Band at a gig

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    • #50972
      Colin Bell

      We've videod many types of events. Now we're asked to video a band at a Barandance. Not done this before so do you have any adice or tips to guide us please?


      Thanks in advance …  Colin Bell Videography.

    • #204324

      How many cameras do you have? If you have more than 1 I would position each one at each end of the back of the place they will be playing on tripods. If you can get the elevated it would be best. Make sure if the are not acoustic to turn your camera pickups down so you don't harm them. If possible try to tie into the sound guys board but make sure you have audio from the other camera to sync up with. 

    • #204333

      A minimum of two cameras and a clean audio feed will give a reasonable end result.


      First camera position in a fixed position, elevated above audience/dancers, framed with a front-on wide shot of stage/band.


      Second camera hand held or shoulder mounted but stabalised at audience eye level continually changing shot (I normally hold each shot for about 10 seconds) in front of band/stage or dancers/audience. This second camera person fully dressed in black.


      Good audio is absolutly vital, best option is an output feed from bands amp direct into first camera. Alternative last option is to place a mic from first camera, in front of band's speakers. 


      Lighting can be a problem be sure to adjust exposure and shutter speed for best video result.


      Good luck! 

    • #204428

      I agree with Rocky's recommendations about the two cameras but you can mount the second camera on a tripod and pan or tilt between shots.  Hand holding well is a difficult skill to learn.


      For sound I recommend an external 4 channel recorder like a Zoom H4n.  The last gig I shot the band used 3 separate amps rather than one and I didn't have the cables to get feeds for each.  I will be adding these to the kit soon.  The sound of the vocals got lost in the sound from the nearer speaker that had the instrumentals.  The more you can learn about the band's setup ahead of time the better.

    • #204429

      I've done this many times….

      1. Lighting us often poor, so pre-plan that with the club/band if possible…do a white balance.

      2. People dancing can get in the way, unless you want that for one or more of your angles

      3. Have at least one roving camera to get up close and various angles, but NOT in the shot of the other cameras (use the zoom and a unipod)….move that around for each song, focusing on what is happening (singer, lead solo, keyboards)…move it around.

      4. Sound…separate digital recording via the sound board and sound reinforcement producer, whoever that it…if nobody, then put a Zoom recorder on a small stand strategically in front of the band so it gets a great live sound.

      5. At least one lock-down camera on tripod at a cool angle that gets most or all of the band/action in the frame (B-roll)…and one straight on (the "stage shot"). If you don't have more than two cameras, then go with the angle shot and maybe change that during a break between songs.

      6. Start ALL the cameras and the Zoom (or digital sound recorder), then go to a spot where all cameras can see you and clap your hands five times or more so that all cams can see your hands come together and the sound is recorded….each cam is recording sound also, so make it LOUD. You sync all your tracks in post with this technique and they lock in great, otherwise you'll spend a lot of time syncing tracks.

      7. Hopefully you have a helper to relieve you and/or move the lock-down sometimes, etc.

      8. Good luck, this is just the "skinny" on it…..batteries, media, run-time (some cams stop after 30 minutes, etc.)….oh, and watch out for "auto-focus"….when you move around or the musicians move, the focus drifts, so lock in manual focus if possible.

    • #204433

      @tomaji- #6 is very clever…

    • #204437

      Not all bands run everything through the PA. A lot depends upon the band's universe so to speak. Many bar bands(like the ones I have played in) don't mic the drums except maybe the kick, and the other mics are left for vocals and horns if they have any. And speaking as a sax player they NEVER bring the sax mic up enough since they think we don't need one anyway, but it's tough to compete with their amps… Which is why I bring this up. Guitars, bass and keyboards usually rely on their own amps in many situations and do NOT got through the board.


      Pre-production is key, find out what they have and how they use it, and if they even HAVE a sound tech. if not, and sometimes even with, you will get a signal from the board that may sound okay at sound check, but depending upon how they run things, could be overmodulated later.


      Be prepared. One camera up high, center stage and in back of the crowd with a stereo mic that is running the entire time getting good audio levels can be a life saver.

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