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Glen Trew

Boom and Live Vocals. Good lesson from 1955.

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Today I saw this 1955 TV production of Tennessee Earnie Ford because one of the kids is a friend of mine. One thing that stands out to me is that it serves as a good reminder about how simpler is often better, especially when the goal is to capture the essence of a music performance and entertainment, and the impromptu life the happens during it. Live on-camera vocals picked up with an overhead boom mic, no earwigs, no wireless mics, no body mics, no hand mics in anyone's face, no prerecord, live orchestra off-stage, live background vocals off-stage around a single mic. Yes, there is noticeable system noise from the early recording technology, and it was mixed live to a single track with no edits. But I dare say that the subtle nuances still come through better than most performances would today with 24bit and a hard drive full of tracks. Something to ponder.

 

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37 minutes ago, Christian Spaeth said:

Amazing performance! Here's a voice with technique, one can tell. Unfortunately this is no longer the standard with actors...

 

Such a voice was not standard with actors then, either, but the recording technique was standard, and should still be. I've worked with many actors who are great singers, but they are so accustomed to the pre-record lip sync method that they believe there is no other way, as do many mixers.

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What a great performance and reminder of what's possible when you keep it simple and have great talent.  Love the little boy getting into it and then being calmed down with just a gentle touch on the neck from Ernie, and the complete natural reaction to the performance.

 

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Yep you can't beat live!

Live versus say a CD/studio recording shows you that adrenaline gives a sparkle to a performance.

In the early days if digital classical music recordings it was found that orchestras were too relaxed

as they knew that editing was possible so they did not play with concert intensity.

 

I worked on many musical TV shows in the late 60's and boom operated on well known singers.

Music played at a controlled level was either pre-recorded or even fed "live" from our band room.

I've operated a fold back speaker many times (on wheels) so you got as close to the singer as

possible, but it was sometimes a battle when the singer wanted more level and the sound mixer

wanted less level and therefore less colouration.

Oh well those were the days!

 

mike

 

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I saw this video yesterday, quickly. Let me remind those very nice colors and atmos. What a sound and emotion. Did you use a 24 tracks recorder ? Thank you for this work Glen. Crazy,  you do not seem that old...

Philippe 

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I'm with Mike on this one: can you just imagine the atmosphere, the focus then happiness from a good take  on set when recording this way ? wow...

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On November 11, 2017 at 7:43 AM, cineli said:

I saw this video yesterday, quickly. Let me remind those very nice colors and atmos. What a sound and emotion. Did you use a 24 tracks recorder ? Thank you for this work Glen. Crazy,  you do not seem that old...

Philippe 

Hi Philippe! I was in diapers then, so they wouldn't let me work on this show! A friend of mine was one of the kids on the show. But this piece was mixed live, mono, with no cuts.

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One of the greatest concerts of all time was recorded w 3 RCA 44's recorded mono in 1938. Benny Goodmans concert at Carnegie Hall. I think the best recordings are when the performers do the heavy lifting and the room plays its part, and you place the right amount of mics. 1 to 5 is often enough.

Nice example G T

CrewC

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Well, yes, absolutely.  A sound stage, a vocalist with crystalline clarity of diction, prob at least one rehearsal.  Not a crappy location scouted by deaf location scouts, ambitious DPs and expedient producers, not model-turned-actors mumbling and not "shoot the rehearsal" (with 4 cameras).   I've had really great success with "one-man, one-mic" music recording when the players were good and the room good too.....that's what it takes, and those were great days.

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On 29/11/2017 at 9:05 AM, Glen Trew said:

Hi Philippe! I was in diapers then, so they wouldn't let me work on this show! A friend of mine was one of the kids on the show. But this piece was mixed live, mono, with no cuts.

Ha ha, Glen, of course I understood that. It was à joke from me. The live performance is so nicely connected to the recording technique. Thank you for sharing this !

Philippe 

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I found something uncanny at 00:47 - the small girl sitting on the left of Ernie talks to the boy sitting in front of here and we hear nothing. Or maybe i heard nothing. Heh. What rejection from whatever was used to record Ernie in this one... :)

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On 11/30/2017 at 5:04 AM, old school said:

One of the greatest concerts of all time was recorded w 3 RCA 44's recorded mono in 1938. Benny Goodmans concert at Carnegie Hall. I think the best recordings are when the performers do the heavy lifting and the room plays its part, and you place the right amount of mics. 1 to 5 is often enough.

 

My personal favourite is "Jazz at Massey Hall" where legend has it that it was recorded on Mingus personal tape recorder he happened to have with him. Not sure if that's true - in any case, the sound quality is pretty bare but the recording captured the full enery despite (or because of?) this.

chris

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On 12/1/2017 at 1:11 PM, soundtrane said:

I found something uncanny at 00:47 - the small girl sitting on the left of Ernie talks to the boy sitting in front of here and we hear nothing. Or maybe i heard nothing. Heh. What rejection from whatever was used to record Ernie in this one... :)

She was whispering. It's there.

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That is truly incredible.

 

On my show there is a ton of music and all of it is recorded live, often during takes.  Those become the prerecs and used when the band's in the background.  95% of the band's coverage is a live take, or synced to an previous live performance.  I get a feed from the music dept. and throw just a single CMIT in the room.  The CMIT by itself often sounds the best to me, but sometimes I'll mix in the feed a little.  It usually sounds great.

 

Then post music dept. remixes it and it sounds like canned crap in the show...

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