Quick Tips for Live Recordings
For bands just getting started, it can be difficult to know how you really sound. The practice spaces almost always have some limitations and besides, most musicians are caught up in playing their own parts and listening to their own amps to get an accurate picture of how the band might sound to prospective audiences. This great blog post by Trebas Institute gives some helpful quick tips for live recordings, which can be a great resource for analyzing the accumulated mix, figuring out what is and isn’t working to develop future arrangements and pursue constant improvement. One thing you’ll want to consider before doing a live recording is whether the venue actually sounds good enough. Take a note of what kind of gear they’re using and how things are set up. If recording through the sound board, find out if it has direct outs on each channel and how cooperative they are about potentially adding extra mics.
“It all begins with knowing why you’re making the recording so you can figure out the results you’re shooting for and what tools it will take. Each venue will have its unique constraints that have to be worked around and the quality and complexity of the PA system will influence the final quality. Generally, the bigger the venue is, the better the system will be. The easiest live recording method is arguably just taking the 2-track feed out of the soundboard with a good portable recorder, like the Zoom H4 or M-Audio Microtrack.”