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Right now - NBC Peter Pan massively out of sync ?


mikefilosa
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I know I said all this last year, but the balance engineers on Broadway & West-End musicals do this every night, with a live orchestra, not with a pre-recorded track. And they do on their own. 

 

Here's a quick mix of bits of a show I worked on a while back: this is an archive recording of a live performance. Wireless mics on all the singers, Sennheiser TX/RX and DPA 4061s. Lots of moving around, dancing, interacting whilst singing.

 

https://soundcloud.com/soundmanjohn/ceilingskymix/s-QKUa2

 

It's a private link, so please don't share.

 

Thanks,

 

John

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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.

 

Doh! I also just passed 40 years in TV myself, four of them in live TV, both network and major-market local. I saw so many switching errors in Peter Pan, my head was spinning. Maybe we saw different versions.  :mellow:

 

I think the level of difficulty for the show was gargantuan, so if I saw 25 bad cuts out of 1000, they're still batting .900. Certain things in the show were amazing, particularly the scenery movement and transitions, and a few of the steadicam moves were amazing. I listened to the whole show in headphones and thought the amount of fan noise was almost overwhelming -- better than Sound of Music, but still abysmal. That's a noisy, noisy stage. 

 

I think they made a calculated mistake in showing a lot of action from a crane/jib camera, which seemed to kind of diminish the flying scenes. Right after I finished watching the 2014 production, I pulled up some clips from the 1960 Mary Martin version, and as creaky and old as that show was (with 275-pound RCA TK-42 cameras), it had twice as much energy and life as the new show. No question, the sets and video quality was a thousand times better in the modern production, but I think it's possible the sound was worse. Allison Williams upper-crust London accent did not help; I think of Peter Pan as a more "street" character with a much more casual, sarcastic speech pattern. 

 

The three biggest problems with the show I saw were: casting (not enough energy from the two leads), pacing (the whole show dragged in spots), and sound (lots of noise, and too much of an "artificial" lav-only approach). Strictly my opinion. Sets, art direction, and video quality were generally pretty spectacular. The biggest plus for me was the miniature London street outside the children's room's window, which was pretty amazing.

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The three biggest problems with the show I saw were: casting (not enough energy from the two leads), pacing (the whole show dragged in spots), and sound (lots of noise, and too much of an "artificial" lav-only approach). Strictly my opinion. Sets, art direction, and video quality were generally pretty spectacular. The biggest plus for me was the miniature London street outside the children's room's window, which was pretty amazing.

I wonder if the fact that Alison Williams father is Brian Williams had more to do with her casting than her talent?

Andy

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marc: "The three biggest problems with the show I saw were: casting (not enough energy from the two leads), pacing (the whole show dragged in spots), and sound (lots of noise, and too much of an "artificial" lav-only approach). Strictly my opinion. "

you get pretty much universal agreement from the critics only on the pacing ... it dragged a lot, particularly in the middle.

The reviews also frequently mentioned all the commercials, and the cheesiness of them as well as the frequency. 
I saw no mentions at all about the sound, including none about possible lip-syncing or not, and not even much about canned vs. live music...

 

The reviews were pretty much all gushing about Alison Williams, who has been on a series, and yes that is her father who was not on the Evening News that evening... There were mixed reviews of Walken's Capt. Hook, though most at least agreed it was an interesting casting choice...

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@Marc. I confess that I wasn't watching for the whole show. I was taping it for my grandkids. I was listening but found it too difficult to deal with the audio problems to focus entirely on it. So, I must have missed the bad TD work. What I did see I thought was pretty good. Steadycams were for the most part very good. The fan noise drove me nuts.

I worked with TK42's in my early days. Tanks. I thought I was in Heaven when we got 44's, 45's. These guys today have no idea what that was like.

I feel a lot of things may be kept under wraps on this production. We all know what tricks are pulled but general public does not.

I watched a taped Christmas special last night online. You see things like a steadycam move on stage 360deg around the singer up close. Cut to a wide shot and no cam in the frame. Gen public does not think anything about that. We all know they shot those songs at least twice or more with different cam positions.

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From: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/thewire/peter-pan-live-soars-dpa-microphones/136511

Peter Pan Live! Soars with DPA Microphones

Company outfits entire cast of the NBC production with d:screet™ 4061 Miniature Mics

12/18/2014 03:58:49 PM

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 18, 2014 – Peter Pan Live!, NBC’s live primetime television production of the classic Broadway musical, aired last week with audio support from Firehouse Productions and DPA Microphones. The live TV ‘film,’ which followed the success of the network’s 2013 depiction of the Sound of Music, raked in over nine million viewers. With a live show of this magnitude, Firehouse needed an audio solution that would provide pristine audio quality expected with HD television while still giving audiences the feel of a grand theater production. To accomplish this, the sound reinforcement company called on 48d:screet™ 4061 Miniature Microphones to support the entire cast, which included Christopher Walken as Captain Hook and Allison Williams as Peter Pan.

With each lead and principal actor double-miked, and a single mic on each member of the ensemble, DPA’s d:screet 4061 was the exclusive microphone used for the production. Having gained familiarity with the DPA d:screet 4061s from years of Tony Awards productions, Mark Dittmar, audio producer for Peter Pan Live! and lead design and integration engineer for Firehouse Productions, credited both the sound and the size of the mics for highlighting the show’s top level performers.

“DPA d:screet 4061s have become our premier high-end microphone,” says Dittmar. “We used them on the Sound of Music last year, which was the first big NBC live musical, and even knowing where the microphones are hidden, you cannot see a single one. It’s the combination of size and sound quality that makes the d:screet 4061 the perfect choice for this application; it was the same thing this year. Most of the cast members were wearing two microphones, so we were even able to hide two on one person. From my experience, the sound quality of the microphones is spectacular and that is especially evident when miking an actor who has a very dynamic vocal range.”

Since the production was not filmed in front of a live audience, the audio team also had no PA system to hide behind when it came to hiding background noises. “Literally every single sound on the set is audible and some microphones are so sensitive that you even get noise from their wires,” continues Dittmar. “The DPA mics don’t have this obstruction. The sensitivity of the noise is like nothing else I’ve ever dealt with. The microphone works very nicely for us in that it’s not adding anything unwanted. What’s more, they are a very popular Broadway microphone. We have a whole team of A2s that had to mic the cast and the d:screet is absolutely a top choice for them.”

A live telecast of the beloved J. M. Barrie book, Peter Pan, the production featured an all-star lineup, which not only includes Williams and Walken as the leads, but also Minnie Driver as both the narrator and the adult version of the character Wendy Darling, and Christian Borle in dual roles as Mr. Smee and George Darling. The show aired Live on NBC on Thursday, December 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern, from Grumman Studios in Bethpage, New York. Peter Pan Live! is now available on DVD and as a DVD+CD Soundtrack Gift Set, which includes "The Making of Peter Pan Live!,” a unique opportunity for fans to have an inside look at the creation of the musical event.

A 25-year veteran of the industry, Dittmar has been with Firehouse Productions for the last 14 years. During this time, Dittmar has had the benefit of working on several high-profile productions, including the MTV Video Music Awards, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and the Concert of Valor, among others.

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I worked with TK42's in my early days. Tanks. I thought I was in Heaven when we got 44's, 45's. These guys today have no idea what that was like.

 

I went from running GE PE-350's to Norelco PC-70s, and the latter were far, far lighter and better, plus they made better pictures with less light. That was a huge, huge change for us in the mid-1970s, kind of like going from a modest dynamic mic to a very high-end condenser microphone. 

 

I'm not surprised to learn that they had two lavs on each lead actors. I wouldn't be surprised if they had a +5 level and a 0-level mic on each actor and used whichever wireless channel wouldn't overload. I definitely, positively did hear some wireless overload and distortion when some of the "lost boys" were screaming and whooping in some scenes. That's a sound I hate to hear on set.

 

Did you catch the steadicam with the LED ring light in the final scene of the show? I burst out laughing at that. There was one other bad gaffe after a pirate ship song and dance number where they dissolved back to "Neverland," and I distinctly heard a stage manager yell "CLEAR!" seconds after the dissolve. In my few years as a stage manager myself, I had one or two occasions where you heard me yelling "stand by!" right before we came back from a commercial...  :-

 

If any of you folks happen to listen to the show, check it out in headphones. Tons of HVAC noise, just awful... but maybe not quite as bad as The Sound of Ventilation Ducts Music. 

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I am still perplexed even reading about the DPA mics. I just lots of cases of discrepancies in tone of voice verses picture. I need to check my recording regarding the lapse on Hook where he dropped a line or 2. They still could have had the mics on for rehearsals only. I just can't believe those mics delivered that close up of sound while hidden in clothes or hair. I am still skeptical.

I will check out that steadycam move. Now that you mention it I did think at the time I heard something yelled offstage. I have also worked as a rotating stage manager on live major market shows. Always had to watch that.

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