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Live recording at major festival Audio Interfaces
Old 29th March 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Talking Live recording at major festival

Hi there.

I have managed to blag freelance work recording at one of the UK's biggest music festivals. I've never been out of the studio (and not really much of a techhead), so I could really use some help deciding on the right gear for the job. I've got a budget of about £2600 but can stretch it a little if needs be.

Basically, I want to do this whilst being as little hassle to FOH as possible.

I've been looking at the Joeco Blackbox for it's stability, but as it runs across the inserts points of the desk (Midas Verona) it will be a pain in the backside to FOH in terms of patching in outboard.

I'd rather avoid using the direct outs of the Verona as they are post EQ.

PT8 & my own 003 would be out as I need to be able to record 24 channels.

I'm also a little lost here in terms of external equipment i'd need eg. Splitters/preamps etc, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I've searched though previous threads but couldn't really find anything specific to such a high end project. Forgive me if i've missed anything.

Ali.
Old 29th March 2010
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Andl's Avatar
Is the festival going to be recorded for television? Will your recorded audio have to integrate with the OB guys?
Old 29th March 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Hi,

No. Should have been more specific, it's for one of the smaller stages so I record it, take it home and mix it.
Old 29th March 2010
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Seb RIOU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
Hi there.

I have managed to blag freelance work recording at one of the UK's biggest music festivals. I've never been out of the studio (and not really much of a techhead), so I could really use some help deciding on the right gear for the job. I've got a budget of about £2600 but can stretch it a little if needs be.

Basically, I want to do this whilst being as little hassle to FOH as possible.

I've been looking at the Joeco Blackbox for it's stability, but as it runs across the inserts points of the desk (Midas Verona) it will be a pain in the backside to FOH in terms of patching in outboard.

I'd rather avoid using the direct outs of the Verona as they are post EQ.

PT8 & my own 003 would be out as I need to be able to record 24 channels.

I'm also a little lost here in terms of external equipment i'd need eg. Splitters/preamps etc, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I've searched though previous threads but couldn't really find anything specific to such a high end project. Forgive me if i've missed anything.

Ali.
If you don't have any experience whatsoever with live sound recording, not even talking 40,000 audience festival you should stay away from that gig.
If you still wanna do it, I'll pray for you.

First : don't even think about FOH desk : chances are they'll be several, and you don't want the gains FOH tracks.

Split the lines at stage.

Think double for everything : slpitters, preamps, converters is any, recorders. One of them is gonna fail. or not

And .. man think about it again, please.
Old 29th March 2010
  #5
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Seb RIOU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
Hi,

No. Should have been more specific, it's for one of the smaller stages so I record it, take it home and mix it.
OK

then do it, but try and split lines at stage
Old 29th March 2010
  #6
Deleted User
Guest
Why are you taking jobs that you can't handle?

To do it right, you're going to need your own dedicated splitter that is hopefully transformer isolated.

You're going to have to have 24+ channels of mic amps and conversion. 24 channels is not that many by the way, if there are going to be any bigger acts expect to have a lot more channels than that...

You should have dual recording systems for redundancy. It would be a shame if a drive failed on you, or power supply or something...

You should have your own AC source. Generator or whatever... Everything should have battery backups in case a breaker blows or your power source goes down.

Don't do yourself or your client a disservice by taking on something that you can't handle... You might get yourself sued by making promises you can't keep, especially in a situation like this that can't be redone.

Good luck...
Old 29th March 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

Apologies for my naivety, but I've never really come across line splitters before. What's the difference between splitting them at the stage or the FOH desk?
Old 29th March 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

>>Why are you taking jobs that you can't handle?

Basically it's a small stage (tent capacity about 1000) so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. I've been offered the chance to do this and I'm at the stage of seeing if it's possible to do this with the means and budget I have.

Many thanks for your advice though!
Old 29th March 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 

I understand the need for stability etc, however besides that, the process seems fairly straight forward (unless i'm missing something huge). It's basically the same as recording a mid-sized venue which i've seen done with 16 channels though two M-audio profires??

I could buy a Joe Co blackbox and take the direct outs (would have to put up with the post eq), however I would like to know if there's another way of doing this?

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could take the time to explain the method of channel splitting and what I equipment I would need.
Old 29th March 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 

You can probably hire a splitter for the gig. look for socapex splitter systems.

Check the remote forum here for loads of info on doing live recordings.

Even if it's a small stage these gigs can be pretty stressy if you have no experience.

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

Last edited by Tom H; 29th March 2010 at 07:59 PM.. Reason: add some
Old 29th March 2010
  #11
Gear Head
 

>>Even if it's a small stage these gigs can be pretty stressy if you have no experience

Even if i'm only recording, not actually doing FOH sound?
Old 29th March 2010
  #12
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KRStudio's Avatar
 

The FOH guy is NOT going to give you the gain structure that works for you. That's why you need a spliter. If he needs the insert, he is NOT going to give it too you, he is hired to do his job, not yours. If you are creating hum due to ground issues, he will pull the plug on you. The transformer splitter is to allow you to do what you need independently from FOH so that you cause no issues (or headaches) for FOH. You NEED a splitter and your own pres.
Old 29th March 2010
  #13
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Tom H's Avatar
 

Sorry, not trying to upset you but the process has such a complete different vibe compared to recording in the studio, it's not just rec and play. It's setting up everything in time, there's always atleast some trouble shooting etc. As long as you are aware of that it should be a fun experience.

do it, enjoy it, learn from it. thumbsup
Old 29th March 2010
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post
>>Even if it's a small stage these gigs can be pretty stressy if you have no experience

Even if i'm only recording, not actually doing FOH sound?
Yes.

If you don't know what a splitter is, you don't have the knowledge or ability to do this job. I'm not trying to offend you here, but it's too much for you. I'm trying to save you a lot of stress, and like I said, a potential lawsuit.

There are companies that only do live recording. They charge a lot for it. There's a reason they charge a lot for it. You can't just walk in with a 24 track recorder and some basic cabling and do it...

And forget right now about being at FOH. If it's only in a 1000 person tent, there isn't going to be room for you for one thing... The FOH guys aren't going to want to have anything to do with you, to ease THEIR stress level; thats another reason.

Another thing to keep you away from FOH... How the hell would you monitor your signal with 100 db ambient spl? Headphones won't block out enough to be able to hear accurately. You're going to need to listen for noise, ground hum, bad cables...

This is a professional job, let a pro do it with with pro equipment. Once again, not trying to be a jerk, just letting you know how it is.
Old 29th March 2010
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Splitters are so, so important they were one of the first things I brought when I started live recordings, You want nothing to do with FOH and they want nothing to do with you, same applies for the monitor desk. I have done some very good quality ones using a profire 2626 with an audient asp 008 attached AND USING ORCHID ELECTRONICS PASSIVE SPLITS. Dont fanny about spending all your budget on active splits. I brought mine of a guy who used them to record Ms Dynamite and she was very happy with the outcome (so he says). Just make sure you have a good OUTBOARD hard drive....Lacie, Glyph or HD24. You also need good connections ADAT, Firewire, make sure there good quality and not cheap £5 leads from "bargain electronics". Record at 24bit, 44.1Khz for the head room. But also make sure you use 2 ADAT cables to connect the 2 units together that way if one fails the other one will take the load.
Old 29th March 2010
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Thumper is right though, make sure you know what your getting yourself in to. Question is how many channels do you need. If its a small Indie or Rock band you could get away with 24 or even 16 but if its a big soul band or something like that you may be dropping yourself in it. Get a channel List from the bands that is all I can say. One other thought is If it is a high end festival there should already be splitters to split FOH from Monitors you never know they may have a spare split channel. Whatever you do contact the bands, contact the promoters, CONTACT THE PA COMPANY if you do enough research WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE !!!NOT US!!! You will know if you can handle it
Old 29th March 2010
  #17
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Sigma's Avatar
ehhh i was scared the first time i did a live recording [patti labelle at the apollo]

get a splitter use as many mikes as you can that will sound good from the FOH guy..but make sure you have your go to mikes..make SURE any sub mixers on the stage [think keyboard player with a buncha modules] are in phase with separate outs of main keyboard outs that you might split out before the submixer

have them TEST and retest the wireless mikes for vocals

make sure you have peak limiters set up on any tracks that are dynamic because a squash is far less annoying than overload jizz..we were running two 48 track sony digital tape recorders staggered

you'll be fine and you'll prob love it

i put in my agreement that i could go to a few shows of the artists before i did my gig..that way i could see the live set up and review stuff beforehand

the worst i had to deal with was the butthead stage manager who put the friggin fog machines behind the background singers and the FOH eng that was pissed that he wasn't doing the recording who threw phase reversal on some keyboard DI boxes [ lame and easily caught]

make friends with as many of the crew as you can
Old 29th March 2010
  #18
Gear Head
 

>>If you don't know what a splitter is, you don't have the knowledge or ability to do this job

The job isn't till mid August, so with a little bit of live sound experience (and the current help of this board), I will have the ability and the knowledge to do this job. I understand that my lack of knowledge may be annoying and frustrating to a seasoned live engineer, however I thought that this would be a good place to start for advice.

I actually know the FOH PA owner and engineer fairly well, and am confident he will accomodate me as best he can, also the company that are asking me to do this, pay his wages. However I didn't want to rock up on the day with a macbook, a phono cable and a large penis dangling off my forehead giving away the fact that I know next to sod-all about live recording, so I'd rather get as much knowledge as possible before I go asking the PA company anything.

One more question if you'd permit me. After doing some reading regarding splitters: Will the PA company not generally have a splitter for sending the signals to the monitor desk? Most of the high end ones i've seen (in the last 10 mins) are three way splitters, one for FOH, one for monitors, one for broadcast?

Thanks again for all you replies.

Old 29th March 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 

Sorry aabbeey, just re-read your post and you've answered my question regarding FOH splitters.
Old 29th March 2010
  #20
pan
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pan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aabbey1 View Post
Whatever you do contact the bands, contact the promoters, CONTACT THE PA COMPANY if you do enough research WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE !!!NOT US!!! You will know if you can handle it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
make friends with as many of the crew as you can
Golden advice!
Old 29th March 2010
  #21
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strewnshank's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali.harman View Post

One more question if you'd permit me. After doing some reading regarding splitters: Will the PA company not generally have a splitter for sending the signals to the monitor desk? Most of the high end ones i've seen (in the last 10 mins) are three way splitters, one for FOH, one for monitors, one for broadcast?

Thanks again for all you replies.

[/COLOR]
Maybe, but if there's ONE question for the Sound Company, thats the one.

As others have said, I too can't stress a simultaneous backup enough. I probably go overboard, but whatever...I haven't lost a session yet, and I don't plan on it.

And again, plan on the live guys wanting nothing to do with you. They will probably be cool, but if you plan on them being dicks, then you'll at least be all set in case they are!
Old 29th March 2010
  #22
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rocksure's Avatar
You will need to be really well prepared. A splitter is a must in my opinion, and probably at least 26 channels. On a recent live recording of a similar size I did we used a Pro-co 24 channel snake that we modified to become a splitter. Those 24 channels were split between the FOH desk and a Soundtracs 28input/16 buss recording console. The stage mics/DI's went into the splitter and were sent to me directly so were entirely seperate from the FOH gain structure. I also had a few ambient mics and others set up only for the recording process straight from the stage to the Soundtracs via a seperate snake.
My main recording was taken from the direct outs from the console. The busses can be used to drive a seperate backup recording system. Something is bound to crash if you have it running for long periods. Don't do it without backup.
Old 29th March 2010
  #23
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Sigma's Avatar
make sure your phantom is copacetic too

your number 1 priority job is to capture it clean..all the rest you can do in the studio

where ya can get di signals from the gtrs and bass too ..if you can
Old 29th March 2010
  #24
Gear Head
 

Can anyone suggest a splitter to purchase?
Old 29th March 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
just was chatting with my buddy who worked at clair bror's for 30 years


SPLITTER ...whirlwind... off the shelf... or redco if ya want a custom box

recording medium ... tascam x48 sync’d with protools [he said that's most people's redundant go to set up nowadays]

separate hard drives
Old 29th March 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

Thanks ever so much Mike. Shall scope it out!
Old 29th March 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 

Don't forget to throw one or two mics up recording the crowd.


Re: splitters, check with FOH what they use, since it's an UK festival I don't know what is standard but they might have splitters themself going into Edac, Socapex or something else.. I find the Radial 8ox to be a good splitter for recording.
Old 29th March 2010
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
Don't forget to throw one or two mics up recording the crowd.
.
Extrordinary advice, however if this is not possible place two or even one mic at the front of the stage next to the lead vocal stand facing towards the audience this will give you a nice "what the frontman hears vibe"
Old 29th March 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Sorry just realised that it said two mics up recording the crowd and not put two mics up in the crowd
Old 29th March 2010
  #30
Gear Nut
 

And remember "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" get what ever info you can on the gig channel list, system spec, who's the b*llend, whos the legend and who can get you a cup of tea it all helps
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