Live Album - Recording


Concert sound recording can be the most challenging environment for a sound engineer, if done correctly the listener will feel that they are an audience member of an exciting musical performance. For a good sounding concert recording a careful combination of microphone placement, equipment selection and timing are crucial. In some instances it is possible to obtain a better recording from a live show than from hours of work in a recording studio. The energy of the performers and the sound of the crowd combine to make an amazing recording, making it a great alternative to an expensive and lengthy process of making an album.

Typical concert recordings are approached one of three ways: The “Stereo Pair” approach where two microphones are set up usually in or near the audience giving a result that is somewhat similar to what you would hear if you were in the crowd at that performance. This is a minimalist approach that sounds very authentic and will include the sounds of the environment and audience, for better or worse.

The “Board Feed” approach where the mix generated by the sound mixer is sent to a recorder. This is another quick and easy way to obtain a recording with minimal effort other than the permission of the band and venue, and a portable recorder. However, this recording would not include any instrumentation that did not require amplification (like a drum set in a small room) and probably would not include any natural nuance or audience reactions .

Then multitrack remote recording approach captures each microphone and instrument separately to be mixed, modified and augmented later in a studio environment. Additional microphones are placed throughout the venue to capture not only the audience reactions but also to blend in the sound of the band in the performance space. This results in a cleaner sounding recording of the performance than either of the previous methods, but requires far more equipment and expertise.

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Famous quotes containing the word recording:

    Self-expression is not enough; experiment is not enough; the recording of special moments or cases is not enough. All of the arts have broken faith or lost connection with their origin and function. They have ceased to be concerned with the legitimate and permanent material of art.
    Jane Heap (c. 1880–1964)

    Write while the heat is in you.... The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    I didn’t have to think up so much as a comma or a semicolon; it was all given, straight from the celestial recording room. Weary, I would beg for a break, an intermission, time enough, let’s say, to go to the toilet or take a breath of fresh air on the balcony. Nothing doing!
    Henry Miller (1891–1980)