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Two Unrelated Musical Observations - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

May. 22nd, 2009 06:15 pm Two Unrelated Musical Observations

I've encountered a couple of things connected by being related, at least a bit, to music.

Yesterday, between getting off of The Coaster and driving to Derrick's School (and our church, same place) for his musical performance, I stopped at The Sunset Market for a quick dinner and some fruit from the farmer's market.

As I was leaving, one of the entertainment acts had just started their set. As I was walking past, I took a quick look at them. It was a fairly typical rock/pop trio -- drums, electric bass and guitar. The guitar player was also singing lead. But what caught my attention at first was that he was sitting. Then I noticed that he had no arms. It was only as I walked closer on the way past that I realized that he was playing guitar, using his toes.

I didn't look long enough to really see how he was making cords, or if he was just playing individual notes.

This afternoon while I was heading home, the Sirius/XM Broadway channel was airing a replay of one of their live shows that are taped on Wednesday's at noon eastern. The guest was -- as all of the guests -- a Broadway professional. In this case, I'm pretty sure that he was the actor who originated the role of the crab, Sebastien if I recall correctly, in The Little Mermaid.

However, when I went to start his last song, the only one I actually heard, I noticed that it does not appear that he really knows how to use whatever kind of microphone was available for this. During the song he both had his volume drop, more than could be explained by his weak falsetto, and had noticable breath noises.

Since they tape (and air live) in front of an audience at a non-traditional venue the mic is probably either a hand held mic, or a similar type of mic put onto a stand. So I suspect that he was either moving into and out of the best coverage of its pattern -- if it was on a stand -- or he was moving the mic in and out accomplishing the same thing.

Now, to his credit, I'm sure that most of the time he is used to singing with a mic affixed to his body -- either an E6 style mic over his ear, or a mic hidden in or near his hairline. But he has also, if I'm right as to him originating the role, been in the recording studio. So I'd think he would have some idea that you cannot move in and out of the mic pattern.

I couldn't help but wonder what the sound tech for the broadcast was thinking during this.

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Date:May 23rd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
I couldn't help but wonder what the sound tech for the broadcast was thinking during this.

Probably cringing every time it happened - that's what I've done every time it has happened when I run the board...
Date:May 23rd, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
That is pretty much what I was doing while listening on the radio.
Date:May 23rd, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
I find that I have a hard time going to "live" stage events (concerts or plays) because I automatically start running a critique in my head of the tech - it's pretty obvious, once you've done tech a lot, to notice missed cues/bobbled lines on stage or that sort of thing.

I sat through most of the last Van Halen concert we went to cringing because the sound guy was just so bad...

(It turns out that Upstaging did the tech for Van Halen, so Slayer knows who did sound - he said that they're not that good. And one of the guys who started in Operations at Fermilab (my group) knows them as well, since his uncle turns out to be one of the owners of Upstaging - small world!)