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Radiohead live recording outside
Old 28th September 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Radiohead live recording outside

Hi,

I just saw a music video of radiohead on YouTube (https://youtu.be/Ti6qhk3tX2s?list=RDTi6qhk3tX2s). It seems they play it live, but I can't believe it when I see the wind in the trees behind. I'm a professional sound recordist for film, so I know what it sounds like if wind gets on the capsule and that you have to do a lot (basket, jammer) to avoid that properly. There is also a big audio discussion in the comments on YouTube, but as you read it you'll thin it should be better discussed here. There is one comment that makes totally sense to me, the author recognized the mic as a ribbon mic, where both sides have a different polarity, which should at least eliminate the noise floor from the trees, but I think it doesn't help against wind hitting the capsule directly. As I'm writing this text it comes to my mind that they have placed massive windbreakers outside the frame? But that's just my idea and I'm just recording my little films and not a radiohead song
Old 28th September 2019
  #2
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tourtelot's Avatar
As you probably know, most music videos are shot to playback, so if they did that and there are not any questions about lip sync, they did a good job.

I'll take a look in a bit.

D.
Old 28th September 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Unless there were three or four camera operators managing to not fall all over each other, it was shot to playback. Good though.
Old 28th September 2019
  #4
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by RudiBrueller View Post
Hi,
It seems they play it live
Where are the drums in the frame?
Old 28th September 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
I think its live, he is very close to his mic, there is a lot of proximity
He says' probably ' at the end and also cues the drum machine
Thats not on a final track normally
Excellent performance and film /recording by Paul Thomas Anderson and Nigel Goodrich.
Old 28th September 2019
  #6
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Stradivariusz's Avatar
Watching the guitarist beat, he seems to play precisely what it sounds, that would be hard to play again in the exact same way since his strong and weak beats are apearing very random. Probably no one would do it twice in the same way...so at least once he should miss the playback. But he didn't.
Old 29th September 2019
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a live performance capture. I have done similar live performance projects outdoors like this with plenty of wind and outside noises.

A while back, I captured seven bands in five locations during three days with one remote truck during a CMJ conference in NYC for Converse Sneakers. We handled the backline and all the equipment.

Every song was captured within one or two takes without any overdubs or major fixes; we were able to turn around the final mixes in just a couple of days! The locations were not perfect, but that didn't stop us from capturing a good quality sound without any acoustical sound treatment you would expect in a controlled studio environment.

Here are five of the seven bands we worked with:


Mac DeMarco: Windy day at the Brooklyn Navy Yard...


Hunters: A slightly windy day on a rooftop in Brooklyn...


Citizens!: A rainy day inside with the garage door opened. You can hear the rainfall slightly at the top of the tune if you listen carefully...


Mood Rings: inside an abandoned building on the Rockaways...


Devin: A windy day at the Brooklyn Navy Yard...


What say you?
Old 29th September 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a live performance capture. I have done similar live performance projects outdoors like this with plenty of wind and outside noises.

What say you?


Nice! The head scratcher for me though is the Neumann CMV 563(?). Admittedly, I have never used one but my first reaction was the expectation of some pretty significant breath artefacts or signs of removing them. Tom is right up there in that mic. Can you really sing that closely to it and avoid air smacking the capsule around?

Makes me wonder if a bit of post magic has been weaved. Reamping guitars or replacing vocals probably wouldn't be too insane a job with such talented performances. In any case, it is beautifully done!
Old 29th September 2019
  #9
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tourtelot's Avatar
So I've changed my view to "manipulated live".

D.
Old 29th September 2019
  #10
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Most bands with any amount of $ or backing anymore would want to try to do this kind of thing live. Miming to playback seems very old fashioned these days, and the bar for live performance capture in really complex shots has been raised by some order of magnitude now. If a band etc goes playback they want to make a movie--not shoot a pretend performance with them holding instruments. When I see a video like this anymore I assume it was done live and possibly enhanced in post.
Old 30th September 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Philpher that's also my thought. I was sure they shot it live and not playback when I started the thread.
The fact with the wind and the use of sensitive vocal mics just makes me say wow. I think if you work on that level they knew what they can expect or they tried in advance how the mic would behave but I'm sure they were not sitting there betting everything would go the right way. In other words: to me this is high level audio engineering I neither have the experience nor the balls to do it like that
Old 30th September 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
The lack of plosives in his vocal mic could simply be down to good mic technique, but in my experience the sort of air movement you'd experience outdoors with even a light breeze would overload most cardioid condensor capsules. Omnis...not anywhere near as much, and same for dynamic mics !

Here's another, probably made later that day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hgV...k3tX2s&index=2

The Roland CR78 drum machine sounds very clean indeed: probably DI'd ? There's a LD mic doing nothing in particular (AKG 414 ?) on a stand above the height of the bench backrest...just for 'nature ambience' (ie the crickets in the video linked here) ...or as a decoy to capture all the wind noise that you'd expect would've gone into the vocal mic ?
Old 30th September 2019
  #13
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tourtelot's Avatar
It's a trap! Don't go too close!

D.
Old 30th September 2019
  #14
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I don't know, some of the live performance music clips I posted above were during windy or rainy days, with plenty of mics setup close and afar which produced decent results. No one commented on the sound of those video as of yet, so I don't know what you folks feel about them, but...

Not a lot of fixing was done to get the mixes where they ended up. Plenty of pre-production and proper placement of the mics, backline and band sound system made mixing these tunes fairly simple. We had a fast turnaround, so it was mission critical to get it right during the origination.
Old 30th September 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
No one commented on the sound of those video as of yet, so I don't know what you folks feel about them, but...
Your mixes?
Old 30th September 2019
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Your mixes?
Yeah, the five live performance music clips I posted above that were captured during windy or rainy days with quick turnaround mixes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I don't know, some of the live performance music clips I posted above were during windy or rainy days, with plenty of mics setup close and afar which produced decent results. No one commented on the sound of those video as of yet, so I don't know what you folks feel about them, but...

Not a lot of fixing was done to get the mixes where they ended up. Plenty of pre-production and proper placement of the mics, backline and band sound system made mixing these tunes fairly simple. We had a fast turnaround, so it was mission critical to get it right during the origination.
Old 30th September 2019
  #17
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
i say Live !!!! i have done sefveral of these type things .. capsule placement / position to minimize wind noise .. wind looks up in trees, i am not seeing Jonny's hair blowing around .. wonder if they have any Baffles / Scrims, etc, off camera .. the playing and lipsync are just too tight to PLay to Track for Video type thing ..

love that video / tune / atmosphere !!!
Old 4th October 2019
  #18
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DaveyJones's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I don't know, some of the live performance music clips I posted above were during windy or rainy days, with plenty of mics setup close and afar which produced decent results. No one commented on the sound of those video as of yet, so I don't know what you folks feel about them, but...

Not a lot of fixing was done to get the mixes where they ended up. Plenty of pre-production and proper placement of the mics, backline and band sound system made mixing these tunes fairly simple. We had a fast turnaround, so it was mission critical to get it right during the origination.
Hi Steve,

I think the issue being discussed is the visual of the trees blowing quite considerably, juxtaposed with the LDC mic with absolutely NO windbreak material on it at all.

Now, compared to the clips you produced in those converse adverts; I've only looked briefly at the first one but two big differences catch my eye.
1. There is a very heavy windsock/jammer on the vocal mic - coupled with the fact that it's probably a 'live' or 'stage' vocal mic so will probably have another layer (or two) of foam inside the outer, visible layer. The one in the original video likely has nothing other than the small metal grill, as well as (probably) having a much larger diaphragm, thus more susceptible to wind noise.
2. The singer in your video is singing very loudly, right on top of the microphone. e.g. large signal to noise ratio (vocal to wind noise) compared to the softly sung vocals about 2 inches from the diaphragm in the original video.

Those two factors alone make me think there must be something more going on.

Then if you look at the list of crew working on the production of the original video, it tops out at ABOVE 30(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) people. (granted this includes all the video prep too, but it shows the sheer scale of the production and cost spent on it).

My hunch is: live, but with a mega amount of post-processing to make this clip so great.

If I had such a massive crew I'd definitely find the outdoor spot that looks great but is also covered from winds, as well as maybe bring in my own giant wind shields. If you look at 02:03 you can see that the hairs on the back of the singer's neck are not blowing at all despite the plants in the background moving significantly.

Steve, did you have access to such a large production crew for your videos? Did you use any off camera tricks to help, other than what we can see in those converse clips?


Thanks, Dave
Old 4th October 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones View Post
Hi Steve,

I think the issue being discussed is the visual of the trees blowing quite considerably, juxtaposed with the LDC mic with absolutely NO windbreak material on it at all.

Now, compared to the clips you produced in those converse adverts; I've only looked briefly at the first one but two big differences catch my eye.
1. There is a very heavy windsock/jammer on the vocal mic - coupled with the fact that it's probably a 'live' or 'stage' vocal mic so will probably have another layer (or two) of foam inside the outer, visible layer. The one in the original video likely has nothing other than the small metal grill, as well as (probably) having a much larger diaphragm, thus more susceptible to wind noise.
2. The singer in your video is singing very loudly, right on top of the microphone. e.g. large signal to noise ratio (vocal to wind noise) compared to the softly sung vocals about 2 inches from the diaphragm in the original video.

Those two factors alone make me think there must be something more going on.

Then if you look at the list of crew working on the production of the original video, it tops out at ABOVE 30(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) people. (granted this includes all the video prep too, but it shows the sheer scale of the production and cost spent on it).

My hunch is: live, but with a mega amount of post-processing to make this clip so great.

If I had such a massive crew I'd definitely find the outdoor spot that looks great but is also covered from winds, as well as maybe bring in my own giant wind shields. If you look at 02:03 you can see that the hairs on the back of the singer's neck are not blowing at all despite the plants in the background moving significantly.

Steve, did you have access to such a large production crew for your videos? Did you use any off camera tricks to help, other than what we can see in those converse clips?


Thanks, Dave
great points ... i assume a few tight 20x20 silks for the Picture Alone .. and that they helped with the Wind .. all sorts of things could have been staged just off camera to help .... like you say 30 people .. someone was thinking about this .. they were not all Production Assistants getting Lattes !!!

cheers ...
Old 5th October 2019
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Yeah, the five live performance music clips I posted above that were captured during windy or rainy days with quick turnaround mixes.
Interesting. Regarding the outdoor "windy day" ones, was there any discussion about letting the mixes sound more like the windy outdoors, as opposed to sounding like a studio record?
Old 5th October 2019
  #21
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Interesting. Regarding the outdoor "windy day" ones, was there any discussion about letting the mixes sound more like the windy outdoors, as opposed to sounding like a studio record?
Well, it was my decision, since I was the producer and recording & mix engineer.

As you may already know, listening the wind blowing into the many capsules is an ugly sound. Not anything that would be a quality ambient sound.

Upfront, I showed up with foam filters for all the mics even all the drums and backline.

When we are primary audio, I always bring my foam filter kit to each and every outdoor event we capture.

I remember getting screwed big time on a Maria Schneider jazz orchestra performance during the 2010 (or 2012, done them both) Newport Jazz Festival which happened to be a windy day. The sound company at the time did not have any filters for their mics. My audience mics were super clean, yet the stage mics were atrocious.

I tracked the live performance, them with the assistant conductor, sat in (one of my trucks) The Bread Mobile and mixed the show. I spent more time cleaning up the mics than mixing the performance. Even with all the tweaking, you can still hear some of the ugliness.
Old 5th October 2019
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Well, it was my decision, since I was the producer and recording & mix engineer.
That's what I figured, just confirming. Thanks.

And I probably shouldn't have said "like the windy outdoors." "More outdoorsy" is what I really meant. "No filters" would be dumb, as you went on to point out.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 5th October 2019 at 01:59 AM..
Old 5th October 2019
  #23
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Dave,

You're right, it is about the visual of the trees blowing quite considerably.

There are workarounds for that and the LDC mic with no foam filter or dead-cat filter on it. Some techniques have been discussed in this thread.

1 - Yes, when we are primary audio, we bring our foam filter kit to minimize the wind noise. I had only one filter on each (all) of our mics. Wind blowing into any transducer, large or small capsule can be an ugly sound. We had small diaphragm mics without foam filters on a windy outside live orchestra performance and it sounded terrible.

2. Not sure which video you are referring to, but Matt DeMarco was not singing "very loud" that day. He was singing quite softly that day. But, of course, I had all the right tools to get the job done without a lot of post-production to get rid of the potential noises.

In any event, you are right. There must be something more going on. I have worked with Radiohead and Nigel Godrich and they are seriously clever individuals. All I can say is, the background trees may look wind blown, but that doesn't necessarily mean the area they are setup in is as windy. And, if it was, I'm sure Nigel or Sam would have done something about it upfront at the origination.

Most video captures, even a small production like the original video, could have a crew north of 30 crew members involved. That "small production" crowd funded "local band" project I produced and directed for 'The Band Called Fuse' has over 60 people in the production when you include the band members and guest musicians.

In the end, I believe your hunch is spot on! I bet the only mic that may have needed any post-production work done was on Thom's vocal mic.

To answer your question, many of the projects I get involved in are "big productions," the ones I posted on this thread were relatively small with under 20 production and crew members. Believe it or not, it's not always about the size of the crew. The crew for the (dual 200 track, 15 camera) Josh Groban sold out show we did at MSG was about 30 people. Then, just a few months ago, we were on a mobile ADR gig for a Revlon photo shoot and the crew must have been over 40. I have been on combat style video shoot where you had 2 or 3 audio, and a video and lighting crew under 12 people.

In any event, we are always using off camera tricks to help the cause and affect of the origination. That's how I prefer to do it. On the Converse shoots, it was about placing the power generator truck in the right place, doing my best to find the perfect location to minimize the cable run to my truck and production set, while still maximizing the most isolation from the (noise) sound of the genie. A lot of times we may have a "putt-putt" genie about 50 feet away, but on the Converse shoots we have a Sprinter van genie truck which was quite enough if it's noisiest side was far enough and pointing away from the set.

Most of the reverb you hear on three of the five Converse music clips was captured on location. The sound of the drums for 'Mood Rings' was completely from placing two TLM103s in the corners of that abandoned room they were in. The drum sound for 'Hunters' was a couple of TLM103s placed near a roof wall about fifty feet across from where the set was. The drum sound for 'Citizens!' was found, quite by accident. We have to park 'The Bread Mobile' inside the space where we had the band setup. TBM was just about 25 feet from the drums. While the band was setting up, the drummer was playing his kit while I passed in between my truck and the band set, when I noticed this amazing (reverb plate) sound coming off the side of my truck. I quickly turned to my tech and asked him to place a TLM103 about three inches away from the side of TBM, pointing towards the aluminum wall of the truck.

You will get a better idea on how I approach my production ventures when you realize the only drum reverb (room tone) on Citizens!, Hunters, and Mood Rings was recorded on location during the origination.

Like I have said, in another thread...

I get much joy finding the best qualities from a set of circumstances, especially when the conditions are not optimum. Manipulating those qualities can bring out a more marked sound to the production.

Magnifying the good qualities of a performance or environment makes things fit in perfectly without really trying too hard. The post production becomes much more about balancing levels and creating a vibe than a fix up job.

Starting out with an excellent performance in a perfect environment is indeed a better place to be, yet not so perfect situations must not stop us from capturing the event the best way we can, even when it wasn't made available to us.

An appreciation of the difficulties involved is a good starting point even for a master craftsman when they are approaching a project.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones View Post
Hi Steve,

I think the issue being discussed is the visual of the trees blowing quite considerably, juxtaposed with the LDC mic with absolutely NO windbreak material on it at all.

Now, compared to the clips you produced in those converse adverts; I've only looked briefly at the first one but two big differences catch my eye.
1. There is a very heavy windsock/jammer on the vocal mic - coupled with the fact that it's probably a 'live' or 'stage' vocal mic so will probably have another layer (or two) of foam inside the outer, visible layer. The one in the original video likely has nothing other than the small metal grill, as well as (probably) having a much larger diaphragm, thus more susceptible to wind noise.
2. The singer in your video is singing very loudly, right on top of the microphone. e.g. large signal to noise ratio (vocal to wind noise) compared to the softly sung vocals about 2 inches from the diaphragm in the original video.

Those two factors alone make me think there must be something more going on.

Then if you look at the list of crew working on the production of the original video, it tops out at ABOVE 30(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) people. (granted this includes all the video prep too, but it shows the sheer scale of the production and cost spent on it).

My hunch is: live, but with a mega amount of post-processing to make this clip so great.

If I had such a massive crew I'd definitely find the outdoor spot that looks great but is also covered from winds, as well as maybe bring in my own giant wind shields. If you look at 02:03 you can see that the hairs on the back of the singer's neck are not blowing at all despite the plants in the background moving significantly.

Steve, did you have access to such a large production crew for your videos? Did you use any off camera tricks to help, other than what we can see in those converse clips?


Thanks, Dave
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