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Faking it on drums?


tatudbassman

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I just watched the re-run of Ashley Simpson on SNL. I've been wondering for years how drummers "fake it" when the band is "lip synching" on TV. I know some drummers like using pads on the inside of their toms etc...alot of the drummers I've worked with don't care for them though. What does get me is, the cymbals! Curiosity killed the cat.

 

Thanks,

p.s. I'm back...anyone heard from Greenboy?

Vince

 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso

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Most hilarious rebellion of the 'lip-synch' experience I've ever seen was by Alan Jackson's drummer at the ACM Awards many years ago (where it seems all performers are pretty much 'forced' to lip synch).

 

The drummer took the stage with NO DRUMSTICKS. Sitting right behind Alan, all you could see was a big Cheshire-Cat looking grin on his face as he 'air-drummed' the whole bit -- cymbal crashes and all -- with his empty, closed fists.

 

Apparently he wanted to send a message to the producers of the show and their 'lip-synch only' mentality.

 

(NOTE: The ACM's are produced by Dick Clark's production co., the same one that brings us the overly-cheezy American Music Awards. Please dont confuse the ACM's with the CMA's, which is the legit deal, origniated in Nashville and allowing their performers to actually sing thier songs.)

"Women and rhythm section first" -- JFP
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Originally posted by bottle12am:

The drummer took the stage with NO DRUMSTICKS. Sitting right behind Alan, all you could see was a big Cheshire-Cat looking grin on his face as he 'air-drummed' the whole bit -- cymbal crashes and all -- with his empty, closed fists.

 

 

No...no....... :mad:

"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players..."

--Rush, "Limelight"

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Lip-synching just weirds me out. I don't see how musicians/artists let "producers" dictate what to do. I guess when you need the money/publicity you'll do things you don't like? Hurray for Alan Jackson's drummer! PLASTIC CYMBALS...NOOOOO!? Is it April? Last night I was explaining to family members about the award shows, because they just don't realize that the musicans aren't really playing (they can't tell). I had to teach them about some of the "little" things, that give it away. Lip-synching just SUCKS! There I got it off my chest, after decades!

Vince

 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso

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Originally posted by bottle12am:

Most hilarious rebellion of the 'lip-synch' experience I've ever seen was . . .

Great story. Reminded me of a 1979ish re-run of Johnny Cougar (John Mellencamp) on American Bandstand - another cheesy Dick Clark show. John had a 12-string, the bassist had an URB, the drummer had only a snare and one crash (no kick), and the lead guitar player had a ukulele.

 

Of course, none of those instruments were really in the recording. I wonder if Dick noticed.

Ah, nice marmot.
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haha, i just saw that re-run of SNL as well. funny stuff.

 

what made me laugh more was the grin of the guitarist to the bassist as she walked off stage, lol.

 

now see, i thought that ashlee simpson lip-synched, but the band played live? if that were the case, then the drums wouldn't have to be changed?

 

 

humm, i'm glad that most of the music i listen to is to "Rock" to be put on Award shows.

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

now see, i thought that ashlee simpson lip-synched, but the band played live? if that were the case, then the drums wouldn't have to be changed?

I think it would be too hard to sync that up. A vocalist usually follows the music rather then the other way around.
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I guess the crowd has to be in on it as well. If we think back to that one hit wonder show that was on NBC, everything that was sung was lip synched...even the bass guitar solo. I was sooo upset.

 

jason

2cor5:21

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One celebrated case was the Who on a defunct BBC program called "The Old Grey Whistle Test". The song had a fairly standard beat/drum part, but Keith was going completely bonkers hitting everything and leaning over his kit. Really surreal. At the time it was something to do with the Musicians Union, but these days is there any excuse that justifies it?
"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I think I saw Iron Maiden do something similar on Top Of The Pops years back when they were supposed to "play" Wasted Years. They were all switching instruments and mics throughout the song. It was pretty funny!

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by Davo-London:

...At the time it was something to do with the Musicians Union, but these days is there any excuse that justifies it?

It's a good way for the networks/producers/sponsors to be sure that the record the fans like and want to hear will be the one on the program, as well as guaranteeing no language infractions, on-air mistakes, or running over (or short) on time, which could throw off program flow, programming clocks, and, possibly, commercial placements. And we can't have that.

 

Additionally, it makes the jobs of stagehands, gaffers, riggers, engineers, etc. lots easier.

 

There are other reasons, too. :)

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yea, JeremyC...it's just an excuse! Why can't they just tape the performers, and then edit if needed (they do it anyway)? Gosh my 9 year old can edit digital audio/visual files!

Vince

 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso

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A couple of even better stories:

When Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention went on Bandstand (or some teenybopper show) to play the "hit" "Who Are The Brain Police?" the band was supposed to "lip synch their hit." Well, you know FZ wasn't havin' that... so he suggested that each band member choose a repeatable physical action to do onstage... obviously, the band members' actions had very little to do with playing their instruments.

They were not asked back on the show.

 

When Fishbone was a new band, someone very erroneously decided that an all-black band should probably be booked on Soul Train... where the band would (you guessed it) "lip synch their hit." Fishbone was also not havin' that, so taking a page from the FZ book and mixing it with The Who, they just set up their gear all over the stage and basically flipped the hell out for four minutes.

 

Don Cornelious was aghast.

I hate lip synching.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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OH MAN..soul train. The show that i always hated because it signified the end of saturday morning cartoons.

 

I always wondered why the performances always ended with applause as opposed to ending on some sort of hit and why no one in the audience was clapping even though they played audio of thunderous applause.

 

jason

2cor5:21

Soli Deo Gloria

 

"it's the beauty of a community. it takes a village to raise a[n] [LLroomtempJ]." -robb

 

My YouTube Channel

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

It's pretty hard to get a good sound mix on a tv show given the time constraints and the kind of equipment they use.

 

But that's just an excuse.

 

Shows that feature music should be prepared to actually present live music.

It's a money and time issue, make no mistake about that. There are a number of shows that regularly have live performances. Saturday Night Live is one of them, despite the horrific Ashley Simpson incident.

 

SNL actually has a number of audio engineers working the show. There's one mixing position specifically for the FOH sound that serves the audience. Another engineer is mixing the house band as well as that week's musical guest. There's also a monitor mixer who handles the onstage sound, too. Then there's another engineer who's handling the entirety of the show, taking the output of the music mix and he mixes the show down to a stereo or sometimes a 4 track mix. Bear in mind that these guys also have several days usually to set up for one show, and they don't share that studio with other productions.

 

Most television studios only have two guys working on audio. One guy handles the show's mix, sends to the talent called IFB's and may even take phone calls while there's someone on the studio floor who takes care of putting microphones on the talent. If a musical act is going to come in, most often an outside sound company is going to accompany them to handle their sound. After all, a lot of television operations can't afford to have a team of some 6 - 10 audio personnel working on a show that's only going to last for half and hour once a week. It's that kind of money decision that drives television producers to ask performers to lip-sync.

 

When my network occassionally has musical guests it's a major production. Typically , they come on around 7 or 8 AM eastern time. They'll usually load in around 1 AM and they'll be setting up all through the overnight up until about 6 AM. All too often it's a country act, although Levon Helm's band played once and so did Dwight Yokum. They were actually decent, but pretty damn loud for a tv studio.

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CMDN - I didn't know that about The Mothers and "Brain Police". You triggered a memory of me seeing the Dick Cavett show in the early 70s, where Zappa said that "Brain Police" was an important song that just didn't do itself justice musically. They played it (live) with a completely different - more funky - arrangement. It was great!

 

I was clicking through the channels recently when I saw a show about Ashley that described the struggle she's had since the "incident". Apparently her voice isn't that awful, but nobody wants to deal with her... In some way I'm a bit sympathetic, given some of the bad lip-syncing that has gone on throughout history.

 

Tom

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Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Even Aretha Franklin lip-synched the National Anthem at a sports event last year.

 

Ashley's problem was not merely that she was caught lip-synching, it was that she had so little stage experience that she did not have a clue about what to do if something goes wrong.

 

Even my 15 year old students know what to do to cover for a mistake.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

I was clicking through the channels recently when I saw a show about Ashley that described the struggle she's had since the "incident". Apparently her voice isn't that awful, but nobody wants to deal with her... In some way I'm a bit sympathetic, given some of the bad lip-syncing that has gone on throughout history.

 

Tom

I've heard her sing *relatively* well. The thing is that after she screwed up on SNL, she was forced into singing live at a couple of major events. One was an awards show and the other was a college football bowl game. She laid an egg on both of those occasions and got soundly booed.

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Hey, I lip-synched on a video that my Motown band made to try to get work.

 

The expense of doing live sound along with the video was too much for us to handle.

 

The video looked much cleaner without cables and speakers all over the place.

 

We lip-synched to our demo tape while we were being taped. Not one person who watched the tape ever seemed to notice that we were lip-synching.

 

No one booked us based on the video demo. They'd watch it and say, "You guys sound good, where can we hear you live?" :cry:

 

And we've had the same comment after people come to one of our rehearsals. :confused:

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When my network occassionally has musical guests it's a major production.
hmm, what network do you work for?

 

...back to lip snyching:

 

on the NBC's "Rockstar INXS" all of the stage monitors have "SLS", which, most of us can easily figure out that it's some company contracted for the show.

 

the thing is, the stage has monitors all over the place: two for lead guitarist, one for bassist, two more for keyboard and rythm guitar, about 6 or so for the singer, and who knows how many more for the drummer and backstage.

 

the thing that gets me is: why the hell don't they just use In-ear monitors????

 

another thing that makes me wonder: i've never heard any mic vs. monitors feedback at all? even when the singer is pretty close to all those monitors?

:confused:

 

all this talk of lip synching has got me thanking god for sh!tty live singers; atleast you know when they're faking it. :D

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

When my network occassionally has musical guests it's a major production.
hmm, what network do you work for?

 

Now that would be breaking one of the Cardinal Rules of the internet: don't give out too much personal information. Sorry, BGO!

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