Record Live Audio and Video for Youtube - How to get good audio?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Dec 8, 2015.


  1. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I want to be able to record live full band recordings with both audio and video for Youtube. So, I'm not looking for studio quality sound. Afterall its going to be played through computer speakers, headphones, and smart phone speakers primarily. However, I want it to sound as good as I can get it for that purpose. So, I'm not looking for Pet Sounds, but I'd like to avoid the typical tinny, hissy videos that you usually see on live band videos in Youtube. Right now our band videos sound pretty horrible and I'd like to get something that is less embarrassing.

    What do I need to make this happen? I was planning on recording both audio and video on an iPhone with the audio coming through a mixer that went out to multiple mics placed throughout the room. But, perhaps a separate audio solution is in order.

    As for budget, I'm not opposed to investing some money, but ideally would like to keep the investment as low as possible (definitely no more than $500). I already have tons of mics, and cables, plus the iPhone. I have a mixer that I can use, but it doesn't have a USB connection. So, I'm planning on getting my own new mixer...I need one anyway. I expect that this will be most of the expense. Can/Should I use the iPhone for audio? Or should I use a laptop? I don't have a laptop now....so that's a serious limitation for me...and my budget.

    How would you go about accomplishing this? When you make your recommendations please assume I know nothing about audio, live sound, or recording. I'm a total noob to all of this. So, please treat me as such.

    I created a thread earlier. Total Noob - Recording with iPhone and Garageband? But as I started to get replies I realized that I was actually asking a very different question than what I needed. It was a worthwhile thread, but this one will get me more immediate answers.
     
  2. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    What video(s) are you trying to replicate?

    A zoom audio recorder on a mic stand at the ideal audience location may be all you need. It depends. If your band isn't tinny and hissy at that ideal audience location the recording won't be.

    Add as many video cameras as you want, cell phone videos too, then sync the single audio and all the videos together. $500 should do it easy.
     
  3. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Perhaps a little ambitious, but here is an example of the sound quality that I'd love to be able to get.


    And here is an example of what we actually get.
     
  4. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I've spent some time today listening to live recordings done on Zooms and other portable recorders. I have to say that for the most part they only sounded marginally better than regular iPhone videos. Perhaps it's the placement, room noise, etc. but it doesn't seem like they are magic bullets. Maybe I just didn't find good examples? How much of a difference would it be to have three or four condenser mics placed strategically around the band connected to a mixer?
     
  5. whatizitman

    whatizitman

    Sep 9, 2014
    My opinion is that quite a bit of effort and experience has to go into recording live to make it even worth it. There's a good reason that videos of live bands generally sound only marginally better than smartphone videos. You have to have A LOT of mics, keep submixes down to a minimum, and be able to deal with isolation and bleed. And get it all together at the same time. Then, there's the room acoustics to think about. Recording several instruments and vocals live is, in my opinion, far harder to do well than recording track by track. Multiply that exponentially if recording drums.

    Then you got to mix it all. AND, on top of it all you got to match it up with the video. That's a whooooooole 'nuther beast.

    There's a TB poster who did a thread on making a live video not too long ago. I need to go or I would do a search.
     
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The Animal Years video looks and sounds like a video+stereo mic rig in the rafters just in front of the stage. The Dangermuffin track (much better audio quality) is a two-camera shoot using multitrack audio recording. It's just much easier to get very high quality sound and a powerful mix at a live gig by multi-tracking.
     
  7. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    What would you say is a rig that is capable of being able to do that level of recording? Just a multitrack recorder into a laptop with a ton of mics on hand?

    I'm sure that a factor is also that Dangermuffin likely hired a professional to do the recording, editing, etc. for them. No matter what equipment I pick up it will take me a while to learn the ins and outs of getting that level of quality on a live recording.
     
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If you don't already have the gear (and the experience), buying it for a one-off live recording will be prohibitive. The cheapest current rig would be a Behringer XR-18 (which like many digital mixers, can double as a live mixer+audio interface) and a laptop w/ digital audio software. But unless you have a fair bit of scratch or a live PA and mic collection already, it makes sense to arrange to record a gig at a local venue that supplies PA and has the capability to record multitracks from the board.

    Alternatively, if you have a good sounding rehearsal space, you could record there with less gear—either trial and error to dial in a live board mix, or overdubbing. If you need good results and don't have time for the substantial learning curve, get someone with recording and mixing skills involved. That's more important than the gear.
     
  9. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    BTW, Dangermuffin on a bassists' forum? Gutsy play, ii7-V7.
     
    ii7-V7 likes this.
  10. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Dumb question, but is your entire band through the PA / mixer? If so why not take off from the mixer to a recording interface? That way you pick up your live performance without any influence of the room / audience itself. Or is that what you are going for?
     
    chungweishan likes this.
  11. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I have neither the gear nor the experience. However, part of the plan that we had was to release weekly live covers on Youtube as a way to keep interest amongst our audience members. Everyone has fallen in love with the idea without any understanding of what is involved. We accept that there will be some sacrifices in quality. But, we believe it's important to give people something new on a consistent basis and thought this would be a way to do it. We certainly don't have the funds to pay someone to come and record and mix and edit several different tracks over and over again over months and months. So, we figured we'd do it ourself. If it was just a one off we'd just pay someone. It would be cheaper and far better quality. We may do that for one of two promotional tracks. But, we can't do it consistently.

    Well, this way no one can complain about how much the bass player is just noodling, and how if he wanted to be a soloist he should have played guitar.....or how much better he'd sound with a P bass.

    The whole band is usually not in the PA. Unless, we're at a venue that has a house system...or a festival. But, then we're using someone else's gear. Also, the mixing board that we have is ancient. I've wanted to get my own anyway. So, this is an excuse to do that as well.
     
    Big Hoss likes this.
  12. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I looked at videos all day of people recording bands with Zoom Recorders. Not a one sounded this good. Great job! I'll be reading the thread now.
     
  13. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Not all Zooms are alike. Preamps on the earlier models weren't so great. The H6 preamps are "pretty good" -- not in the same class of "Neve" et. al. but good enough typical objectives on a budget. Also, I did not use the Zoom's microphones. I used my own for better capture results - more mic options, more mic'd positions, better capture quality. Soon I'll be moving up from the H6 to the Zoom F8, which has very good-to-excellent preamps plus eight inputs. It's all a matter of cost/benefits. I have a personal goal to up the quality of my location recording. But the H6's performance is nothing to slouch at. Of course that's just for capturing the sound during tracking. Whole lotta other work remains in processing the audio into a good mix, mastering the audio, then the whole video post production process with multiple video feeds, editing, synchronizing with the audio. Producing one good video is a lot of work!
     
  14. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I have a zoom q2 i think the 100 dollar one its great ill post a video we got from it...
     
  15. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    this was off my little 100$ zoom recorder. It was also outside under the burnside bridge.
     
    Big Hoss likes this.
  16. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Look for a pro videographer. The easiest way to do it.

    My band has used a videographer 2 times for $600 here In Chicago. Take the sound off the board and sync with the video. Works like a charm and sounds great.

    You can really polish your sound in post production.
     
  17. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I think that I'm jumping into the wrong end of the pool here. The more I read about this the more I get the sense that this is likely one of the worst ways for a novice to get into recording.
     
  18. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Those small stereo field recorders can work well when the band is in a relatively quiet environment. Even the multi-channel ones w/ 4-6 tracks involve trade-offs when recording full bands in front of loud crowds. Using a Zoom or similar, it'll be a lot easier to get the best results in the rehearsal space rather than live in front of a boisterous crowd.
     
  19. Obviously I don't know this for sure, but this sounds like a feed off the desk plus stereo mics in the room (either standalone or ones built in mics on a recorder). In a smallish venue a lot of the stage sound fills the room so the mix in the PA is mainly vocals (and often kick), so that feed is why you hear the vocals close and direct. Everything else is more distant because it's coming from room mics. Sounds good, but it relies on a great sound in the room.


    I think your best bet would be to book a gig at a venue that has a digital console that also acts as a USB/Firewire interface, take a laptop with a DAW and capture a full multitrack. Then hire a mix engineer (ahem, hello). Easy enough to mount a camera somewhere, sync the audio then ditch the camera sound.

    Here's a couple I've made with my band.



     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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