By Joe Gilder • December 15, 2011 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.) 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. Read the rest of this post 1 2 About Joe Joe Gilder Sound Engineer Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner. http://www.homestudiocorner.com Comments Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Tagged with: Concerts Joe Gilder Poll Recording Techniques · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound.