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Thread: Recording Live Performance

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    Recording Live Performance

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    Hi! I'm looking to record and film a live vocal and instrument performance using my daw and was wondering how do you capture the audio of the performance?

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    Your questions is a bit like: "hi, I want to build my own house. I was wondering how you build a house?"

    It would be useful to know (a) what the line up of the live performance is, (b) the type of venue in which it is being played, (c) what DAW you have, (d) who the sound of the performance is being managed in the venue.

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    On many jobs I use a Zoom H5 to capture live audio, then import the audio and video to Vegas Pro for audio mixing, sync and video edit.

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    Feed from each track of the board plus a room mic usually does it.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    It depends entirely on how many tracks you need to capture to some degree. I generally have the same approach, but for 6 or less tracks I'll just use my Zoom H6 (with 2xXLR extension adapter) for audio. For more, I pack my Focusrite, Behringer ADA8200 and old MacBook Pro.

    I use splitters and DIs to "T" out of the lines to the board, so the house doesn't have to change what they normally do, and I don't rely on the board having available sends for each channel. It's a dry signal, so I have to mix it to sound as close to the house as I can, and I will almost always include a tiny bit of the camera audio for ambience. I mix that, then sync it to the video. This usually means I'm getting a direct signal from a guitar with a pickup. (I can supplement with a shotgun mic to get more acoustic sound, but that generally only works if it's a good stage and the performer holds still!)

    If you're talking a full band, that can get complex and you'll probably need a rack of splitters - I haven't had to do that yet, since the only band I did only mic'd vocals and one guitar, with everything else having its own amp (or none, in the case of drums). Then you'd need to mic up anything that wasn't going to the PA that you could capture.

    I am *not* a videographer but will set up a camera or old camcorder somewhere when I can, since it seems everyone wants video - this is purely for "proof-of-concept" stuff, and I can tell you that doing both by yourself can be difficult, since it's hard to monitor both at the same time, and if you're watching the audio, and the camera goes out of focus or gets bumped, you've lost a bunch of video. Same thing if you're watching the camera (and consumer level cameras have pathetic monitoring capability IMO for this kind of stuff, not to mention they eat batteries if you are monitoring/recording for a long time).

    Here's a guy I recorded last week - old camcorder at work - static shooting from the table where I was sitting.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    If this is an actual live performance with an audience, consider being as inconspicuous as possible. The ideal setup would be splits of his vocal and instrument recorded to separate tracks, plus a stereo room mic to separate tracks. If getting splits can't happen then record the board mix + room mics. This second method is my default setup for most video recording gigs.

    If this is a live performance in private just for the video shoot, definitely capture the two tracks separately and mix them properly after the fact.

    Recorders like my H5 work great for this, or you can use a laptop and interface. You'll need an interface with four inputs for the board+room mic setup.

    For fancier recording I'll bring the old HD24, mixer (for the preamps) and XLR split snakes, but that's seldom warranted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oba-One View Post
    Hi! I'm looking to record and film a live vocal and instrument performance using my daw and was wondering how do you capture the audio of the performance?
    After a little more thought, I'm with @gecko zzed on this - we need more information. Is the performer already using a PA supplied by the house, etc. And one piece that would be useful is what do you want the video to look like, and are there constraints on camera location, etc.

    One thing I always think about, usually afterwards with regret, is having the performer bring a good mic (or 2), if there's any question about what they might have stuck on a stand in front of them in a public venue, and it really matters how the recording sounds.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Feed from each track of the board plus a room mic usually does it.
    Well, yes. However, we don't know that there is a board. We don't even know that it is a live performance at a conventional venue. It could be in someone's living room.

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    Waiting on information from Oba-one


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