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mikefilosa

Right now - NBC Peter Pan massively out of sync ?

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Not sure what's happening, but we are current watching NBC's highly touted and promoted "Peter Pan" on the telly.   It is a LIVE broadcast, and I am watching via an attic-mounted HD antenna from the local NBC affiliate, WXIA, with a rather saavy engineering department.  

 

The sound (talent mics, music, efx, and mix) is PERFECT, but it is rather out of sync... quite a bit, especially from an off-the-air signal.  

 

Is it possible that this is being lip-synced to a canned / taped soundtrack ?  ???

 

MF

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Jack - 

 

Good to know - makes me wonder if my station is broadcasting out of sync, 5 frames or more forward, to compensate for poor engineering at Comcast (local).

 

FWIW - It still looks a little whacked here.  Irrespective of my visual-sync issues, the mix is really good and seems to be one hell of a major league challenge with respect to number of characters and significantly active players... 

 

I've done live TV before, but nothing even close to this!!  Looking forward to seeing how large the sound team is. 

 

And of course, kudos to NBC and the crew for bringing such a cool family show "live" to the nation.  

Definitely out of the box for today's standards..

 

MF

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Is the fan/ambient noise as bad as Sound of Music last year?  Same venue I think....

 

Same venue - the fan / ambient isn't as bad as the sound of music - but it is not by any means quiet.

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There were lip sync problems here in Hollywood.  What I would guess is that the whole first act was lip-sync to playback because of all the noise from the special lighting, projectors and Wire Rigs.   Once the big flying scene was over and they hit Neverland the sound was more live.   I can still hear a lot of fan noise from the varilights or other DMX Robolights. no doubt.  They could have covered it up more with some cricket or frog BG tracks though.

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It was over 90 ms out of sync for me on an ota signal. 90ms got it close enough where I could watch it. The sync didn't change for me when they went to neverland, but it was jumping around in the first scene in the house when I was trying to dial it in. It was a pretty impressive event, production wise, and they only caught one of the other cameras in the shot at the very end of the show from what I saw.

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I did not have the opportunity to work on the production directly, however I know several members of the cast and production and have kept in touch throughout the last several weeks. Jack is correct, only the music was done by playback. All sync issues are as simple as that sync issues at the local end. No sync issues here, though I do live close to direct broadcast distance of the stage. Our friends at NBC don't quite have the guts to go all in for the live orchestra yet and I don't think we can blame them. A lot of effort went into improving from last years broadcast of Sound of Music and I think we all heard the payoff. Still plenty of room for improvement, but the wheels are already in motion for the next great adventure! 

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Not sure if they did it, but in most Live situations where the Music is pre recorded they also have the vocals recorded as well in the studio but  those tracks are usually muted so the actors are singing live along with the pre recorded music.  But if there is a wireless problem or mic failure they can instantly fall back to the pre-recorded vocal track.   Could be that was what happened in the first scene.   The audio for first songs with the Darlings in that scene sounded too clean to be live mics on stage and that was where the sync was in and out.

 

One other possible problem I saw several bit block errors (MPEG dropouts) in the bottom of the frame on several shots in the first scene.  Could be the wireless transmitters on the Steady Cam rigs were taking hits and the latency of those compared to the cabled Jib Cams could have cause sync discrepancies from shot to shot.  Those would normally be fixed in post but in Live TV no way to do it.  Not sure if those video dropouts were only in my reception chain but I usually  don't have them in other programming.

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Courtney - You are more than likely spot on as would normally be the case regarding a backup track, I don't recall anyone talking about studio days, but certainly they had them and the track was ready to go. They had one for the parade so I think it would be safe to guess the backup track was there. We would have to ask the engineers what they did on the fly. I'll ask around and post what I hear, if someone else doesn't beat me to it. I imagine they are all still asleep if not recovering following last night/this morning's wrap party and a LONG couple of months of blocking and rehearsal. Maybe we can all team up for the next broadcast!

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My live reception for WXIA was out.  The U-Verse was even worse.

 

Thanx - if UVerse was worse, that kills my earlier "frames off compensation" theory... 

 

MF

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MF: " Is it possible that this is being lip-synced to a canned / taped soundtrack ? "

possible, perhaps, but I think unlikely;

I agree Courtney is probably correct: " in most Live situations where the Music is pre recorded they also have the vocals recorded as well in the studio but  those tracks are usually muted so the actors are singing live along with the pre recorded music... Could be the wireless transmitters on the Steady Cam rigs were taking hits and the latency of those compared to the cabled Jib Cams could have cause sync discrepancies from shot to shot.  Those would normally be fixed in post but in Live TV no way to do it "

 

I can still remember when there was lots of real live TV including drama's.  and once twice upon a time, Mary Martin was Peter Pan LIVE on TV.

 

so did any of you watch and enjoy the show with your friends and/or family..?

Edited by studiomprd

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Per usual Senator you raise an excellent point, I did watch the broadcast and more importantly several friends enjoyed the broadcast without being any the wiser of our nitpicking. With the bulk of my experience actually being in live mixing the combination of the two worlds is no small feat. My headphones are off to those that performed both on and especially off screen last night. 

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further, how did ordinary people react..?

well, they seemed to like it, and so far none of the reviews I've read mentioned any sound issues of any kind, and pretty few technical issues... actually the comment about the somewhat cheesy commercials pulling the audience out of the story are what caught my eyes!

It was a night where everything else about the play was shunted to the side as Williams and Walken grabbed your attention. Everything that could go wrong didn't go wrong and that's a credit to the myriad people behind the scenes who pulled it off.... The wires and rigging had no errors — which is, let's be honest, no mean feat. Williams glided to precisely where she was supposed to. The Tinkerbell effect — lighting — was flawless and the overall lighting of the scenes veered from dark to shocking color but never was there a scene where production troubles reminded the audiences that this was live (well, at least live on the East Coast) ... It wasn't flawless ... but it was entertaining enough for three hours of live song and dance.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/peter-pan-live-tv-review-754093?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=hollywoodreporter_breakingnews&utm_campaign=THR%20Breaking%20News_now_2014-12-04%2020%3A28%3A33_acouch

If you were prepared to hoot and howl over the casting of Allison Williams in the role immortalized by Mary Martin first on Broadway and then in the NBC telecast that drew 65 million viewers in 1955, well, your snark went unrequited. This was a much better production than last year’s Sound Of Music Live! ... the extremely icky Walmart ads that made it hard to maintain suspension of disbelief (not to mention suspension of flying kids — yes, you could see the wires in the Mary Martin broadcast, too, and the tradition was carried on here by Foy, still the masters of airborne acting).
http://deadline.com/2014/12/allison-williams-christopher-walken-peter-pan-live-1201310130/

As Peter Pan Live! took a dive from last year’s The Sound Of Music Live! in metered market results, it took even a bit more of a fall in fast nationals. With a 2.3/7 rating among adults 18-49, the Neil Meron and Craig Zadan produced 3-hour spectacle was down 50% from the Carrie Underwood fronted Von Trapp family tale of December 5, 2013, also produced by Meron and Zadan. Seeing drops of 33% and 39% in the demo and overall viewership from its first 30 minutes to its last half hour, the 8 – 11 PM Peter Pan Live! pulled in a total audience of 9.13 million. That’s just under half of 18.6 million who watched Sound Of Music Live! last year. Not surprisingly, Peter Pan also declined from last week’s NFL game on Thanksgiving Day. Fast nationals to fast nationals, the live musical was down 60% from the Seahawks vs 49ers game. ... . Peter Pan Live! gave the network its second most watched non-sports one since the ER finale of April 2 2009 and its second best demo result on the day since the multi-premiere night of September 22, 2001, in fact.
http://deadline.com/2014/12/peter-pan-live-ratings-nbc-allison-williams-sound-of-music-1201310634/

 

 

The broadcast used a real animal to play the family pet onstage, and the big fluffy gray dog kept stealing EVERY nursery scene. Spinoff special for Nana, please.

 

How do they get around the most racist part of Peter Pan? Cast the tribe as 10 different races. Is that really better?

Edited by studiomprd

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further, how did ordinary people react..?

well, they seemed to like it, and so far none of the reviews I've read mentioned any sound issues of any kind, and pretty few technical issues... actually the comment about the somewhat cheesy commercials pulling the audience out of the story are what caught my eyes!

It was a night where everything else about the play was shunted to the side as Williams and Walken grabbed your attention. Everything that could go wrong didn't go wrong and that's a credit to the myriad people behind the scenes who pulled it off.... The wires and rigging had no errors — which is, let's be honest, no mean feat. Williams glided to precisely where she was supposed to. The Tinkerbell effect — lighting — was flawless and the overall lighting of the scenes veered from dark to shocking color but never was there a scene where production troubles reminded the audiences that this was live (well, at least live on the East Coast) ... It wasn't flawless ... but it was entertaining enough for three hours of live song and dance.
http://www.hollywood...20:28:33_acouch

If you were prepared to hoot and howl over the casting of Allison Williams in the role immortalized by Mary Martin first on Broadway and then in the NBC telecast that drew 65 million viewers in 1955, well, your snark went unrequited. This was a much better production than last year’s Sound Of Music Live! ... the extremely icky Walmart ads that made it hard to maintain suspension of disbelief (not to mention suspension of flying kids — yes, you could see the wires in the Mary Martin broadcast, too, and the tradition was carried on here by Foy, still the masters of airborne acting).
http://deadline.com/...ive-1201310130/

As Peter Pan Live! took a dive from last year’s The Sound Of Music Live! in metered market results, it took even a bit more of a fall in fast nationals. With a 2.3/7 rating among adults 18-49, the Neil Meron and Craig Zadan produced 3-hour spectacle was down 50% from the Carrie Underwood fronted Von Trapp family tale of December 5, 2013, also produced by Meron and Zadan. Seeing drops of 33% and 39% in the demo and overall viewership from its first 30 minutes to its last half hour, the 8 – 11 PM Peter Pan Live! pulled in a total audience of 9.13 million. That’s just under half of 18.6 million who watched Sound Of Music Live! last year. Not surprisingly, Peter Pan also declined from last week’s NFL game on Thanksgiving Day. Fast nationals to fast nationals, the live musical was down 60% from the Seahawks vs 49ers game. ... . Peter Pan Live! gave the network its second most watched non-sports one since the ER finale of April 2 2009 and its second best demo result on the day since the multi-premiere night of September 22, 2001, in fact.
http://deadline.com/...sic-1201310634/

 

The show went off Thursday night without any major hitch or clunky notes — and was far more entertaining and certainly more endurable than its zombie predecessor, last year’s “The Sound of Music Live!”...  She’s no Mary Martin, but she might be a Sandy Duncan (and face it, no Peter ever flew like Cathy Rigby did). That settled, viewers who stuck with “Peter Pan Live!” for three hours were treated to a technically adequate, charmingly performed night of retro theater-on-television. It will never look easy, but they made it look like fun. ... But it’s still not a concept perfectly suited to 21st-century showbiz. The soap-opera video quality and occasional cassette-like hiss; the lack of an audience to play off of; the unkind way ­high-definition TV so clearly finds smudged makeup and the crucial wires that lift Peter and his friends aloft — what’s the aim here, exactly? To relocate ourselves to 1955? ... “Peter Pan Live!” failed to be a disaster, but it succeeded in transmitting an authentic idea of what TV looks like when it welcomes all and wishes only to entertain.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/peter-pan-live-flies-clear-of-twitters-crocodile-jaws/2014/12/04/3c776504-7c03-11e4-b821-503cc7efed9e_story.html?wpisrc=nl-headlines&wpmm=1
 

Edited by studiomprd

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I worked there for days on the BTS show, and while the orchestra was canned, none of the singing was recorded in the studio. There was a big improvement in the ambient noise on the stage. The Darling house set was very quiet ( which is why the singing in that scene sounded so good ), and while Neverland had hundreds of DMX and Robo lights on it, it was not as loud as last year. They also brought in a separate truck just for the music in an effort to improve the sound of talent mics. I did hear some low level hiss in the opening when Alison entered the Darling house, so I think there was trouble with her mic(s) in that scene. Overall, I thought the sound was a massive improvement from last year. Definitely a few lighting/video issues.

It was an epic production and I give everyone there last night a big hand.

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The only sound problem that bothered me (other than some sound-early in the first scenes, which I attribute to video processing) were the foot and prop noises in non-dialog scenes, particularly when Wendie took Peter into the hallway. It sounded like someone had made the decision not to sound empty (and obviously Foley is out of the question), so had brought up dialog mics or had some omnis high up in the set. Lots of HVAC/big ambience where it wasn't needed.

 

Other than that, an audacious and well-done production. I hope someone at NBC decides the ratings were at least good enough to attempt Music Man next year.

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I am FB friends with the sound mixer on the show, Tom Davis. In a post, he asked his FB friends around the country to report sync issues. He knew that everything was ok leaving the truck and and in NBC master control. However, some of his friends in different parts of the country in different cable systems reported sync issues. Many were laymen and didn't know a frame count, they just knew it was "off". So sometimes your particular carrier would be to blame. Tom also mentioned that compression can vary from place to place, and he said that would account for the background levels pumping up to unusual levels.

I applaud their efforts, going live is quite a challenge and I feel if they continue, the quality if these projects will certainly improve.

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even the NY Times liked it, a lot:

" The gaudy, brightly colored Neverland sets gave the show a pleasantly amateurish look, but technically this live staging of “Peter Pan” — overseen by the executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and the director Rob Ashford — was a lot more ambitious and difficult to stage than “Sound of Music Live!,” which they put on NBC last year. Nobody fell or got tangled in their wires while flying. There was no glitch with the computer-generated Tinkerbell. Even the real dog who played Nana didn’t miss a mark... Too many commercial interruptions helped deaden the pace.

The producers, worried about offending Native Americans, took one obvious liberty by rewriting the lyrics of Tiger Lily’s song, “Ugg-a-Wugg,” calling it “True Blood Brothers.” They cast an unknown actress of Cherokee descent, Alanna Saunders, 22, as Tiger Lily and surrounded her with a tribe of dancers dressed, or undressed really, in less stereotypical storybook costumes — though these near-naked men gyrating like Chippendales dancers weren’t necessarily any more culturally sensitive. The Lost Boys, meanwhile, looked like Etonian football hooligans... None of that matters. It’s hard to imagine that many viewers expected strict authenticity in Neverland, a place where dreams are born, fairies flicker and pirates think to the tempo of a tarantella, but the show didn’t want to take any chances..

. "

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/arts/television/nbcs-peter-pan-live-starring-allison-williams-and-christopher-walken.html?emc=edit_th_20141206&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=29212968

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So there was a separate music truck just to play back the pre-recorded tracks?

Hopefully there will be an article or interview of some kind on the technical details of the show.

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It was over 90 ms out of sync for me on an ota signal. 90ms got it close enough where I could watch it. 

 

There's a clip up on YouTube where I immediately said "sound is 3 frames ahead of picture"... (about 90ms)...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7TFZB7tXAU

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As a 40+ yr veteran of major studio recording, live sound and audio for live TV I am convinced they were lip syncing the majority of the show to a composite track they recorded in rehearsals with them wearing headband/earset mics. There were so many instances of not only timing but serious descrepancies in tone to visual perspective and ambience or lack of. A person turning or moving fast and speaking/singing and there is no apparent change in ambience or room tone. Person speaking fairly loud yet lips barely moving. I could go on and on. I was really bugged by the ambient noise as been discussed. I wondered if it was from lighting. Much worse in Neverland I guess from abundance of movers. It was really bad with tight compression or expansion pulling it up between lines.

If these actors were really wearing body mics I want to know what they had on. How they kept down phase cancellations when actors were close together. I am just not buying it. I feel all but some area micing for group effect was all running to code with them lip syncing it. I know how hard this would have been to pull off live. I have done it. Not to this magnitude but just the same. I know it is difficult. I was most impressed with all the steadycam and jib work. I have also directed live TV in my early days. I did not catch one switching mistake. I was about to believe it was automated also. It was a monumental undertaking. I would have loved to have worked on it.

Edit: just looked at the video clip posted above. Case in point where PP runs across room and jumps into window sill while singing. No change in her voice. Like she was standing by a fixed studio mic singing it. Just very unnatural. 'Disembodied' as one reviewer put it.

GEORGE

Mid-America Communications,

Audio Creations Inc. Paducah, KY.

Classic Recording, Nashville.

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