Recording live shows on a gopro

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by MicRidley, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Hey forum-lurkers,

    I got a hand-me-down gopro hero3.

    I figured I'd see what ways I can use it to record live performances.
    Obviously cheap and quality only work together to a certain point.

    However, to what extent can I use this to record our live performances?
    We rarely do anything over small 200+/- audiences. Usually weekend bar shows.

    I'd love to hear what kind of experiences you've had with similar cameras as far as visual/audio go.

    I dont know anything about visual or audio recording devices. I imagine there's a budget way to record audio separately and edit them together if the cameras audio is inadequate.
    If so, what are some examples of equipment that might make this doable?

    Ideally we'd place the camera somewhere, hit record, play music, hit stop, then break down and go home to watch/edit.

    Thanks in advance,

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  2. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    download go pro studio

    this can do handy stuff. I recorded my old band's final show on my Canon HD videocam and hooked up my laptop to our soundman's XR18 mixer. This gave me a full multi tracked recording of the show that I could mix later. I intended to sync up my mixes with the camera. I spent loads of time editing and mixing on this project so I'm keen to share what I learned.

    I put the camera on a tripod on top of one of those Claw grab a prize games. Apparently this was about as smart as putting it on top of a speaker cab! the camera shook and blurred with every kick drum hit -- the video got more and more tilted as the night went on.
    Go pro studio was the only free video editor I could find that would let me rotate the video by whatever degree amount I needed.

    Also Go pro studio lets you 'pan and scan' your video to zoom in on the areas you want. This was great as the camera scooted so much that I ended up with half the picture consisting of a wall. I was able to crop that out.
    There's a noticeable drop in resolution when I zoomed in a particular performer for a solo or whatever, but the pan and scan is still very cool.

    The PA audio, even with the ability to mix it later, just didn't sound LIVE. There's zero crowd noise in it and it just didn't seem to match. So I really had to use the camera audio and layer my mixes under it. This sounded really good when I could get it to sync up, but Go Pro Studio stinks at this -- you need to be within about 20 milliseconds of the other audio track to get a decent sound. You just can't do it in Go Pro studio -- windows movie maker is actually much better for this.

    make sure your gopro is saving your movie files in the gopro format as the program has to convert any other formats and this process is quite buggy.
    I'll post a link to my edited video once it's finished uploading to youtube. This first set video is strictly camera audio -- I forgot to hit record on my laptop until the second set!
    MicRidley likes this.
  3. Here's a vid of my band playing and the DJ filmed us with Go-Pro randomly when he didn't have to DJ. Bass came through nicely haha. Besides the noise from him moving it and his random approaches I don't mind it at

    mingustoo and MicRidley like this.
  4. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    state road final show first set highlights

    again this is strictly camera audio. usable but not great. I'm the keyboard player.

    probably the best live sound I got was from setting my digital recorder on stage.
    I fed my in ear monitor feed to track one, and put two mics on stage. One a few feet in front of the guitar amp and the other at stage front on the bass amp side. Each went to its own track so I could mix down later. I was able to sync up the sound pretty well with a video from my phone. I didn't have a good place to put my phone so people kept walking in front of it and blocking the view.
    But the sound was good!
    MicRidley likes this.
  5. Thanks for the replies everyone.

    It's good to see the audio is passable without a secondary mic made for the purpose.

    The video is fine enough for our purposes, currently. Surprisingly good in low light/gig settings.

    I guess now I need to know where the best place to put a camera is. What kind of clip, stand, or tripod to use for a go pro. As well as where to put it for audio purposes.

    Does audio sound better from next to the stage, behind the audience, on the stage, etc. I've no knowledge in the way sound works sadly.

    My first thought is to have it near the front of the stage or the side of the stage. Closest to the performers. But this means the PA's are going to be overhead or behind the camera.

    Thanks again,
  6. Big Hoss

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

    For on cam audio, the Go Pro is top tier. I don't own one yet myself, but have used them and one one BAD...
  7. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    If you're too near the stage you won't get balanced sound. It will just pick up whatever it's close to too loudly.
    At my gig it was our last show ever so the place was packed. There was no way I would put the camera tripod on the dance floor. Thats how I ended up putting it on top of the claw game -- it needed to be high to see above the heads of the crowd. even from that far back the camera mic was still near clipping. Close up to the mains the sound would have been unusable I bet.
    @DreadyDiggs the sound came out really nice on your vid. You know you're a reggae band when the keyboard player has a pedal for his dub echos!! Sweet stuff
  8. DONZI97


    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    I put together our band demo video using GoPro footage from gigs last summer. I have the clamp, and would put various spots, like on the mains or light bar. I would get good sound most of the time. Here's the video

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