FORUMS: list search recent posts

recording a live gig?

COW Forums : Audio Professionals

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Nicholas Canavan
recording a live gig?
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:03:20 am

Hello everyone..

I'm currently making a doco on a music group in Australia. I'm using a Sony Fx1e HDV camera and since it has no XLR inputs i am recording audio seperately on a marantz pmd660, and a Rode NTG2 microphone.

The music group is performing at big night clubs and i am filming them. I'm recording the show using the marantz with either an XLR input, but more often just a line input, L+R out of the desk into my line input. The problem is i can't get a good recording at all, it just distorts etc. I put the level extremely low and it sounds ok but on an louder part/bassy part it just distorts. Don't know what else to do. Quite often its all thats available from the desk as an output, or at least the d.j or engineer tells me anyway.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..

Thanks


Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 26, 2008 at 4:28:53 pm

Hello NIcholas,

Somewhere in the bowels of the FX1 is a software switch for mic or line.

I'm guessing your camera is set to mic and the console feed is set to line. There is a third level, prosumer, that is between the -40 dB of mic and the 0 of line. Prosumer is -10 dB.

You need to find out what's feeding what and adjust accordingly. That's your first problem. Your second problem is that using just a board recording will not sound right because you are only hearing the miced and direct sounds, without the sound of the room/club.

Here's a youtube clip I shot and recorded. I used a combination of the board mix and the camera mic. The camera mic picks up the sound of the room, the overall sound. The board mix let's you hear the detail.

This is still a compromise, but it works OK. Not great, but OK. In the real world, you'd have a multi-track recorder with enough tracks for the entire band and some room/audience mics. You'd shoot and record and then do a mix later in a proper studio environment. They took my advice and did that for the Subdudes new DVD. http://www.biographicadocs.com/featurefilms_3.html

I haven't heard the DVD yet, but the band is happy with the mix.

Just added to this post: Here's a clip from the DVD. I only did the interview audio on this clip. The music is from their CD and the unplugged music room set. That set only used three mics. Two TLM 103 at a distance and a 414 closer for the main vocals. Not ideal, but for a casual unplugged set, it works.







Regards,

Ty Ford








Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:14:45 pm

Hi Ty, thanks for your response, appreciate it.

I'm a little confused..As far as my camera, i'm not connecting it to the live desk at all, just recording completely seperately the audio with the marantz connected to the desk. I set the marantz pmd660 for a line feed in its menu.

I know exactly what you mean with getting natural room noise of the crowd etc, which is missed in the live desk feed. But the on camera mic just can't seem to handle the level, even when i turn the record level as low as possible, it cant handle the heavy bass etc from the live gig (super loud club music).

Is the first youtube clip you mentioned address there? I saw the other one, but wasn't the one you were reffering to above was it?

What is the best solution here?

Nick.




Return to posts index


Ty Ford
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:00:25 pm

Hello Nicholas,

I think you need to figure out how to get the audio from the desk into your recorder without distorting. Pick another output and see if that works. Line and mic levels are standard. As I metioned, the -10 is in between. Maybe your recorder isn't really pro line level, maybe it's -10.

The camera audio would also be helpful to fill in the sound. Here, you need to figure out how to pad the level down so it doesn't distort.

Sounds like you're doing the right things. I know it's frustrating, but this is sort of difficult to fix from across the Internet.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:16:12 am

Thanks again Ty,

Is there any way at all to pad the camera sound? Could i do something like put foam etc over the FX1e's microphone?

I bought the marantzpmd660 because i thought it was a proffesional unit that can do the job well..maybe its not. What would be a better option if i had to buy again?

All things considered, what is the best type of source from a live desk? A XLR mic input or a rca line? I have a pad for a mic input and the marantz has an -20db cut option..

Thank you again



Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:31:47 am

[Nicholas Canavan] "Thanks again Ty,

Is there any way at all to pad the camera sound? Could i do something like put foam etc over the FX1e's microphone?

>>>Hey Nick, a and might seem to be something like that, but it's actually a resistance that gets put in line with the signal to knock it down some. Now that we've been talking about it for a while, it occurs to me that this happened on a shoot I was doing sound for this past summer. On this occasion, we were on a facility where they reconditioned APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) for the Army. The shooter wanted to get in the turret and shoot while the tank was in motion. Space was an issue, so he went alone. Before he left he said the camera mic levels were pegging and handed me his camera. (Note: His camera.) I could find no adjustments to reduce the mic sensitivity. He said, "This is a frequently used model of camera. You should know the menus!." Because I was working on contract though another entity, I decided not to respond with, "It's YOUR camera, and you don't know the menus!?"

>>>At lunch I suggested we take another look. He spun through the menus and we never did find any adjustments. The APC was just too loud for the camera mics. In retrospect, I could have connected my Sound Devices mixer to the camera and we would have been OK because it has THAT amount of control. Bottom line: camera mics are designed to work over a range of sound pressure. The environment you're in is above that range.

I bought the marantzpmd660 because i thought it was a proffesional unit that can do the job well..maybe its not. What would be a better option if i had to buy again?

>>>I see Oade has some suggestions for the 660 that you may not have gotten around to googling:
http://www.oade.com/digital_recorders/hard_disc_recorders/PMD-660MODS.html

I like the Sound Devices recorders and mixers.

All things considered, what is the best type of source from a live desk? A XLR mic input or a rca line? I have a pad for a mic input and the marantz has an -20db cut option..

>>>Again, you're talking about connectors and not the levels themselves. The connectors are just plumbing. It's the signal on them that counts. Take the XLR. It could be mic or line level balanced audio or unbalanced stereo at any level you can imagine. You just have to deal with it when you show up. If it's a critical gig. Hire a location audio sound person with some experience in live sound hook ups. They usually have a box of converters and pads to fit a variety of occasions.

Typically, you want a signal that won't change in level. If you don't, you may start the night with a good signal, but if the desk operator begins to push the system, there, go your levels. So what you want to get is a pre-fader mix. That means a mix of the audio before it hits the faders ( that he/she may be adjusting). Not all desks give you that. Not all operators know how to give you that.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






Return to posts index


Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 7:17:26 am

Thanks for your continued support Ty,

That story you mentioned above seems like the exact same thing..basically just too damn loud.

The Oade brothers thing i have seen, but being in Australia they won't deal with me unfortunately.

I now know what you mean as far as XLR or rca etc being just plumbing, its the level that is set before it even gets into my marantz that is the problem, hence like you said, getting a pre-fader mix. And yes your 100% correct, some desks ive encountered havn't got that level of control, and some operators don't know how.

So assuming that some of the time the marantz just wont cut it for a live desk feed, could i get decent sound with 2 mics toward the back of the room connected to the marantz ??




Return to posts index

Ray Palmer
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:07:07 pm

[Nicholas Canavan] "I now know what you mean as far as XLR or rca etc being just plumbing,"

Just say the word and I can go into detail and explain the difference between balanced and unbalanced audio (RCA vs XLR).


Ray Palmer, Engineer
Salt River Project
Phoenix, AZ
602-236-8224 office
There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can't.


Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:21:59 am

Hi Ray,
hope i'm not wasting your time to accept your offer and explain to me the balanced/unbalanced concept. Would appreciate it.

In the marantz i have 2 options for input, 1 is mic, the other is line. I thought that if i have it on mic, it means i should use the xlr input, if i select line, it means i should use what is labelled on the marantz as line in, for an rca cable.

Correct?

Thanks Ray



Return to posts index


Rob Neidig
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:58:07 pm

<
Correct?>>

Well, if you are being sent a mic level signal, then you should use the XLR inputs. If you are sent a line level signal then you should use the line level input (which on the Marantz 660 is a 1/8" mini plug by the way, not RCA). With a line level being sent to you, for instance, it might be on an XLR cable, so you would need to have an XLR to 1/8" adapter so you could plug in to the line input. So you absolutely need to need what kind of signal the DJ is sending you. The Marantz 660 has a level input control, but it is a bit sensitive in my opinion. There are a series of little LEDs that light up to show you where the level is. Make sure you are not going into the red.

Have fun!

Rob


Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:10:01 pm

hey rob

thanks for the response too.

I will be sure to ask if i'm being sent a line or mic level signal, but i fear some have no idea, but yeah like you said, ill have to buy a xlr to mini adapter.

And as you mentioned the led's, i mentioned earlier in the thread, the problem is that even when i turn the level right down...like minus 40 db etc, it still distorts, which i guess is where the problem is more detailed, hence all the help from everybody.

Thanks again Rob.



Return to posts index

Rob Neidig
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 30, 2008 at 5:50:19 pm

Well the problem may very well be that you are being sent line level, but on an XLR cable. If you plug that into the XLR input of the Marantz 660, it will not matter how low you set the input record level, it will distort because line level is so much higher than the mic level the 660 would be expecting on the XLR inputs. It sounds like it also could be that you are being sent a signal from the DJ that is already distorted, as either you or Ty mentioned earlier. Anyway, hope you find it!

Rob


Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


Return to posts index


Ty Ford
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 5:48:03 pm

NIck,

Maybe with a pair of less sensitive mics you'd be OK, but PA sound is pretty wonky. How important is the music? Is it just part of the scene or is this a music video? I forget. Are there live instruments or is this just recorded music coming from the PA?

The times I've worked in a room, I'll take a board feed to my Sound Devices 442 mixer. It has mic or line inputs and enough gain stages so that I haven't yet been jammed by the audio from the console. I then feed that to my camera. So the mixer is my magic bullet and I am listening All The Time.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:30:31 am

Hello again Ty,

Its not a music video as such, i'm making a documentary on a music group in Australia, a group of rap/hip hop artists and a few pop singers, so as you can imagine its pretty loud in the club shows. My main aim is to have the audio good enough so that viewers can hear the group well enough to make there own opinion on them (good, bad, average) so they can decide if they think that the group will 'make it'.

So no live instruments, just cd tracks and the live mics of each artist in hand.

Is there a site you prefer to upload small files and i will provide a link to show you..?

Sounds like the sound devices 442 mixer is a required unit. I imagine not too cheap however?



Return to posts index

Jeff Mack
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:00:46 am

Hey Nicholas,

Do you know what the source was from the board? Was it a monitor mix or REC out? Sometimes the line that you get from the board has a gain on it as well. Did you listen to the signal with headphones connected to the marantz? It might be that yur signal in was too hot, possibly with the lin vs. mic levels like Ty talked about above but it could have been an over driven signal that could have simply had it's gain lowered while you were monitoring the signal. Next time, the simplest connection would be RCA out of the REC (this is meant to send a signal to an external recorder) out to mini line in to the marantz.

But, a tough lesson, ALWAYS listen to the signal you are recording and make adjustments.

Jeff



Return to posts index


Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 7:44:41 am

Hey Jeff, thanks for the response..

Not sure on the latest occasion if it was a rec out or monitor mix. Sometimes im dealing with a dj who doesnt seem to knowledgable on the desk etc.

My main problem is that at the club, its just way too loud to hear a thing through my headphones when connected to the marantz to test the levels. I have to record 20 seconds, then leave the club, (which takes 10 mins with the crowd) to listen to what ive recorded to see how the level is...

So best to look if there is one for a rec out level which can control the output specific to my marantz?

Thanks again
Nicholas.





Return to posts index

Ty Ford
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 6:00:44 pm

[Nicholas Canavan] "So best to look if there is one for a rec out level which can control the output specific to my marantz?"

And it wouldn't be the first time a mixer had a toasted section that no one knew about until you plugged it,

Can you get in there before they fire up the PA and just get a board feed to determine if you can get clean sound from some output somewhere that doesn't get jacked up when the action starts?

This is not an unusual situation. The DJ keeps pushing the system and it's so loud that no one really notices how distorted it is. If you're taking a feed from that, it may not be your gear that's distorting, it could be the console.

The Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones are closed back and pretty isolative. They might also allow you to hear more of your audio and less of the PA. While you're at it, listen to the headphone output on their mixer to see if you can hear distortion there when they get it cranked up.

Just a few thoughts.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






Return to posts index

Nicholas Canavan
Re: recording a live gig?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:39:03 am

Thanks Ty,

As to the question about getting in there early, yes and no. Sometimes i can get there for a sound check of sorts and test it out, but alot of times the d.j or engineer says no probs hooks it up and gives me the thumbs up, only to find out it should have been thumbs down. Boyz 2 men toured here earlier this year and my doco group was opening for them...my sound was terrible and unusable, and there engineer who i thought would know his stuff was guessing which plugs and which buttons/faders would change...frustrating.

And most frustrating is the fact that im just the 'guy with camera' etc..noone gives me much priority, access can be a problem with some places..

There is a big show this week at Melbournes Casino so i will try everything possible, take on the advice and see what i can do.

Just quickly, thanks again for your (and everyones answers) i honestly appreciate the time spent to help out a stranger.



Return to posts index

david aretsky
Re: recording a live gig?
on Nov 1, 2008 at 12:02:48 am

If you are turning the input way down and the lows and some loud parts are still causing distortion you may want to put some kind of a compressor in line before the recorder. You can set a level there and it will crush down the loud parts when they come.

dangerd


Return to posts index

Rich Smith
Re: recording a live gig?
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:32:10 pm

Hi. Honestly the best way is to get a sound tech to come along. Pay a little of find a friend an return a favor. Beyond that. XLR signal can be either +4 or mic level. Although In a live gig situation mic level is very unlikely. So your prob getting a nice hot +4 line level. Any RCA or minijack line input will be -10 line level. +4 line level will distort -10 input. So you can find a - 10 RCA output on the mixing board. Can be uncommon on a band music board. More common on a dj board. You could also buy a one or set of two online pads (-60db) to drop either signal to mic level. You can contact me for cables if you need them. I still think you should have a soundie. Richard. http://Www.sydneysoundcables.com.au


.........


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]