Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Ricky Skaggs CMA HOF Induction

Prepare for one of the best displays of musicianship in history!


What a TREMENDOUS post! BRAVO!!!

Wow Wow WOW!!! That was so incredible!

It was the highlight of that show, that’s for sure.

Kinda bummed Mike Barnetts’ mic was so low.

@Treblemaker Ricky Skaggs is the Scruggs of Mando fo’ sure. So I guess being inducted into the C M.H.F. is an endurance race, Ricky was gonna need a nap after those performances. Awesome video got to play with Keith Urban AND Brad Paisley(btw, was that Peyton Manning standing off stage???..:laughing:)

Not sure about Peyton, but for a minute I thought Kevin Harvick was playing one of the banjos. :laughing:

I had Dennis Parker over here yesterday to finish up an album recording (big news coming on that soon!). Skaggs’ front of house engineer, Dewey, also came over and we talked about this. These TV shows are mixed live by an engineer hired by the network to do the entire show. Let me just tell you…the engineer that did Ricky’s performance did an INCREDIBLE job, MUCH better than anything I’ve been a part of. Dewey told me the reason was because Dewey got to spend the day with him and the engineer was very open to Dewey’s suggestions. He said the engineer did lots of dry runs with the dress rehearsal to try and get the faders right, all the solos in order, etc. I thought it was great.


Here’s a CMA show I was on. I played the banjo on this, but not live. We prerecorded this in the studio, which is how most everyone handles these shows. Ricky’s complete performance was actually live.


Man, the average person just doesn’t even think about things like that. It didn’t even cross my mind, but now that you mention it, trying to keep 2 stages and that mean lead instrument and vocals at their proper levels has to be a nightmare! Thanks for giving me a proper appreciation for the work the engineer did to make that flow. It makes the whole thing even more impressive.


Ben, I loved that bit of information.

I think these little anctedotes of yours are some of your most interesting posts. Keep them coming.

Bah humbug, I can’t view the video

So, I’m dying to know. Was the performance lip synced?

I’m guessing no, because I’m seeing her take deep breaths on the second line of the chorus, and those notes just before she breathes seem a tiny bit cut off.

First time I heard this song. Am I right, or am I talking out my backside?

Ricky Skaggs is a national treasure and a true gentlemen. The only surprising thing about his induction is that it didn’t happen 20 years ago.

Did you get to keep the threads @BanjoBen? That looks like a pretty sweet coat.

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@BanjoBen, I will never look at another “live” performance the same again after that insight. The only thing ill be thinking;;“Is it live or is it Memorex”?. Looks like you had a tad bit longer hair in those days, Ben.

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The vocals are live, but the band is playing to tracks.


Forgive my simple question… but do you mean… they are playing live but hearing a click track to help them with timing in the live environment? Or…

I enjoy these insights… but we as players who have no frame of reference for stage performances don’t know what is meant to “playing to tracks”. Are they hearing the actual song that is in ear devices?

I have often wondered this… even with some of the more simple programs like “The Voice” where singers have the earpiece.

Is there “different tracks” (say… a simple click track versus a track for tonality while singing or maybe the EXACT STUDIO song) for different players or performers?

I’m coming clean to be honest… that I’ve wondered this so many times… what they hear, how it helps and if it is tricky to get used to the pro’s and con’s of hearing tracks.

Sorry if this is obvious or very rudimentary for the rest of experienced Forum participants.

Good questions. Playing to tracks means that you’re hearing the pre-recorded music in your earbuds. If the entire band is tracked, then no one is actually playing live–only acting. Even the cymbals are dummy cymbals that look to react realistically but make no noise.

There are times when some things are tracked and some instruments or singers are singing live, then they’re mixed together at broadcast time. Typically the award shows feature tracked bands (band is faking) but the singer or singers are actually singing. In the case of something like the Super Bowl where there can be no mistakes and set changes happen so fast, everything is tracked. You’ll sometimes see the singer say something into the mic to the crowd that you can tell is real and it’s audible. What happens is that those are rehearsed. They’re thrown in there to create realism. The audio engineer knows to turn on their mic during those times, then turn it back off when the singing comes back in.


I feel like I was just told Santa Claus isn’t real.


@Mark_Rocka…He’s not??? :disappointed_relieved::disappointed_relieved::disappointed_relieved::disappointed_relieved::sob::sob::sob:

Neo, I can only show you the door, YOU’RE the one that has to walk through it…