Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Does Saturday Night Live Sound So Bad?

Specifically I mean the musical performances. They are way uneven.
Why did Jack White's band(s) sound so godawful? Same instrumentation, two different sets of players, no violin or bass to be found anywhere.
I mean, OK, so the violin isn't as loud as (say) a trombone or glockenspiel. But this violin has a freakin' pickup on it. For broadcast that means it can be mixed at any volume you want.

Word on the street is that the reality of the quality of the mix on SNL is that the sound mixer sort of decides whether you're going to sound good or bad based on how much you're liked. Bands and artists who are friends of Lorne Michaels are specifically given the "good" treatment.
Now, honestly that word is about 15 years old. And SNL has gotten much better (especially from the days of only hearing the vocal mic.)
But seriously, where is the violin?
And where's the bass?
Is there just some sort of prejudice against bowed instruments going on?
The vocals are well-placed and the floor tom sounds pretty good though.

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