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Is TSO it's own tribute band?
(12-09-2015, 10:03 AM)danfromnj Wrote:
(12-09-2015, 09:09 AM)sundance7490 Wrote: Thank you for being so insightful about these things danfromnj. You are wonderful.
One real quick note though (just for trivia's sake Angel ) as a violinist I can assure you it is actually Roddy, or in my "west-coast" case Asha, playing that lead cello part on their violin for Sarajevo. The kind of violins they have are 5-string Yamahas. On a regular violin they only have four strings but the five string goes as deep as a cello (and a viola) goes necessary to hit the notes the cello normally plays on that song. I listened close to Asha just to "disprove" my wondering mind and she very clearly played that part but moving her bow back and forth four times during the long notes that are held out.

And for many years, many fans thought that the flute sound they heard was coming from the performer playing the flute on stage.  It's all perception.  I am well aware of the Yamahas that they use on stage. and the low C String as the fifth string.  I never said they weren't "moving the bow back and forth" and "playing",  just that the sound we are hearing is coming from the keys.   But again, it's all perception.

Big Asha Mevlana fan, by the way.  She is a killer player - I enjoy her playing especially when she plays one of Mark Wood's vipers.

I actually asked her when she might be bringing her Viper back because it made her look sassy. She laughed and said she's trying to bring it back but Angus Clark doesn't like it and even has a name for it but wouldn't tell me what it was because apparently it was too obscene a thing to say in front of the crowd haha.
As someone that has seen every tour except 2011, (I couldn't bring myself to go that year, as my Wife passed away and TSO was one of our traditions) this is a very interesting topic for me. It used to really bother me when I wasn't hearing the same people that I heard on the very first tour. To me, it was like Sammy Clichegar singing David Lee Roth era Van Halen songs. Once they split into two touring groups, I realized it was something I was going to have to live with, and I was just going to have to accept the fact that I might not hear the person sing the song that sang it on the first tour. In fact, I might not even hear the same guy that sang it the previous year. I realize my Clichegar/Roth comparison is extreme, as Clichegar never sounded anything like Roth, and Paul does a very good job of bringing in performers that sound very similar to the "original".

I have bootlegs of the earlier tours, but I really wish Paul would have captured the very first tour, on video. I would love an official DVD of one of those shows. I'd pay good money for a box set of earlier shows, as well as newer shows featuring both touring groups. I have yet to see the "West" group, since they split it into East and West. Every year I threaten to go to an East and a West show, but never get around to it.
(12-09-2015, 06:20 AM)danfromnj Wrote: Wow.  Lots of interesting topics here!

First, in regard to the violinist and strings - the majority of what we are actually hearing in terms of string sounds is coming from the keyboards. Are the electric violinists actually playing? Yes - but the better question is "Are they in the mix all of the time?".  When Mark Wood was there, you were able to clearly hear him often and discern he and his instrument from the others.  There are times now, like when Roddy is playing his violin while running or holding it over his head, he is just playing an open note.  So while fans love to say "he ran through the audience and didn't miss a note", the audience doesn't really know if he did or did not miss a note because they are hearing mostly string sounds from the keys in the mix.

As for backing tracks? I have it on extremely good authority that they do not.  Again, the keyboards are using string patches to thicken the string sounds.  it is very apparent nowadays when the spotlight is on Roddy “playing” the violin during the opening cello part of Sarajevo. The cellist is just sitting there now not playing and the cello sound we hear is coming from the keys.

(12-04-2015, 06:48 PM)sundance7490 Wrote: They may have lead electric violinists for their tours but they didn't actually have them leading on their albums until Night Castle with Anna Phoebe and Roddy Chong. They had orchestra members for Beethoven's Last Night and The Lost Christmas Eve, but as we know the actual orchestra gets mostly pushed to background drone in those albums. For Christmas Eve and Other Stories and The Christmas Attic, according to the credits, there was no actual orchestra present.

Maybe. We will never know for sure.  TSO credits (except for the vocalists) are as vague as it gets.  There are musicians listed in "The Band" credits on the new album that have assured me that they are not actually on it.  In addition, the way Paul conducts his recording, most of the musicians hired for the tour don't know when or if their recorded parts are being used.  Is there actual electric violin being played on these albums? Maybe.

(12-04-2015, 10:18 AM)MikeNY Wrote: But what is "the real thing"?  Is it whatever has the TSO name stamped on it?  Look at their first album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories. Middleton, Pitrelli and Plate are the only musicians on stage that played on the album (Caffery only played rhythm guitar on Sarajevo).  So when TSO East plays "Mad Russian's Christmas", for example - only Jeff Plate is "the real thing" - everyone else on stage came along after.  All of the vocalists from that first album, and most from pre-Nightcastle albums are long gone also.

So when does TSO become it's own tribute band?  What makes seeing them "the real thing" musically?

I think the answer lies in that TSO is not a real band.  It is a handful of guys that write and record songs in the studio and then hire a bunch of musicians and singers to perform those songs live.  But even when looking at them that way, it is hard to say what is "the real thing" when virtually the same number of people on the TSO stage played on their Christmas albums as the number of people on a TSO Tribute band stage.

Interesting points.  I have never considered TSO to be a band in the studio. It is closer to a touring musical in nature that puts together a band to play the songs live. I know people that tell me that only musicals on Broadway are "the real thing".  I have seen Bart Shatto perform in Jekyll & Hyde in a regional theater and it was every bit as good as a Broadway Show. The only thing missing was the giant marquee and the $$ production values.  I guess the question being asked is "What is the difference between seeing a stage full of musicians play TSO music vs a stage full of musicians play TSO music with the TSO name?", especially with only a couple musicians on the TSO stage actually playing on those albums.  Again, I think it can come down to the $$ production values. If the band on stage didn't play on the album and the band on the TSO stage didn't play on the album (except for one or two guys), then it can come down to the "flash".  All of that being said, the tribute band would have to be hiring some very good musicians for this comparison to work. Either way, interesting topic.

To me we're WAY over analyzing something good.  Bascially, it's like porn, I'll know the real TSO when I see them.
I know this is an old thread...I saw them live 3 days ago. Naysayers in our ticket line mentioned this.

They are playing live!! I'm a sound engineer. Their technology is often touted in our trade journals. The only exception I think was some sleigh bells sounds and a little background audio for the LED screen presentation, which they openly admitted to.

All performers play and sing live. They run 140 wireless channels (RF), 48 of which are for ear buds of the musicians/singers and some staff. This includes stage tech - 3 Shure GX-4D wireless dual combiners, Shure UHF-R receivers for vocals and guitars, Sennheiser 2025 wireless microphone systems, 16 Sennheiser G3 IEM packs, and so on. This is technology for LIVE performances, and a lot of it!!

What most people are not understanding is the delay that occurs in stadium environments. The sound arriving to your ear does not match the movements of musicians, which is typical. When you hit a cord on a guitar or violin, that signal travels through that RF channel, the mixer, amps, etc. then through long cables to the speakers. The biggest delay is next, that distance from their Clair I3 speakers to your ears. All these millisecond delays ad up and trick the eye/ear.

From what I could tell, concealed by their outfits, mobile musicians had two body packs. One for their earbuds, and the transmitter for their instrument. Each musician uses earbuds so they can hear their personal instrument (in real time) and also the entire band at the same time, in real time. They do not rely on the audio coming from the speakers as those delays cause chaos for a musician or voice. Ever notice inexperienced people who sing the national anthem at large venues often freak out? It's because their voice isn't matching what's coming from the stadium speakers.

Next time you're at a concert watch the drummer. By the time your ear hears them hit the "ride" or "crash" cymbal (tallest ones) his stick has already hit a drum. It goes without saying each member of TSO is a seasoned professional musician, of live music. Rest assured there are no Milli or Vanilli's in the TSO performances.
(12-05-2018, 04:15 AM)AZMedia Wrote: I know this is an old thread...I saw them live 3 days ago. Naysayers in our ticket line mentioned this.

They are playing live!!

Old thread, but the questions are raised every year, so always good to have the opinions of people knowledgeable of these things.

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