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Shooting live music - How to get good audio

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Ty Ford
Shooting live music - How to get good audio
on Dec 13, 2007 at 1:25:17 pm


Here's another preemptive suggestion for anyone planning to shoot live music.

Getting good audio with live music in which a PA system is used is always a balancing act.

The person mixing FOH (front of house) sound is combining the natural acoustics of the instruments, instrument amps and singers in the room with the amplified sound coming from mics and direct inputs to the mixer and through the PA. That mix, by itself, will be too dry and empty.

It's pretty impossible to get a decent mix with either room mics or board feed. You need both to get even close. When you see big time concert DVDs (or broadcasts), they use room mics and every instrument and voice goes to a completely different mixer than the FOH (front of house). That's why the Eagles concert DVD sound so good.

Budgetary restraints prevent that for most of us. So the best we can do is use camera mics (if they are anywhere near in a good place) with a board feed. Even then, the mix may be a bit funky, but it probably won't suck.

I shot Karyn Oliver and her band for one of her CD release concerts.


I combined a board mix with camera mic.

Here (not my shoot),

someone used just camera mic.

I may be biased, but I prefer my mix.


Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at:

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Owen Barnhart
Re: Shooting live music - How to get good audio
on Apr 20, 2009 at 7:33:29 pm


I have a home recording studio with Cubase on a PC. I recently shot video of a recording session on my digital camera. The two were not connected when it was recorded... however, is there a way to sync them up? When I tried this (with a free trial of Pinnacle Videospin) they did not quite line up. Is there some software you could recommend or do I just need to get a video camera with an input for a separate audio source? Any suggestions??

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