May 11, 2021

Grammy’s: Worst sound yet

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By Paul McGowan PS Audio

The 2017 Grammys was by far the worst sound quality yet, and not just by a little.

I record the Grammys each year so we can watch them later, skipping the commercials. It wasn’t until last night we cranked up the system in the home theater and settled in for an evening of “live performances”. I was very disappointed. Music was compressed, over-limited, bass shy. Not as bad as Sirrus Radio, but close.

Last year was entirely different from a quality audio standpoint.

As disappointed as I was with the audio quality, I am in awe of what these 200 plus people on the audio recording side are trying to pull off. Theirs is an impossible task, moving smoothly between the many live acts. I am always impressed there are as few errors as there are: a microphone that doesn’t function, the wrong levels, etc. Completely understandable.

What isn’t understandable is failing to achieve good sound. One would hope the audio quality would improve year after year, not the opposite.

The Grammy’s is supposed to be the gold standard. It is the most difficult and demanding live recording gig in the world.

They pulled off everything except what really matters to us, the final product, and that is a shame.


Related story:

Grammys Plagued by Tech Issues: ‘Sound Guy Better Be Updating His LinkedIn’

By Matt Donnelly From The Wrap

Metallica, Katy Perry and Adele hit snags as social media goes hard on tech team

For a show touted as music’s biggest night, the 59th Grammy Awards had some significant sound and performance issues throughout the live show — and people on social media had some strong words for the tech team.

The problems started with the opening number by Adele, the Grammy winner for Song of the Year who struggled through her vocally demanding hit “Hello.” It seemed as though she couldn’t hear herself, and it sounded like the show’s producers played the audio from the auditorium rather than from her microphone.

Later, Katy Perry struggled through her new single “Chained to the Rhythm,” pressing her finger to her ear before she was drowned out by her own backing track. Metallica and Lady Gaga’s performance went off the rails completely, as rocker James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work at all during an awkward and silent first verse.

Also Read:
Adele Re-Starts Shaky George Michael Tribute: ‘I Can’t F– This Up For Him’

Following the rock debacle, Adele came back to pay tribute to the late George Michael with a version of his song “Fast Love” — a performance she halted and started over again, presumably because she was off key and a few steps behind the orchestra that accompanied her.

Representatives for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Fans watching the show at home certainly took notice.

“The Grammy’s sound tech needs to be fired,” wrote Twitter user @manthapie. Another suggested that the engineer (if there is indeed one lead engineer) should “update his Linkedin immediately,” calling the ceremony “a disaster.”

In reference to a joke made by show host James Corden about the low-quality folding chairs in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, another user tweeted, “the chairs are better than the sound quality.”

To see more spirited critiques of sound at the Grammy awards go to web link below.

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