Radio Broadcast of Pan in the 21st Century Conventional Bands Finals 2023

Original image via Bing Images/Image reimagined Landscape format
Last night, the Pan in the 21st Century Conventional Bands Finals took place last night at Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Those who attended the Savannah were thrilled with the performances of many bands last night. I listened to the show online. Instead of seeing the show through the paid WACK Radio feed, I listened to the i95.5 FM radio broadcast. To tell you the truth, after watching and listening to the preliminary round of the competition on YouTube and Facebook, I was disappointed with the sound of the bands via the radio broadcast. 

So why was I disappointed? As I heard them, the bands sounded small, lacking volume and body (full sound), stealing the beauty of the full sound of the bands' performances. Yes, the arrangements were well done, and the tone of sound was a plus, but there was no bass and no full sound. I listened to the Golden Hands Steel Orchestra, and they upped their arrangement and performance. The radio hosts were impressed with the performance, but it did not sound very good on the radio. I listened back to the preliminary recording on YouTube and listened to that performance, and it sounded wonderful! After all this time, all these years, radio stations broadcasting Steelband performances lack the knowledge or simply don't take the time, or have the expertise, to mic the stage properly to capture the true sound of the performances. 

How can we sell this to the world if the broadcast sound does not properly capture the stage performances? I am very disappointed. We are very vocal when discussing the beauty of the steelpan and the glorious sound of the pan arrangements. It will be very disappointing and underwhelming for everyone who tunes in to listen to the performance.  Some bands sounded better than others, and that could be because of the pan arrangement on stage or just the number of pans in the orchestra. Having said that, I will have to await the posting of the video performances or Pan Trinbago recordings to hear the true beauty of the stage performances. 

This complaint is not new, and we need to do something about it. The beauty of the stage performances, the real sound of the band needs to be captured and broadcast properly. How and by whom need to be addressed. To adequately record the sound that will be sent to the radio stations for broadcast, my recommendation is that Pan Trinbago set up the mics themselves or hire someone to do it for them. Until then, I continue to cringe thinking of this missed opportunity to properly capture the beauty of the instruments and feature it worldwide. 

Breaking News

First Citizens Supernovas triumphed in the "Pan in the 21st Century 2023" Conventional Band Finals. They played Bruno Mars' song "Grenade". They won the competition with 289 points. Katzenjammers played Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" and finished in second place with 286 points.

Chord Masters won "Pan Down Memory Lane 2023" this year. They played "Frankie" by Sister Sledge. With 271 points, they won first place. In second place was D'Original Woodbrook Modernaires; they played "Can We Talk" by Tevin Campbell.

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