Guitar delay (ITV1 This Morning)


A problem with the guitar was noticed on the ITV1 This Morning programme – reported in LETTERS – here

Hah! No guitar! Well, not much! You noticed, Sean! I got all upset at the time, but everybody assured me that nobody would think anything about it. But you did ! Well, I’m thankful really that someone is actually listening!!

Yes, I was disappointed because I think that’s probably the best performance we’ve done. Everyone went to a lot of trouble .. in fact I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more energetic and interactive director in TV – Ashley Gorman. We liaised over a few days and made plans and got it all lit beautifully and a nice bit of video backdrop … etc .. and all went smoothly on the run-through early in the morning. Doing truly live rock stuff on TV (without any kind of delay or opportunity to re-do) is, even after all these years, still amazingly nerve-wracking. Anyway, as true professionals, we all did a final check on the sound about 4 minutes before the transmission and everything was cool.

Then on we go – interview – then green light for the song … we run over to the stage area, and go for it … high energy .. high adrenaline levels. It all felt good – monitor levels were fine … so I could hear every scratch and spit … the song finished and we breathed a sigh of relief and whooped a bit ! Because nothing seemed to have gone amiss. Then we went into the production suite to listen to it back … and they said … ‘We had a little problem with the guitar”. So I watched, and listened with heart sinking, wondering how bad it was going to be … ! At this point, of course, IT HAS GONE OUT ! It is forever beyond any control or correction … out there in the Ether … people have already had the experience, and probably hated it ! Well, that’s what you used to think … but now it’s worse … because you know that it has also already been thrown up on YouTube by some helpful person (even us! ha ha) – so the botch-up is there FOR ALL TIME ! I am forever thanking my Higher Power that my escapade on Buckingham Palace roof did not become some kind of train-wreck (it so easily could have done … there were so many things that could have gone wrong ! ) and been up there on YouTube embarrassing me forever …

Well, then I saw what you saw … and heard what you heard. Apparently the microphone on my guitar amp went down. Meaning that it stopped working just before I began to play. So poor old Justin, who was there in the control room as guardian of our sound, was trying to push up the guitar but there was nothing there. All you could hear, as you noticed, was a pile of delay stuff, and a little bit of ambient room sound leaking on to Kerry’s mike. In such a short time there is very little you can do in the control room … to find out what is wrong calls for pulling out plugs and switching things in and out. Which you don’t want to be doing on live TV. So what they did, thinking quickly, was find a mike which was behind the guitar amp – and mix the sound from that in – which is why it gets a bit clearer near the end. Basically that’s it. If the show had been recorded on some kind of multitrack machine, you could probably remix it using that back mike and make it sound more or less OK. But … I don’t think it was. And the truth is – it’s gone. It has to go into the pile of stuff in my life which “I can’t do anything about”. There are lots of things in that pile … why does “The Observer” come to mind ? !!! ha ha. But it’s a big pile, as I say. In accordance with the Serenity Prayer (see….) today I am focussing on things which I CAN do something about. That, today, is rehearsing our new band for the Proms in the Park this coming Saturday. It’s … stimulating! We’re in a very glamorous (not) rehearsal studio in Putney. OK … back to it.