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Old December 9th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #1
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Tascam HD-P2 Live Concerts

I own 2 Sony HDR-FX1 camera's and my buddy and I are beginning to shoot live Concerts in small venue's. We're trying to pick up a solid digital recorder so that we don't have to run a line from the mixing board in the audio booth all the way to one of the camera's each time we do a shoot.

Not having a lot of experience with these units, It appears as if the Tascam HD-P2 is the answer to our dreams. My assumption with this unit is that I can put batteries in it, take it back to the audio booth and have the audio guy plug it into his mixer and record the entire concert in full digital quality all back there while we shoot the video and then later compile the footage and sync both video and audio in post environment.

Before I drop $1000 on this unit, will this HD-P2 do the trick?

A few things about what we need...
- High quality recordering is very important to us.
- Each concert venue has different equipment, but they all appear to be pretty much the same in that they have a big mixing board with usually a bunch of line in's/line out's. So I can't tell you which specific equipment I'll be hooking it up to.

Any suggestions or help on this matter is greatly appreciated. The other unit I was looking at that is much cheaper is the Fostek MR-8 mkII for $250.00.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #2
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Hi Jon,

Not to burst your bubble, but the board mix is just for the PA. It won't give you the sound of the amps on stage (among other things) unless you get a mix with some pretty carefully positioned house mics.

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Old December 10th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
Not to burst your bubble, but the board mix is just for the PA. It won't give you the sound of the amps on stage (among other things) unless you get a mix with some pretty carefully positioned house mics.
Plenty of small rock venues mic the amps, just so the mixer has more control over the mix. The smallest don't, but it's done a lot. This only works if the guitar player's ego is in check, because of course he needs to turn down for it to work.

Jon, 80% of my work is shooting concerts. I'd look into getting a multitrack disk recorder so you can record the house board's subgroup outs.

Also, don't forget at least one house mic. Board mixes can sound super sterile, besides the fact that often what is right for the house mains is not at all right for recording/later listening.

Alesis HD24s are typically the low-budget standard for this sort of work.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Yes they do mic the amps, but the sound of the concert (especially in smaller venues) is about stage volume of amps and you don't get the sound with a house mix.

In fact, on many gigs unless the band is really in control of their sound, the stage volume is so loud, the mics on the amps aren't even turned up.

Otherwise we are in agreement.

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Ty Ford
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Old December 10th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #5
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Hmmm..

You guys have me concerned.... We've shot at two venues (in Southern California, where do you shoot and record Nate?).. We took audio "off the soundboard" in both locations and in one location, the sound was very good, the other it's been absolutely horrible full of noice, hiss, pops, etc. My assumption is that either we did something wrong, the venue doesn't have good equipment, or the sound guy at this other place doesn't know what he's doing.

I need to get a decent recording from a live show. Nate, if I buy a multidisk recorder (such as the Fostex M8-mkII which is 8 track, but only 2 tracks recordable at a time) do you think this is a step in the right direction?

Jon
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Old December 10th, 2006, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin
You guys have me concerned.... We've shot at two venues (in Southern California, where do you shoot and record Nate?)..
Wherever the band I'm hired to shoot is playing. I've done about 10 shows at HOB Anaheim, 5 at The Glasshouse in Pomona, 2 at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, etc etc. Even one at Long Beach Arena, but with a remote truck www.lemobile.com. Keep in mind I was director and one of two producers on all these, not recording engineer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin
We took audio "off the soundboard" in both locations and in one location, the sound was very good, the other it's been absolutely horrible full of noice, hiss, pops, etc. My assumption is that either we did something wrong, the venue doesn't have good equipment, or the sound guy at this other place doesn't know what he's doing.
Usually extraneous noise (if not actual recorded noise), is bad pots/inputs on the soundboard. It's not unusual for boards in these places to get crappy and cause their own pops and hiss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin
I need to get a decent recording from a live show. Nate, if I buy a multidisk recorder (such as the Fostex M8-mkII which is 8 track, but only 2 tracks recordable at a time) do you think this is a step in the right direction?
Not really. for those extra tracks to be useful for you, you need to be able to record to them all at once. The HD24 is definitely overkill for you, but considering all the tracks can be used at once, and it can be had for around $1500, it's worth looking at.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #7
 
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If the audio is as critical (you need to have proper mixes in place) then your most expensive, but best bet, is to split the feeds from the stage so that the house mix gets one side of a feed and you have multi-track recording the other half of the feed to be mixed in post. This is how all the larger shows are done, and how all the critical mix projects we do are done regardless of the size of the show. If it's just a single guitar and vocal, this is how we do it as well. This way we have control over every aspect, including room tone and audience response to the performances. It's expensive, because it requires a splitter snake plus double the number of connectors. We have a snake that splits straight off with speed cannons that allow us to connect to the house snake as if we weren't even part of the event.
You'll need a mic on every aspect of the mix, the minimal typical mix of a band would require:
DI-bass
DI(s)-keys/keyboard mix
XX mics horn(s)
Kick mic
snare mic
2 OH for drum kit
XX mics for guitars
vox mics
mics/DI's for any specialties in the band such as strings, piano, etc.
A small mixer can feed the multitrack; I've used systems with mic input and trims only for fairly intense projects, as I don't need aux/eq/whatever for recording. It's all mixed down later so my only concern is levels to the multitrack. I've recorded in this manner straight to ProTools or Sony Vegas, and recently did one to Mackie Tracktion as well, all using a laptop and either 16 or 24 inputs.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 09:36 PM   #8
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All helpfull information but scarrying the heck out of me. I don't have the kind of budget or skillset OR connections to accomplish such feets... Where do I start... Yikes!
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Old December 10th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #9
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Stereo feed off the board (if it is indeed stereo, it might not be), and set up two room mikes.

Record each to it's own track, so you'll have 3 or 4 tracks. So you're looking at at least a 4 track recorder.

Mix all of them to taste in the computer.

My point was from the beginning that you were looking at a 2-track recorder for this type of work, and I was advising you're best off looking for something with more tracks available, at least 4, maybe 8. Prices do not go up astronomically for more tracks, so it's worth your while to investigate.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 11:10 PM   #10
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You got it Nate... I really appreciate the help... lots of learning and work ahead of me...
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Old December 11th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #11
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John,
Here's a simple set up that I used recently for two short night concerts outside in Fort lauderdale.
1-Stereo mix from the pa board to my Edirol R-09.The Edirol accepts rca to 1/8trs, but if the board can only give you xlr, then you need addl gear.(I went form board xlr to my Soundevices 302 to the Edirol).
2-Stero mic set up near the main camera.
This worked out pretty well. The board mix was clean, but as someone said, a bit sterile. So lining up both the board and live mix in Nuendo, I ended up with the clean sound and also all the audience and live sound.

I recoded a Latin jazz concerts a few months back in a nice college campus hall. What I did was the following.
1- Edirol off of the board for a safety stereo mix.
2-Mic'd everything on stage( in addition to the mouse mics) and ran them via snake to my motu traveller,behrringer converter, and laptop (15 tracks-running Nuendo).
This sounded great, but if I were doing live multi track on an on going basis, I'd definately use what Nate suggested, an Alesis Hd24. My lap top/Motu system scares me, because it has failed before. I wouldn't mind recording with a double system (laptop/motu and HD24) if it were an important concert.
As DSE said, the way large pro events are done are with mic splitter systems. I tried using splitters at the latin jazz concert,(taking advantage of the house mics), but there were some wierd problems (sax players wireless created a noisy humm) so I went with my own mics (in addition to the houses')

One addl piece of advice....make friends with the sound man right away. Try to find out who it is before the event. A lot of these guys freak out if you try to get them to help you at the event, while they're trying to get their mix set up.
Hope that helps.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #12
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Bruce,

I like your strategy.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 11th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #13
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For a basic setup I use the Edirol R-4. That's enough for two channels from the desk and two for your own X-Y mic.

I must admit I've been bitten by 'feeds from the desk'. The guys doing the house mix seem to range from very helpfull to damn right dangerous, at the end of the show they've done their job, your nightmare might just be starting so those two channels from your own mics can be your saviour.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #14
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Ty- Thanks.

Bob- How dio you like the R-4? Does it have xlr' in?
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Old December 11th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #15
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I reviewed the R-4 when it came out. My review is in the "Other_Gear" folder in my On Line Archive.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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