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Live recording at major festival Audio Interfaces
Old 25th June 2010
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVUtubadude View Post
I like the cabling most, as well. The variety of ways to hook things up is just mind blowing. Theres optical, digital, analog that goes through standard cable, quad cable, multi-cores. Then there are all of the connectors!

Not to mention that running cable is probably the most time and labor intensive part of any job.


Getting back on track; cables can add up in cost, so I use the cheapest stuff I am comfortable with (anything from Audiopile, pretty much).
+1 for AudioPile. Nice folks, good stuff, not the best but at a good price and not crap. Good for those of us who might not use that gear every day.

Great advice on this thread, thanks to all. My only add is to make diplomacy w/ the FOH people a very high priority--make sure they know that you know you are asking a lot from them, do what you can to make their job easier, AND...be there whenever they are there. You show up when they do, have your stuff together, then sit and be visible, available and quiet until they are ready to deal w/ you. Call/email well in advance, ask their advice on how to do what you want to do, rent the splitter from them if it makes them more confident, whatever it takes to get in their good graces. Make sure they know that you know this is THEIR show, and that their mix is the main priority. All this may not be applicable to you guys w/ trucks doing the big shows, but for smaller gigs like what the OP describes (more my territory) this MO has served me well.

Philip Perkins
Old 11th July 2010
  #122
Gear Nut
 

Hi there,

I work for (freelance) one of the UK's largest sound installation and PA company's and we have the contracts for almost all of the UK's festivals including V, Leeds/Reading, Latitude, Oxygen, Global gathering, High Voltage and Love Box to name but a few.

Let me tell you from experience and hopefully give you some useful info on this...

Firstly there isn't any way you are going to rock up and be able to patch anything at FOH. It just won't happen. FOH will be far too busy patching in guest boards and would quite frankly laugh at the idea anyway.

As many have pointed out you will need stage splits and even then, unless you are working for the PA company itself there is little or no chance of you being allowed to patch into that festival patch system as these days it's a complicated beast.

Digital was meant to simplify things but there are so many standards that it is now quite common to see 4 analog multicores and 4 different types of digital multicore to cater for all the guest acts that want their own desk because 'our FOH engineer prefers X to Y"

Your only shot at this is to speak with the PA supply company (well in advance) and ask what splits are available (most of the main festivals run 48 channels these days BTW) and if you can tap into them.

I know of at least 3 of the 'big PA players' that only carry three way splits... FOH, Mons and a record feed... but this is often already bagged by TV or broadcast.

Secondly, most of the sound guys you will come across will be friendly and helpful but don't forget, these things are high pressure gigs and the priority lands with the sound out front and not with 'some guy's here to make a recording' (no offense intended I promise)

If you speak to the PA companies in advance see if you can get a copy of the festival patch sheets, these will give you a good indication of what to expect on which channels for each band... but expect changes throughout the day.

Best of luck with it, proffessionalism comes with doing a great job whilst integrating with all the other teams on site. Not hindering them. Preparation is everything.

Best of luck!
Old 14th July 2010
  #123
Gear Nut
 
faderc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blivetaudio View Post
Hi there,

Your only shot at this is to speak with the PA supply company (well in advance) and ask what splits are available (most of the main festivals run 48 channels these days BTW) and if you can tap into them.

Best of luck!

Sooo +1 on that.

I work at a small venue and also do plenty of small festival sound... not that this is you at all, but people often turn up just before they are going to play "can i record this, i have a dictaphone and some home made cables....etc"

If i can i help.

But always i think... why why why didn't you contact me last week? You were booked to play a month ago, you could have asked the promoter who was the audio contractor and we could have had this set up before you even arrived...

Yip, contact the audio company.

Have a good day out of the studio and mind the sun

Cx
Old 15th July 2010
  #124
LX3
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I believe the OP is working for and with the PA company on this one, so I expect he's well ahead of the game.

But is there poss a whole other thread here? - tips and anecdotes about working effectively (or not!) with PA crews.

Hot topic for me over the last week. You definitely meet some characters working on PA crews. Not all of them particularly helpful or friendly. To put it mildly.
Old 22nd July 2010
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
You can probably hire a splitter for the gig. look for socapex splitter systems.


edit: it's probably wise to contact the festival and see how everything is going to be setup before you start buying and renting stuff, too many variables
WTF Socapex??? So you can plug your recording rig into the lighting system?


Contact the production company providing for the show. Forward the show out like a pro would. Rent gear that will interface with their system, with their blessing. Personally I use a three way 56 channel Whirlwind W4 split with Jensen transformers. I can swap that piece into an existing system with no worries that I might be compromising an artists show. FWIW there are few things as annoying as a "recording engineer" showing up to interface his rig without a mutually agreed on plan.
Old 22nd July 2010
  #126
Wink Reliable Rig

I started remote recording a while back when I didn't have much cash with the Roland 2480 digital recorder. After that I got a 24 channel MOTU interface which was ok, but when I tried to record even with a new mac book pro it froze and wasn't able to capture the 24 channels.

I've since invested in the following setup:

IZ Radar 24/96 Nyquist system w/ 24 channels analog / 24 channels tdif
8 Channels of API / 8 channels of True System pre's / 8 channel Ati
2 Distressor Comps for kick and snare
API DSM24 channel summing mixer for live monitoring and final mix after tranfering and mixing in pro tools hd
Adam Audio speakers and headphones
3 96point tt patchbays for quick patching and c hanging all racked in 2 calzone cases
PT HD1 Accel and 2 192 digital interfaces

This way I'm in one system that can plug and play... all I need is an isolated split from the house or to rent one because as mentioned before, split snakes done the right way can be high dollar.

My system is high dollar, if I could have another radar and more variation of pre's I would be in heaven. I invested about $50,000. Quality and stability is the name of the game for pro live capture. You don't want someone paying you and have a computer crash, unless it's just a friend your recording for.
Old 20th September 2010
  #127
Gear Maniac
 

?'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
I would suggest you get a splitter that allows 3 way split so one can go to the normal stagebox/FOH and you can take two feeds for yourself and run a dedicated hardware recorder on one and use your second split for a DAW. That means you will need double pre amps and cabling for every line you are taking off stage..
Is it common to have redundant preamps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
Also be prepared to give the FOH the direct line from the splitters and you take the isolated splits.. That means you will need to run your own phantom power off your pres for anything that needs it, but it allows FOH to operate their own phantom power also, this means you are more invisible to them..
Is this accurate? I'm not doubting it, but I've been wondering how phantom is dealt with for a while now and want to be sure I understand it correctly.
Old 21st September 2010
  #128
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Redundant preamps?
Yes, most common. If your taking splits off a mic in a live situation then you'll need pres for recording rig. If you have 2 recording devices running then you'll need 2 sets of pres unless your main set has direct outs which could go to a line level recording device (like an HD24).

Phantom power won't pass through a transformer (AKA isolated split) so when your doing a recording of a live show being mixed by someone else then you have to work out with them who supplies phantom power and therefore who gets the direct split.
Old 21st September 2010
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewh View Post
Is it common to have redundant preamps?
Depends on the scale of the production.. Its probably not common for recording the local bands at the bar on tuesday night, but more common for people recording live albums or TV broadcasts..

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewh View Post
Is this accurate? I'm not doubting it, but I've been wondering how phantom is dealt with for a while now and want to be sure I understand it correctly.
In my experience lines connected to the ISO split are fully isolated from the rest of the system and that includes phantom power.. I'm by no means the total expert on splitters though, so if its important for you i would say ask around more as there may be variations...
Old 21st September 2010
  #130
Quote:
Is it common to have redundant preamps?
I can't say I have ever seen redundant pre's, though I also can't say that I have been on anything with a budget that would justify it.

It seems to me that it is probably more efficient and cost effective to mult the output of the pre's somehow - either with Y-cables of some kind, or digitally split them - most converters have redundant sets of outputs.

Not that you shouldn't have some sort of plan B for a preamp going down, but I think splitting the signals after the mic pre is the most common way to feed redundant recorders. The True P8's actually have two sets of analog outputs - a feature that really makes them practical for on-location work.
Old 21st September 2010
  #131
Gear Head
 

The festival has been and gone, and I am pleased to say that it went without any hitches. I took all the advice on board and with the months of preperation, it led to a very successful recording. My setup was as follows:

24 channels of Klark Teknik splitter (hired) + all relevant looms etc

4-way split into:

FOH
Monitors
Recorder one - (Profire 2626 (for the pads), 2 x Octopre into HD24
Recorder two (Backup)- (Profire 2626, 2x Octopre LE) into Macbook

2x AKG C414s on percussion clips attached 20 feet up the stage
1x Sennhieser Boundary mic at FOH

I'd been in constant contact with the FOH guy in the lead up to the festival, although some of his staff were a tad confused as to why I turned up with a van load of gear when I could have used the HD24 and direct outs.

However, when the generator failed during two of the band's sets, and the HD24 just switched off without writing the data to the drive (wasn't aware of that issue!!), my backup recorder macbook saved the day and I got the one song from each of those bands I was required to record.

Overall, I'm still struggling to understand why this thread seemed to cause so much fuss. Perhaps it was the way I worded the original post. In one way it made me go overboard with my preperation so any scenario that crept up during the festival, I was well prepared for.

I kept out of FOH's way as much as possible. The only problem my presence caused was due to my only having 24 channels (3 of them were for ambients so 21 channels). This meant instead of having a bunch of DIs statically plugged in, they had to keep patching them in different places at each set change.

Although this was a little bit of a pain in the ar*e for them, they were more than happy to help out.

Thanks again for all the help and advice!
Old 21st September 2010
  #132
Glad to hear the gig was a success. Congrats!

Quote:
I'd been in constant contact with the FOH guy in the lead up to the festival, although some of his staff were a tad confused as to why I turned up with a van load of gear when I could have used the HD24 and direct outs.
Try this once and you'll understand. There's nothing like having no control over the gain feeding your recorders.

Quote:
However, when the generator failed during two of the band's sets, and the HD24 just switched off without writing the data to the drive (wasn't aware of that issue!!), my backup recorder macbook saved the day and I got the one song from each of those bands I was required to record.
That's why there were many suggestions of a UPS on this thread. Power is your lifeline - it is important to have something that will provide juice to your rig, even if only for a few seconds, in the case of a contingency such as this - good thing you had an independent backup!

There is a program that was written for the HD24 to recover files if something like this happens. I think it can be gotten from the HD24 user group over on Yahoo. Do a search here - there's a link to it somewhere...

Quote:
Overall, I'm still struggling to understand why this thread seemed to cause so much fuss. Perhaps it was the way I worded the original post. In one way it made me go overboard with my preperation so any scenario that crept up during the festival, I was well prepared for.
You got some great advice and you followed most of it. Unlike many who just show up and try to make a go of it, you did your prep work well in advance like an experienced pro would.

The fuss is from many of us seeing inexperienced people go in unprepared and fail miserably - screwing up what should have been an amazing recording, or from the memories of lessons we all learned the hard way before we were able to tap into the collective knowledge of forums like this.

I have to say you did the right thing - you sought out advice without letting your ego get in the way, you had the courage and good sense to take advantage of a great opportunity, and you succeeded because you did your homework and prepared as best as you could.

Good for you!
Old 21st September 2010
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
Overall, I'm still struggling to understand why this thread seemed to cause so much fuss. Perhaps it was the way I worded the original post. In one way it made me go overboard with my preperation so any scenario that crept up during the festival, I was well prepared for.
I couldnt understand why there was so much fuss over you doing the gig either.. As long as you are cautious and prepared its really not that hard.. Sometimes people treat it like you are diffusing a bomb..

Its good you had plan B when the power cut out.. I recall i was one of the people suggesting a totally seperate split with redundant pre amps which is obviously a not a bad idea but maybe a bit overboard depending on the scenario. But redundant recorder is definately worthwhile which you found out...
Old 22nd September 2010
  #134
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
The fuss is from many of us seeing inexperienced people go in unprepared and fail miserably - screwing up what should have been an amazing recording, or from the memories of lessons we all learned the hard way before we were able to tap into the collective knowledge of forums like this.
The main problem initially was I had no experience at FOH. Going out quite a bit on tour beforehand helped massively. It's one thing reading about mic splits, inserts, direct outs etc, but unless you've been out and used all these aspects in a real situation, it's difficult to know what to expect from certain scenarios.

As things have transpired, i've taken quite a shine to live engineering, and it's taken over my studio work for the time being.....till my wife put's the brakes on touring........

On the subject of live sound, is there a dedicated live sound forum on this board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
Its good you had plan B when the power cut out.. I recall i was one of the people suggesting a totally seperate split with redundant pre amps which is obviously a not a bad idea but maybe a bit overboard depending on the scenario. But redundant recorder is definately worthwhile which you found out...
I ended up with around £500 in my pocket after doing the festival. That was for four days at the festival, and mixing what turned out to be 24 band's tracks. The cost of hiring the gear/van/insurance etc destroyed what was already a small fee compared to the work required, however the experience and the work that has come out of it has been well worth the time and effort. I would have done it for nothing for those reasons, and there are plenty of other people who would have jumped at the chance so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

I've been asked back next year and I don't think i'll take as much gear next time. Going in fully loaded the firsts time gave me much more confidence in an unfamiliar situation however I may ditch the redundancy recorder unless the client is willing to pay for the active splitter and all the additional costs that go with it. I don't think that it's unreasonable, and they're fairly reasonable chaps. They've got to pay for what they're getting to a certain extent.

Last edited by Ali.harman; 22nd September 2010 at 12:01 PM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 22nd September 2010
  #135
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
I ended up with around £500 in my pocket after doing the festival. That was for four days at the festival, and mixing what turned out to be 24 band's tracks. The cost of hiring the gear/van/insurance etc destroyed what was already a small fee compared to the work required, however the experience and the work that has come out of it has been well worth the time and effort. I would have done it for nothing for those reasons, and there are plenty of other people who would have jumped at the chance so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

I've been asked back next year and I don't think i'll take as much gear next time. Going in fully loaded the firsts time gave me much more confidence in an unfamiliar situation however I may ditch the redundancy recorder unless the client is willing to pay for the active splitter and all the additional costs that go with it. I don't think that it's unreasonable, and they're fairly reasonable chaps. They've got to pay for what they're getting to a certain extent.
I didnt realise you were hiring so much stuff.. its a shame you couldnt still make a little bit out of the 500 pounds you got paid cause it is a lot of work.. i would be wary of not taking a backup recorder next time though.. Drop outs do happen and the whole experience can turn pretty sour if you end up having to make excuses that you missed half a song or whatever..

What did you end up using to record with this time ?
Old 22nd September 2010
  #136
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
I didnt realise you were hiring so much stuff.. its a shame you couldnt still make a little bit out of the 500 pounds you got paid cause it is a lot of work..
After hire expenses/costs I ended up with £500. Which is better than a kick in the nads, but not a patch on what many would charge for the amount of work. I spent around £4500 on gear, and i've made back nearly half that so far with location recording and guerilla recording sessions.

It's all good though, I would have done this for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
What did you end up using to record with this time ?
As in gear? I've listed the setup I purchased a few posts back in the thread. Made up of 2x profire 2626, and Octopre and Octopre LEs.

Used a profire as the first 8 channels on each recorder for the pads. The splitter had - and + 15dB, however I didn't know the levels and till the bands started their set so the pads on the profires came in handy.

The first band was a sweat-fest for me to be honest. I was left to my own devices and had to patch all the signals in and out of the splitter. So that was 24 in, and 96 out with an hour before first band came on stage. I was shi**ing it in case i'd screwed up the signals to FOH or Monitors by getting my 6s and 9s mixed up or something equally as stupid.

Each instrument was quickly line checked which gave me a rough starting point level-wise, but once the signals came in for real, setting the levels on 48 preamps in such a situation was quite a task. By the 2nd or 3rd band I was in my groove though, and began to relax and enjoy it.

Last edited by Ali.harman; 22nd September 2010 at 09:54 PM.. Reason: More jive
Old 22nd September 2010
  #137
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nice work.. the only way is up now..
Old 23rd September 2010
  #138
Gear Nut
 
timothyclee's Avatar
 

Sound Company

I know this is an older post but I agree with a previous post that one phone call to the contracted sound company will easily tell you if they will have a splitter already in place for you. If this is a festival most likely they will have a dedicated splitter for FOH & Monitors. Most of the time they will have a 3rd unused split for recording that seldom gets used. Only problem is how the split is terminated. Usually in some multi-pin cable system that you will not have, but with the right conversation with the sound company they might let you borrow that breakout cable for the day.

tim
Old 25th September 2010
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
The festival has been and gone, and I am pleased to say that it went without any hitches. I took all the advice on board and with the months of preperation, it led to a very successful recording ..
Well done Ali
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
However, when the generator failed during two of the band's sets, and the HD24 just switched off without writing the data to the drive (wasn't aware of that issue!!), my backup recorder macbook saved the day and I got the one song from each of those bands I was required to record
I think that's why some of us recommended the UPS. Still, you had a B Plan ..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
Overall, I'm still struggling to understand why this thread seemed to cause so much fuss. Perhaps it was the way I worded the original post. In one way it made me go overboard with my preperation so any scenario that crept up during the festival, I was well prepared for
It was just the wording and how you were coming off .. You initially seemed to assume a lot and you were a bit too casual. But I tell you what, you're set up for business now. A UPS and you'll be bulletproof. As you stated, it all looks so much easier from a distance, dunnit? Bloody Gearslutz. Where were you years ago when I needed you?

Cheers RAy
Old 26th September 2010
  #140
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jude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
. The splitter had - and + 15dB, however I didn't know the levels and till the bands started their set so the pads on the profires came in handy.
Was it the DN1248 splitters you were using?
im a big fan of them, and used to use 4 racked up to a 3 way split for a stagebox. over kill i know but it was great for when ppl wanted a record feed
Old 26th September 2010
  #141
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothyclee View Post
I know this is an older post but I agree with a previous post that one phone call to the contracted sound company will easily tell you if they will have a splitter already in place for you. tim
I did, and they didn't. They normally use a passive stagebox 2-way split between FOH and monitors so I had to hire in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
It was just the wording and how you were coming off .. Cheers RAy
I was just a tad naive about the whole thing having no knowledge about the best way of going into this. I'm glad though in one sense as it put the shi**ers right up me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
Was it the DN1248 splitters you were using?
Yes. 2 sets of inputs with normal XLRs on the front, and 2 Ceep inputs on the back which kept the mess down so you could actually see the front panel should anything need to be changed.
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