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Old July 8th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Recording a band's show

I got an XH A1 and want to film my band. I did one shoot this past weekend and the audio was really bad. I'd like some advice on what I should/can do. I really don't know where to begin, I'm new to this.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Location: Toronto
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I've been recording loud rock concerts for a while now. You definetely need a good external mic. I started by using an old ECM-908C stereo mic on a MiniDV camera, which still sounds quite good and I'll use it on a b-camera if it only takes a mini-jack input. But when I got my first 3-chip camera w/ XLR connections a while ago I upgraded to a decent hypercardioid (I don't suggest a shotgun for these environments). I bought the Rode NT3, which is a great mic...though it can be quite heavy for on-camera use. You may need a Rode SM5 shock mount because the NT3 is too big for the Canon mic-mount. But all that will add quite a bit of weight (or at least that's what I found).

I still suggest a hypercardioid, but I'm unsure what your budget is. I just bought an Audio Technica 4053a which is much lighter and fits right into the mic mount on my V1U, but I haven't recorded any concerts with it yet.
I just bought it through B&H and they have it for an amazing price of $399.

Though I prefer a hyper, some may prefer a cardioid (really it depends on the club though). If you decide to go with a cardioid then try

They also seem to have it on sale for $399. If you find you can afford an extra $200 you can have even more flexibility by just purchasing the 4051A-EL or 4053A-EL capsules. Then you can try each capsule during the opening band or something and see which one performs better for your position in that environment.

If you can get a wireless kit too, I would suggest getting one with a plug-in XLR transmitter and asking the sound guy to plug it into the sound board and feeding it wirelessly into the second channel of your camcorder. Hopefully you'll wind up with something great to mix with afterwards.

Pros will probably recommend two of the exact same cardioid mics to get a true stereo pattern. You'll probably wind up with a great recording, but if you're mounting the mic on your camera you can't really do this. Plus, not everyone can afford to buy these...

Last edited by Craig Irving; July 8th, 2008 at 07:36 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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For a two-track recording, here are two possible routes.

1. If all instruments are amplified, you can choose to trust the sound mixer at the venue and take a stereo feed from the board. Results can be great or terrible, as what's coming out of the board can differ greatly from what comes out of the speakers at the venue. Alternately, mic the L and R speakers for a two-track recording. Again, depends on the venue sound.

2. My favorite approach: rent a pair of good cardioids or hypers (Schoeps CMC64 or CMC641) and put them up on stands or clip them to the ceiling (much safer/better results imo). Then split the feed from the vocal mic. Usually these are dynamic mics (Shure SM58) and can suffer the 6dB loss from splitting with no ill effects. Mix the vocal mic center with loudness to taste. Mix the other two L and R. Tada! Usually this sounds way better than the venue itself.

Good luck!
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Old July 8th, 2008, 06:18 PM   #4
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I have recorded some nights at a quite big venue in my city. The cheapest and best solution (since the venue didn't pay me for new equipment costs) for me: i hook up my Rode Stereo Videomic on my VX2100 or i place it in a good spot with receiver + i connect my Iriver H100 HDD player/recorder (with rockbox firmware) to the main pa/mixer. Afterwards i mix and sync both sources and choose when i would like to hear echo / crowd noise /w direct source or when i want to hear direct source only.

Works great and having the crowd noise and echo from the hall gives you the feeling you are actually there.
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