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Old September 12th, 2013, 01:08 AM   #16
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

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Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
That said, I know of a couple of people who use the AKG Perception 170 at loud venues with good success. With its dB pad engaged it can handle 158bB. Price is around $100US.
158dB is what you will find behind a jet fighter taking off from an aircraft carrier, or under a multi-stage space rocket launch pad. One is very unlikely to encounter 158 dB unless you are working for the military or NASA. And working in that kind of SPL will turn you deaf unless you conscientiously wear severe-service hearing protection. Rock musicians have lost their hearing from SPL many orders of magnitude less than that.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #17
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

so far I have tried the Shure SM 58. a musician friend loaned it to me. I haven't got a chance to get back to a loud music venue to do any testing. I did get to test it out at a bar he was playing at. for a $100 Mic. I think it did a good job. When I get to my computer I will post the video I took.
This video was shot with my canon xa20 and the Shure sm58 mic. Just playing around with my new cam and testing the mic. Sounds pretty flat to me but I'm sure I could improve the audio in editing. This video was straight off the cam to youtube. After buying 2 batteries for the canon and a charger I kind of blew my spending money for right now. The $100 price range is probably gonna have to do for now. Would love to try out a Rode videomic to see how it would sound.


This is the problem I had using the Rode NTG-2 mic. This show was very loud but sounded good. The sound man wouldn't let me get a feed from the board which I was really planning on getting. I had the attn. set to on. I need to learn the audio settings better.
I did try to remove some of the distortion in post. This was shot on my xa20.


Last edited by Rich Woodrick; September 12th, 2013 at 09:23 AM.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #18
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

Is the shure sm 58 just a vocal mic?
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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #19
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

The Shure SM58 is *the* classic vocal mic. It's like the SM57 (the classic amp mic) with a vocal pop filter attached.

Both mics sound flat (i.e. a strong mid-range) when recording full bandwidth music. They are tuned with a limited bass and high treble response. But they handle very high SPLs, and well known, and can be used in a pinch to hammer nails. :)

The SM57 or SM58 is a good choice for a natural, documentary type of presentation. It's not a great choice for making a band sound great. But sometimes, it's about getting the job done reliably, on time, and on budget.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #20
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

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Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
158dB is what you will find behind a jet fighter taking off from an aircraft carrier, or under a multi-stage space rocket launch pad. One is very unlikely to encounter 158 dB unless you are working for the military or NASA. And working in that kind of SPL will turn you deaf unless you conscientiously wear severe-service hearing protection. Rock musicians have lost their hearing from SPL many orders of magnitude less than that.
Jeez, Richard, I'm not advocating the sound level, just quoting the specs the mike is capable of....! I know of a couple of people who have purchased these for, for example, those over-amped wedding receptions that leave one's head ringing, and found it eliminated the overload distortion of the mikes they had been using.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #21
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

For indoor events , I use a AT8022 Stereo mic mounted above the room crowd, pointing at a down angle at center stage, xlr cables back to my asx2000. (about 1/2 or more of the crowd are behind the AT8022) Audio levels are manually adjusted at the camera to eliminate clipping. AGC is off. I also use a h4n to record the board mix, using a 25 db pad to reduce the board line levels to mic levels. In post I sync and mix the two until I get a stereo image I like.

I have a home made mic mounting bracket that I use to hang the mic from rafters and such. If I can not hang the mic then I' ll use a microphone stand center forward as an alternative setup.

I can go wireless to the AT8022 but then i don't have control of the mic input levels - I must guess the gain settings before the event starts - and hope the batteries will last as the wireless mic will be turned on for a long time. I found out the hard way that most wireless systems are designed for voice and are not as dynamic as xlr, so I go xlr whenever possible. If wireless and xlr are not practical then i mount the AT8022 on the camera.

For outdoor events I am much more reliant on the board mix and the camera mics. ( I do a 3 or 4 camera shoot for most live events)

Lots of trial an error on my part but getting to the event early so I can set up is key.

I also have asked if the drummer can play quieter => as the rest of the band has to amp up to balance out the drummer => which overpowers a small venue. The answer has always been: Impossible! :)
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:21 AM   #22
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

Not sure if this might help, but the Tascam DR-40 recorder has a mode you can set to record 2 tracks at one level and 2 tracks at a different level in order to provide a safety track in the event of an overload. I record some events where it can be very quiet for a long time and then someone starts blasting a PA and that feature comes in handy.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #23
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

How would something like the Rode NT4 go in situations like these?

RDE Microphones - NT4
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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:29 AM   #24
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

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Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
Not sure if this might help, but the Tascam DR-40 recorder has a mode you can set to record 2 tracks at one level and 2 tracks at a different level in order to provide a safety track in the event of an overload.
This is also a feature of the new Zoom H6 which has a -12dB backup track facility from the main L/R mic module inputs. I just need to hear that it is done as an analogue gain process before the A-D converter for it to be really useful.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #25
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

I have one thing to add about mics:

If you buy a SM57 or 58 (and other mics) get them from a vender you can trust. That is NOT eBay! There are tons of fakes out there and some of them are very hard to tell from the originals - visually that is. Early on I got burned on two SM57s, I still find it hard to believe that people would counterfeit a $100 mic but they do.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:07 AM   #26
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

The trade price on a knock off 57 or 58 is about $12. In fairness, they're not rubbish, but they are NOT going to match a real one. You can eq these counterfeits so they sound fine - BUT - their frequency response has weird spikes in it, and the polar pattern is a bit odd too, so you can't get monitors so loud before feedback.

If you use a dynamic of any price you will get an OK recording, a condenser will be much cleaner and brighter - but one with a pad can be very useful.

One dynamic mic I accidentally used in a loud venue and discovered was excellent was the AKG D202 - the two capsules seemed to work really well, and the usual bassiness was missing!
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Old November 17th, 2013, 07:43 AM   #27
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

The Rode NTG-2 specs say that it can handle131 dB SPL, which is louder than a rock concert, so it's unlikely that the mic itself is distorting. It can be powered by 48V phantom or a single AA battery. Rode does not supply an SPL spec for battery operation, so it's possible that the mic cannot handle rock-concert levels with the battery in use. You could ask Rode tech support about that.

Probably the mic's strong output signal is overloading the mic preamp in your camera. I'd recommend putting a pad (in-line attenuator) between the mic and the camera such as the Dayton XATT20 or
Shure A15AS. Good luck!

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Old November 17th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #28
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Re: Advice for choosing mic for recording loud concerts

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Originally Posted by Rich Woodrick View Post
I'm looking for an external mic for my new Canon XA20 that came handle loud live music /concerts. My Rode NTG-2 just can't handle that kind of volume. I want to record directly to the camera to avoid editing and save time. There are times I can't get a feed off the sound board. Recording locally live music is mostly a hobby but there are times I get hired to record a concert, usually pretty much on the cheap. I just recorded a show, warm up bands for Jackyl,
using my new cam and the audio has too much distortion using the NTG-2 mic. I had the audio settings in manual, AGC off, set the meters from going in the red and turned on the attenuator. I was set up next to the sound board about 50 feet from the stage. I found that I'm better off using the on camera mic than my Rode mic. At least I didn't have clipping with the on camera mic. But I need to improve my audio so that's why I'm here looking for help. My budget is around $300 and will consider buying a used mic.
Many cameras have an amplifier section *before* the level control.

So it's likely the mic. is fine, but the camera is overloading the first stage.

I would use an external audio section.
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