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Sound Issues Make 2012 Oscars Uncomfortable

Microphone feedback heard during Oscars presentations

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  • mark

    I heard it throughout the entire show and it drove me crazy….. hard to listen to. I am in the live audio business and there is NO EXCUSE why they didn’t fix it. I can understand coming out of the gate (actually on this event I can’t) but after the initial problem they should have fixed it immediately… Ruined my night watching it cuz my ears are so sensitive to that. I knew what needed to be done to fix it but sat there and had to be abused all night……….NO EXCUSE!!!

  • JC

    When I started hearing the high pitch, first I thought it was high frequency ringing of the standing mic. And I was like: “Why are the engineers not fixing this!” But then I noticed it on the wireless mics and on the audience mics, too.
    Paying closer attention, it was not mic-to-speaker feedback. The overtones were at the end of the phrasing.
    I checked with a broadcast engineer friend of mine and he mentioned it was aliasing. Now that made a lot of sense, the analog to digital converters on the equipment they were using had either cheap anti-aliasing filters or they were overloaded, this creates those annoying high frequency overtones we were hearing.
    To learn about the subject, I found:
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan06/articles/qa0106_2.htm

  • JC

    As Mark said above, I thought the same thing at first: why didn’t they fix it during commercials?
    But when I learned about the aliasing, the above statement sounds easier said than done. Since all the digital equipment is synched and clocked, it would be a risk to pull out a machine and lose it’s clocking, that could crash some software (i.e. ProTools) and not be able to come back from commercials for a while…

    One more thing is that, we may be able to tell that annoying high frequency on material recorded by fans at home and posted on youtube, than those used by public media, since it is likely the later gets a split signal, coming off from a different device that was not producing the issue like the live transmission did.

  • soundu

    I found it incredible all the way around. In the opening, the TV sound
    mixer had the orchestra way too loud and Billy way too low.

    The feedback heard? Don’t blame the TV truck sound guy on that one.
    The same guy did this that has done FOH audio for it for years, Pat Batzell. Hard to throw stones at the guy without knowing the true story, but either there was some unknown equipment failure, or this dude just lost it. Far as i know the PA was from ATK.

    Maybe Kodak stole some of the audio gear when they took the name
    off the building…

  • Anton duFluer

    I have been a sound engineers for years and i have never heard such terrible sound on an event like this.. So shocking because with digital sounds there is NO excuse for this mess up. I would expect to be fired for such poor poor workmanship ..

  • Anton duFluer

    As for the above comment (not to blame the FOH) have the sound company never thought of carrying spare feedback suppression ? or just use parametric eq like the old days.. Over a show the length of this one, there was ample time to correct such an issue…

  • Max Schnorf

    Turn to the Holy Grail of Sound Mixers next show. Wouldn’t it have been appropriate to have had Steve Cantamessa mix in honor of his late father, another Sound Mix Oscar winner, Gene Cantamessa, honored during the Memoriam segment?

  • everett possum

    The only comment that should be made is that the sound was horrible. Blame should not be laid at the event sound peoples’ feet as the problem most likely occurred at the broadcasters’ end. Hopefully, there will be a full debriefing so all can learn. There was no problem with the sound at the event nor with the feeds leaving the event.

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