Tim Minchin vs SSO vs ABC2 audio

Update: Severe audio problems for Tim Minchin's live Opera House concert, but ABC2 is hoping to reschedule.

What was to have been a musical treat last night fell apart as ABC2 Live Presents Tim Minchin vs the Sydney Symphony Orchestra found itself plagued by audio problems.

The live performance by the barefoot Minchin at the Sydney Opera House fell victim to technical problems within the first 10 minutes of the show.

A deafening noise errupted several times during the early musical numbers until things went from bad to worse. Some twenty minutes into the show the audio track from the top of the show began to replay over the live Minchin.

On Twitter “Tim Minchin” became a top-trending topic in Australia. #ABC2 began trending worldwide.

Trouble persisted for around 20-30 minutes (making viewing impossible) until ABC switched to an alternative programme: a pre-recorded performance by Minchin. Curiously, it was introduced by Minchin who had clearly recorded an introduction in the case of technical issues during the live broadcast.

“Hi, Tim here. Sorry this is a video that we’re recording to play to you in the event of my death or if not my death, the death of the broadcast,” he said somewhat prophetically.

“Apparently if a large ship sails past the Opera House during the broadcast it can make it all fall in a heap. So I’m here to entertain you while they’re running around like geese trying to fix the problem.”

Eventually ABC2 switched back to the live performance for Act II which, thanks to Minchin’s eclectic cabaret finesse, was an absolute treat. Fittingly he ended with a standing ovation to thunderous applause.

Yes ABC2 Live mucked up.

But to bring us a live performer of this calibre was to die for.

UPDATE: ABC Statement: On last night’s ABC2 broadcast of Tim Minchin Vs The Sydney Symphony, there were some significant audio problems which disrupted the broadcast.

Stuart Menzies, Controller of ABC2 said “ABC TV apologies to both viewers and Tim Minchin for the disruptions to a fantastic show, which we are very proud to be associated with.”

ABC2 is currently working with Mr Minchin’s management to secure a repeat screening of the program at the earliest possible opportunity.

Iain Knight, the show’s executive producer said “The first disruption was caused by the failure of a digital decoder. The second and more significant disruption was caused by a fault in the audio setup, which resulted in two sources of audio being fed to air simultaneously.

“When it was clear the program audio could not be rectified immediately, a stand-by program was played. We were able to get the problem solved and put the second half of the concert to air.

“These faults affected the broadcast of the concert in all states except Western Australia,” said Knight.

35 Responses

  1. Hey! Can anybody help me? I would loooove to watch this – and since I am writing from Germany and have no ABC, I was hoping that its possible to see this online somewhere or anything similar (don’t get me wrong, I am willing to pay for it!).

    Thanks everyone!

  2. Let’s all put this into context: sh!# happens, but hopefully not for 20 minutes (let alone 40). And if you don’t know that wee Timmy has a bit of a tendency to employ the blue side of the venacular you should basically just eph off. It’s not exactly a secret between him & a few close friends in the press. I was at the show, and yes, it was sensational. I went with impossibly high expectations & they were easily exceeded. The finale – Dark Side – justified the SSO’s participation on its own. So I won’t just be waiting for the replay, but for the release of the DVD. (Hopefully without the ABC’s attempt to replicate Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.)

  3. The joy of living in WA (Wait Awhile)! Got the whole show without any problems. Would not have even known about all this if I didn’t come on here.

  4. Didn’t see the show (saw the promos but didn’t make note to watch or record it). So I have no idea who the production team was made up of.
    From reading the comments trail, I’d guess that the problems must have been either in the presentation suite (media hub?) or a “downstream” control room somewhere. There may have been a pre-planned time delay (known as a “turnaround”) if, say, TM went onstage at the OH at 8pm but the ABC broadcast started at 8.30pm.
    I put forward this view because, if the Perth replay was glitch-free, as also apparently was the live concert sound inside the Opera House, then I’d have to conclude that chances are that the “upstream” OB Truck feed was probably technically ok leaving the Opera House. Hence the recording, either on digital betacam or a hard-drive device called an EVS either back at ABC or a back-up in the OB truck would have been technically ok for re-transmission.
    All of the above is of course, just theory.
    Note to self: must try to find out who worked on it to get the goss!

  5. Tims last performance for Australia was tainted by this muck up. But thankfully the ABC2 has taken full responsibility for it.. I was lucky enough to be in Western Australia were the broadcast was fine.. Great show Tim

  6. Whenever their is a live telecast of anything wether it be sport, news or in this case music there is often a risk with it, but it doesnt mean that it should not be done. In my opinion i believe that a live Telecast of any event tests the networks ability and skill in thinking quickly and being alert. unfortunelty this will further reenforce the view that 7 and 9 have of delaying everything especially when it comes to sport.

  7. Thanks @Secret Squïrrel, realised while I was out getting my espresso that I’d had a blonde moment. Note to self: post no messages before caffeine.

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