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Recorded our band @ a live gig... ever try it?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Chad Michael, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. So we show up for the gig on Friday night, and being actively involved in our PA, I immediately notice the cassette recorder intimately patched into my mixing board.

    Our primary guitarist thought it would be interesting to see what happens on tape. Never done this before, so I was a bit intrigued, and admittedly a bit concerned about what we would hear.

    Upon playback of the tape:

    1) Overall, recording-quality wise, I was baffled at how good the tape actually sounded. (Keep in mind, we mix for live sound and the 'room' - not recorded sound)

    2) One song that the crowd always seems to dig is "Talk to ya later" by the Tubes. But upon hearing the tape, during the pre-chorus bridge, we discovered just how hideous a three-part harmony can be. In practice it sounded great, on tape - yeeesh!!! Needs work!

    3) My bass playing was locked in with the drummer ... much more than I realized. This was interesting because I tend to be my own worst critic, but - damn, it sounds good.

    4) A couple of times, the lead vocalists (3 performed that night) would go a bit sharp or flat. It shows the vocalist the importance of monitoring and hearing ...

    5) Tone quality of my bass, via D.I. was (((mmmmm))) good. My little cheap bass sounded so good I wanted to cry. It is living proof that an exceptionally good sounding bass guitar doesn't have to be expensive.

    6) Dead Air revealed... between songs, I think it's important to keep the interest of the audience. The tape tells the tale.

    This was the first time I had ever heard a live recording of my current band, what a valuable tool.

    Any one else have comments on a recorded gig of self?

  2. Man has my band ever learned from tapes. At practice we tape before shows and when we come up with new material and at shows we video and critique every one. One thing we found to be even better is a mini-disc recorder. Our "manager" brought one to a show one night and recorded the whole thing. The quality was AWESOME, it caught things the video didn't. At the time we were releasing an EP and the quality was so good that we put three live songs on the EP from that night. (with a little help from pro tools mastering program) We havn't bought one yet because we are poor, but I suggest that everyone get one. They are like $150 at best buy in the midswest and they come with a great stereo mic, we were useing a Sony. Check it out-
  3. JWBass


    Jul 20, 2001
    Levittown, PA
    Any band that I've been in has always recorded gigs and rehearsals. Tape is a great learning tool. Most of your "big name" bands record as well, perhaps not for the same reasons, but believe me, they do.

    Being a Deadhead, taping has been and will always be done whenever I play. I learn what is being done wrong and I find it interesting to record the progress of the band itself. From the first gig, which is usually more "bad" than "good", to the last gig where you can hear the tightness and the precision needed to have a great sound, taping gigs is a valuble tool.
  4. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I have always wanted to, but my band has not been interested in that up to now... I can't figure out why. :confused:
  5. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    My band records every rehearsal to hard disk. Each practice is then burned to CD and each band member gets a copy. Before the next practice, we sit down and listen to it, make comments/suggestions on our established songs, and pick out the good stuff from our jams to use in new songs.

    We also record all of our shows to DAT using a pair of stealth mics from Core Sound. Excellent quality!
  6. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I bring my video camera to gigs and also have a good aftermarket mic for it. Depending on the room and camera placement, I can get pretty decent sound from the video. Just recently I've been able to pull audio only off of my DV and I'm happy with the results.

    bimp sez:
    True, true. Rule number one for my band is: Keep downtime between songs to a minimum. And an addendum to that rule is that only the singer talks.

    Watching videos with long pauses between songs, lame banter with me and the drummer, etc, is excruciatingly bad. We could play a killer show, only to have it brought down by lame in-jokes that only the band finds funny. So we'll play 3-4 songs before Johnny (our singer) says anything, then 3-4 more before anything else. We've worked out ways to end and start songs smoothly. It makes for an efficient, tight show.

    Videos and recordings are very valuable tools. If you're not doing it, you should be.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Agreed, a very valuable tool indeed.

    I also agree with J. that Sony MiniDisc gear is absolutely the best way to do this. You can get amazing quality from a tiny disc, tuny recorder, and tiny microphone. www.minidisco.com is a good source for discs and hardware.

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