Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Part 2

There are few bigger opportunities for those in the world of production to show their stuff than in the Superbowl halftime show. In 2002, the NFL put on a show that to me was the best one ever. U2 performed and did a tribute to all those who had died in the 9-11 attacks of the previous year. The audio mix was stunning, the lighting and video was top notch. Since that time it has gone down hill culminating with the utterly horrible 2005 show. Even if you take the "wardrobe malfunction", it was simply awful. The "artists", if you can call them that, who performed were mediocre at best and the mix was pretty sad.

Last year's show was at least by a band that has been a staple and has credibilty. Again however, the technical aspects of the show were lacking. As this year's Superbowl approached I anticipated a high-quality event. Prince is an amazing musician and in case you don't know, has made some major life changes and no longer lives the wild lifestyle he once did. I'm not calling him the next Chris Tomlin but at least he has some good morals now. I've been a fan of his since I was in high school so seeing him in this situation would be fun.

I think he and his band played a great show, but once again the show was seriously lacking in technical expertise from an audio standpoint. I do recognize that the weather had the potential for effecting the gernal tone of the drums in particular but it doesn't excuse the fact you could barely hear them. The mix was all vocal and guitar. At one point the keys come in like someone noticed they were muted still and decided to unmute them in the middle of a song. I'll be real honest, the 3 main volunteer sound guys I have at CFC can mix better than whoever is doing these Superbowl shows. Why is this so hard? They do have rehearsals, they do use digital consoles, so why cant you get a mix that works? I am using Directv has my provider and have watched several other live concert events and they sounded amazing. I know it can be done. I have to wonder if they are using some broadcast guys that are not really accostumed to doing a live band. I hereby volunteer my services next year. Fly me to the host city and I'll even buy my own hotel, just let me or someone that can mix, do the halftime show. Its just not that hard.

3 Comments:

Blogger James said...

How about the national anthem? Check out this horrendous use of autotune on Billy Joel's voice...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98HKmPFqFYw

He actually starts singing at about 1 minute in. I'd take a natural sour note over that terrible sound any day.

2/05/2007 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I hate to be the bearer of even more bad news, but I dont think there was an autotuner on him. I think he just sings that bad. Actually, autotuners these days work better than what you were hearing. He has a tendancy to do odd things vocally if you have ever seen him live. His style is very distictive for sure. In this case I do suspect the weather was causing him to stumble around vocally more than normal.

Just my 2 cents...

Besides, its all about the low end right?

2/05/2007 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger byron said...

They screwed up the pregame audio, also. Cirque de Sole did a big thing on the field with live music and a live singer whose mic was muted half the time.

2/07/2007 09:01:00 AM  

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