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Shooting advice

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bruno silvaShooting advice
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 5:07:03 pm

Hey guys, tonight I will be shooting a live band down in NYC on 2 Canon 7D. One will be shooting all wide of the band and the other will get close ups and broll.

What should I do about lighting and sound recording? Any other tips for the shoot?

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Mark SuszkoRe: Shooting advice
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 8:28:19 pm

"What should I do about lighting and sound recording?"
I think you should have some!

You are probably stuck with the existing lighting, so I'll just address the sound.

You will want to get one stereo feed from the venue's mixing board into one of your cameras, usually the wide shot, or at least a mono feed.

On top of that, you need an ambient room mic from the room's "sweet spot" into one of the cameras, because there is a distinct difference in sound quality, hearing a recording "dry" out of the board, versus a mic'ed recording. That's because the guy running the board is using it's controls to shape the EQ and levels in order to make the room sound good to the live ear, based on the specific acoustics of that room. He may emphasize or de-emphasize certain vocals or instruments in ways that sound great coming out of the speakers to those in attendance, but will sound weak or weird to the camera recording from the board output. For example, drums may or may not be mic'd at all, so that can have a huge effect on the overall quality. The way to be sure you've got it all, is to get a mix between the board feed and a live room mic of your own.

Come early to the venue, hopefully, to rehearsal, and bring many adapters, gaffer tape, and cables. Usually many sound boards are already over-committed to inputs and outputs, and all they may have left for you is a quarter-phone jack running line level of a mono mix. It's up to you to convert that to a connector and cable that will feed your camera's input, and you may need to bring a gizmo to drop that line level to mic level, unless the camera has that function built-in. You should also see if you have bulit-in attenuators to keep the sound from being too loud to record. You can buy these as plug-ins that fit betwen amic and the XLR mic cable. Shure make s a nice one, Markertek and B&H probably sell them.

As far as lighting, I would set the white balance on both cameras to tungsten, around 3200kelvin, and let the band's colored lights do their thing. Hard to say about auto-iris or not, in these conditions auto-iris is easily fooled, so I would tend to set it manually and leave it alone.

You may not have legal rights to do anything public or commercial with any songs that are covers of copyrighted tunes. Think about that before you release the results to anybody but the band.

Good luck!

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bruno silvaRe: Shooting advice
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 8:44:35 pm

Thanks man, that was really great information and now I have something to in with. Appreciate the advice.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Shooting advice
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:33:01 pm

So, Bruno, how did it go? Stories?

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grinner hesterRe: Shooting advice
by on Apr 2, 2011 at 5:53:11 pm

You'll just use the stage lighting. Grab a feed from the audio dude for your audio. You can run it to the wide camera.

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Brent DunnRe: Shooting advice
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 7:22:44 pm

I know this is after the shoot, but non of the above will work using just the camera audio, as I'm sure you found out, using the 7D's. The audio has no control or limiter on camera. You have no monitor.

You should have used an external recorder, such as a Zoom H4n or Zoom R-16 multitrack recorder. Use the feeds mentioned.

If you know how to use ProTools, you can also run a stereo board feed into your laptop for post mixing.

In the future, it's best to have an audio engineer lined up that you can trust to capture good audio. Live bands are challenging, but audio is everything.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

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