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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Miming will be the death of live music performance - Telegraph

    The pop superstar Beyoncé’s appearance at President Obama’s second inauguration was immediately declared a rip-roaring success, an outstanding, nuanced, soulful and contemporary delivery of America’s hard-to-sing, two-octave-spanning national anthem. Such a bravura performance from a modern R&B icon certainly reflected well on the hippest president in history, as well as helping to return Beyoncé to the public eye on her post-maternity comeback. Only one little detail may come to haunt them both: the accusation from members of her Marine Corps backing band that she was miming.

    Frankly, it is hard to tell from the footage. Beyoncé performs with a great big furry microphone obscuring her mouth, but her body language is that of a singer in full flow, down to the flamboyant discarding of her in-ear monitor as she goes for the big notes. The silence from Beyoncé’s camp regarding the accusations is, at the time of writing, deafening.

    Maybe she doesn’t feel she needs to justify her use of pre-recorded vocals in a live setting. After all, everybody else does it. Or at least that is sometimes how it seems. It is an increasingly common experience at so-called live gigs to find almost every element has been recorded in advance, from the backing track to the lead vocal. Indeed, in the dance pop arena, little is done any more to disguise this. Stars such as Madonna and Rihanna routinely lip-sync to pre-recorded vocals, the excuse being that otherwise they would be too out of breath to perform the extravagantly choreographed routines at the heart of their shows. The notoriously vocally challenged Britney Spears doesn’t even bother taking musicians on tour, preferring to blow her budget on dancers. The reason she prefers miming becomes obvious during the one spot where she sits down, takes a deep breath and attempts to sing, warbling weakly through a ballad, voice veering from flat to sharp with little control.

    Britney is a star of the Auto-Tune generation, whose career has been hugely dependent on technology that enables any vocal to be tweaked until it is perfectly in tune. Such is Auto-Tune’s prevalence in modern pop, audiences are being trained to expect perfection, and the only way many singers can confidently deliver that is to shift the technology from studio to stage. Britney’s next album release, ironically, is Live in Miami, which may be the first live album where the only actual live bit is the audience’s applause.

    We live in an age when technology is undermining the profitability of recorded music. Yet the one area of the business that’s flourishing is live events. People go to gigs to experience something you can never get on record: contact with a musician. It is the last analogue space in a digital age. Audiences would be shocked to learn how much of the live shows they are paying money to see are not really live at all. You might expect Cheryl Cole to make extensive use of playback, but what about a country and western legend? Margo Buchanan, a top British backing singer, left a 2011 Dolly Parton show incensed at the extent of miming of vocals and instrumental solos. She described it as “artistically dishonest and unfair to musicians who work hard at perfecting their craft”, but her attempts to get the Musicians’ Union involved in lobbying to control the practice fell on deaf ears.

    And maybe that is the problem. Maybe we really are deaf to talent or, at least, the technology of enhancing human performance has progressed so much that even great singers are being driven to cheat. There is no doubt that Beyoncé is a fabulous singer, whose career has been built on powerhouse, pyrotechnical, gospel-flavoured vocals. Her alleged preference for using the safety net of a recording to fake something she is perfectly capable of doing herself indicates either an unlikely timidity or a profound cynicism.

    It is much easier to capture a perfect vocal in the studio, when you can edit together the best parts of different takes, add all kinds of attractive echo and compression, and subtly tweak anything that doesn’t quite hit the spot. Doing the same thing live, in front of an audience, is the real high-wire act. The possibility that something might go wrong not only gives the performance an edge but drives artists to even greater heights. Time and again I have heard singers talk about transcendent moments that occur live, when the holy spirit comes down and they hit notes they didn’t even know they had in them. That is the live contract.

    Beyoncé’s use of a pre-recording – if true – would be an insult not only to her audience but to every singer who ever had to perform The Star-Spangled Banner on stage. It might have been the greatest performance of her career. But if audiences start to believe that not even live is live any more, gig attendance could find itself plunging down the same black hole as the rest of the music business.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/m...rformance.html
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.15.17 @ 05:14 PM
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    I used to have a real problem with pre-recorded anything during a live performance. When Eddie stopped playing keys live I got all bent out of shape. We all knew he could do it. Lazy fuck.

    It is situational now. With someone like Devin Townsend who's albums are produced with layers and layers of instruments, ambient noises, vocals, etc., it would cost a fortune for him to try and duplicate that with live performers. He doesn't have that kind of money, so I don't mind him using pre-recorded backing tracks live. He uses a ton, too.

    However, I would never want to watch a performance by anyone where the entire thing was mimed. What is the point? And how can the artist not feel like a complete douche? "I'm not sure I'm professional enough to do this, so I'm just going to fake it." Seriously, it is your only job! If you can't do your job, why are you there?

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    Roger Waters admitted to using some "off-stage help" during his big tour of The Wall.

    That's when I became okay with it.
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

    "He was born a human, he's a horse's ass by proxy." - It's Mike on Eddymon.

  4. #4
    Eruption Legend of Roth's Avatar
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    11.06.14 @ 04:19 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    The notoriously vocally challenged Britney Spears doesn’t even bother taking musicians on tour, preferring to blow her budget on dancers. The reason she prefers miming becomes obvious during the one spot where she sits down, takes a deep breath and attempts to sing, warbling weakly through a ballad, voice veering from flat to sharp with little control.

    Britney is a star of the Auto-Tune generation, whose career has been hugely dependent on technology that enables any vocal to be tweaked until it is perfectly in tune. Such is Auto-Tune’s prevalence in modern pop, audiences are being trained to expect perfection, and the only way many singers can confidently deliver that is to shift the technology from studio to stage. Britney’s next album release, ironically, is Live in Miami, which may be the first live album where the only actual live bit is the audience’s applause.
    This right here is what is wrong with the music biz today. Who needs talented musicians when they can sell the sex appeal. It's no wonder hard rock or rock music is on life support. Want to know why? This here! The younger generation today eats this shit up. The music industry today is so focused on the Britneys, Beibers and the Niki Minajs and other talentless hacks out there. Who gives a flying fuck if they are talented... we can sell these images to the kids and use all the studio magic to make them sound like they can sing and make a ton of money doing it.
    Last edited by Legend of Roth; 01.23.13 at 11:45 PM.
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  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    Lame

    Growing up I remember seeing bands/artists doing promos on TV in the 70's and early 80's lip syncing badly to their recorded music. You would see it all the time on shows like Soul Train, American Bandstand etc. That was common at the time and everyone knew they weren't playing live. I think there was still novelty in seeing these acts on TV so it was accepted as a promotional appearance. That is different imo. Lame, cheesy but ok for the time. Everyone knew what was going on.

    I see this inauguration Beyonce thing very differently though and don't like it. Why have someone appear to sing at an historical event like this if they don't sing live? Just to see them lip syncing? It's just a good thing that they were standing there going through the motions, actually singing is secondary?
    Politics aside this is the President of the USA. If an actual human being is hired to sing shouldn't it be genuine and live? Lip syncing, really? I'm quite shocked and slightly disgusted by not only this happening but with people thinking it's kosher. She pulled her ear monitor out like it was messing with her performance. She tried to really act it out. What a load of corporate artist bullshit. lol Terrible.

    I strongly disagree with the mentality behind this.

    If you are playing a pre recorded track why lip sync at an event like this and act it out at all? why?

    Can someone explain that to me?

    shit. Bring a childrens choir up there to sing their hearts out and truly inspire people instead of these bloated corporate artists.

    I get why someone like Roger Waters or any touring band that has a big production or tunes with tons of layers has some stuff accompanying the live performances. I don't have issue with that as long as the band/artists are doing their part live.

    If people can't pull it off live they shouldn't accept these gigs. It's an insult to the public and to musicians in general imo.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    You can't call yourself a great singer if you can't pull it off live. Supremo lame.

    She should be embarassed. I am sure her Super Bowl performance will be lip synced as well.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Remember this?

     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    01.13.16 @ 05:43 PM
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    The death of live music performance? More like the death of auto-tune and lip-synching.

    I think the author underestimates the audience. Popular music comes in trends and waves. As all the lip-synching and auto-tune madness is running its course, people will eventually grow tired of it and want something much different. The fact that its "pop" mostly suffering from this blatant fakeness almost guarantees that its lifespan is limited. It's insulting to generations of musicians to think that somehow Beyonce or Britney Spears are forecasting the permanent future of live music just because they fake it and are still popular now.
    Staying Frosty

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    To me there are two different levels to this problem.

    1. There is the very real problem that many of today's "stars" are not really the singers that people think they are and therefore have to have help in concert (and even in the studio, often singing over a guide vocal track). Plus, there is that whole thing about the dancing routines. Some of those singers may be able to do a pretty good job if they weren't exhausting themselves physically at the same time but they can't do both.

    2. But I don't think enough people realize how many public events are staged this way now even if the performers are good enough to do it for real. The Super Bowl, The Olympics, the inauguration, all of these things that have everybody watching and have had tons of money put into them are handled this way intentionally because there are no do-overs. Even if the performers can do it for real the people in charge do not want any chance of a broken string, equipment failure, ambient noise in the mic, etc. to make anything less than perfect.

    Rush was invited to play the Olympics in Canada a few years ago and declined for this very reason, they were told that every performer would be required to mime their performance so that everything was perfect:

    When asked why RUSH was not involved at all with the Vancouver Olympics, which took place in February, Lee said, "Yeah, well, we had an opportunity to play, but there were all kinds of crazy rules going on about lip-synching and stuff like that. That's just not our bag, man."

    http://www.blabbermouth.net/news.asp...sitemID=139303



    So basically sometimes it's done to help the artist and other times it's done in spite of the artist.

  11. #11
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    Who gives a shit.

    Even if it was pre-recorded and lip synced, she still over enunciated the song just like every other stupid diva from her generation and genre. It sounded like shit, but I'm sure Mr. & Mrs. Obama thought it was simply incredible.

    Last edited by Number 47; 01.24.13 at 07:31 AM.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Ok, some of you have heard my singing, and I SUCK, and even I sing the damn thing live when I do it, a cappella at that.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

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  13. #13
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    The little dude from Dark Knight Rises.


 

 

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