R/E/P > Recording - Engineering & Production

Michael and Ron - Sesame Street


Jeff Goodman:
So over the years I've heard that the music for Sesame Street was recorded at Media Sound and that they were kind of 'everything at once' sessions. Could you guys give us some details?

Best, Jeff

Michael Brauer:
Recording Sesame Street was required by all of us to kind of pass the Fred Christie stamp of approval before we were free to record anything. Fred Christie was the senior engineer at Mediasound and set the rules. He was a huge influence on me as was Harvey Goldberg and Michael Delugg.

Anyway, the sessions would go like this. There were 7 members of the sesame street orchestra. drums, bass, piano(arranger), guitar, trumpet, sax and percussion which included vibes and xylophone. All the instruments were set up in one room with everyone pretty close to each other, isolation was pretty simple, blanket around the bass amp,small gobo next to the guitar amp and the piano being blanketed. Any singing, voiceovers were done as an overdub.It was common for Henson or any of the other characters to come in and do their character voiceovers. We had fun because they would kid around alot. we recorded live to 4trk(3trk plus 1 trk for sync tone)( 2trks stereo, 1 track vocal or solo), stereo and mono. the session would start at 9am and finish by 1pm. In that time we'd do maybe 30 or more "buttons", small 10 sec spots and 2 minutes songs. Buttons would be short one or two chord hits like musical exclamation points. We mixed everything live so you had to get the balance right the first time because there was no going back. things moved quickly meaning they'd rehearse the piece once and then you recorded it, so you had less than a minute to get the proper balance which was no big deal because it was all pretty logical how the blend should sound. Once the session was done they'd take the tapes over to post video and add it to that days taping.

Jeff Goodman:
I really miss the days of being done with a mix immediately after tracking. Very fulfillilling to me.

What years did you work on the show?


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