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re: I'm so confused
Posted by: ravnquest1 12:15 pm EDT 04/13/21
In reply to: I'm so confused - DistantDrumming 11:03 am EDT 04/13/21

there are two distinct time periods with two very different sets of tracks, 1986-2008 and 2008 to present. What I described with the live orchestra coming in half way through the overture is absolutely true from 1986-2008, except in Japan where the entire score was prerecorded for nearly all productions outside of Tokyo and no live musicians were used. I have copies of the original 1986 tracks without the live pit for both the Overture and title song, and it's easy to hear when comparing with the Original Cast recordings what parts are prerecorded and what are not. I tried finding them on youtube just now, but they tend to get removed faster than bootlegs for some reason.

Post 2008 (new tracks) I assume but can't say for certain that the live musicians still come in halfway through the Overture and play throughout the title song. I don't have a copy of the new Overture track, and the copy of the new title song music track I have may or may not have live musicians with it, I can't be certain. Sitting in the Majestic now, it's much harder to discern what is played live and what is not, because the louder parts of the show are so much louder than they were pre-2008, and because of a soupy reverb on all of the music it all sounds prerecorded to my ears, which is a real shame.

To the best of my knowledge, all of the Hal Prince replica productions as well as the Laurence Conner/Mackintosh redesigned US/UK tour use the same prerecorded tracks. The old tracks even used to be included in the school edition but I think what they license now are the new tracks.

Then there's Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, which had extra orchestral tracks in many more places to make it sound more like the movie. I don't know if those were ever added in to Broadway or not.
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