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Thread: Camcorder for recording live gigs with my band?

  1. #1

    Question Camcorder for recording live gigs with my band?

    Hi, this is going to be another no doubt impossible question to answer. I have recently been recording my band when we play live using a Panasonic NV-GS60EB-S that I bought years ago for family holidays. The sound and picture quality was fine for that type of thing but now I am trying to capture live performance in venues where the lighting is low (apart from the stage lighting, strobing and stuff) and where the volume is very high. The pictures I am getting are OK - not great, but OK for my purposes - but the sound is pretty bad. I do not need professional resuts as these are only for watching with the other band members to critique performance and to potentially upload some of the best ones to our website. I don't want to spend a great deal of money either. What do you think? Failing that, is there any software that can EQ or enhance the sound once the footage is imported into my PC? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    As you might well has suspected this has nothing to do with choosing a camcorder and everything to do with audio recording. Microphone placement and/or taking feeds from the sounddesk and mixing are the areas you should be looking at. It maybe that you end up with a mixed feed going to the mic input of your camera or you may end up with a recording on another device which you mix with the cameras's footage later. The best camera/mic combination will not give you even barely acceptable audio if you are moving around whilst recording. The sound needs to be recorded from a static positions. The sound on the camera is used only for syncing up the separately recorded sound.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    The camera will be static. I need something quick and easy to set up - hence the wish for a single camera! Like I said, not looking for professional results, just something usable that requires minimum effort. This might be the wrong forum for me - I'm just a musician that wants to capture some live footage. :(

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    If the on board mic isn't good enough for your needs. You might do better with something like a Zoom H2 or Better H4n. With audio recording mic placement is very important so figure out the best location for it.

    I don't think audio software can't really rescue bad audio, it's ok for enhancing something but it can't rescue something that's really bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubber5oul View Post
    This might be the wrong forum for me - I'm just a musician that wants to capture some live footage. :(
    Not the wrong forum at all. But if you browse through the Sound Recording section, you'll see plenty of posts about recording live bands. At the risk of repeating what both Midnight and I have said, this is an audio recording question, not a camcorder question. If you're going for cheap the Zoom H1 will be perfectly adequate. The H2 is redundant unless you want 4 mics and whilst the H4n is better, its "betterness" is only really in build quality, interface, conections for external mics etc - all important considerations but not of you're only using the build in mics and want a simple setup.
    Tim

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    Is there a sound desk involved or are you playing raw?

    If there's a sound desk, do you know the sound person?

    You will have to record from the desk and then do a simple sync/editing job if you want to upload to youtube, sound quality is vital for this.

    If it's for performance critique, muffle the mic as much as you can, you don't need sound for performance critique, you know the songs, therefore muffled is better then distorted?

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all the advice folks, I will give this some serious thought and talk it over with the guys in the band. All our gigs to date have gone through full PA so everything will be mixed through the sound desk.It's rarely the same sound guy twice so I suppose it may be just a matter of asking each one if they will do it for me. Would that Zoom H1 be the best option for a direct out recording?

    When I've set up the camera on a static tripod it's usually as close to the sound guy as I can get it, so I would imagine that would be giving the best ambient noise?

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    OP, if it's your band you should be in charge of what's recorded.... an external recorder like Zoom should take a line-input from the mixer and that should be balanced L/R and not high enough to cause clipping (which is a no-no). Surely mixers have a level-meter for this purpose? (sometimes you can record one channel say 6dB lower to cover unexpected peaks)

    As others have noted:-
    One issue with on-camera mics is they are cheap capsules, designed to work with normal sound levels. If you want to record loud sounds then the easy solution is a m/c mic (which needs no battery) and a suitable attenuator to keep withi the mics pre-amp.

    However, I didn't get what OP wants these recordings for - if they are to sell to fans, then the quality needs to be good enough to make the fans want more.... So, I suggest you use your "practice-time" at a fav. Pub/Club so you can record the band without public noises - this can be added easily in the Edit. +This will allow you to introduce some frontal lighting and this can be adjusted in Edit, but if it's not there there isn't much you can do.

    +You'll need to move the camera during multiple takes (of each song) so the Editor has material for cutaways. A static camera just doesn't command attention.... er, IMHO.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 07-17-2012 at 09:50 PM.

  9. #9

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    Cheers man. Point 1: I really haven't a clue what most of that means! Wish I did, but I don't. Point 2: what do you mean a m/c mic? Not familiar with the term. Point 3: It's not to sell, it's just for a bit of publicity and a bit of critique / fun for the band. We want to be able to play a gig, record it and then upload our best performances to the web (youtube etc) for a bit of fun. I'm a musician (not a film maker) who wants to keep a record of our gigs for posterity - it doesn't need to be movie quality. I'd just like the sound quality to be a little better than what I've got thus far.

  10. #10

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    Ta - like a Shure SM57 / 58?

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