Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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On Overdubbing And The Need For It In Certain Cases

February 16, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

Kyle Boreing made an interesting blog post today, comparing the “unedited” video version of “Boundless Love”, as sung by The Cathedrals on their Travelin’ Live video (now available on DVD). Also included in his post is an “edited” version which he constructed using the video footage and the audio from the album itself.

Now, if you notice, in the “unedited” version, the only instrumentation is provided by a drummer, a bassist, and Roger Bennett at the piano. On the album version, a synthesizer is added to the mix. I assume this is the case with all the songs on the album, but the comparison is very stark when comparing album and video.

The “un-edited” video is assumed to be exactly what the audience saw and heard the night this concert was recorded. The “edited” version was severely overdubbed, which is obvious when compared to the raw footage: vocals weren’t perfect, the cut-offs weren’t together, George Younce’s bass line “Touches Me” sounded sorta nasally and came out sounding like “Tuches May”.

And then, most obviously and probably the most famous error, the flubbed encore when George said something to the effect of “Yea.. Do that trio part again! I love that trio…!” Glen, Mark, and Danny started off on different verses, and eventually settled on the first verse. (“There is not a mother, sister, friend, or brother…”)

I can imagine the look on George and Glen’s faces when finalizing the album. “Yuck…” Not to say it’s a bad rendition, because it certainly isn’t. I just imagine they thought it would be better to edit it before shipping it out.

And so, they overdubbed it. More polished vocals, George’s bass was dead-on smooth, “The Trio Part” started off right (on the second verse). And of course, the synthesizer was added. Now, it sounds good. Off to the distributors!

Come to think of it, I would have liked to have a “un-edited” album version, but I think George and Glen probably figured polished=better to release. Although, that was the very first rendition of “Boundless Love” that people heard, and it’d be nice to hear that exact version of it.

Now, I’m not saying that overdubbing is bad. It’s probably needed in cases such as this. But ya gotta wonder, how many live recordings have indeed been overdubbed before the final release date? Releases like The Kingsmen’s live albums of yesteryear (Big And Live, Live…Naturally, etc.), or even modern releases like Legacy Five’s Live In Music City. Hmm…..

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