audio for live events

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    • #82241

      Hello all hope someone can help me. I have opportunities to shoot live events only problem I have is the audio. With previous events I have done the video quality was great but audio could of been better. I was using a shotgun mic connected to my dslr which I know now isnt a good idea. Do anyone of you think its better to buy a professional camcorder than to use a dslr camera to do a music showcase event. Because when it comes to dslr I feel like im limited when it comes to audio. I dont know if a digital zoom mic is the best way to go by it. But if I do purchase a professional camcorder I still will need to know how to capture audio at one of the music showcase im going to be shooting.

    • #211092

      I wouldn't change cameras to improve audio necessarily. Add an external audio recorder like a Tascam or Zoom and take a feed from the mixing board and or attach some quality room mics to capture ambiance or the sound from the stage. Let the camcorder capture the room sound too so you can use it to sync the camera and external audio in post. 

    • #211173
      Sorry to hear about that. If you are looking to not have any kind of trouble when it comes to your audio and video, DreamSync is the go-to software. Also, check out this article on how to best shoot videos with separate devices:
    • #211180

      Yes what slewisma said.  Take a feed from the mixing board.  There are people monitoring that audio to make sure it's perfect, so you should take advantage of that.  Just have a good selection of adapters ready (xlr, 1/4", 1/8", male, female) so the guy on the mixing board has options. 




      Lowell Niles
      Creative Director, Sunword Studios

    • #211190

      That's a bit expectational! If we are talking about live music in a stadium, then what comes out of the mixer left and right is a properly balanced mix, but in a smaller venue, with a typical band, it's quite possible the mix will not contain all of the sources. In fact, some are so loud on their own that none of their output is in the mix at all! Electric guitars, basses and of course the drums are all very loud, so in smaller venues, the mixer just gets the quieter sources up over the loud ones – and of course the vocals. The person mixing won't spend any time listening to your mix, so it's luck. The quality is high, but the balance may be very odd. However, mixed with the camera audio, it's usually ok – but it's not the best it could be by a long way. Changes to the mix can also mes up the audio – it's very common for the house sound guy to send you a couple of channels of either L/R or a separate mix, that might compensate for the no guitar or drums – but changes they make when something happens can suddenly drop or increase your level, and they won't notice at all. Unless contracted and arranged, audio output from the desk is what's often called a courtesy mix – and totally unmonitored.


      Lots of peple blame the sound guy for being poor, or unhelpful, but their job is the audience sound, not the video sound unless pre-arranged, which might then need a second operator? We do lots of this, either as the video people OR as the people providing the sound, so we see both sides of the problem. What is absolutely certain is that turning up (as happens very often) at the last minute and handing the sound people a cable or two expecting decent sound, is going to be interesting. I've even had it happen while the audience are coming in – so no chance to even test the output – and sadly, doing it by eye, not ear means I have accidentally turned the wrong controls and sent them some very strange things. Once the show starts, both my ears are on the show – NOT what is going to the video guy. The adaptors comment is very sensible – being asked not just for a feed, but cables too is a total pain.

    • #211191

      Good points Paul. Sometimes a smaller setting is a good thing though as small groups don't get to perform in public a lot and run an aux mix to try to get a recording. They may not put the guitar amps and drums in the house mix but they might mic them and put them in a mix for recording. If you can get a feed from that mix, it may be usable. 


      To your point though, before you ask for a feed, ask what's in the mix(es) available to take a feed from. 


      My strategy has been to take a feed into the line inputs on a portable recorder, grab a live recording with the mic inputs (I put a stereo mic pair up on a single stand in the best location I can reasobably use) in the same portable recorder and capture audio in each camera. I need audio everywhere anyway to make syncing the tracks easier plus I get choices / backups. I guess I should've said "and", not "or" in my original comment on using a Zoom, Tascam, etc. with a feed or with mics since that's what I acutally do.

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