First it was Yo-Yo Ma at the Inauguration.
Then it was Jennifer Hudson at the Superbowl.
Now comes the word that even though Bruce’s vocals we’re live, the E Street Band’s music was all on tape!
“The Super Bowl performances are all on tape,” said Hank Neuberger, a Grammy winning producer who is supervisor of the broadcast audio for the Grammy Awards telecast. Minor is music director of the Grammys in addition to his duties as producer of the pre-game entertainment at the Super Bowl.
Neuberger said not only Hudson and Hill recorded their performances in advance, but so did halftime performers Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Only Springsteen’s vocals were live, he said.
“There is no way you can set up a full band in five minutes with microphones, get all the settings right, and expect to get quality sound,” Neuberger said. “The Super Bowl has been doing that for years with virtually all the bands.”
Still, what about alerting viewers that portions of a broadcast have been pre-recorded if backing tapes are being used? Live sound mixers say the practice is so commonplace that such disclaimers aren’t necessary.
“C’mon, it’s a given,” Neuberger said. “Television and music are not always a happy marriage. It’s hard to present music of the highest quality on television, and you want the audience to hear an artist at their best. It’s not like anybody paid to see Milli Vanilli sing, and found out later they aren’t even on the recording, let along singing on stage.”