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Author Topic: Recording from front row...or close to?!  (Read 4038 times)

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Offline Nielsen81

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Recording from front row...or close to?!
« on: December 10, 2016, 02:27:09 AM »
Hi guys and girls.

Next summer I'm going to see Rammstein and later Volbeat. My girlfriend wants to be as close to the stage as possible, so how do I avoid being caught by the guards when taping from the front row or very close to?
My mics are usually attatched to my shirt just under my chin...

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Offline lpmaskman

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 11:01:34 AM »
I think those little mics don't really draw their attention.

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 11:06:10 AM »
Being that close (too close IMO) often results in recordings that blow...might just want to keep the GF happy and enjoy the show...

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 12:27:28 PM »
Being that close (too close IMO) often results in recordings that blow...might just want to keep the GF happy and enjoy the show...

Concealing your gear is the least of your worries...

Or keep the gear happy and ditch the girlfriend  ;D

Offline Scooter123

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 04:29:45 PM »
Unless there are stage lip speakers, often called Front of House speakers, your recording may end up being really unbalanced
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Offline run_run_run

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 07:00:02 PM »
total hit or miss depending on the setup

Offline pillowman

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 02:58:06 AM »
hi!
made many recordings from front row
in front of the speakers which were placed in the photo dig - I was around 2 mtr away ...
all tapes came out amazingly clear and with minimum of crowd noise.
ok you will miss the stereo seperation but my recordings will be mixed
with other aud sources from back of the venue and the result sounds awesome from the
snips I already heard :-)
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Offline robeti

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 05:47:22 PM »
You need to stand next to her for those 90 minutes?
Just tape from your preferred spot, let her enjoy the show from her preferred spot and give her a good tape after the show.
Everybody happy.

If she doesn't understand you can explain.

If she still doesn't understand.....

Good luck!  :cheers:


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Offline vanark

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 07:36:29 PM »
Tape from the front row. Have fun and don't worry about the recording. Either it comes out well or it doesn't.  I did it this summer at a fest and was very happy with the recording. I think it turned out better than the stand recording 75 feet back.

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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 10:06:16 PM »
Tape from the front row. Have fun and don't worry about the recording. Either it comes out well or it doesn't.  I did it this summer at a fest and was very happy with the recording. I think it turned out better than the stand recording 75 feet back.

https://archive.org/details/nma2016-07-09.ca-11.flac16

This, but I would add that if you stand far enough back to be sure you're getting sound from the speaker stacks and not just the monitors, you'll have a better experience, too. (So long as neither of you is four feet tall.) Even a few feet should do it, depending on the venue.

And I concur that the guards are going to have many more things to worry about than someone with mics on their shirt.

Offline morst

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2016, 02:10:01 AM »
I would call speakers on the downstage lip "Front Fill" speakers.

In my experience, "Front Of House" usually refers to the sound and light booth out in the middle of the audience, or the folks who work there.

Unless there are stage lip speakers, often called Front of House speakers, your recording may end up being really unbalanced
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Offline graywolf

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 11:40:13 AM »
In my experience, "Front Of House" usually refers to the sound and light booth out in the middle of the audience, or the folks who work there.

Historically speaking "Front of House" means up at the front of the building near the doors. That would be "behind the audience". FOH goes back to small clubs where the sound guys set up at the front so they could make sure everyone in the audience could hear the stage., if they could hear it back there they know the audience could hear it okay.

So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

Real music venues with their own sound system usually do have it set up in the front of the room, usually on the side opposite from the bar.

Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 01:42:12 PM »
The setup on the side of the stage is typically for the monitor engineer (monitoring in-ears and/or wedges).  This is different from the FOH engineer.


So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2016, 01:01:55 AM »
the speakers on the stage lip are monitors for the musicians.  A stack recording may come out ok if you want to stand close to the stage.

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2016, 07:44:24 AM »
In my experience, "Front Of House" usually refers to the sound and light booth out in the middle of the audience, or the folks who work there.

Historically speaking "Front of House" means up at the front of the building near the doors. That would be "behind the audience". FOH goes back to small clubs where the sound guys set up at the front so they could make sure everyone in the audience could hear the stage., if they could hear it back there they know the audience could hear it okay.

So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

Real music venues with their own sound system usually do have it set up in the front of the room, usually on the side opposite from the bar.

This isn't correct.
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Offline nassau73

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2016, 11:57:19 AM »
In my experience, "Front Of House" usually refers to the sound and light booth out in the middle of the audience, or the folks who work there.

Historically speaking "Front of House" means up at the front of the building near the doors. That would be "behind the audience". FOH goes back to small clubs where the sound guys set up at the front so they could make sure everyone in the audience could hear the stage., if they could hear it back there they know the audience could hear it okay.

So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

Real music venues with their own sound system usually do have it set up in the front of the room, usually on the side opposite from the bar.

This isn't correct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_of_House

Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2016, 12:02:58 PM »
In my experience, "Front Of House" usually refers to the sound and light booth out in the middle of the audience, or the folks who work there.

Historically speaking "Front of House" means up at the front of the building near the doors. That would be "behind the audience". FOH goes back to small clubs where the sound guys set up at the front so they could make sure everyone in the audience could hear the stage., if they could hear it back there they know the audience could hear it okay.

So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

Real music venues with their own sound system usually do have it set up in the front of the room, usually on the side opposite from the bar.

This isn't correct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_of_House
Right.
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Offline furburger

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2016, 09:09:37 PM »
taping from the front row works FINE!!!!

listen to the subtle nuance of McCready's guitar that a rig even 10 rows back would have missed:

http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=129384


a Crowes '10 recording, also taped from the front row, will be upped soon there as well. Rich (Robinson) was a monster.


don't listen to the negative Norman's (they have little to no experience recrording from the front row as is)

just DO it, keep your gain low (if possible), and rock out with your c*** out!!!!
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2016, 12:06:30 PM »
I never taped from front row, but close to. From my own experience, clubs often mix in mono. That means you'll get a poor balance if taping from front row or close to a stack. Arenas often mix in stereo.

In most situations, I wouldn't tape from front row. Sound tend to get better if you can move a few rows back until you reach a point where you lose clarity and definition. Depending on what kind of act you're taping, you might get barely audible vocals when taping front row.

But pulling a good sounding tape relies on soooo many factors : your taping spot, your mics, venue PA and speakers setup, sound guy, high vs low ceiling, concrete vs brick walls, ...

You were talking about Rammstein I think ?
Well, that must be an arena gig. I'd suggest you to get a seat in the tier (if available), near to a speaker and to point a pair of cardioid mics right at it.

Edit: oh, and always try to mount your mics as high as possible. Shirt/chin level is not high enough. You could do better. ;)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 12:10:43 PM by fandelive »
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2016, 12:23:48 PM »
The guy wants to go to a show with his girl.  This is a no brainer. Go to the show and tape from the front row. Have a great time with your girl that will have a great time. And you can pull a great recording, too. Could you pull a great recording somewhere else? Probably. But, recording from the front row can be great, too. Enjoy the show and have a great time.
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2016, 01:39:21 PM »
taping from the front row works FINE!!!!

listen to the subtle nuance of McCready's guitar that a rig even 10 rows back would have missed:

http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=129384

I listened to both Jeremy and Black and the mix is unbalanced. Vocals can sound slightly nebulous at some points while electric guitar is upfront.
Also, the recording sounds distant, echoey and suffers from heavily distorted low end.

Still, you're right : taping from the front row can work FINE. Not this time thought.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 02:25:18 PM by fandelive »
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Offline CorFit Chris

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2016, 03:23:13 PM »
The question is...

Are you going to a show and taking your girlfriend?  Or are you taking your girlfriend to a show?
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2016, 01:11:07 AM »
The question is...

Are you going to a show and taking your girlfriend?  Or are you taking your girlfriend to a show?

Shows, girlfriends and taping rarely mix.  If all three do you know you've got a keeper...   :o  even two of three is exceedingly rare. 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 01:12:53 AM by bombdiggity »
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2016, 04:20:46 AM »
taping from the front row works FINE!!!!

listen to the subtle nuance of McCready's guitar that a rig even 10 rows back would have missed:

http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=129384


a Crowes '10 recording, also taped from the front row, will be upped soon there as well. Rich (Robinson) was a monster.


don't listen to the negative Norman's (they have little to no experience recrording from the front row as is)

just DO it, keep your gain low (if possible), and rock out with your c*** out!!!!

Too many variables to take in to account, furburger. I don't think 1st row is always optimal, but it can be at times.

We've had a few disagreements on this board in the past, but I do agree a decent tape *can* be made from the front row...

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2016, 05:52:01 AM »
The guy wants to go to a show with his girl.  This is a no brainer. Go to the show and tape from the front row. Have a great time with your girl that will have a great time. And you can pull a great recording, too. Could you pull a great recording somewhere else? Probably. But, recording from the front row can be great, too. Enjoy the show and have a great time.

BINGO! I'd do THIS, if I even taped at all! Taking a GF to a show is one thing, but taping is another beast completely! Especially if this ISN'T her scene and music, or if she's EVER even seen a taper before lol ;) If she's actually COOL with it, then tape from front row and enjoy the show. Period.

IMO if a band has vocals, then taping TOO CLOSE is just a waste of time IMO! The vocals are almost always distant and shitty sounding, while other instruments like guitar/drums are VERY loud in the mix. That said, taping that close can also be AWESOME and AMAZING sounding! Just depends on band/venue/mics/etc........When bands DON'T have vocals though, I actually really like recording on-stage/stage-lip/very close! Like Furburger said, you can pick up nuances of sounds/frequencies that you wouldn't catch being farther back!
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Offline fivedollarbill

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2016, 09:22:58 AM »

So why does the band these days set their sound guy up beside or on the stage? Because they do not know what they are doing.

Just wanted to reiterate that this comment isn't right. Usually when you see a band with their own sound guy at a board by the stage, he's there to give the band their own stage monitor volumes and mix.  The FOH guy, who in my experience more often works for the venue, knows the room and the venues boar, and he/she is mixing for the room and/or the sound that is coming from the PAs.

Offline graywolf

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2016, 01:07:33 PM »
Just wanted to reiterate that this comment isn't right. Usually when you see a band with their own sound guy at a board by the stage, he's there to give the band their own stage monitor volumes and mix.  The FOH guy, who in my experience more often works for the venue, knows the room and the venues boar, and he/she is mixing for the room and/or the sound that is coming from the PAs.

I'll buy that, in general.

Offline lsd2525

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2016, 01:25:20 PM »
The question is...

Are you going to a show and taking your girlfriend?  Or are you taking your girlfriend to a show?

Shows, girlfriends and taping rarely mix.  If all three do you know you've got a keeper...   :o  even two of three is exceedingly rare.

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Offline Craig T

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2016, 11:39:18 AM »
2nd row dead center:
https://archive.org/details/2003-12-05.paf.schoepsmk4v.taraski-bigham.22026.sbeok.flac24

front row lower balcony dead center:
https://archive.org/details/2003-12-05.paf.bk4021.ericv.21013.sbeok.flacf

The 2nd row recording is mine.  It was too close and I knew it, but I didn't want to give up the great seat.
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2016, 01:44:52 AM »
Cool.   Curious.  The Beacon is a really tough sounding room in the wrong places (and there are lots of those there IME).  I'd want to be close if I was doing audio there. 
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Offline bonghitwillie

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2016, 08:58:56 PM »
most small 1000-4000 seated venues now have front fill speakers for the people who spent big bucks to sit in the front center. it used to be those seats only heard the stage sound which had low vocals. sometime you can see the front fills at the stage lip, sometimes they are hidden, sometimes on the side. the only problem is that i don't know how much effort is put into making them song good. i am not sure who is responsible for their mix. during the show, the foh mixer can't hear them and neither can the monitor mixer. i have been to some venues where they only put vocals thru them. but that being said, i have made some excellent recordings up front. there is a venue in dc, lisner auditorium. i was there last year on the side front row. i noticed nobody was sitting front row center, so i moved there. they had the front fills hidden under to stage facing the front row. the sound was incredible. you could not see the speakers, but you knew something was up. as far as getting caught, you can't look at your recorder. you have to set and forget. security will never see the mics. your girlfriend will never see the mics.

Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2016, 09:07:55 PM »
most small 1000-4000 seated venues now have front fill speakers for the people who spent big bucks to sit in the front center. it used to be those seats only heard the stage sound which had low vocals. sometime you can see the front fills at the stage lip, sometimes they are hidden, sometimes on the side. the only problem is that i don't know how much effort is put into making them song good. i am not sure who is responsible for their mix. during the show, the foh mixer can't hear them and neither can the monitor mixer. i have been to some venues where they only put vocals thru them. but that being said, i have made some excellent recordings up front. there is a venue in dc, lisner auditorium. i was there last year on the side front row. i noticed nobody was sitting front row center, so i moved there. they had the front fills hidden under to stage facing the front row. the sound was incredible. you could not see the speakers, but you knew something was up. as far as getting caught, you can't look at your recorder. you have to set and forget. security will never see the mics. your girlfriend will never see the mics.

FYI the Front Fill speakers are mixed by the Front of House engineer off a separate aux output. Vocals, keys, the same instruments you tend to find predominant in a bar soundboard. Usually the mix is set during soundcheck and then checked during the first song or two. With tablet mixing it easy to roam the venue and mix your front fills, bar fills, etc in the target locations.
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Offline guitard

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2017, 04:07:51 AM »
The question is...

Are you going to a show and taking your girlfriend?  Or are you taking your girlfriend to a show?

Shows, girlfriends and taping rarely mix.  If all three do, you know you've got a keeper...   :o  even two of three is exceedingly rare.

QFT!!

If I was the OP - I'd buy a third ticket and tell the girlfriend to invite one her girlfriends so they can enjoy themselves (read: talk all throughout the show) while you the taper are doing your thing in a spot some distance away from them.  It's a win-win this way.

And yes - I know this is a very sexist perspective.  But it's also true for 90% of the women out there.
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2017, 02:54:21 PM »
The question is...

Are you going to a show and taking your girlfriend?  Or are you taking your girlfriend to a show?

Shows, girlfriends and taping rarely mix.  If all three do, you know you've got a keeper...   :o  even two of three is exceedingly rare.

QFT!!

If I was the OP - I'd buy a third ticket and tell the girlfriend to invite one her girlfriends so they can enjoy themselves (read: talk all throughout the show) while you the taper are doing your thing in a spot some distance away from them.  It's a win-win this way.

And yes - I know this is a very sexist perspective.  But it's also true for 90% of the women out there.

Best idea yet.  My ex was actually really good about it.  Just had one flaw, she didn't want to be there until the music started. For many shows she would spend the first 90 minutes hanging in the bar drinking.  This made for many shows with a huge bar tab and a completely trashed girlfriend by the end of the show. We both ended up enjoying ourselves.

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2017, 11:14:19 PM »

If I was the OP - I'd buy a third ticket and tell the girlfriend to invite one her girlfriends so they can enjoy themselves (read: talk all throughout the show) while you the taper are doing your thing in a spot some distance away from them.  It's a win-win this way.

And yes - I know this is a very sexist perspective.  But it's also true for 90% of the women out there.

I'd want to see your data on that. My SO (female) is very good about staying quiet during recording, and letting me do whatever I need to set up. The only people I've ever had to shush repeatedly have all been dudes.

Offline guitard

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2017, 12:34:16 AM »
If I was the OP - I'd buy a third ticket and tell the girlfriend to invite one her girlfriends so they can enjoy themselves (read: talk all throughout the show) while you the taper are doing your thing in a spot some distance away from them.  It's a win-win this way.

And yes - I know this is a very sexist perspective.  But it's also true for 90% of the women out there.

I'd want to see your data on that. My SO (female) is very good about staying quiet during recording, and letting me do whatever I need to set up. The only people I've ever had to shush repeatedly have all been dudes.

Let me caveat this by saying I only ever work in >:D mode.  And that might lend itself to my experiences being different than yours.

The point that I was trying to make is that, as a general statement, when women are together at a show - they love to talk.  I hate to make assumptions, but I'm guessing you're not a woman, so the dynamic between you and your significant other (female) doesn't really speak to that point.  And as far as her being quiet during the show and letting you do your thing - I say you're a very lucky man.

I don't know what to say about you only ever having to shush men and never having to shush women at shows.  I don't normally ever shush anyone, because as I noted, I'm normally in >:D mode (although unless they are really being obnoxious, I probably wouldn't anyway).  Hopefully others can chime in with their experiences and provide you some "data."

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Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2017, 01:02:44 AM »
Past few shows I've taken my girlfriend to (that weren't open taping situations) I didn't even bother letting her know I was recording. Worked out best for everyone that way  ;D  She's a real trooper to endure as many shows as I drag her to with ridiculous amounts of equipment (which she helps carry)…
A keeper, for sure  :cheers:
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Offline guitard

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2017, 02:34:52 AM »
Past few shows I've taken my girlfriend to (that weren't open taping situations) I didn't even bother letting her know I was recording.

My wife knows about my addiction ... and also knows there's no way in a million years that I would ever pass up a chance to tape.
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2017, 05:28:15 AM »
Sounds like your anecdotal sexist perspective is anecdotal.
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Offline earmonger

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2017, 02:23:08 AM »
Set your priorities. Romance > recording.

Offline tay666

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
I would say, go to the show and have a good time.
Set your recorder before you get up front and just let it run.
Forget it's even there and just enjoy the show and your girlfriend.

After the show you will have a great memory. And if you are lucky, you might even have a nice recording to go with it.
If the recording doesn't come out perfect, so what. If it comes out horrible, then just chalk it up to a learning experience.

To this day, I am kicking myself for not recording a show I was at near the barrier. I heard so much nuance from the guitar player's monitor it was amazing.
Unfortunately I was still new to taping back then, and only had a crappy microcassette recorder, and had no blanks that day.
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Offline phil_er_up

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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2017, 10:29:12 AM »
Furthur 1st row Red Rocks all 3 nights: They had front speaker fills on stage. One was pointed directly at me. Each night has a different person amp on stage pointing at me. Bummer I had to stand in one place all night. Wife was next to me and knows not to talk. She was trying to take everything in from front row. Very different experience then back in the crowd.  One thing good was I could stand about 1-2 feet infront of everyone else and crowd noise is coming from in back of me not from all sides. Has head of security next to me one night and he knew I was taping and did nothing.

Furthur 1st row Red Rocks
https://archive.org/details/furthur2010-09-24.dpa4022.phil_er_up.109974.flac16/Furthur2010-09-24_D101.flac

here is the OTS section from RR:
https://archive.org/details/Furthur?and[]=date:2010-09-24*
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 10:31:24 AM by phil_er_up »
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Re: Recording from front row...or close to?!
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2017, 08:36:34 PM »
I've recorded big stages from the front row where they have speakers to "fill" the dead space not covered by the PA stacks.  I've pulled some pretty sick recordings this way.  Otherwise go back into the mouth of the beast and you'll capture what you really came for.
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