Idol’s About The Edits

There’s a part of the show I see that you might not.

It’s Wednesday. I’m watching Idol. This is more addictive than crack.

There’s a part of the show I see that you might not. It’s the way the musical performances are edited.

By the way, it’s observations like this which made me a poor companion with my family at the movies.

Where was I?

I assume they do abbreviated versions of (tonight it’s The Beatles) songs. In order to highlight the individual singing performances without the show running to 3:00 AM there is additional editing necessary.

There is a technique to editing music. It can be done. You have to edit to maintain the beat. It isn’t easy. Bad edits are jarring, period.

So far the editing seems to have been seamless. I am impressed. It is what makes this part of American Idol possible.

Editing is often where the magic happens. That’s especially true tonight.

5 thoughts on “Idol’s About The Edits”

  1. The tools available today for that type of thing make it so much easier than it used to be. It still takes a lot of skill to do well. Meanwhile, be prepared for the contrast when the series goes to live episodes. The live mix for performances has a history of being so bad that many people suspect it is done on purpose to help or hinder certain contestants. The favorite is when the backup singers are mixed to completely trample the contestant. I think they must also play around with what gets fed to the singers through their monitors. Lower the singer in the monitor mix, and suddenly, their singing gets very shouty as they try to match the rest of the band in their earpiece. The judges have also been caught red-handed doing their critiques based on earlier rehearsals, rather than the performance in front of them. Even during the live performance, what you hear at home is apparently quite different from what the judges hear. That has been the subject of many long discussions. There is a lot of manipulation going on. They also edit to make some appear crazy, overly emotional, or less likable. In the end, it’s a TV show, more than a documentary of a completely real contest.

  2. Actually, in this case, I think they arrange and produce shorter versions of the songs specifically because of the time constraints, not perform songs and edit for broadcast (remember, those final editions are live and the songs are still usually only 2 minutes long). The manipulation is in the production and the sound engineering, both on stage and for broadcast.

    But that said, the talent on these shows is predictable and weak, they need good reinforcement to sound palatable, and when you consider the judges… well, I am amazed anyone finds the show addictive.


      1. I meant to also mention that the use of the word LIVE for later weeks of the series is a loose interpretation of the term. It is not completely live. There will be video clips interspersed, and often, when there is a performance by some big star on the results episodes, it is a pre-recorded video made elsewhere. When they do flashbacks of all the performances at the end of the shows, they often use footage from the afternoon rehearsals, not from the live performance you just saw. There is a lot of technical skulduggery that goes into making this show. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *