Good gig, Bad recording

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Fieldflower, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Why is it that when listening to the recording of a gig I always feel bad about my playing...

    Last week my band had a gig, and although we didn't do our best performance it still rocked, the audience wanted encores an everyone was happy.

    So I start listening to the recording (just tape out from the mixer into a MD, nothing fancy) and I immediately want to press Stop, Edit, Delete in that order.
    I'm trying to disregard the levels and EQ of the sound since we didn't make any effort to make the recording sound like live, but my own playing really... .. sucks...
    It sounds like I'm really trying to dig my way through the fretboard with the strings (no I wasn't slapping), but I didn't hear that on stage or in the PA speakers. As far as I know I don't normally do that, but now I'm not so sure...
    On the recordings I for sure do it... :rollno:

    What to do?

  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I generally prefer what I sound like on recordings to what I hear in the room! These are all room recordings and I think (or at least hope) they provide a fairly good indication of what the audience heard, although, because I generally keep the MD quite close to me it's probably a bit more bass heavy than the overall sound.

    From working on a sound desk, I know that what I hear through the headphones when monitoring the overall output, monitors or individual channels is often very different to how it actually sounds in the room, especially in a setting where stage volume is an issue.

  3. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    If it's just the tone or the mix that's worrying you, stop worrying. A desk recording often sounds nothing like what the audience heard. It's usually worse the louder the band is on stage too, as the pa is 'filling out' the sound around what's coming off the stage. As an example say the stage is pretty boomy. The pa may have the bass sound with no bottom end and plenty of tops, trying to add definition to what's coming off the stage. When you listen to the desk tape, all you hear is those highs with no lows. Another thing you may notice is the vocals may seem to be too loud. This happens because the singer doesn't project much off the stage compared to drums/guitar/bass and relies on the pa. Generally the louder the band is on stage the less representitive the desk tape is of the actual mix the audience heard. So if you want to get a good live mix from the desk, rule number one is for everyone to turn down and let the pa do the work. On the other hand if your playing is bad, go practice! ;)
  4. I didn't mention this was a small gig without soundman.
    When we had finished soundcheck I just plugged in the MD to the mixer and checked overall recording volume so it was in the OK region.

    I'm not really worried about the mix or EQ, since I'm aware of that under the above mentioned circumstances it can't really sound good.

    What surprises me is how bad my own playing sounds.
    All the plucking technique ackumulated over the years seems to be gone when I'm playing live.
    I normally do notice a small change for the worse when I play live since it's a little more hyped than at rehearsals, but I didn't think it'd be this bad.

    When I come to think of it I have added a gadget to the rig since my last gig - a tube preamp that goes between the amp's DI out and the mixer. Maybe that little box has emphasized the high mids into something bad when not listening to it through the rest of the PA...?

    I'm keeping my hopes up that the EQ and mix out the PA speakers made it sound a lot better to the audience.
    Based on what the soundcheck sounded like it shouldn't have been that bad out there...
    I hope!!

    Some in the audience said we were really good and it sounded great, but let's face it - they were drunk... :smug:

    Edit: And Yes, I will go practise!!

  5. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I have the same problem in that my live performance tends to sound nothing like my rehersal performance. I don't know if I get too excited or I'm screwing up because I feel the need to move around so much.

    "All the plucking technique ackumulated over the years seems to be gone when I'm playing live."

    Yup! The same thing runs through my head on the way home from gigs. Speaking of which, I think I need to turn off the computer and pick up that bass now.