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Topic: Miming On Stage?, What's the real poop?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Bassman Offline




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Posted: April 30 2008, 23:22

This one is aimed more or less at Korgscrew, though certainly anyone can chime in.  But what I'm looking for is actual evidence or documentation-not speculation.

The question is whether or not any of the players on stage are miming their parts to playback.  I don't believe they are, but it seems that some people do think they are.  I've studied the video and I see no evidence of miming.  With that many musician-all proficient on their instruments, I hardly see the need for it.

There seems to be someone stationed at a Mac behind some of the keyboards, but I believe that person is triggering samples-and that's not the same as playing a prerecorded piece of music.  For instance, I just can't see MO hauling out a rack of bells if the playing of them isn't live.
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: May 01 2008, 00:47

I have seen this video and a couple of others where I believe some parts are mimed. Playing samples is ok.......but don't try to make it look cool by having a human hit or touch something that is not plugged into anything. Unless it's a "music video" for MTV or whatever, in which case that is expected and tolerated well.

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Ray Offline




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Posted: May 01 2008, 17:20

The vocals look mimed

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Posted: May 02 2008, 04:26

The only place where I noticed miming was when one of the background singers should "sing" like a child (something like: where´s my mommy) and then the another singer sings the same lyrics with the same voice...and both was the same as on the studioalbum..
;)
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: May 02 2008, 15:39

I'll second that.I know from an interview that showed the technical set up that a full 24 track backing was on hand in case things went badly wrong but the only noticable bit (aside from John Goordon Sinclair doing the Caveman bit in Altered State)is the backing vocals on the same track ("are you Dad's Mummy").That bit's definately mimed.Don't see any more though.
BTW the Millenium Bell  DVD is much much worse.Anna Frank speech 'mimed' by one the backing singers......awfull!


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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: May 07 2008, 03:25

Further to this is listened to a cassette i made when TBII was broadcast live on Radio 1 in '92 last night.
  The amount of remixing that went on after the show was amazing.The original live mix is really bad with guitar bits buried and some electric guitar parts ridiculously loud (you can almost hear the soundman thinking "Oh My GOD!!"and grabbing for the fader!
  So ok there's miming but at least it got a decent mix. :)


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Bassman Offline




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Posted: May 09 2008, 01:14

Does anyone remember how a while back Dame Elton took a chunk out of Madonna's behind for lip-synching in concert?  I think it might still be on YouTube.  My God, it was funny!  No one throws a tantrum like EJ, bless him.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 05:27

I know I'm coming to this really late, and actually, I'm not sure I can add a huge amount.

I believe at least the majority of parts were performed live, at least aside from the parts in Altered State that have already been mentioned. There are, like The Caveman said, some quite big differences between the broadcast mix and the later remix for video done by Mike - in the broadcast mix, the vocals are, as far as I remember, clearly a blend between live singing and the recorded vocals from the album, while in Mike's remix, I think the live vocals are (almost?) completely buried (I say this without having either to hand right now - if you'd like a more detailed comparison, I can try and dig them out and have another listen). I'd think that's what leads to it appearing as if the vocalists are miming on the video.

The vast majority of the instruments sound live to me, though, or at least recorded to sound like they're live - the acoustic instruments with that distinctive 'quack' of under saddle pickups, for example. The bells are fitted with a MIDI trigger system, so they can be used to play back the layered bell sound from the album (the same system that was used at Horseguards for Tubular Bells III, just played by Alaisdair Malloy rather than Mike, who was busy hitting what seemed to be cardboard tubes wrapped in tinfoil! ). Again, as far as I remember, the acoustic sound of the bells is much louder in the broadcast mix.

If I get a spare moment, I'll cast my eye over the official concert video and (if I can find it! ) the TV broadcast and see if anything else jumps out.
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 08:36

I used to have the concert taped off the  TV as it went out (almost)live (the Radio show was live as it happened-the one i have on cassette-and the TV showed it about 2 hours after the event,both have an identical mix)and i can confirm that the concert went through some serious remixing before the official release.I'd definatley agree about the acoustic guitars-there's a real nasal sound of piezo-but the tone is actually really quite weak and clangy on a couple of parts.Mike's  acoustic/classical sounds are good but the other guitarists seemed to struggle to get the correct tone.The part i mentioned about being hugely loud was (after watching again)was Shuan Baxter (balding with pony-tail,Sonic Blue strat re-issue)who came in rediculously loud.
 There's also feedback issues on the original that are missing from the official release.
 All told the BBC did a really crap job on the broadcast mix.Tom Newman was in charge of the front of house sound but i don't know if the BBC's broadcast mix is the same mix as heard at the concert by the audience on the night.
 Baring in mind that it was broadcast live on the radio would this be what was heard on thhe night?Korg?


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Bassman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 11:30

Ugh.  The conclusion here is so discouraging.  To have a stage containing all those people, all that talent, in this day and age relying on playback...

Does anyone attending a live concert ever care that every note be perfect, or is an exact replica of it's studio counterpart?  I sure don't.  It's a hell of a lot more fun that way.  A concert is supposed to be a spontaneous, organic event that speaks to your head, your heart and your groin (though not necessarily in that order).  Better to be a tiny bit imperfect than a tiny bit artificial, in my opinion.

This is why I don't own any of his live DVD's (yet).  I want very much to be able to watch them and share in the illusion of having been at the event, but I'm scared that the audio will feel too antiseptic if the playback is too obvious.

Of course, I know I'll get them all eventually.  Not just because I adore the music but also because I'm a helpless completist.  Sad, aren't I?

:)
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 11:43

Amen....but Exposed and Montreux are worth it!!!

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Bassman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 12:12

Yeah, those are the two I'm most interested in.  Good, raw musicianship with maximum excitement and minimum post-production tinkering.

Does anyone else remember ELO's "Out Of The Blue Tour" video from a few years back?  The playback was so horrendous as to render the video nearly unwatchable.  They actually mimed the fade-outs on the songs that faded out on the record!  I dunno.  I guess a lot of people would say "so what?", but there's me saying "Jeff... Jeff... why?".


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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 12:29

Right there with you there Bassman (is that as in Fender Bassman btw?).To me at least i don't reaaly want to watch a live DVD and hear it exactly as it is on the CD/LP.It should be different.As Hendrix said,if you want to hear itr exactly as it was on the record...go home and listen to the record.
Exposed is really very good for this reason.I was very familiar with the original cd (and LP for that  matter.I have both)but totally unaware that the Wembley gig was filmed and so delighted when i found out a DVD was imminent.What i really like is realising that Mike does improvise a lot more than we give him credit for on stage.There's bits were he plays something totally different to the original,or for that matter on the Exposed CD version.That's what i think a live DVD/CD/Concert should be....spontaneous.I can't even remember what i played the night before so there's no hope of me playing a gig anything near the same way twice.
Music=self expression.Self expression=spontanaity.
 Why doesn't Mike see it that way and compulsively tinkers with live DVDs.I saw him in '99 and yes he made a few cock-ups but it was a bloody good gig. :)


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Bassman Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 12:48

It's possible, too, that the live audiences at his gigs are so into the groove and just the sheer joy of being there that the ear is slightly more forgiving to any miming going on.  Adrenalin can do that to you.  Jeez, I think I could forgive all the MO miming in the world if he had played here just once.

Dang.

(Yes, Fender.  The Prophecy II.  A beautiful instrument that I no doubt don't do justice to.)
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: June 03 2008, 22:57

I'm sat here with the TV broadcast version running, though I have to say I've been watching and listening more in a casual enjoyment way than a hyper critical way (though it's rare that the critical bit switches off entirely, for better or worse...).

It really does seem like the vast majority of stuff is being played live. The vocals are definitely live (though there might be a few occasions where there are some sampled vocals brought in too) and the guitars all seem to be, as does the piano and Ian Thomas's drums. Laurence Cottle does actually play the trombone too!

The broadcast sound mix is different to what the audience heard that night - it was done in a mobile studio truck by Mike Robinson, who's one of the Radio 1 engineers who did things like the John Peel sessions. I have to say I personally feel he did a very good job, considering the complexity of the mix and the fact that he'd not have had much of a chance to run through it. Things like feedback wouldn't be anything he could have done anything about - that would be down to the monitor and front of house engineers. In situations like that, you do also have to contend with the fact that there tend to be an awful lot of people milling about on stage before the performance, and things do get knocked, moved, unplugged and generally fiddled with and once the show's started, it's not always very practical to go and undo what's happened (depending on what's happened...if it's that the tambourine player's mic is no longer properly positioned, it's probably best not to go trying to fix it...if the lead singer's mic's gone dead, it definitely is! ).
That bit where the guy with the blue Strat (isn't that Alan Limbrick?) comes in rather loud actually seems almost more to me like it's hitting against a compressor, from the way it seems to dip up and down. Not really one of the mix's finer points either way...not necessarily the engineer's fault, though (but equally, I'd not want to say that it definitely isn't, just that it could be either) - it equally could have been that the player had adjusted something since the soundcheck, or just hit rather harder than before.
I should highlight that I'm listening to the mix as recorded from BBC 2, though - Radio 1 uses extremely hard multiband limiting/compression before the transmitter, which can do some very odd things to a mix (that's part of the reason why pop records nowadays are so heavily compressed - if it's squashed to death already, the station's own processing won't be able to do much to it).

I also think that the Montreux DVD really showcases Mike at his very best - the performance has so much energy and musical confidence. Superb stuff.
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Posted: June 04 2008, 04:01

Oops it was Alan Limbrick.You are right. :)

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Posted: June 04 2008, 17:10

Quote (Korgscrew @ June 04 2008, 03:57)
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I also think that the Montreux DVD really showcases Mike at his very best - the performance has so much energy and musical confidence. Superb stuff.***

For my part I really love the 10th anniversary gig of TB in Wembley 83´ - what a great great performance (soundwise- that is) - Pure energy between MO and Ant (other guitarist) and pure energy from Simon Phillips & Maggie and the crowd is going nuts too....sad to this day - I have never found any movie clip of that concert..
Please Mike Oldfield, I would really give a lot if you released it from your website..I know you have the concert taped   :p
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Posted: April 27 2009, 06:39

The vocals at tb2 were sung live, backing vocals by mike and others required some playback to enhance the quality of sound, and used extensively by other artists, in all, mikes concert was the real deal, concert goers had a quality sound spectacular! deb
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smillsoid Offline




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Posted: April 27 2009, 22:12

I used to work in the theatre, and there wasn't a single professional show that didn't use extra recorded parts (usually on the click track) to augment the live musicians!  Deb's right - Mike's as 'live' as the next guy.

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0+1(I1) Offline




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Posted: Aug. 08 2011, 02:54

I went twice to the Albert Hall performances and both shows were slightly different however these were non recorded or televised, yet I did have the privilege of visiting Mikes home in the times the album was being recorded & during the time the rehearsals for the tour were taking place in earnest so I would have to say all musicians who were present on stage probably played their part.

MO did around this time go on record as saying it was now far easier to create a live performance with the modern tech compared to when he took the earlier albums out for a spin, also there is footage of the rehearsals at mikes home on U tube + If memory serves me right he makes comments in at least one interview regarding how he uses today's tech in live shows.  I do hope this is of help to you all.


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