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Live vs Recorded Sound
Old 18th January 2007
Here for the gear

Question Live vs Recorded Sound

Hi. I'm a long time lurker here, and I have a topic I'd like to hear some peoples thoughts on. My expertise tends towards live sound, so I may have a bias.

I get the sort of general impression on this website that people think that live sound gear doesn't have to be as good, and that gear choice for live work doesn't matter so much. (Things like, "oh, such and such a comp/mixer/mic etc.. is ok for live, but if you're recording, you need to get xxx or xxx")

I think this is somewhat backwards. I think that gear choice for live sound is as or more important than gear choice for a recording. People who just shelled out $20 - $200 for a concert ticket are there to listen to the music - they are way more focused on the music, and thus more likely to notice subtleties - including those that well chosen pieces of gear impart.

Just my $.02. I'd like to hear what some of the more experienced guys have to say about this.
Old 18th January 2007
Gear Head

in my experience with live sound, people are there to see the act, not necessarily focus on the sound. and also a live concert happens once, a recording needs to stand up to multiple listens. its easier for audiences to forget the sound of a concert before the sound of record.
on the other hand, acts always suffer if there is poor sound, they dont get in the groove and the whole show falls flat. so to truly get a great audience experience, the sound has to be good on at least the monitor side of things, and then FOH.

as with most things in the industry, it completely comes down to the people and their ability to get a good mix, certainly not the gear itself. i've been to a number of shows where the support act does nothing to get the crowd into and the sound is dull and lifeless, but then a good band and a good engineer and the place explodes and it gets exciting. the only thing that changed was the engineer, no gear, and the venue can just pulse with energy. i suppose most peoples arguments are that recordings need to stand the test on time, concerts do not necessarily. they just have to be cool and get the audience into it, regardless of the equipment.

i believe that a live show is no excuse to skimp out, but perhaps concentrate on other points of focus than the gear.
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