I was browsing the news today and learned that Adele recently performed on Saturday Night Live. It’s clear by this point that she is a very capable singer. But for a major television performance, I always just cynically assume that the artist is seldom actually singing. I often expect them to be either dubbed based on a studio recording or with liberal use of Autotune being applied. Here is an example of what I mean:
Or how about this? Here is a much more humorous take on how much work is required to make singers sound actually good called “Sound Engineer’s Hard Work”:
All of this brings us to the point. The reason I knew Adele performed on SNL is because her raw mic audio feed was leaked from the performance. If this were to happen to a good chunk of modern musicians these days, I suspect their PR teams would be working a lot of overtime. But Adele is not most musicians. The raw audio feed was in my opinion even better than the full song with all of the other instruments and backup singers. There are not many artists that can carry a song entirely on their own with nothing but their voice but Adele would be one of them.
In fact, I was so impressed, I extracted the audio tracks from both the final ‘aired-on-tv’ version of her performance and layered it with the newly leaked raw audio feed. I then loaded them into Audacity and synced up both songs. I then toggled back and forth between the two versions as they played. Have a listen for yourself and see if you agree that she sounds better solo. I would love to be a fly on the wall at Karaoke night with her!