Live band audio

21 replies [Last post]
Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

I'll be filming my daughter's boyfriends band in a few weeks time. I'm intending to use 1 cam static - up high if I can get it. And 2 cams 'roving'. If I use a decent stereo mic on the static cam (something like the Rode stereo videomic) will the audio be good enough? I'm a bit wary of plugging in directly to the PA as it's something I've not done before, and I don't want to lose the atmosphere from the crowd. Any tips welcome! :)

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

I do a fair bit of rock stuff. If you have access then PD150s or the like will give good pix in low light.

You might want to pad the mics on the close up cameras so the sound doesn't get so distorted that you can't sync the camera in post. Make sure that the camera operators agree who's filming what. I assume you know to run the cameras without stopping.

Optical steadyshots are useful if you have them. If you could scrounge a fourth camera that could be used locked off near the drummer that'd be good - they're difficult to film normally.

Try to see if the audio guy can give you a feed for a minidisc or something digital. That way you can mix the live sound with a bit from the desk. On a big gig the drums will be miced up but a smaller gig will have more live acoustics and an ambient mic would be better.

Now and then get a stage POV to show the crowd

remember earplugs. It's pretty loud at the front

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi Arthur,

It's not clear if this a fun family event - or a serious piece of work for promo's etc where the time invested perhaps has a higher return.

As you are using 3+ cams - I'd guess the latter.

I agree about mixing desks missing out on 'live atmosphere', but raw sound from speakers often in close proximity to cameras - where you can feel the vibes ain't good.

If you can cable your static cam (or some other audio recorder) to the mixing desk, and record live with your roving cameras, you can phase in atmosphere/applause in post production in balance/synch with the higher quality mixing desk audio.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

The problem with taking a feed from the PA mixer is that the sound will be deficient in anything which is loud enough already - so if the bass player plays loud then he won't be in the mix and your recording will have no bass on it.

As long as the band is going to sound check before the gig, here's a way to do it (assuming the band isn't too big). Get hold of enough mics so you can put up one for every instrument and one for a PA speaker. For drums, as a minimum use one overhead (pointing in the general direction of the snare) and one for the kick drum. You'll need a small mixer - 8-ways are not too expensive these days. Set up a mix on headphones during the sound check and take the mixer out to the line in on your static camera. If the camera is a long way from the stage , use a radio mic system (transmitter selected to Line In) to send the signal to the camera. In fact, if you use a radio system, you can feed it to the mobile camera that you are operating (which might give you the chance to do a few tweaks to the mix durung the show).

Ray

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

Thanks for all of your replies so far. Some good tips. Yes it is fairly serious - I'm getting paid a small payment, which makes it serious. :) Apparently there is a chance it could be on local TV. It's about 30mins worth.
Ray, your method sounds good, but a tad complicated for me. Plus I don't think I can get hold of enough mics. The kit I'll be looking to utilise is a PD150, VX2100, another Sony 'handicam' (sorry can't remember the model No off hand). I also have a mini-disc, plus a Rode NTG-2 (which I wouldn't think is suitable) and an Azden stereo mic. Also a Sennheiser radio mic. Obviously I have various Tripods and a monopod. I don't mind buying a Rode stereo videomic to supplement the above.
I do have other cams, but they're pannys. Having said that, there will be pyrotechnics there, so maybe the colour mix wouldn't be too noticable?

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

I'd stick the Handycam at the back as the wide shot would be used less.
The VX and PD will be best in the pit for close-ups and should match.
I'd use as many cameras as you can get in addition - the lighting might hide colour isues.
I've mixed Panny and sony and you can get away with it. IMHO Pannys are a bluer hue than Sony (and JVC always seem more orange/red)

Minidisc out from the desk for pure sound but use mabe a radio mic near the desk linked through to the pit cameras (as I assume they'll connect to the radio easier than the Handicam) to give the room sound. Mix the two.

Watch out for Pyros - the operator should be trained in their use but one way of warning any crew in the pit area is to have a set of Xmas lights(!) running along the stage edge. The operator should switch them on/off one minute before firing. This allows the camera ops to get out of the way (or frame up a shot to show them).

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

Good points Dave. I have mixed Sony & Panny before too. If you get the white balance right it's not too bad in good light. But in poor light.....:eek:
One point; my mini-disc is not XLR. Anyone used an XLR>mini-disc adaptor before? I believe Rode make them.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

When i used Canon XM2, my local G-tar/music shop made up some cables to my spec - only a few quid each.. including a 2 * XLR female to 3.5mm stereo pin with 1m cable.. and a 1 * XLR female to both left and right connectors of 3.5mm stereo pin.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

If you can get contact details for the audio guy, he may have break out leads to allow a cassette recorder to be connected to his desk. That way you'd just need phono to mini-jack.

other wise, as said above, a local shop can make you leads up. It's best to know what ouput the audio guy will feed - often they'll set you a level but overdrive the system once the gig starts -allow a bit of headroom so you're ok when they crank it up to 11.

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

It seems that the Rode adaptor is mono only - for the original Rode video mic.

Brian Hazelden
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Joined: Apr 30 2001

Hi Arthur,
I have enough mic's, a 12 channel mixer and a 24 track recorder and a bit of experience.
If the gig is in Kent I'd be interested in helping out as long as it fits in with current commitments - Mon - Fri 9-5 Uhh!
Brian Hazelden

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

Thanks for the offer Brian. It's actually in Guildford, between 4 and 5pm. I'm hoping a mixer etc will be supplied by the venue (which is the civic centre I think) I'm at a meeting tomorrow with some of those involved, so I'll find out more then.

Brian Hazelden
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Joined: Apr 30 2001

It's good there's a mixer, but that will be for the PA, and as others have said you will need to add to it.

I'd suggest taking line level "direct outs" from the main mixer for whatever is available and add via your own mixer :-

1) a stereo pair of atmos mics (decent condenser mics)
2) additional drum mics if the PA doesn't cover bass drum, snare and an overhead pair
3) bass guitar cab mic and also DI (direct injection)
4) the stereo signal that goes to the speakers including FX
5) anything else that the main PA desk doesn't cover

The "direct outs" will be pre-fade and not include EQ or FX. These can be added later.
An edited stereo track can be added to a video AVI for video editing and also for reproducing on CD.

Guildford's not too far - what day is it?

Direct outs from the main

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

The big problem is, each band will have only 10mins or so to prepare. But...apparently, there is an audio company at the gig who are producing a disc for the show. I should be able to use this, and add (if need be) some live sound from our cameras. This should simplify things a LOT for us!

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi Arthur,

Even though it's your daughter's boyfriends band don't forget to cover yourself with:
i) written consent from band members and location owners
ii) usual consents/licenses for music

Also find out if they have deals with record companies/producers, that may preclude them from giving consent themselves and 'there is an audio company at the gig who are producing a disc for the show' may have a contract already in place with the band which precludes production with other companies (as a music DVD could eat into the sales of their music CD).

I'm not trying to be alarmist.. just don't want to see you getting into hot water for doing afavour.

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

I agree with you Dave. I'll be looking in to that very thing today.

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

All sorted. That's a relief, as it lets me concentrate on getting the video. :) Thanks again to all.

Brian Hazelden
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Joined: Apr 30 2001

Good luck with the shoot. Any chance of seeing / hearing the results ?

Brian Hazelden

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

Never posted anything on here before, but I'll give it a shot. Managed to get a bit of practise last night, as a rock band played a set at the wedding I was shooting. Suprised at how clear the audio was (reviewed it this morning) especially as I was right in amongst the band. 2nd cam was right in front. audio good from that too.

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

OK, job done. Band well pleased with it! I've tried encoding a clip with windows media encoder to post here, but it loses the 16:9 aspect. Any tips for this?

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

Well, sussed that - but my ISP (BTinternet) doesn't recognise .wmv as a valid file format. I've checked, and it's not in their list of recognised files extensions. :confused:

thekensa17
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Joined: Oct 20 2004
I too have a similar live gig to film for a friend

I do apologise if this is not the right thread to be posting this,but it sounds similar to what I'm trying to do.OK here's the set up: I have a canon XM2.I intend to film a live gig in March.Having filmed several as 1 x cam set up I know the difficulties involved.
A friend who has asked me to film/video his new band and do a promo dvd in March, asked me how I could do a 2 cam shoot, cutting from Wides to C/u's.
Live gig SOUND ppl's are very high and most cam mics need attenuation.I'm speaking from making mistakes!!! My plan to achieve the best AUDIO is now to Rig up a basic set up.Here is my plan( never tried this before)My mini disk( atrac 3 comp. which helps to make live sound a bit even and not too drum heavy)Using SONY ECM MS 907 stereo mic as main AUDIO source grabber.3.5mini jack (from headphones OUTon MD)on a 5M cable to 3.5 mm jack MIC input on XM2.This would give MINI DISK copy of audio and I'd also have the stereo audio track on XM2 mini DV tape.My mate has agreed to lend me his HANDYCAM (H.D.) to use as 2nd Cam for CU's on Guitar,Bass,.I would then jump around getting Cu's on Bass,Guitar,drums.In the edit suite(MAC) I plan to use the AUDIO from MD and Cam 1 as the full track(mute the audio from the CU's cam) and cut between the WIDES and CU's.
Has anyone here tried this?? Would it work??

Kenny