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Old June 21st, 2019, 01:12 PM   #16
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Re: Headphone audio

If you're going to be at the venue for the duration, perhaps you can arrange to split the output of the mixer or whatever is feeding the speakers. Or even split the source. If there are multiple sources bring lots of (RCA?) splitters and your own mixer.

I record live music all the time and it's generally not a problem to get some kind of feed from the mixer that isn't the headphone output. I suppose a dance recital may use simpler gear, but it still seems like there has to be a better way.

When I want entirely independent audio I bring my XLR splitter snake and my own mixer.
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 12:56 AM   #17
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Re: Headphone audio

Patrick's really got e only solution that is business like. If you want it done properly, take everything you need. It's also a perfect example of where advance documents really help. I run a theatre and when I receive a technical rider that says they need a reverse feed of the main microphone sent back to the stage to allow a show recording, it's a two minute job. Same when they ask for feeds to mixers or outputs for cameras. If the video guy turns up 30 minutes before the show and ask for an audio feed, then he'll get a cable about six feet long, and a guess mix. No way to play a track with the people in. If the first number is a tricky one, then the sound op may not have any time to even check what's going down the cable, level wise. The late request is usually then followed by a tap on the lighting guys shoulder asking for more/less/ light, or even changes of colour. Happens all the time and if they cannot turn up for rehearsals, then unless it's on paper and agreed they have priority over the audience, then they get no changes.

Don't forget that for many events the audio equipment is not the venue's and has been supplied by another company. They have no compulsion to do anything, but might if the request is done properly.
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 06:57 AM   #18
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Re: Headphone audio

I’m starting to change my policy that it’s not enough to request a board feed from the director of the show or the person who’s hiring me. I need the direct contact info for the person knowledgeable with the sound system who will be setting up that board. Because a lot of times the request for a feed never made to the right person. One of the most prevalent trends i’m noticing is they will either rent the equipment or use the venues but then only hire someone to set it up but the day of the show a student will only be there doing simple cues and has no knowledge of the board. This must be a cost saving measure
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 08:24 AM   #19
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Re: Headphone audio

When I was recording legal edu seminars in NYC metro area hotel ballrooms and such, most of the folks who set up or rented the system were not what I would call "knowledgeable" and did not know the difference between mic and line level.
In my case though, the producers used many the same venues, so after I got to know the hotel's A/V dept. or rental co. folks, they allowed me to integrate the recording set-up with the PA and have full control of both. FWIW, my usual MO, I used the prefader sends for the house sound and the main faders for the recording,.
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 11:42 AM   #20
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Re: Headphone audio

To be clear, 90% of my live recordings are done on a Zoom H5 getting a mono or stereo duplicate of what the mixer is sending the speakers plus the onboard mics. I've even used the passthrough XLR of active main speakers as my board feed. It works great when the recorder is at the foot of stage with the mics capturing stage noise (amps & drums).
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Old July 1st, 2019, 06:11 PM   #21
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Re: Headphone audio

Over the years Rick, Paul, Richard and I have probably written volumes on this board about "What should a video guy do when he needs a board feed." It is an important question with no one single good answer. The answer is based on your own knowledge and kit.

I realise not all of you can carry a complete audio kit designed to make this work for every situation. If your going to accept unknown feeds with little control my first advice is not about how to do it, it is to say "Go for it but do not count on it without a separate solid backup recording in place." This board is littered with the other thread that comes after the patch question "Dude Help!!! I can't use my audio!!!" A backup is not a joke, it is a mandatory life saver for live events. Best advice I can give. Now that I got that out of the way.....

As everyone said the first thing you need in your kit is a DI box, its mandatory. It is like a magic little tool that can take a wide range of crap coming out of a board and turn it into a known and usable signal that can be handled by your patch cables and cameras.

On the kind of cheap mixers found at recitals with a kid standing behind the low end board this is one time when I might not immediately discard classic RCA outs if they are there. Recitals are the kind of scene where you might still run into a mixer (or even a player) with RCA outs. A short RCA connector into a DI box, then XLR for the camera run can work. This will most likely be a Consumer Line Level feed. It's up to you to know what your DI box will do to it and what your camera or recorder wants.

My point is that my kit is built to be versatile. It is centered around DI boxes and pads with a lot of cables and adapters. My goal is always to start by trying to get a balanced signal straight from a good board output and keep it balanced all the way to the cameras or recorder. But, Just as you said Peat, sometimes the real world sucks and you have to punt. When your standing on the 60 yard line and you have to punt you need to know what your doing and have a little luck that the guy on the other team at the end of your cable does not drop the ball.

Kind Regards,

Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
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