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recording to DAT from a soundboard
on Oct 28, 2005 at 12:17:49 pm

i'm somewhaat new to recording live from a soundboard to DAT and my first experience with it gave me ok results but i did have a few problems. i need some advice so i can obtain the best sound possible. i use a sony TCD-D8 DAT recorder and was connected to the board through my "line out" and had my levels set at about 10/12db, which now i believe was a bit too high. during soundcheck i recorded a bit and when i listened back, everything sounded ok, but when i listened back to the actual performance of the band i was recording, i noticed that on things like feedback and on some vocals...mostly the "highs", the sound started to get a bit of a "static" noise, and the whole performance sounded really flat, which leads me to believe that my levels were a bit too high. it's also clear that the soundguy made an adjustment on the board during part of the first song i recorded and thats when the "static" noise became really bad for a few seconds.

for next time, what would be the best setting for my levels, and is there anything i should discuss with the soundguy before hand?

any advice is greatly appreciated


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Seth Bloombaum
Re: recording to DAT from a soundboard
on Oct 28, 2005 at 4:21:33 pm

Bands will always soundcheck lower than they'll play later - this can lead to distortion at many different points in the chain. However, many times it isn't heard by the audience because they're in a big reverberant room, hearing the stage monitors as well as the mains and maybe hearing some instruments direct as well.

If you're looking for a "set and forget" kind of setting you might try peaking at -20db during sound check. That may take care of distortion due to a hotter signal coming at the DAT later in the set.

However, that may not be enough, or may be too much, and still leaves you at the mercy of whatever the house engineer sends you (which could be distorted in several ways). There's really no substitute for constant monitoring of what you're getting if the product matters.

The direct from the board mix will almost always sound "flat". You're missing the sound of the room. This can be added in post.

You can go wild - 4 tracks would get you a stereo board mix plus a stereo pair of mics in the room, or multitrack allowing you to record each mixer input separately and mix down later.


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hxc
Re: recording to DAT from a soundboard
by
on Oct 30, 2005 at 2:03:35 am

i took into account what you said about a 4 track recorder and i'm looking into a small digital one that records to a hard disk. it just seems that using a DAT is too "iffy" and i want to have complete control over what i'm recording. basically what i want to do is get a recording from the soundboard and import that into whatever sound editing app. i use, which is usually Soundtrack Pro, and do what i need to do and get a final mixdown. i've done a bit of research into it and i assume thats how it works. like i said, i'm a bit new to dealing with recording live sound, but i plan on shooting bands, and using a soundboard recording to go along with the video, instead of camera audio, which we all know is no good. just a few questions i have if you dont mind answering.

most of the bands i shoot are 4-5 piece...would a 4 track be good, or should i go with 8?
what should i look for when looking at 4/8 track recorders?
would i set the mix the same as the main soundboard, or leave it flat and do my own mix in post?
what kind of audio file do they get saved as...wav, aiff, etc.?

thank you for your help




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Seth Bloombaum
Re: recording to DAT from a soundboard
on Oct 30, 2005 at 7:42:35 pm

...instead of camera audio, which we all know is no good.
Oh, you have cameras.

The sound of the room from the camera mikes can be used in post to sweeten a board feed. It's not that camera audio is neccessarily bad, it has its characteristics of mic type, mic placement, and recording quality... as would any other recording device.

So maybe you wouldn't need a 4-track to do what I suggested, which was 2 tracks from the house board and 2 tracks from a stereo mic pair for sound of the room. You could take 2 tracks from the board and mix in a little camera mic for room presence.

...bands i shoot are 4-5 piece...would a 4 track be good, or should i go with 8?

Doing a multitrack recording you'll probably need more than 8. For example, I recorded a "3-piece" band last week, I think I used 11 channels or so. 2 ch. voice, 1 ch. drum, 1 ch. bass, 1 ch. guitar pickup, 1 ch. guitar mic, 2 ch. stereo pair in the house, 1ch. announce mic, 1 ch. guest artist (who I didn't know about till I got there). If you want this type of recording you'll have to work very closely with the sound engineer, he or she would probably do the recording if they were capable and had the time and equipment.

So, that takes us back to your basic stereo recording from the board (is the house engineer mixing stereo for you?) plus house mic or mics. Nothing wrong with DAT. You could get a 2ch. or 4 ch. hard disk or flash recorder and be happy (transfers to your computer a lot faster). Marantz has 3 portable decks for stereo, M-Audio has a new tiny thing (stereo), Edirol has a 2ch. and a 4ch. Lots more, I'm sure.

what should i look for when looking at 4/8 track recorders?
If a 2 or 4 or 8 works for your purpose and is prosumer or pro it will probably meet your needs. Figure out what file formats you can work with, and how you'll get recordings into the editor, and make sure you have the basics of a workflow before you buy.

would i set the mix the same as the main soundboard, or leave it flat and do my own mix in post?
Not too sure what this means. Generally, you'd eq, compress, sweeten, mix, whatever in post.

what kind of audio file do they get saved as...wav, aiff, etc.?
See above - whatever your editor will deal with. Wav is perhaps the most common recording format for flash recorders.


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mode_media
Re: recording to DAT from a soundboard
on Oct 30, 2005 at 8:42:14 pm

hmm, well, i ve done some looking around and let me give you my situation in a nutshell. and see if this is a do-able thing for me.

basically i'm working with a few local bands. i'm shooting a few shows and taking one or two songs from the different shows and making a "live" compilation DVD featuring these bands.

i'm shooting with 4 cameras (sony vx2000). 2 are stationary and 2 hand handheld.

i'd like to keep this as simple as possible...hence using a DAT recording. shoot the video, and use a soundboard recording to go along with it, cuz, like i said...the camera audio sounds like crap. but it seems like the DAT is too "iffy". i wanna have total control over the audio. and do what i need to do in post. i'm using Apple Soundtrack Pro, and i know it supports many audio file types. i'd like to import each track and do what i need to do and make a final mixdown, then import that into my video editing app, to go along with the video. i dont really have the time or money to buy all these extra mics and all that.

i've looked around at 8 track digital recorders and it seems that something like the Tascam DP-01FX or one similar would fit my needs, and the venus i'm shooting at have good sound systems and i think they'd be able to accomodate a piece of equipment like that.

i want a good quality recording, but it doesnt have to be all "super professional studio" sounding...you know?

is this a piece of equipment that would be worth buying and be able to handle what i'm trying to do?

like i said....i wanna keep this as simple and as inexpensive as possible, but still get good enough sound.

i think thats it.

i appreciate all the advice so far.





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Seth Bloombaum
Re: recording to DAT from a soundboard
on Oct 30, 2005 at 9:32:59 pm

i've looked around at 8 track digital recorders and it seems that something like the Tascam DP-01FX or one similar would fit my needs, and the venus i'm shooting at have good sound systems and i think they'd be able to accomodate a piece of equipment like that.

For multitrack you're going to be totally dependent upon the house engineers at these venues - suggest you not guess but do get their advice as to what will interface with their mixers and how much they'll be able to help during shows.

IMHO for multitrack you're going to need some audio engineering during these shoots. If the house engineers can't provide what you need you should hire someone for the shoots. It's great that you have 4 cameras and 2(?) camera operators - for a music shoot you need to staff audio too. Nobody will be happy with the work if it doesn't sound good. If you do hire someone you should go with their equipment or advice on what to rent or buy.

Sorry I can't be more specific on the Tascam 8 track, but if I were there with you I'd be calling each of the engineers at the venues and seeing what they could do and if they were comfortable giving mic splits or direct outs or submixes or whatever, and what I'd need to bring to interface with their stuff.

If none of that seems possible you should go back to the DAT or other 2 track recorder and supplement with some house sound from the camera mics. Don't know what's "iffy" about DAT, it should be pretty straightforward, and quality should be fine. Trust me when I say that if 2 track recording isn't operating right 8 track will probably be worse. Or that's my opinion, anyway, and worth every cent you paid for it.


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