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Old October 11th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #1
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Help with Live Music Recording

Rookie needs assistance and guidance.

Three times now I have tried to record my kid's band with my new XH-A1 and been very unhappy with the resulting audio.

First effort was with internal mic

Second with just my Rode NT2G Shotgun

Last night with my two Azden wireless mic with a transmitter on each side of the room.

Each time I used the Channel 1 XLR tying that to Channel 1 & 2, carefully set each audio level channel so it just peaked and the resultant audio every time as been an muddy mess??

Note, I have not applied any attenuation on any of these attempts so far, since the levels seemed to be appropriate and not excessive on the VU's. It's so loud in these venues that even with headphones it's hard to tell the quality of the audio I am captruing with the camera and I'm always disappointed when I hear it after it has been captured.

Each of these Venues are small cramped bars, the genre of music is Metal so it's LOUD.

I'm thrilled with the video but need to polish my skills on capturing acceptable Audio.

Any help and guideance would be appreciated.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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get a board feed. find out if they are sending mic or line level and set the camera to match. if you don't know, start with line level. if you get nothing / next to nothing, its mic level. switch the camera the mic level and try again. if you have the camera barely open and have plenty of signal, you're getting line level fed to mic level. it WILL distort ! switch to line level on camera and readjust.

as for a room mic, good luck. you probably can't get the mic where it would work best, about 1/3 - 1/2 back from the stage's width hung from the ceiling assming its not a super low ceiling. wouldn't dream of putting any sort of stand on the floor. also a 10db pad would help, maybe 2 if its insanely loud. thats about as good as it gets. also be sure you mic can handle the SPL level. you can clip the mic. a wind screen should also be in use.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
get a board feed. find out if they are sending mic or line level and set the camera to match. if you don't know, start with line level. if you get nothing / next to nothing, its mic level. switch the camera the mic level and try again. if you have the camera barely open and have plenty of signal, you're getting line level fed to mic level. it WILL distort ! switch to line level on camera and readjust.

as for a room mic, good luck. you probably can't get the mic where it would work best, about 1/3 - 1/2 back from the stage's width hung from the ceiling assming its not a super low ceiling. wouldn't dream of putting any sort of stand on the floor. also a 10db pad would help, maybe 2 if its insanely loud. thats about as good as it gets. also be sure you mic can handle the SPL level. you can clip the mic. a wind screen should also be in use.
Thanks Steve all good info, I have tried to get a line off the board so far none of the Venue's would cooperate. I'll keep trying though.

When using room mics, should I have the XLR attenuation on my XH-A1?

Thanks agian for the assist!

Last edited by Curtis Edwards; October 11th, 2008 at 09:43 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Alesis makes some nice audio boards directly compatible to record to your iPod. I recorded using their 8 channel iPod board last weekend at a live acoustic concert. It's really the only way IMHO to get decent sounding audio if filming one of these events. You simply plug it in and run a line out of the board. If they give you a hard time about doing so, tell them they can have a copy of the recording or something like that.

Anyway, take a look at the Multiport. You can use it to record a single channel off a 1/4" plug or a XLR cable. It can record to an iPod or to your computer. Might be the best and cheapest way to get audio at one of your kid's live event.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Curtis Edwards View Post
Thanks Steve all good info, I have tried to get a line off the board so far no of the Venue's would cooperate. I'll keep trying though.

When using room mics, should I have the attenuation on?

Thanks agian for the assist!
You should get a pair of decent dynamic mics for the room mics. Wireless or condenser mics can overload easily with really high sound pressure levels. Since its too loud to monitor well you likely won't hear the distortion if its happening at the mic.
Bernie
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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You should get a pair of decent dynamic mics for the room mics. Wireless or condenser mics can overload easily with really high sound pressure levels. Since its too loud to monitor well you likely won't hear the distortion if its happening at the mic.
Bernie
I was going to try two Audio Technica MLB1000 (I think that is the model) I have next time around just to see what I would get with them, so I will try that. Thanks!
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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I have to agree with Steve. The only way you are going to get really good results, is to use a stereo mix from the board. If the venue(s) are not co operating then you are really going to struggle.

The preferred way is to record the audio separately and sync it up later in post.

Lou

Last edited by Lou Trottier; October 11th, 2008 at 09:48 PM. Reason: incomplete
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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most pa's are mono. One thing I have done is to use a wireless mic transmitter to get to the camera. Not the best, but way better then nothing. Tape the transmitter up on a wall or on a small light stand to be sure you get line of sight.
If they are paying for the pa then there should be no problems getting a feed. Even ifita the house system the mixer should give you a feed, it normal courtesy unless you are dealing with some idiots who have their hand out for some cash which is wrong. It's not a big deal to do so
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Old October 12th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #9
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Board feeds are the best, but beware the idiots working them. I always specify in advance I need a board feed, and usually get it. During sound check I sort levels out, but so often, half way through the level suddenly vanishes or increases drastically when the board op forgets what is on aux 6, or group 3 or mono out and prods a fader.

Room sound plus a direct feed give best of both worlds.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
most pa's are mono. One thing I have done is to use a wireless mic transmitter to get to the camera. Not the best, but way better then nothing. Tape the transmitter up on a wall or on a small light stand to be sure you get line of sight.
If they are paying for the pa then there should be no problems getting a feed. Even ifita the house system the mixer should give you a feed, it normal courtesy unless you are dealing with some idiots who have their hand out for some cash which is wrong. It's not a big deal to do so
That is what I did on the last one Revelation - Open the Door on Vimeo I suspended two wirless transmitters on each side of the room about half way up the wall above the crowd. Still came out very muddy. I will keep experimenting and appreciate all the input!
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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #11
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Further, if you are paying for the board feed INSIST on an FOH (front of house) feed, not an aux send. That way you get what the audience gets, without the obvious effects that speakers and onstage amplification bleed present. That includes effects, equalization etc.

I don't know how many times I've gotten an Aux send only to realize later that it is BEFORE the reverb on the vocalist who is now just hanging out there mercilessly. I've also had sound guys give me their headphone mix which is great when they decide to solo a channel in the middle of a song for a minute and a half while they adjust a noise gate on a drum or something...
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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
If they are paying for the pa then there should be no problems getting a feed. Even ifita the house system the mixer should give you a feed, it normal courtesy unless you are dealing with some idiots who have their hand out for some cash which is wrong. It's not a big deal to do so
Just make sure you show up with the appropriate cables to accept whatever they give you. That means showing up with 1/4TRS to XLR adaptors in most cases and not just showing up with a mic cable or nothing at all. I go one further and bring XLR & TRS Y-cables in case buddy is going to be nice enough to give me the ACTUAL Mains feed.

Mixing desks come in all shapes and sizes. It is best not to assume that there are 27 unused outputs on the back that can be dedicated to whatever you want. As well, whenever possible, scout the location ahead of time and talk to the soundguy/engineer in advance and make sure you can get what you need. The very first person I talk to when I walk into a venue either as a videographer or as a semi-pro bass player is the sound guy.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #13
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That is what I did on the last one Revelation - Open the Door on Vimeo I suspended two wirless transmitters on each side of the room about half way up the wall above the crowd. Still came out very muddy. I will keep experimenting and appreciate all the input!
I believe Steve was saying that he used a transmitter to send the BOARD FEED wirelessly, not send mic feeds from the wireless.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #14
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I believe Steve was saying that he used a transmitter to send the BOARD FEED wirelessly, not send mic feeds from the wireless.
Oh sorry I missed that....
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #15
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Just make sure you show up with the appropriate cables to accept whatever they give you. That means showing up with 1/4TRS to XLR adaptors in most cases and not just showing up with a mic cable or nothing at all. I go one further and bring XLR & TRS Y-cables in case buddy is going to be nice enough to give me the ACTUAL Mains feed.

Mixing desks come in all shapes and sizes. It is best not to assume that there are 27 unused outputs on the back that can be dedicated to whatever you want. As well, whenever possible, scout the location ahead of time and talk to the soundguy/engineer in advance and make sure you can get what you need. The very first person I talk to when I walk into a venue either as a videographer or as a semi-pro bass player is the sound guy.
All great info Shaun, thanks for the guideance!
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