provides feedback on quality of video.

March 13, 2011 – Steve says the project “is not happening any time soon”.

December 24, 2012 – Decision on CD track listings and bonus track arrangements.

April 24, 2013 – Steve makes the decison to only use 3 video clips.

April 29, 2013 – Receive remastered audio file from Udi.

April 30, 2013 – Sync remastered audio to the NTSC video file and re-render the three video clips in Quicktime/iPhone format.

May 1, 2013 – Create final version of Quicktime/iPhone files

August 11, 2013 – Coordinate with Udi the final fit of the bonus video clips with the CD tracks on Disc 1.

August 12, 2013 – Final approval by Udi and Steve.  My portion of the project is complete.

~ by innerpixels on January 22, 2014.

One Response to “The Saga of the Bonus Video Tracks from Cuneiform Records’ 2014 Remastered CD of Present’s “Le Poison Qui Rend Fou” Album”

  1. […] innerpixels, an interesting story of how the video for this upcoming reissue CD from Cuneiform Records was […]

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