I am going to film a dance recital on a large stage in a large theater. I just need to record the music, there is no dialogue. There is a soundboard at the back of the theater, right next to where I will be filming. I have a Canon XHA1. Can I just connect to the soundboard at the back of the theater or do I need microphones on the stage? Thank you! All help is much appreciated!
Yes, if that's what the mixer wants; it may be an XLR mono out. In a pinch, you can do headphone out of the mixer. But do listen. Most boards these days modulate even line level, so nothing is standard. The key is to arrive plenty in advance to test everything.
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Several questions/issues not disclosed in your original question...
Is the music live? If so:
* Are all the instruments miced for recording?
(Or just for PA, or Not miced because they are acoustic?)
* Will the sound system operator give you a recording mix
(not simply a PA mix) from the board?
Is the music from recorded tracks? If so:
* Can you just get a copy (CD) of the tracks?
If so you can simply drop the tracks into the editor.
* Will the sound system operator give you a feed?
Do you have the proper cables, adapters attenuator(if needed?)
Does the dancing need to be miced?
* Is it flamenco, tap, or some sort that produces sound?
* Do the dancers make any other incidental sounds?
Do you need to produce a "live" recording with audience reaction?
* Do you have microphone(s) to mic the house/audience?
I've videotaped many dance recitals and there's a factor that may affect how you edit the program. I first noticed it at a recital where I was getting a board feed (BTW have pads on hand in case the feed's too hot) and had mics open at the back of the house by my cameras. When I listened to the mix of both channels during a rehearsal, I heard a distinct delay. Sound travel 1 foot in a millisecond, so after about 8 feet you start to hear the delay. Depending on which audio you use - the board or mics - you may need to slip the audio and video in relation to each other so the action on-camera matches the audio track. This offset will remain constant throughout the performance.
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I also videotape various events, some where I cannot check in advance what will be available. Here are my two cents. Bring your own (xlr) cable, approach the person operating the audio mixer with a warm sincere smile and ask nicely for their help. Put together a set of connector adapters so you can convert from what ever the mixer may have for output to what you need for input. Be aware of the issue of ground loops. When ever you plug into AC, someone else plugs into AC, and you connect your equipment together, you have the potential for a ground loop. This can insert a "hum" into your audio. I generally operate from batteries so it is usually not an issue for me. I do carry a cheap hum eliminator (ground lift) in my kit.
I did have one event where several news groups were all plugged into the same mixer. Someone had a ground loop and I think we all got the hum :-)