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Thread: Best Mic for recording live music

  1. #1
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    Default Best Mic for recording live music

    Hi all,

    New to the forum, loads of interesting hints & tips on the forum. Have had a quick through the 'mic' threads, but just wondered if anyone could offer any advice over which mic is potentially the best for recording live bands.

    I'm looking at the Rode Stereo videomic, as it seems to get a thumbs up for normal video work and it seems quite compact, which for me is quite a bonus.

    But are there others I should be considering?

    Thanks

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    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamweaver View Post
    I'm looking at the Rode Stereo videomic, as it seems to get a thumbs up for normal video work and it seems quite compact, which for me is quite a bonus.
    Don't waste your money, it's way over priced for what it does. If you're going the microphone route, consider a sound recorder like the Zoom. Much more bang for the buck.

    Of course most desirable would be a feed off the house mixer. Easier said than done, but that should be your first option, if possible.

    Also bear in mind SPL (sound pressure levels) if the bands you're recording are very loud, dynamic mics might work out better than sensitive condensers. Which clip more easily.
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    FilmMaker Extraordinaire Daniel Rutter's Avatar
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    Spend the extra money on a Zoom H2 rather than the H1 for loud live music. If you're feeding from the board/mixer... a Juicedlink or even just dropping cash on a H4n with XLR inputs would be your ideal bet (good quality, more balanced... you have more leeway with volume/gain control and such.

    I use the H1 and I've tried time and time again to record bands from the sound board with it. You run into so many problems doing this, such as gain issues... volume problems and all that crap. If you have a laptop with line input, you could even try going that route.

    Recording live bands using just the mics on the Zoom H1 and up (can't tell you about the other models, I only own the H1) and other mics would be a mistake unless you find the ideal location to record all band members/instruments equally. In my experience, the mics on the Zoom H1 wouldn't handle heavy metal music even at low volumes, without making something louder than everything else.

    This form of audio recording requires a lot of try-and-fail effort, so unless you have access to a mixer that fully allows you to control the audio volume going into your device... you'll end up with a pretty bad recording.

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    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Rutter View Post
    a H4n with XLR inputs would be your ideal bet (good quality, more balanced... you have more leeway with volume/gain control and such.
    Wrong. XLR balanced inputs provide protection from signal interference over long cable runs.
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    Legend Janke's Avatar
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    Hint for recording with a H1:

    Big Band Jazz orchestra, H1 recorder 12 ft in front of first row of musicians (sax, clarinet, trombone): volume level 17 gave a recording with peaks at around -10 dB.

    For a louder-than-jazz band, set a still lower volume level.


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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I do have an external audio rig at the mo, a Tascam DR-07, which I use with an external mic. I was sort of hoping not to have to use that as its just 'another' piece of gear to carry around and then obviously I have to sync to the video project. I know I'm lazy!!

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    The Tascam is a great recorder - I have one...

    Same jazz orchestra on DR-07: Gain: LOW, volume 6 gave peaks at -12 dB.


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    Senior Member homestar_kevin's Avatar
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    for any live music recording, separate field recorders like the zooms and tascams are the best way to do it.

    I have an h2 that I've been using for over a year now and I love it. It's perfect for my needs and sounds great. I have a hot shoe to 1/4 inch mount which I use to mount the h2 on camera, It's pretty convenient

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    Neumann 140's w/ active cables. Schoeps w/ actives. DPA, Gefell, AKG, etc... Anything else won't make good recordings. Trust me on that one. Been audio recording for 20+ years.


    Listen to my audio


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    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    What are active cables?
    "I didn't know there were voices in W R I T I N G"
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Tapermark, not to get personal here, but do you really think YT is a good medium to show off microphones? We did audio productions with them fancy microphones, but when uploaded to YT, there was no big difference to my 65 bucks Azden "shotgun".....

    What I want to say: If you plan on high end distribution, go with the fancy stuff, for YT or home use, a Zoom H1 is sufficient.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    What I want to say: If you plan on high end distribution, go with the fancy stuff, for YT or home use, a Zoom H1 is sufficient.
    Of course, you're comparing lossless audio compression with heavily compressed audio for online sharing.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Of course. That's why you use horses for courses.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    If you're going to mic everything up and mix all your channels in post, then exotic mics might make a difference. Just pointing them at a performance from a distance isn't ideal.
    "I didn't know there were voices in W R I T I N G"
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    Legend LOGOS PATHOS ETHOS's Avatar
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    I work recording concert gigs all the time, the best way to deal with live audio is like HnR mentioned: get a good recorder (like the H1) and feed it with the sound off the mixer separately.

    Don't forget to have a little reference audio on the camera, otherwise it will be a headache to sync in post. The overall best is to avoid having just "ambience" sound at a live show, because each venue has its own acoustics, it will never sound the same as you would hear it being there. Therefore, get clean sound from the mixer and later you can combine it with a little "frosting" of ambience (crowd, etc.) of course, audio editing is a lot more than just dumping the footage in the mix. You should be aware of the moments in which the crowd screams, the singer points his/her mic at them for they to sing, etc. to achieve a truly interesting live concert experience.
    "The most important thing is not what's inside the camera, but rather what's in front and behind it"

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    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapermark View Post
    Neumann 140's w/ active cables. Schoeps w/ actives. DPA, Gefell, AKG, etc... Anything else won't make good recordings. Trust me on that one. Been audio recording for 20+ years.

    V
    I'm still curious about these active cables?
    "I didn't know there were voices in W R I T I N G"
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    I found that wiki. They contain IC to keep the signal clean. That's what I found at Schoeps
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    lol. So much fail right there. OP asked a question. I gave my opinion. As for Youtube being a good medium to show off mics? I don't even understand what that means. My audio is here. http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/markburgin That should be a acceptable medium...no? My point to showing off my video was the pro sound. If you are saying they sound like an H1....you are out of your freaking mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    Tapermark, not to get personal here, but do you really think YT is a good medium to show off microphones? We did audio productions with them fancy microphones, but when uploaded to YT, there was no big difference to my 65 bucks Azden "shotgun".....

    What I want to say: If you plan on high end distribution, go with the fancy stuff, for YT or home use, a Zoom H1 is sufficient.

  19. #19
    Legend HueyNRolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapermark View Post
    If you are saying they sound like an H1....you are out of your freaking mind.
    I think it sounds muddy, so I'll see you down the funny farm, CG.
    "I didn't know there were voices in W R I T I N G"
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  20. #20
    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Your

    V
    V
    V

    Pointed to your YT channel. There is no reason to get impolite.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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