Taylor Swift’s “Live” Performance

The audio engineer in me has been tossing around how to pull off Taylor Swift’s “live” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Here’s option #1:

So there’s an acoustic guitarist in the subway at Bryant Park and Taylor Swift is singing along with him. The she boards a train bound for Rockefeller Center and continues to sing to a band that is sitting on top of Radio City Music Hall. In order to do that, the music has to be mixed live, the audio signal would then have to be sent to a wireless receiver somewhere on the subway and then to Taylor’s wireless in-ear monitors, which she is either not wearing or is tiny. Keep in mind that the Bryant Park subway stop would have to be shut down on Sunday night around 9:00 pm. The live audience in the subway would have to be rocking to Taylor’s vocals a cappella because if you piped the band into the subway, it would echo in the mic. Then, the audio and video needs to be wirelessly transmitted without any delay back to the satellite site. Then when Taylor gets off the subway, the Rockefeller subway stop would need to be closed between the F train and the Radio City exit. Any lag would have to be dealt with as Taylor emerged from the subway station and into the street and performed with the same band that she’s been performing with from a quarter of a mile away.


option #2: Tape it ahead of time extremely early in the morning except the live part right outside of Radio City Music Hall, and that part would have to be lip-synced, including the band.

10 thoughts on “Taylor Swift’s “Live” Performance”

  1. It was pretty mind bending when she got on the subway and the feed kept going. I immediately started thinking of how that could be possible live.

    They showed their cards afterwards when they accidentally cued up the video again as they went to commercial and quickly cut away.

  2. i was in the subway with her. the first half was taped. it took hours to do but it looked awesome anyway. it was 2 different subways. it was all her singing though so nothing was pre recorded. when she was waiting for the other half she was singing along with it so it was all technically live.

  3. My mind was racing about how it was possible to do that on the honest side. It made for good TV, but that's about where it ended. Thanks for commenting!

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