Sign up for ProSoundWeb newsletters
Subscribe today!

Seven Tips For A Successful Live Concert Recording
There's more to think about to get a good result than you might anticipate...
+- Print Email Share RSS RSS

This article is provided by Home Studio Corner.

 
A couple months ago I got a gig recording a live concert. It wasn’t your typical show.

One singer, one piano, in a big old church. In addition to recording the concert, I was also in charge of running live sound.

Everything turned out really well, but there was a LOT to do and think about to ensure a smooth concert and a great-sounding recording.

For one thing, the singer was going to sing several songs with a handheld mic, and several more songs without a mic (opera stuff), but I still needed to record her voice for that.

I don’t do a ton of live concert recording, but if you’re a home studio guy, chances are there are opportunities for you to take your gear “on location” and record a live concert. Might be a new opportunity you hadn’t considered before.

To that end, I’ve got 7 tips for you to ensure a successful live concert recording:

1. Bring more gear than you think you need.

You will always need another cable, another adapter, a longer power cable…you name it. If you’re not sure if you need it, bring it.

I packed up my iMac, Presonus StudioLive 1602 mixer, all my mics, all my stands, all my cables…everything I could squeeze into my car, EVEN if I think I wouldn’t use it.

Another tip? Make a list. I wrote down a list of things I absolutely needed for the concert, and I’m so glad I did.

As I was getting ready to walk out the door, I looked at my list realized I forgot to pack my mouse and keyboard. (In case you didn’t know, it’s really hard to drive an iMac without a mouse and keyboard.) grin

Here’s a quick rundown of what I used:

—Vocal (for handheld stuff) – AKG D5 (dynamic)
—Piano – pair of Earthworks SR25′s (small-diaphragm condensers) in XY configuration on a single mic stand with a stereo mic bar
—2nd vocal mic (for opera stuff) – another Earthworks SR25, placed 5 feet in front of the singer
—Room mics – M-Audio Luna (condenser) and AKG C5 (handheld condenser)

2. Set up a room mic.

If you have the extra mics and inputs, make it a point to set up a room mic or two. You never know when a room mic will save the day.

For example, at one point during the concert the pianist did some audience participation stuff. The recording turned out MUCH better because I took the time to set up the room mics, so you can actually hear the audience.

I initially wasn’t going to bother with room mics. I didn’t even have a matched pair of mics available, and I had used all my mic cables and stands on the vocal mics and piano.

So what did I do? I grabbed a couple of the church’s cheap mic stands and cables, threw them up in the choir loft and set up a pair of room mics. One was a handheld condenser mic and the other was a large-diaphragm studio condenser mic.

You know what? They worked wonderfully.

Even ONE room mic can make a difference…so try your best to capture the room.


With Live Sound, You Can Make Anyone Sound Good

A free subscription to Live Sound International is your key to successful sound management on any scale — from a single microphone to a stadium concert. Written by professionals for professionals, each issue delivers essential information on the latest products specs, technologies, practices and theory.
Whether you’re a house monitor engineer, technical director, system technician, sound company owner, installer or consultant, Live Sound International is the best source to keep you tuned in to the latest pro audio world. Subscribe today…it’s FREE!!

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.



Audio Central