Jump to content

Even Better Than The Real Thing?

Recommended Posts

I'm what can generally be described as a realist, but more often considered a cynical bastard. Working in the media does that to a guy - you see how images are manipulated, how easy it is to alter a story, and how eager the audience is to believe it.

Maybe you were one of the 96 million views for the 1-guitar cover of "Somebody That I Used To Know." I was mesmerized by this clip, and didn't consider that the audio was faked in a studio until a musician friend told me that there's no way you can sound like that live - the most obvious indicator is the vocal sound, which you can't get with microphones a few feet away.

There's a video that breaks this down. It has about 3 times as many dislikes as likes despite making a clear and considerable case for why it's a lip-sync:


The dominant reaction here is "Sure, it might be faked, but why are you crapping on something I like." It's the same response you would get to someone trying to disprove the tooth fairy.

I assume that everything is faked, but didn't think about it when I watched the video. The group did perform the song live on Ellen, and although it didn't sound the same, it was still 5 people playing one guitar doing a killer version of a great song.

I appreciate the effort these guys made to produce the song in the studio and sync it up so convincingly for the video. Production and editing are time-consuming and expensive, but create a better product, and I'm all for it. Maybe that's why it never bothered me that Whitney Houston lip-synced the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

How do you feel about all this faking?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like faking anything. Why not just lip-sync and play air-guitars when going on tour? The band can sit in lawn chairs up on the stage and just listen along with the crowd as their albums are played back.

Any form of faking is fraudulent and a misrepresentation of oneself. :mad:

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I look at a "real" live performance like this one at a German radio station, then all of this seems to my non-professional view not as "faking", but more like "sugar coating" their performance. It should really be clear that they can indeed perform this song with five persons on one guitar and do it very well too. Okay, so their original video didn't feature microphones directly in front of their faces and maybe some post production polishing, but compared to pretty much every song in the current Top Ten of the charts that's done on such a low level...

And what would be the alternative anyway? From now on all albums should only be produced live from one take and feature no production at all? And all music videos should be uncut live performances as well?

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Live" doesn't exist on tape or mp3 or whatever. It's fixed, enhanced and produced. Otherwise it is a really bad sound, the one you get through the speakers on TV or computer isn't the same than the one you get in a live show (though they also have speakers there)

Lyp-synch has been done ever since TV exists, and promo clips. The aim is to get a nice little film with a cool sound so we can imagine it's them playing live. Just imagine. We know it's not.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

The only true "live" performance that can exist is one where it's just you and the artist in your living room, and they're doing it a capella. That way you're guaranteed no playback, no post-production wizardry, no lip-synching. Unless that's happening, something is going on behind the scenes to make the performance the best it can be. Whether it's tracked instruments, background vocals, microphone effects, whatever....it's enhancing what you're seeing/hearing.

The only thing I can really see people getting annoyed with is artists who lip-sync on stage, and there's NO live element to anything vocally. Otherwise, just enjoy what you're watching and quit worrying about the details.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...