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Live-Recording (Group 3, Ola Bognø)

    Live-recordings

     

    A live recording is generally thought of as any recording that takes place on a stage or any other live venue. This can either be used as a substitute for more expensive studio-recordings or just as a supplement to a bands discography. A live recording can also be a very easy and effective way for a band with a small budget to record their songs as a demo or simply a live album.

                A live recording is not limited to only music, but can also for example be a recording of a speech, lecture or a comedian’s performance on stage. Simply put, it is any recording that does not take place in a studio.

     

    Studio recordings versus Live recordings

    A studio recording is, in perspective, often a more elaborate and slow process than a live recording witch is in most cases done on the fly. Therefore the focus is, most of the time, not the same in the studio as it is on the stage. In a live setting one often focuses more on getting the “live-feeling” and energy from the public as well as the excitement from the musicians more than the “perfect” sound quality.

     

    Important considerations

    When we look at a live recording from the technician’s standpoint we have a number of considerations to take into account:

    -       The microphones have to be placed in an accurate fashion from the start. This is because we can’t simply stop the event if something goes wrong.

    -       We have to accurately mix the sound levels and create the stereo-picture from the get-go, as this will in most cases affect the recording in a major way. (This is especially true on older systems, as newer equipment can take a raw signal for mixing later.)

    -       We only have one shot to record a song, so if any of the musicians play anything wrong in the middle of the song, we can’t use take number two, like we can in the studio.

    -       If we use separate microphones to record the public, we should have them placed some distance away from the public. This is to prevent the recording of a single conversation in the public, instead of recording the entire public.

    These are just some of the considerations we need to take into account, but as with most recordings, careful consideration, planning and common sense are the most powerful tools we can use.

     

    If you want to do a good live recording, the most important step is almost always the planning. It’s important to have a good dialogue with the band or the individuals responsible for the concert or event.  It is important to know something about the room or rooms you are recording in, as this can have a great effect on your end result.

     

    If we are recording music, it is very important to take into account how experienced the band is with playing live concerts. This can be especially important during the soundcheck, as less experienced musicians will either play with less or more volume and/or dynamics during soundcheck versus the actual concert.  

    The choice of equipment should be discussed with the band, as some bands have special preferences for their gigs, as well as knowing what you are supposed to be recording.

    When rigging you should always keep things as clean as possible. For example you should always keep the cables untangled and laid out in a orderly fashion, as this will make it easier to have a complete overview later if something goes wrong.

    When the concert starts it is important not to do extreme changes in the mix, as this can both affect the recording and the publics’ experience.

    Checking signals

                Checking signals and cleaning up hissing, distortion and clipping can sometimes be difficult in a live setting on a large system. So it can be a good thing to have a pair of closed headphones for monitoring the individual signals as well as the main mix. But it is important to remember that the headphones will never give an accurate image of what the public will hear, so these should not be used for EQing. But headphones can represent the recording you are doing, so these should be used intermittently during the concert so that you can pick up on errors in the recording more quickly, especially if there are several technicians monitoring the recording.

     

     

     

    Sources:

     

    “Liveinspilling – Hint og tips”

    Lydrommet.no, 29.November 2010

    (http://www.lydrommet.no/lydteknikk/liveinnspilling-hint-og-tips/)


    Paul White; “Live Recording, - Frequently asked questions”

    Soundonsound.com, February 2000. (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb00/articles/livefaq.htm)

     

    Joe Shambro; “How to Record a Live Concert”

    Homerecording.about.com, (unknown date) last updated 2013.

    (http://homerecording.about.com/od/recordingtutorials/a/recordinglive.htm)

     

    Comments; please feel free to comment in either norwegian, sweedish or english.

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    Comments (3)

    Viewing 3 of 3 comments: view all
    A nice article with enough information for anyone t understand the concept and motives of live recordings. I really liked the intro-text. The only thing I miss is references to the sources you've listed. /Josefine
    Posted 21:18, 4 Mar 2013
    En bra beskrivelse av temaet. Synes du fikk med det meste av det grunnleggende.
    Posted 15:34, 5 Mar 2013
    En välskriven artickel med bra med information, lättläst och intressant saknade tyvärr referenserna i texten / Douglas
    Posted 12:28, 3 Apr 2013
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