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Frank Marino spends 5 SOLID years fixing performance audio

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  • Frank Marino spends 5 SOLID years fixing performance audio

    Kind of the opposite of "Fun with Computers"

    Frank got a pro company to record some 12 hours of live performance in Cleveland in December of 2010 and then discovered that the drum tracks were not recorded due to a snafu.

    So do another 12h of playing? No Frank decides he can fix the audio and proceeds to work for 5 years, as he describes it "and that doesn't mean five years of my spare time, it means every waking minute of those years, no exaggeration. And I really thought it might take only a few months."

    Does anyone have any idea how 12h of music would take 5 years to edit?????????????

    He suffered from two bouts of "frozen shoulder syndrome" and described this and the audio repairs in an interview with Ray Shasho in 2012:
    Exclusive: Frank Marino legendary guitarist sidelined with severe pain |

    Frank Marino: “I’m a bit under pressure right now because I damaged my shoulder and really badly actually. It’s called adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. Mahogany Rush did a show in Cleveland on December 12th and 13th at the Agora, and I’d never done a DVD, I waited ten years to finally do a DVD. The reason I waited was because I didn’t like or believe in them, and just don’t like the way they’re done. It’s too much selling and not enough art. I always wanted to do a different kind of DVD and finally found my chance to do it. The video crew for Bruce Springsteen just happened to be fans of mine and they offered their services to come and shoot this thing for me. We shot a twelve hour concert and basically we booked the place for two nights. One night was the Soundcheck, the next day from noon to midnight was the show… and we played everything. We didn’t stop, only had two breaks, but pretty much played all day. We filmed it all on seven cameras and very professionally on a really good looking DVD, which I had to assemble on some form of condensed show.”

    “When I got home on the fourteenth of December … that was in 2010, and when I checked on the multitrack audio… the drums was damaged, the audio was damaged, because of a problem in the recording that no one had noticed. So I was left with a magnificent video shoot and no audio. So the only answer was to go into and find each beat that was damaged and replace them one by one. So that’s what I started doing on the fourteenth of December… and it’s like changing every blade of grass on your lawn one by one with a fork. So I started on the fourteenth of December and was so determined to do it that I sat for almost fifteen hours a day, seven days a week, until the next August. And what happened was I froze up my shoulder on the right side and didn’t realize what I was doing. I thought well… my shoulder is hurting me because I had a hard day but it got worse and worse.”

    “It’s called frozen shoulder and what happens is the whole shoulder freezes up and you lose all your motion and the pain becomes unbearable. Then the rest of your muscles in your neck and back try to compensate and they become unbearable. Really the only way around it is to stop doing what you were doing and go to physiotherapy and restretch it out until it goes back to normal, but it can take one to three years to come back. I’m a year removed from it now, I stopped working on the video in September and I’ve only got five songs left. (Laughing) I’m hoping to get back to it by this summer. Only five tunes left and there’s like sixty.”

    “Now I’ve restored motion to my arm and at least I can move it. I’ve got 50% movement in the arm. I can’t play guitar …I can’t put my arm around the body of the guitar. To play the guitar your elbow has to extend out from your body and that’s one of the motions I can’t do without serious pain. I get physiotherapy four days a week. The doctors say it will take one to three years to fully recoup the shoulder …it’s been a year now. Although I have movement … I haven’t lost the pain. I’m in constant pain 24/7.”

    “Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to work soon, and once I finish the DVD… somehow package it, get out on the road again and do a few gigs.”

    Ray Shasho: Frank, is there a way to hire a producer to finish the editing?

    Frank Marino: “To tell you the truth Ray, there’s not a human being in the world that can do the kind of editing that I do. And I mean that sincerely and not giving myself credit. The system that I practically invented to do this kind of replacement … there is nobody that can do it, in fact I did speak with a bunch of people who are professionals at doing these things and every one of them said, forget it throw it away you’re not going to be able to do this. But I did, and probably because I’m an editor and a drummer and I really understand what I’m hearing. But you have to understand the drum tracks that we’re dealing with here …it’s not as if we simply have a drum track that sounds bad, we have a drum track that in some places it has completely disappeared. And when it hasn’t disappeared it sounds like an iPhone. So I have to basically discern exactly what the drummer is playing on every single strike and then I have to discern how hard he hit it, which drum he hit, and with which nuance, and I have to redo that and fix each piece one by one. I’m not improving anything just resurrecting it, kind of like restoring a painting. If it was just an album, I could just get the drummer to come back and play it again, but we can’t because he’s on video.”

    Ray Shasho: When do you think the release date of the DVD might be?

    Frank Marino: “I had hoped to have it done by last December and that’s why I was working like a maniac. Now it could take till next December or longer. But I can tell you this …the video looks magnificent. And I hope people like it because it’s the only DVD I’m ever going to do. (All Laughing)”

    So when the DVD comes out in early 2016, as a fan, I'll buy it.

    He's kept his sense of humor:
    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by tedmich; 12-13-2015, 12:33 AM.

  • #2
    Wow, that is an incredibly hard task. We were brought a live concert recording of a band named Night Ranger that had the full video shoot in the can. We wee asked to "sweeten" the audio tracks on sync' locked 24 track analog decks. Listening to it, the general consensus in the studio was that it was garbage, drummer was all over the place, vocals were horrible(before AutoTune) and the only thing that sounded record quality was the audience sounds from a large arena. We had a video that we had to bring the band into visual sync, which is usually good enough 2-3 milliseconds out. After screwing with it a week, made the proposal that it would be faster to replace every track with studio replacements. So basically we recreated the concert in the studio with a large projection TV as visual cuing for the band for vocals and guitar but everything else was studio musicians. It took less than 1 week to do it that way and it turned out well and the record sold well, but the buyers did not know nothing was of the concert except the audience sounds which had a lot of bleed from the erased original performance.
    We had it easy compared to what Frank is doing. It seems that some mistakes were made, possibly due to limited budget like live backups and off tape monitoring which is standard procedure. It is hard to imagine 12 hours(2 6 hour sets) being run without tape monitoring. I have never seen it NOT done. The problem is always possible when a video production is involved, since the video production cost more and involved more people than audio production, more compromises in audio are made to accommodate the visuals.

    I inherited a HEART album that blew most of its large production budget on video was shot of the entire recording done in LA. The $500k budget was almost gone when the producer finally realized the songs were just not coming together. The label wanted it done in LA so they could monitor it. But when the producer panicked after realising it was not working, he came up to NorCal with some of the 24 track 2 in tapes for a listening and consulting session. We all knew it was not working within minutes of mounting the tapes. He asked us to rescue the project, which we agreed but we said we could not go to LA to do it, and the only way was bringing the project up to NorCal where we could salvage what little remained of the budget. The video documentary was the label's idea and it was useless if the project was starting over. To save money the band was put up in our Mill Valley leased hill side home that could house 12 people and Ann Wilson was put up at a nice hotel near the studio and Nancy stayed most of the time at my ranch with my GF since they were both horsewomen. Cut out all per diem and had the studio kitchen feed everyone. Nothing was salvaged from the already spent $500k, the video made no sense because the playing did not match the do-over, and all the 2in tapes were bulk erased to reuse the tape and save $10k. But we got it done in 6 weeks in in budget and on time, and it had 5 chart singles and sold 8 Platinum level. Half the songs on the album were not even on the first LA sessions.
    Did several of those rescue operations on major projects and once you save a producer's ass you have a loyal client and word gets around as being the "fixers". Although there is some pressure doing something like that, I think musicians often do their best work when the adrenalin is flowing and the clock is a factor and everyone feels like being part of a team, pulling in the same direction. I enjoyed fast projects, they always had more continuity and the energy is high compared to long drawn out projects done in segments over years.


    • #3
      Thanks for the insight Stan, and the war stories! Was that project Night Ranger's 7 Wishes DVD, MTV/Japan or something else?

      Frank's an amazing player, its too bad he had to work solo but he has no studio budget sadly.


      • #4
        Here is a detailed description of the filming, still not out sadly 6 years gone by...
        Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush Shoot DVD with Pete's Big TVs/Performance Video | Live Design Blog Archive

        some bargains aren't worth it maybe.


        • #5
          Well talk about a very near sisyphean task, poor Frank has finally gotten his 12h DVD released 10 years after it was recorded

          he's selling it for $100 with a 180 page book, a bit steep but given the work involved its fractional pennies per hour if it sells 1M...

          as an alternative I'm going to buy his entire back catalog first.
          Last edited by tedmich; 07-12-2020, 08:46 PM.


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