Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › audio for live events › That’s a bit expectational!
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.