By Bobby Owsinski • September 22, 2011 I know what many of you are thinking. “I love doing live sound but I’m really not that interested in recording.” Or, “Clients are asking for it, but I’m a little uncertain on how to get quality results.” Not to worry, I was there once upon a time before making a transition to the world of recording. If you know how to pass a clean signal, you can make a great recording. It will take a little extra time and thought, especially in the beginning, but before you know it, recording can become second nature. The simplest way to record a live show is with a stereo flash recorder like a Zoom H4, a Tascam DR-07, Olympus LS-10, and the like. There are three ways to use these units: connected directly to the console outputs to make a board recording, placement out in the audience, or a combination of the two. Audience Placement Let’s assume that you’re only using the built-in microphone on the recorder. What you’re trying to achieve is a balance between what’s coming out of the house system and what’s coming off stage, the exception being if everything on stage is either being taken direct or really quiet (like with acoustic instruments), in which case a board mix might do just fine. Figure 1: Place recorders about 12 – 15 feet from the house loudspeaker(s), but more on the edge of the cabinet(s). (click to enlarge) Position the recorder about 12 to 15 feet back from the house loudspeakers, but more on the edge of the cabinets, aimed towards the stage (Figure 1). This will give you the best balance between the vocal heavy PA and the instruments on the stage. Keep in mind that you’ll have to experiment a bit to find the exact spot where the balance is right, since the balance depends upon the room, volume of the band, volume of the house system, and how large and boisterous the audience is. Also make sure that the mic is placed at least 3 feet above the audience. Figure 2: Audience microphone height placement. (click to enlarge) The higher the recorder is placed above the audience, the better, but if there’s a low ceiling in a club, you’re better off with placement closer to the audience since the reflections from the ceiling can make for some real unnatural sounds (Figure 2). If the stage is high, aim for the belt-buckle of one of the players. Be sure to set the recorder’s gain or sensitivity fairly low on so it doesn’t overload the input and distort the recording (this means not allowing the red “over” indicators to light ever). Read the rest of this post 1 2 3 About Bobby Bobby Owsinski Music Industry Veteran and Technical Consultant Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. To read more from Bobby, and to acquire copies of his outstanding books such as The Recording Engineer’s Handbook, be sure to check out his website at www.bobbyowsinski.com. http://www.bobbyowsinski.com/ Comments Have something to say about this PSW content? Leave a comment! Cancel reply Scroll past the ”Post Comment” button below to view any existing comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Tagged with: Audio Basics Bobby Owsinski Engineer Live Poll Portable Recorders Recording · 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.