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What? No thread about the crappy audio at the CMA Awards?
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Cap'n Spanky
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7th November 2006
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Talking What? No thread about the crappy audio at the CMA Awards?

I’m not sure what the problem was, but the sound was F’d –up. Especially the vocals. Sounded like the singers couldn’t hear themselves. Many of the vocal performances were weak and pitchy.
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7th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
I’m not sure what the problem was, but the sound was F’d –up. Especially the vocals. Sounded like the singers couldn’t hear themselves. Many of the vocal performances were weak and pitchy.
It was your TV set.
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How about that Faith Hill Thing?

Good stuff.
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Originally Posted by danasti View Post
It was your TV set.
My TV is fine. Better have your ears checked.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
My TV is fine. Better have your ears checked.
I just had them upgraded.

What TV are you listening on?
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7th November 2006
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I just had them upgraded.

What TV are you listening on?
A Chinese Neve clone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
I’m not sure what the problem was, but the sound was F’d –up. Especially the vocals. Sounded like the singers couldn’t hear themselves. Many of the vocal performances were weak and pitchy.
are you sure it wasn't just the fact that it was country.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalpole View Post
are you sure it wasn't just the fact that it was country.



I'm sure that was the problem.
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Yep. Absolutely brutal.
Disgusting amounts of bad 2 bus compression, causing the entire mix to collapse on every vocal push. "Pumping and breathing" doesn't begin to describe it. "Flailing and wheezing" would be closer...

It also sounded like someone had a LPF set to about 1k on the drum buss. I didn't hear a kick drum all night.

Brad Paisley can play gtr though. good tone too.

-Z-
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Holy shit that compressor on the vox was the worst I've ever heard!! I saw Kenney Chesney's performance and was horrified. Shame on the sound guys for that one.

Sound on tv seems to be getting worse overall these days. I saw JoJo on the View this morning and it was equally horrible. I don't think she could hear herself or her band at all...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco View Post
Yep. Absolutely brutal.
Disgusting amounts of bad 2 bus com pression, causing the entire mix to collapse on every vocal push. "Pumping and breathing" doesn't begin to describe it. "Flailing and wheezing" would be closer...

It also sounded like someone had a LPF set to about 1k on the drum buss. I didn't hear a kick drum all night.
I knew someone here would know the cause. I just knew it sounded like a$$. So did my wife and so did the local DJs this morning. I bet there were some pissed off singers.

Maybe that's why Faith Hill freaked out. It was actually a delayed reaction to the crappy audio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
Many of the vocal performances were weak and pitchy.
i think that had little to do with broadcast sound and more to do with the fact that most of today's country "stars" are, in fact, weak and pitchy singers.

on brad paisley's playing

and faith was just kidding around....leave it to people who can't understand humor to think she geniunely "freaked out".


cheers,
wade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrface2112 View Post
i think that had little to do with broadcast sound and more to do with the fact that most of today's country "stars" are, in fact, weak and pitchy singers.
cheers,
wade
then add some horrific compression and their you have it.
sad : (
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7th November 2006
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Originally Posted by mrface2112 View Post
i think that had little to do with broadcast sound and more to do with the fact that most of today's country "stars" are, in fact, weak and pitchy singers.
Really?! Even Martina McBride? Me thinks you need to give it another listen.
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Talking

You know what happens when you play country music backwards...................











































You get your wife back


You get your dog back


You get your truck back








sorry...............









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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco View Post
It also sounded like someone had a LPF set to about 1k on the drum buss. I didn't hear a kick drum all night.
well.......a tremendous amount of BAD 2bus compression will completely wash away the low end as well, so i figured the kick drum (or lack thereof) was just another casualty of the compression.


cheers,
wade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
Really?! Even Martina McBride? Me thinks you need to give it another listen.
Exactly. Martina, the only singer I have ever heard make the National Anthem sound good.
brad
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8th November 2006
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What you were hearing was what those people actually sound like!

Country (and everything else) is so auto-tuned these days that it is rediculous.
There are poeple who can sing (Martina McBride, Vince Gil, etc..) but so much of it is based upon appearance and who your manager is. There is so much nepotism in country that it is rediculous!

Who cares if anyone can sing as long as they are a hot piece of ass?
You can always use pitch correction to make them sound in tune!

I know of an artist who was once on a major and had a big hit.
He has all kinds of pitch problems and has been singing for years.
To be fair... the guy CAN sing in tune when he TRIES, but he is lazy and that is a bad habit for a vocalist to fall into. YOU GOTTA' WORK TO SOUND GOOD PEOPLE!
His record was out just prior to the current autotune-it-to-death era we are in now, so there must have been a LOT of punching in and making vocal comps to get what they had on the record!
Still, he is the most handsome son of a bitch around, so THAT was what got him as far as he did go.

I'll tell you what... a lot of engineers have learned to destroy decent stuff with compressors in the last few years. I have to listen to an un-natural amount of pop music in my job (long story here) and there is some horrible mis-use of compression. There are some "girl and a piano" releases where they have just NUKED both the vocal and the piano. In fact, some of the producers must be really frustrated with the fact that they just have a chick gushing at the mic and pounding on a piano because they feel compeled to put hedious amounts of compression on both and even put vibrato on the piano on one cut! It must be no fun to make a record with just an over-wrought chick huffing and puffing at a mic and playing semi talented, highschool player piano parts. I feel them thinking, "Gee, all of these songs are kinda' alike! I had better make them sound different. Hmmmm.... lessee.... lot's of compression on this one, vibrato on this piano here, I can make her voice sound like she's talking on a telephone..."

I heard the song that briefly went to #1 on the C&W charts that the guy was crowing about having been mixed ITB.
I heard it through our Nexo rig with a bunch of other C&W hits, so I could make a pretty good assesment of it.
I'll go out on limb and say that it sounded quite tweezed, but it didn't sound as polished as the Nashville hits. The drum ambience sounded somewhat exagerated and un-natural. It was obviously good enough to reach #1 for a while, but the mix was only "OK" compared to the other stuff. Granted it was cut by non-Nashville guys in Tyler, TX, so that puts a degree of anti-Nashville spin on it. I used to know the guy who's studio it was cut in. The Leanne Rimes stuff was cut there. Good players, though.
I wasn't really impressed, but I do admit that I was excited to hear the song and mix in an environment I am familiar with. I wanted to like it. It wasn't bad... it just wasn't as good as the stuff before and after it... sorry.

And one last thing... don't make fun of C&W because it takes considerable skill to pull off a convincing sounding C&W record. The players are some of the most skilled players there are. Never forget that almost ALL contemporary guitar grew out of either country or blues and the licks ain't THAT different. Even jazz came from blues and the distance between good country picking and jazz is pretty short. Many players are not educated in these styles to a degree that allows them to experience the parallels.
Kansas City Jazz, C&W, Be-Bop and Western Swing all have a lot of the same figures and changes. Even Charlie Parker studied western swing and other "hillbilly" styles. There are many similar or near identical licks (especially at the II V changes.)
If you ever want to attempt to learn a complicated instrument, sit down at a steel guitar! ..and if you ever want to hear something impressive as hell, listen to a GOOD steel player play jazz. It is an amazing instrument. Unfortunately, most people only get to hear the same C&W steel guitar "stock modules" or licks in pop country.

Here I say all this and I didn't even watch the CMAs! Those stupid award shows are ONLY put on by the industry to drum up sales. Does anyone unkown ever win? No... it's the same old faces. Brooks and Dunn.... the safe, happy, handsome and kinda' cute dudes that are on Corn Flakes boxes along with NASCAR drivers.
The women? Blond pieces of ass. Ass, ass, ass... give me a chick with a hot ass, blond hair and I'll autotune that b i t c h until she makes you...
What? You say you have a CHILD with blond hair that looks like she's old enough to date and she wants to be a C&W singer?
Brang her on!
(we have those on every block down here in Texas ever since Leanne Rimes!)

Step right up! Everybody gets to be a star for a few minutes with the skillfull use of my wonderfull talking machine! Handsome young studs, hot, blond women can move to the front of the line. Make way for the cute, BLOND teenage girls... they go first.

Boy... I'm on a roll tonight!

Danny Brown
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8th November 2006
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I watched some of it here on a decent HT system, I don't recall anything standing out as terrible.

I believe Kooster McAllister did the show with the Record Plant Remote, and his work is normally exemplary - perhaps he'll stop by and give us some feedback (no pun intended)

-gil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Country (and everything else) is so auto-tuned these days that it is rediculous.
I've seen multiple units that I think were daisy-chained.

Isn't that how they try to make it less noticeable?
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"I've seen multiple units that I think were daisy-chained.

Isn't that how they try to make it less noticeable?"

I've heard the same thing I don't know if I heard it here or read it in Mix. One of the current country studs uses like 3 or 4 daisy chained Auto tunes on the road. Urban legend or myth? Anybody know for sure?
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I was told personally by the former road manager of Rascal Flatts that the singer has terrible pitch problems.
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With the current state of pop music you'd be led to believe that un-attractive people can't sing if you accepted everything at face value.

Then again, wierd compression "artifacts" can be introduced at MANY points in the broadcast chain between the remote truck and the TV at your house.
I mixed approximately one hundred live broadcasts for ABC Network's ZROCK format back in the late '80s/ early '90s. The way that my mixes sounded in the remote truck VS. what you heard coming out a a radio tuned to the local affiliate was astoundingly different. In the end, you can only mix for the monitor speakers in the truck and then hope and pray that it doesn't get too mangled downstream.

Danny Brown
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Originally Posted by rowdy322 View Post
I was told personally by the former road manager of Rascal Flatts that the singer has terrible pitch problems.
That's interesting. I bought that record after it was discussed here as an example of technically well recorded voice. My impression was that Autotune use was truly maxed out throughout, but that the underlying vocal track was close to in-tune. You know how AT leaves its trademark at pitch inflections, even when the notes coming into and out of the inflection are pitch-accurate. That's what I thought I was hearing on the Rascal Flatts record.

Are the CMA's from last night on line yet? I couldn't find anything on Youtube.

Serially connecting AT hardware units is said to be the source of Shania Twain's live performance. If you haven't, you should check out the Shania DVD of live performance in the Up Close And Personal show. She's backed up by Alson Krauss & Union Station. It's surreal.

http://www.amazon.com/Shania-Twain-U...?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

John-
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Sheesh! I’m almost sorry I started this thread. I could hear it. My wife could hear it. The local DJs could hear it. Christ! My fvckin dog could hear it.

From the Nashville Tennessean, Nov 7, 2006:
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....NTERTAINMENT07

Want the good news first or the bad? Okay, bad it is. I simply cannot believe how bad the sound remains at most country awards shows, including the CMAs. Seems to me that the whole “promote our great artists” thing falls completely away when those artists sound terrible. The CMA has spent a bunch of money trying to overhaul the sound, and thus far the result has been kind of like spending $10,000 to fix up a rusted, decrepit old Chevy Vega. Either some of country’s top performers can’t sing as well as your average bar band vocalist or some of television’s top engineers can’t run sound as well as your average bar band sound dude. Anyone who watches Austin City Limits or The Tonight Show with Jay Leno knows that television performances do not have to sound this way. Now, an arena is a much more difficult sonic environment than a television studio, but some of the troubles seem like they’d be such simple fixes: Turn Martina’s vocal down some in the mix, for instance, so she doesn’t completely overpower the backing track with that powerful voice of hers. Or figure out what the deal is with Chesney’s level. And that’s after each act had at least two rehearsals…

This guy's a reporter, not a audio engineer and he could hear it.

For the record, I don't like most commercial Country either. But not all of these people are bad singers. Anybody who has sung in a large venue could tell that they were struggling to hear themselves and struggling to project their voices.
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8th November 2006
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Hmmm... the hype ignores the reality? Not Koooster as I originally posited, read on (from http://prosoundnews.com/articles/article_4648.shtml)

"The team responsible for the audio at this year's CMA's included a who's who of broadcast audio: the audio was supervised by Grammy/Emmy Award-winning music producer Elliot Scheiner; the audio coordinator was Michael Abbott; ATK/Audiotek provided the sound system with FOH (front-of-house) engineers Patrick Baltzell and Rick Shimer; New York-based Wireless First, a leading source of wireless sound equipment for major television and production companies nationwide under the direction of Kevin Sanford, supplied all the wireless microphones; Grammy/Emmy Award-winning engineer David Hewitt's Remote Recording provided the 5.1 production mix, while MTVN's R8 mobile recording truck supplied the 5.1 music mix."

Audio-Technica Shines Once Again At The 40th Annual CMA Awards

Stow, OH (November 8, 2006)--For the 13th consecutive year, Audio-Technica has supported the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards by providing an extensive selection of vocal and instrument microphones for its annual awards show. The 40th Annual CMA Awards aired live for the first time in 5.1-channel surround sound Monday, November 6 on ABC from Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center and featured over 200 hard-wired and wireless Audio-Technica microphones.

From backline vocal and instrument mics to frontline wireless systems for leading country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Miranda Lambert, Audio-Technica was chosen to provide its clear and consistent quality for this star-studded live broadcast.

Hosted for the third year by the multi-platinum duo Brooks & Dunn, the CMA Awards presentation is recognized as Country Music's Biggest Night, and represents the pinnacle of achievement for those involved in country music. Once again, Audio-Technica microphones were featured for their accurate and reliable sound reproduction--characteristics that have dictated A-T's long-standing presence with country music artists.

Audio-Technica endorser Kenny Chesney repeated his 2004 win as CMA's Entertainer of the Year. Chesney performed using Audio-Technica's Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System, with the AEW-T3300 microphone/transmitter and AEW-R5200 true diversity frequency-agile dual receiver. 5000 Series wireless systems were also used by Miranda Lambert and Audio-Technica endorser Jason Aldean.

Scheiner, known for his work with leading artists such as Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Sting, Foo Fighters, The Eagles, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith and many others, was the music producer at this year's CMA's and was pleased to have Audio-Technica back as the major microphone supplier. "I've been working on the CMA Awards show for the past five years and we've been using Audio-Technica for as long as I can remember," stated Scheiner. "The reason we use A-T is because of durability, reliability and of course, the high quality audio they deliver--especially the wireless systems. In all my years at the CMAs, we have never had a problem with an A-T mic. Most of the guys that are working the show this year--Mark Repp, Doc Damon, Stan Dacus, Chad Hailey, Greg Lankford, and Brando Marius--have all worked the past five years with me, and everyone agrees, this year's show sounds better than any one we've ever done. And it's not only because we are now doing it in surround sound, but the overall audio quality seems to be better--and what are you going to attribute that to? Microphones are the first link in the signal chain--that's a good place to start!"

In addition, a wide array of Audio-Technica hard-wired mics was also employed for the broadcast, including: the new Artist Series ATM250DE on kick; Artist Series ATM350 on strings, rack and floor toms; Artist Series ATM650 for snare; AT4033 on bass guitar; AT4040 and AT4050 guitar cabinets and overheads; AT4041 for hi-hat; AT4051 on ride cymbals; and AE5400 on vocals.

Michael Abbott, audio coordinator for this year's CMAs, commented, "Once again, A-T continues to be a key partner at the CMA Awards. When you are doing a live broadcast, there is just one chance to get things right. And working with A-T, that gives me one less thing to worry about when putting a show of this scale together."
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8th November 2006
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NOT ME!!!!!!!! NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!

Yes I was down at the CMA's BUT I was doing Good Morning America for ABC. We did Sugarland with BonJovi and Richie Sambuka (as he is known by Triumph the insult dog) It was live to air at 8:45 in the morning. The ABC engineer for our show was Mark Weglinski. AKA "Wedge" Who I felt did a great job.

Once again I had nothing to do with the CMA show itself.

Kooster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
Sheesh!
Either some of country’s top performers can’t sing as well as your average bar band vocalist or some of television’s top engineers can’t run sound as well as your average bar band sound dude. Anyone who watches Austin City Limits or The Tonight Show with Jay Leno knows that television performances do not have to sound this way.
i would go so far as to say not even as good as the average bar band.
now i have not been out to see the average bar band in some time but short of things slipping a lot, ( what i am i saying we know they have slipped ) i would rather hear the average bar band play, with real musicians.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
For the record, I don't like most commercial Country either.
i have not like most country in years and i love country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
But not all of these people are bad singers.
that is steal questionable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Spanky View Post
Anybody who has sung in a large venue could tell that they were struggling to hear themselves and struggling to project their voices.
i know what is like not to be able to hear and it dose such!
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well Gil, I don't know what happened, but the pumping on the vox compressor was something like I've never heard in my entire life. It might have been a problem outside of the hands of the guys running the show. Who knows.

Either way, I could barely stand to listen to Kenney's performance, and it was quite obvious he was having trouble hearing as he kept touching his in-ears. I think he touched them 5 times.
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Originally Posted by djui5 View Post
it was quite obvious he was having trouble hearing as he kept touching his in-ears. I think he touched them 5 times.
this seems to be a regular problem with kenny. my wife saw him on his most recent tour when they swung through here (Charlottesville) a month or so ago and said that he was constantly putting in and pulling out his IEMs and that his pitch was all over the place.

she also said that the band was horribly out of sync (obvious monitoring problems) and that the overall PA volume was excruciating--which certainly wouldn't help monitoring problems in the least. sounds like he needs some better IEMs........or something.


cheers,
wade
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