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Why would two Beatles sing into one mic live?
Old 9th February 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
guitargodmiles's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Why would two Beatles sing into one mic live?

Was there just not enough inputs on their pa systems at the time? I'm betting it was something like that but am just curious. I've been watching the complete anthology in its entirety (finally in sequence instead of pieces on tv in the 90's) and see this a lot. Any info would be helpful, thanks!
Old 9th February 2014
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Also, consider that there were no stage monitors in the early days and it was easier to harmonize that way. Plus it looked cool.

I think at some point they used a Vocal Master for side fills but still, even with the 'Anti Feedback' switch engaged it was not ideal!
Old 9th February 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Lack of gear, showmanship, being able to better harmonize and balance volumes (Bluegrass continues to form a semi circle around a single mic), take your pick.
Old 9th February 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
looks better, looks cool. and the Beatles live ... come on, its not their fault, it was the times, but you dont really expect a profunded live-performance of a rock-n-roll-band in the early/mid 60ies!? :-)

they were young, they needed the money. :-)
Old 9th February 2014
  #5
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doorknocker's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles ➑️
Was there just not enough inputs on their pa systems at the time? I'm betting it was something like that but am just curious. I've been watching the complete anthology in its entirety (finally in sequence instead of pieces on tv in the 90's) and see this a lot. Any info would be helpful, thanks!
How do you think The Beatles or The Beach Boys developed their outstanding vocal harmony blend? By sitting in a room and practicing their booty off with an acoustic guitar or piano.

There's more to it than 'we don't have enough channels for seperate mics' as the same principle was also later used for say the Bee Gees or Crosby, Stills and Nash. The vocal blend you get when a microphone captures more than one voice totally different than using say 3 channels/tracks and then blending it back together.



This doesn't mean that it was always done like this but to this days there are many situations where this is the best approach the same way that using just one or two mics can capture a super-fat drum sound.....IF the musicians can do it which is a whole other discussion.
Old 9th February 2014
  #6
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
So that all the screaming girls could focus on Paul AND John at the same time! Ultimate 60's teenage female threesome fantasy! Lol
Old 9th February 2014
  #7
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🎧 15 years
I still do most of my harmonies this way. If you have to set up different mics for each singer you may as well track each part on it's own. Also with multiple singers on the same mic, stacking gives you wonderful results.
Old 9th February 2014 | Show parent
  #8
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Brian Campbell's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think it was Bill Porter who said, "Air mixes better than any console".
Old 9th February 2014 | Show parent
  #9
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lemonsquash's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwiz ➑️
I think it was Bill Porter who said, "Air mixes better than any console".
Quote of the day
Old 9th February 2014 | Show parent
  #10
Deleted 1846071
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwiz ➑️
I think it was Bill Porter who said, "Air mixes better than any console".
Yeah but Steven Slate has a new air emulator coming out, and you can't tell the difference between it and the real thing.
Old 9th February 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles ➑️
Was there just not enough inputs on their pa systems at the time? I'm betting it was something like that but am just curious. I've been watching the complete anthology in its entirety (finally in sequence instead of pieces on tv in the 90's) and see this a lot. Any info would be helpful, thanks!
I dare say its formed from early habit. George would not have been on the mic much and it would not have warranted another mic, especially if it was just stood there. Plus they took advantage of the symmetry...easy for George to just sidle up and sing. Of course once the shaking mop tops started getting screams that consolidated it. Like Lennon said,...they never had an act
Old 9th February 2014
  #12
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
They shared mics on stage so they could hear each other.

Their stage was set up very democratically, with the two 'leaders' on either side, and the lead guitarist in the middle. George didn't get a microphone in the center because standing center with a mic makes you look like the leader, and since George sang mostly harmonies live (post Hamburg), again, they could hear each other and blend their voices if they'll shared a mic.

Incidentally, the only time they varied from that format was the rooftop performance in 1969. Apparently Paul, George and Ringo schemed it up at the last minute to keep Yoko away from John in the film, knowing that John would be flattered to be in the middle position as 'leader'. Apparently Yoko didn't realize what was happening until they started playing, which is why she's sitting next to George, where John would have been in their standard formation.
Old 9th February 2014
  #13
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles ➑️
Why would two Beatles sing into one mic live?
For simplicity. For showmanship vibe. To increase cathartic interaction between the singers to propel the emotion stronger to the audience. Live is live and has different needs than a studio situation.
Old 10th February 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Why does Aerosmith do it? They've got as many mics as they need..

Now, if the Beatles had sung into 3 or 4 different mics each, simultaneously, that would be a high end question..
Old 10th February 2014
  #15
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Didn't some sing into a can ?
Old 12th February 2014
  #16
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Virgil's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I guess to have a blend of the backing vocals (Paul and George when John sang lead), or a two lead part (John and Paul in Ticket to ride, Baby's in Black). Plus, Paul has said that they liked singing two at one mike, he being left handed. It looked cool.
Old 12th February 2014
  #17
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Tinderwet's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
It's all about the breath.
Old 12th February 2014
  #18
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There's an interesting thing that happens when people sing into their own mic. It changes how the musician listens... to the room, the other singers, the balance, the blend, pitch, etc. Individually mic'd, singers will try harder to listen to themselves as opposed to the other singers. This usually results in a lesser performance.
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