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james-20015,395 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
TOTP was live occasionally, and this was one of those editions. Janice and Mark even pointed out it was live on several.occasions. If it was pre-recorded there's no way that would ever have made it to air.

The reason BBC4 skipped two editions recently is because they were live editions that weren't recorded properly (only the mute link/caption free version got recorded)- again, something that wouldn't happen on a pre-recorded edition.

Apparently there wasn't another live edition after this till Spring 1989 as a result of the All About Eve incident.
Last edited by james-2001 on 12 October 2019 11:18am - 2 times in total
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madmusician gave kudos
james-20015,395 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
So much pointless picture effects on this era of the show, pictures zooming and flying all over the place on most performances. I imagine they thought it looked impressive at the time, but it looks stupidly dated now, you pretty much never see it these days.


They had just got the first Questech Charisma units I think - which allowed for rotation, 3D perspective, multi-freeze, background channels etc., and since they'd been limited to very basic Quantel effects (they didn't have the Rotator option on their 5001s by the look of it) until then - they pushed them quite hard. (Up until Charisma arrived, you really had to use an Ampex ADO or a Quantel Encore to do decent 'flat 3D' DVE effects. Abekas had some 'pseudo 3D' effects - but ISTR that they weren't really in 3D space. Charisma changed all that, and was far more 'cost effective' ISTR. The BBC bought loads of them - and they were still in use in BBC News well into the 00s)

Back in the day those effects were seen as 'cool' and a way, believe it or not, of making your show more modern. I actually quite like the choices they made in how they used them - but I remember them first time round - when seeing those effects was genuine quite exciting!

Wait until the early 90s when they got the CLEO (Curvi Linear Effects Option) for their Charismas, that let you do Quantel Mirage-type effects (wrapping pictures onto 3D shapes and animating those shapes!). The Clothes Show, Going Live and Top of the Pops all used them. A lot... (CLEO used a Commodore Amiga home micro to design the 3D shapes (using a mouse driven GUI), Quantel's Mirage, dating back to the early 80s, used a Hewlett Packard Mini Computer, with the shapes designed in Pascal computer code, to do the same job...)


I seem to remember reading they used one of those machines to colourise some Doctor Whos in the early 90s, mixing the colour from off-air recordings made in the US with a black and white telerecording, and using those machines to warp the off-air to match the distortions of the telerecording (otherwise the colour wouldn't match up).
VMPhil9,983 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Forgive me for asking a daft question regarding the miming 'issue' discussed above. I had always assumed that ToTP was pre-recorded - was it, in fact, live? If it wasn't live, then why didn't they just do another take when there was the cock-up with the audio being heard in the studio?

As James says, it was a live episode, though not sure it was much of a selling point as everyone in the show mimed. Really it's just extremely bad luck on All About Eve's part - it could have been any act that was affected, though if it happened to someone like Kylie you probably could have covered it up with all the dance moves!
noggin14,631 posts since 26 Jun 2001

I seem to remember reading they used one of those machines to colourise some Doctor Whos in the early 90s, mixing the colour from off-air recordings made in the US with a black and white telerecording, and using those machines to warp the off-air to match the distortions of the telerecording (otherwise the colour wouldn't match up).


Yes - they used CLEO to warp the chroma (from NTSC UMatic off-air recordings of standards conversions) back onto the luma from B&W 25fps film telerecordings. The Telerecording process altered the picture geometry, so Charisma was used to match the chroma and warp it back.

Some of those restorations may now be obsolete as chroma-dot recovery (recovering the PAL subcarrier dots from the B&W telerecording) may have been used for more recent releases of the same stories (and the maths of the chroma dots also allows the geometric distortion introduced by telerecording to be deduced and reversed)

CLEO effectively killed the market for Mirage (such that it was in the UK), though I don't think that market was huge (though it was sometimes used in Harry suites). I don't think either the BBC or ITV owned a Mirage - when LWT used it on their Channel Four Friday/Saturday Night Live series, they used one in a Covent Garden facilities house and had to book vision lines both ways to use it (and cameras didn't get tallies as a result...) That said - when Sony demonstrated their System G DVE (a lot of the IP for which went into the first generation PlayStation) - but couldn't ship it, Quantel got a lot of interest in Mirage again...

The market for off-board DVEs has almost disappeared now (in fact it may have entirely - DVEous was the last I was really aware of and since Ross bought Abekas/Accom I'm not sure it still exists) since vision mixers introduced integrated DVE/DME/DPMs (Sony used to sell DMEs as external, but integrated, options - but they are now physically boards within the main mixer crate these days) None of the current integrated Sony or GVG DME/DPM/DVEs can do what Mirage or CLEO can do - letting you design your own 3D shapes - so we could do stuff live in the 80s that we can no longer do live today (though that may not always be a bad thing, it is a shame for some situations)
Last edited by noggin on 12 October 2019 12:26pm
1
UKnews gave kudos
Rich Tea540 posts since 16 Apr 2017 Recently warned
Anglia (West) Look East
Forgive me for asking a daft question regarding the miming 'issue' discussed above. I had always assumed that ToTP was pre-recorded - was it, in fact, live? If it wasn't live, then why didn't they just do another take when there was the cock-up with the audio being heard in the studio?

As James says, it was a live episode, though not sure it was much of a selling point as everyone in the show mimed . Really it's just extremely bad luck on All About Eve's part - it could have been any act that was affected, though if it happened to someone like Kylie you probably could have covered it up with all the dance moves!


This is a very good point when you really think about it. I'm not sure what kind of criteria had to be met for an edition to be chosen as a live to air one as they do seem to be genuinely quite random in that respect from what I can tell. It would make more sense if at least someone actually did a live vocal on a live show. Glenn Medeiros recently did one, yet that was a recorded show was it not.

It reminds me of a quite vigorous discussion I once had with my father at the age of about 12 when he told me that everyone on the show was miming and I was quite indignant at his assertion which seemed a preposterous thought to a pre-teen watcher of the show who believed everything he saw was real and I kept absolutely insisting that I thought everyone was singing properly live and there was no miming whatsoever! Obviously I thought every single act could fully reproduce perfection. I probably wasn't alone at that quite young age in thinking that, although I soon learnt. I remember seeing Frankie Goes To Hollywood on another music show singing Two Tribes totally live and was absolutely disgusted that they sounded nothing like the actual record....the Trevor Horn produced one, yeah like they were going to reproduce his technical skills to perfection live.
VMPhil9,983 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I'm not against miming personally for a show like TOTP. Arguably if you're doing a show that is supposed to be playing chart hits, then you should play the recording that made it a hit. And when you have popstars with elaborate dance routines, that's going to affect the singing too. Personally I'm not a fan of live versions of songs I like, even if they're quite good - I usually listen to them once or twice and then go back to the studio version.

But then I guess it really depends on the artist. Some would benefit from live performance, and for others it would be a hindrance. Really there shouldn't have been a 100% ban on miming or a 100% ban on live singing, it should have been up to the performers.

Would surely be even worse relying on acts singing live these days when record producers are reliant on autotune, which didn't even exist back then, thankfully.

Autotune can enhance a song if properly used for vocal effect, but I agree if they're doing it to try and make their voice sound perfect it is very off-putting.
thegeek5,103 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
The miming (and All About Eve performance) are mentioned on the Story of 1988, which is on YouTube here.
(I work with the sound supervisor pretty often and never knew he worked on TOTP!)
2
madmusician and UKnews gave kudos
Rkolsen2,924 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World News
Was Top of the Pops ever rebranded outside the UK? From 2003 - December 2008, there was a channel here called Mojo HD - featuring only HD content. There was a show called London Live featuring musical acts from London. I was talking to a friend of mine at the the time and he said it sounded like Top of the Pops. Does anyone have any more information about that? If it was indeed TOTP, and if at the time the BBC was indeed filming stuff at the time in HD - well before they launched a linear HD channel - unless it was a Worldwide production where outside customers would want HD?
Don’t let anyone treat you like you’re a VO/SOT when you’re a PKG.
TIGHazard570 posts since 3 Jan 2014
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Was Top of the Pops ever rebranded outside the UK? From 2003 - December 2008, there was a channel here called Mojo HD - featuring only HD content. There was a show called London Live featuring musical acts from London. I was talking to a friend of mine at the the time and he said it sounded like Top of the Pops. Does anyone have any more information about that? If it was indeed TOTP, and if at the time the BBC was indeed filming stuff at the time in HD - well before they launched a linear HD channel - unless it was a Worldwide production where outside customers would want HD?


Probably now going to be difficult to get any information on a show with that name.
Rkolsen2,924 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World News
Was Top of the Pops ever rebranded outside the UK? From 2003 - December 2008, there was a channel here called Mojo HD - featuring only HD content. There was a show called London Live featuring musical acts from London. I was talking to a friend of mine at the the time and he said it sounded like Top of the Pops. Does anyone have any more information about that? If it was indeed TOTP, and if at the time the BBC was indeed filming stuff at the time in HD - well before they launched a linear HD channel - unless it was a Worldwide production where outside customers would want HD?


Probably now going to be difficult to get any information on a show with that name.

Finally got the internet archive to work, the host was Joe Mace. At that time he hosted The Album Chart Show, according to IMDB which has a connection saying content was edited for London Live.
Don’t let anyone treat you like you’re a VO/SOT when you’re a PKG.
noggin14,631 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Was Top of the Pops ever rebranded outside the UK? From 2003 - December 2008, there was a channel here called Mojo HD - featuring only HD content. There was a show called London Live featuring musical acts from London. I was talking to a friend of mine at the the time and he said it sounded like Top of the Pops. Does anyone have any more information about that? If it was indeed TOTP, and if at the time the BBC was indeed filming stuff at the time in HD - well before they launched a linear HD channel - unless it was a Worldwide production where outside customers would want HD?


Later... was shot in HD for the US HD market before BBC HD I believe (they used an Alfacam HD OB truck parked outside TC3 in the ring road, before they used a BBC OB HD truck - Unit 2). Could it have been that?

TOTP was SD 16:9 I'm pretty certain.