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Recording Live Vocals in Les Miserables

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5 replies to this topic


  • LocationVienna

Hi there,


I have seen the sound making-of mentioning the location sound procedure in the recent feature film "Les Miserables". 



They have been capturing the vocals of all musical songs live on set and mixed them up with the orchestra sing along in the post. This is an interesting way of doing it, since the usual approach would be to record the song in the studio and shoot the film similar to a music video with a playback. 


My question is:

I am wondering to what the actors were singing to on set. They would need a sort of playback or not? Playing the playback on set through speakers would mess up the vocal sound. An other way would be in ears...are there some invisible models? Or are they singing to a sub-frequent click track, that can be filtered in the post. 


Do you have other ideas how the actors where able to listen to the sing alongs.



Jeff Wexler

Jeff Wexler
  • LocationSanta Monica, CA USA

I know that SEARCH is supposed to be wonky on my site but this amazing movie, Simon Hayes and his team, has been discussed here in great detail. I'm not going to take the time to re-trace all the discussions. I will make a few statements, generally, in answer to your questions. Each actor was fitted with hidden earpieces that were fed from a real live person off set playing a keyboard (electronic piano) --- this is what the actors would sing to. The piano player would lead, and/or follow, the singing, providing for spontaneity of performance, timing and so forth. The singing was recorded live in real time, take after take, and then in post, orchestration was added (with the orchestra following the tempo set by the singer and piano player's track).

Jeff Wexler, CAS
Santa Monica, California
"I don't care if you've got ninety tracks... what does it sound like, baby"
- Ray Charles


  • LocationVienna

Hi Jeff,


thank you for the hint and your answer. That was the missing information in the youtube video! Will have a look on the discussion. 


Kind regards


  • LocationCivitanova Marche (Italy)

A complicated way to do what could be done more easily.


  • LocationArt's Deli; LAX

Not Wonky:  do a Google search with jwsoundgroup.net as the first search term.

SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions


  • LocationRio Rancho, New Mexico

I know that SEARCH is supposed to be wonky on my site[snip]

I've found it to be much improved recently.