Sound Fail at Academy Awards

Updated On
21-Jun-2013
By
Ken Theriot

FeedbackSound fail at Academy Awards (2012) - I don't know if I am just over sensitive to it but I could barely stand to watch the Oscars last night due to the terrible audio. The ringing feedback from the PA system was constant. Plus, from the very start the mix was poor between vocal and orchestra. I could barely hear Billy Crystal's lyrics over the music, and the announcements about a winner as they walked up to the music were also barely audible.

I think the two problems were related.  Perhaps they realized that the system amplifying the vocals was not doing the job so they bumped the gain there (you HAVE to be able to hear the people speaking at the Oscars), only to cause things to become unbalanced (in a mixing sense, not an electronic signal sense), causing feedback.

I used to play in a small band in the same room that seemed to want to feedback at certain specific frequencies.  Rather than turn the entire PA down at the master volume control ( a mistake MANY people make) until the screeching goes away, we attached an EQ unit and only turned down the offending frequencies.  That helped a lot, allowing us to continue at the same overall volume without ripping your ears out.  However, doing it that way did result in a sort of "ghost feedback" that  sounded like a sort of ringing at the edges of the sound.  That is exactly what that sounded like last night in the Oscars' audio system.  I have not proof that it was that, but that's my guess.

What did y'all think? What do you think caused the problem?  Please leave a comment below.

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