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Mic Used by The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
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patlaw
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20th May 2009
Old 20th May 2009
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Mic Used by The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

At one time I knew the answer to this question and even had a manufacturer's spec sheet on the mic and funky windscreen, but now I cannot rememeber or find my notes. What mics did the Beatles use on their appearance on the Ed Sullvan Show in 1964?

The Beatles Live On The Ed Sullivan Show.

One recollection is that they are AKG dynamics. Another recollection is they they are Neumann condensers. In either case, the part that is confusing is the windscreens. Apparently they were not used that often.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
At one time I knew the answer to this question and even had a manufacturer's spec sheet on the mic and funky windscreen, but now I cannot rememeber or find my notes. What mics did the Beatles use on their appearance on the Ed Sullvan Show in 1964?

The Beatles Live On The Ed Sullivan Show.

One recollection is that they are AKG dynamics. Another recollection is they they are Neumann condensers. In either case, the part that is confusing is the windscreens. Apparently they were not used that often.
I doubt they would have used condensers live on a TV show in those days. The AKG dynamics is more likely.
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20th May 2009
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judging from the sound I always figured the mics for the band were ok but the mikes for the audience of screaming girls were AMAZING.

;-)
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21st May 2009
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21st May 2009
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AKG d19 maybe? Hard to tell with such grainy pics.
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22nd May 2009
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None of the mics suggested is correct. Hopefully someone will recognize them.
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22nd May 2009
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My best guess would be one of the following:

AKG C451E with a windscreen,
EV RE16,
A Turner 404 with a windscreen,
or maybe something in the old EV 600 Series?

I don't think any of these are the right ones, but they are the closest I can get.
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19th November 2009
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These might be SCHOEPS capacitor (condensor) microphones.
They had windshields that looked similar and has been a popular microphone in the broadcast world in these days.
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19th November 2009
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Wondering where the amps are, and why they didn't have a single mic on drums?
So all the drums that we hear are from their vocal mics?
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19th November 2009
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Never heard of playback ? Just singing with the instruments on tape ?
Was done and still is done in broadcast for various reasons.
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19th November 2009
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Never thought about playback and Beatles, thought that they always played live....
and at the very beginning of 9th minute the camera slides to Ringo, and Drums become a lot louder..
So that's all a postpro?
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In the old days playing live was kind of tricky as the sound engineers in broadcast studios did not really have the equipment (and skill...) to get even close to the sound of the original studio recording.
All the performing artists and not in the least the famous artists rather used playback on the studio backingtrack the recorded themselves in the studio.
Doing that was the least risky as practically every studio sound engineer could make a balance between a couple of microphones and a backing track.
In most cases that is.

The drums becoming louder may have been caused by a trick that some TV-studios used: Putting a microphone on the TV-camera.
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19th November 2009
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They were very unusual. When I saw it live I thought they were AKG D-24s but now they look too big and like they have wind screens on. They might be Neumann KM-54s. That would sound most like a U-47 in a miniature mike.
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19th November 2009
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RCA Types BK-5A and BK-5B

Possibly a variant of this
Attached Thumbnails
Mic Used by The Beatles on Ed Sullivan-rca-uniaxial-ribbon-mic.jpg  
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19th November 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
Never heard of playback ? Just singing with the instruments on tape ?
Was done and still is done in broadcast for various reasons.
100% live that one..... watch carefully - all the mistakes on the guitars "mimed" correctly !! ... The mic for the drums is above and the amps are off stage - obviously !! Also not a loud as a modern outfit!! Stage mics do it fine - which is the "above drum kit" mic. There is likely also one below the snare.
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19th November 2009
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Last edited by DaveUK; 19th November 2009 at 04:01 PM.. Reason: tried to link to a picture
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no way that wasn't live. how on earth could they be faking it and be in total synch with tracks. get real. boy the most impressive standout on that clip is GEORGE. The boy sure could play. Till There Was You shows what a true musician the guy was. They basically sounded like a 3 piece band, you can barely hear John's guitar and it didn't really matter much George's playing is so much fun to hear and watch. He stole the show even doing the vocal harmony on All My Lovin. Sure looked like they were
stuffing Johnny boy in a closet or something lol. Like it was Paulie and the Beatles featuring George Harrison on guitar.
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19th November 2009
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Yes, the Beatles played live on the Sullivan show, however, many acts didn't - the Lovin' Spoonful never did.

But the Young Rascals sure did

Some acts brought pre recorded rhythm tracks and sang live over that.

It was a simpler time, there was no "post production" as we know it today. Ed's show was broadcast live to the entire country every Sunday night - it was exciting.

I was a bleary-eyed seven year old that night in Feb 1964 - staring at the tv, and I still remember being mesmerized by Ringo's hi-hat
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19th November 2009
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Sullivan show was always live.

That's how The Doors got to "do" Sullivan. "Girl we couldn't get much HIGHER!..."

PS: The Beatles could actually play those tunes. All the stage time and "stay-awakes" they consumed while in German bars made them a rockin' live band.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studerfreak View Post
Never heard of playback ? Just singing with the instruments on tape ?
Was done and still is done in broadcast for various reasons.
absolutely not, just watch and listen. vocals are definitely live, as are drums (clearly) ... totally different performance from the 'released' version, and why would they go through the trouble of re-recording/mixing it? more importantly, when would they have had the time to do that, being in the middle of a junket and all...

stage volume was not at all then what it is now, so my guess is just room mic(s) over the stage, perhaps with some direct vocals piped in. again, that's just a guess.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRockit View Post
no way that wasn't live. how on earth could they be faking it and be in total synch with tracks. get real. boy the most impressive standout on that clip is GEORGE. The boy sure could play. Till There Was You shows what a true musician the guy was. They basically sounded like a 3 piece band, you can barely hear John's guitar and it didn't really matter much George's playing is so much fun to hear and watch. He stole the show even doing the vocal harmony on All My Lovin. Sure looked like they were
stuffing Johnny boy in a closet or something lol. Like it was Paulie and the Beatles featuring George Harrison on guitar.
exactly - how anyone could say it wasn't live as a bit beyond belief....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiogeek View Post
absolutely not, just watch and listen. vocals are definitely live, as are drums (clearly) ... totally different performance from the 'released' version, and why would they go through the trouble of re-recording/mixing it? more importantly, when would they have had the time to do that, being in the middle of a junket and all...

stage volume was not at all then what it is now, so my guess is just room mic(s) over the stage, perhaps with some direct vocals piped in. again, that's just a guess.
added to the fact that it's nothing like a studio sound !!
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20th November 2009
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That's what commercial windscreens looked like before the foam ones were introduced. The mikes look too big for a D24. We had some at Motown.
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18th November 2010
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AKG C60s

The mics used in New York were AKG C60s with AKG W60 windscreens. There was a post with a scan of an AKG brochure over on the BeatGearCavern some years ago.
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18th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiostuff View Post
Sullivan show was always live.

That's how The Doors got to "do" Sullivan. "Girl we couldn't get much HIGHER!..."
And the Stones chickened with "Let's spend some time together."
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Here is the answer.

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What's interesting to me is that the first appearance had only vocal mics on stage, and the mix is fabulous. Great looking set too.
Then, week by week, they started adding more mics, the mix deteriorated, and the set got cheesier and eventually more cluttered.
They simply hit a grand slam the first time out, and could never top it.
Kind of a microcosm of the entire pop music industry from that moment forward, some would say.
I saw it all on TV as a child, and remember it like it was last week.
But my remarks above are from watching the DVD. My 2c.
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18th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightLurker View Post
The mics used in New York were AKG C60s with AKG W60 windscreens. There was a post with a scan of an AKG brochure over on the BeatGearCavern some years ago.
Wow, now I wish I still had those C60s I owned back in the mid '80s.
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