gee i havent even had the TV on in like 6 months...
So having worked in the business for a while, I'm wondering why I've heard this change over the recent past? Music mixes on Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Carson Daly, et al.. What's with these music mixes of these bands?!?! The most underwhelming mixes and lackluster sound I've ever heard. It's getting worse. No effects, no reverb, no space, lousy equalization, lifeless. I can't all be the bands. WTF?? This can't all be because of digital consoles and beginners. It's crappy engineering. It's a trend in mixing but I don't like it.
What's your take?
Ms. Remy Ann David
gee i havent even had the TV on in like 6 months...
"style is determined not by what you can play but by what you can't "dave brubeck
imagine whirled peas....
EQUALL OPORTUNITY OFFENDER
Maybe they're all Circuit-Cityizing their staffs?
"NOOoooo...we're not FIRING you! We're offering you an opportunity for us to use your knowledge and experience to do the same exact work as before, but for greatly reduced wages! It's an OPPORTUNITY to show that you really ARE a team player, and that you are loyal to the job you love! We have to make up for the shortcomings of our CEO's who have driven our stock prices into the ground while collecting enough compensation to actually have given you all substantial raises if we didn't have to supply them with their golden parachutes! This is a GREAT CHANCE to start over...fresh..
Now...who's WITH US!".
...."Uhhhh...hmmmm....anybody at all?"
"hmmm...I don't understand"....."Why are you all walking OUT!!!"
"Oh well...guess we'll have to just have to hire and train 30,000 new cheap people, huh?"
('Wait a minute....WHO'S gonna TRAIN THEM?!")
I was, in my past life, an audio engineer for the local PBS station. It was a fun job and I learned a lot about audio and video in my time at the station. One thing I learned early on is that most people working in television seem to think that video is king. They would say that video is 80 to 90 percent of the total presentation and audio is 10 to 20 percent.Originally Posted by RemyRAD
I think you are just hearing the results of that generally held opinion. Look at any network show and you see the outlay of money for the HD cameras, the effects units, the lighting and the number of cameras that are being used. Then you look at the audio and it has not progressed all that much from the RCA 6B audio consoles and reel to reel tape and cartridge machines that I used. True there are now wireless lav microphones and most consoles are digital but the increase in the video side of things far out weighs what has been done for the audio side of equation. I don't think that audio is all that important to the people who do television on a daily basis and I think that it is considered more of a necessary evil than a important part of the production.
The PBS station that I worked for use to have two full time audio engineers now it has NO full time audio engineers and the audio engineering duties are handled by the other engineers when needed for live broadcast. Most TV stations in this area have NO full time audio engineers and either hire a part timer or divvy up the duties to the engineers that are on staff.
Maybe some day the TV stations and network shows will realize the error of their ways but with video becoming more and more important every day I kinda doubt it. Audio engineers in TV may go the way of the dodo bird and eventually they may have the AD doing the mix with a portable fader console that is pre programmed or with buttons that say things like "two person interview" or "audio mix for the Tonight Show band". <GRIN>
Thomas W. Bethel
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room with a View Productions
Oberlin, OH 44074
Celebrating 18 years in the mastering business in 2013
Kapt. Krunch nailed it.
It is a phenomenon in many industries in this economy.
They are lowballing professionals in many industries left and right.
3rd Millennium Incorporated
"Your Future - Our Solutions"
Well, being in the home-studio tinkering business for over 20 months, I've built up the confidence that I could easily do as good or worse a job as ANY network mixdown artist! Man, I have this preset on my DAW compressor that will make anything sound bad. I'm sure NOT afraid to use it either!
Ms. Remy Ann David, I just want to say that I really enjoy your posts. I love your humor, but even more I appreciate your expertise and willingness to offer it up for free! That being said, I seem to remember a post of yours recently where you said you didn't have as much time for checking out new equipment and new DAWs... I guess now we know why!
Come back Arsenio!
P.S. At least the Superbowl...ERRRRRR "the big game" halftime shows are still great !
You know, now that I think about it a little more, this is how all business is run. Whenever there's something working fine (usually because there are compitent, well-trained, and quick thinking folks making it work) the suits look down the spreadsheet and say, "See here, Charles, we're spending quite some dollars in the mixing budget. We don't need those compitent persons working there, because everything is running fine. Let's get a couple of rent-a-professionals. We could save 43 cents!"
And then, they can the good guys and hire the new guys. And here's what happens... everything continues fine for a short time, then it hits a parabolic downward slope crashing to oblivion. But, just before that, the guy who saved them 43 cents gets promoted, and his replacement seed the writing on the wall, cans the new guys, hires some good guys, saves the day, then gets promoted. Then HIS replacement tries to save another 43 cents...
That's how the intergalactic communications megaconglomorate I work for does things. We almost doubled our profit in 1st Q over last year. I got a 0.043% cost of living bonus! Holy s!
Its because all the "good ol boys" have retired. They werent exactly music mixers, they were mixers that knew how to translate to broadcast.It's getting worse. No effects, no reverb, no space, lousy equalization, lifeless. I can't all be the bands. WTF?? This can't all be because of digital consoles and beginners. It's crappy engineering. It's a trend in mixing but I don't like it.
With the ever shrinking, or should I say demise of live to tape "Music based Variety" shows, the pool of these type of mixers is pretty much gone.
The only one left, I know of, is Bart Chiate doing the Kimmel show.
Others (Ed Greene, Doug Nelson, Don Worsham) (Remember them, Remy??) have since semi retired, and only doing selected work.
Now show like American Idol are heavily remixed in post production.
Actually, though diminished budgets do contribute to using lesser quality personel, but I think a lot of it has to do with other things as well.
There is little or no time to cobble a mix together prior to broadcast.
As a former touring musician and sometime FOH mixer I can tell you that musicians immediately turn up the volume when the "red" light goes on, thus negating the soundcheck mix. And there-in lies the problem; the lesser qualified sound mixers rely much too heavily on their pre-set digital mix and have a great deal of trouble adapting to changes on the fly.
Another problem is that there are a myriad of audio playback systems available to the consumer, some of whom use the TV speakers while others use a $2k surround system with dozens of variables in-between. Mixing to accomodate them all is a nightmarish task.
The biggest problem in any entertainment industry is the "suits". They have the mindset that advanced technology reduces the need for qualified personel whereas the reverse is actually the case.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Condemning the people doing the work is an easy way out in any field, be it entertainment, finance or politics. Fire the transgressor and the "problem" is gone, thus giving the appearance of action without actually having to change anything or take responsibility.
Peace to all,
A craftsman knows how to avoid mistakes,
An artist knows how to use them. - Randy Thom
Ill only comment on one of your statements:
"There is little or no time to cobble a mix together prior to broadcast. "
Thats what the good ol boys were good at, putting together a good mix quickly!!!!
I just mixed a news comedy pilot (ala Colbert) that was shot in a small soundstage, and the audio was distorted start to finish.
After doing some inquiry, I heard an assistant set up a wireless lav, and the boom was shot from 10 feet away (all room, totally unusable). He set up the levels during a quick sound check, when the show started the talent started acting as he should, meaning his levels now were up about 30dBs, and the assistant was away from his headphones doing video playback.
Soundwoman/man?? Nobody though of hiring one!!!!