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Author Topic: Is there an ideal taping location?  (Read 1860 times)

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Offline DMBFan920

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Is there an ideal taping location?
« on: December 15, 2022, 08:19:09 PM »
Hello everyone!

I have been an enjoyer of live audio recordings since 2000 and recently decided to join the tapers side. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. Although I have an audio background, I wanted to ask the pros...

Is there any ideal location for taping?



I will be taping at the venue pictured and I'm wondering if back by the soundboard would be best or along one of the pillars on the side?

I know that the closer you are to the sound source the cleaner it would be, but I didn't know if a centered approach (from near the soundboard) would yield a better recording than off to the side.

Any ideas?

Offline dyneq

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2022, 09:49:13 PM »
Welcome! What is your gear setup?

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2022, 11:21:53 PM »
Yes. welcome to TS!

Ideal position in the room pictured above for a pair of mics alone would most likely be centered, halfway between the soundboard and stage.  But you probably can't do that (openly).  Second ideal position would be at the centered at the stage-lip or on-stage, but that might require combination with a soundboard feed if there are vocals or other instrumentation that is primarily only amplified through the PA system.

Recording from the soundboard location looks to be a bit far into the reverberant field, but may be the best practical bet.  That's a perfect scenario for use of the improved Point At Stacks method, which makes the best of a somewhat over-distant recording position with the use of directional microphones pointed directly at the PA speakers located on either side of the stage, combined with a spacing between the two microphones that is derived from whatever the angle between the microphones ends up being in that case.  The narrower the angle, the more spacing between the microphones.  You will need a microphone bar that allows for spacing adjustment.  Here's a link to the discussion thread about this which includes an easy to reference table of microphone pattern, angles and spacing that makes figuring that out easy- https://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=167549.msg2087409#msg2087409 

Recording from the side is a gamble, but can work.  The better proximity can pay off in terms of greater clarity (or not) depending on the radiation pattern from the near-side PA, but the imaging may be lopsided in terms of the band on stage and the audience distribution.  If you do decide to record from there, or any off-center location, point the microphone array by ear, not by eye.  Don't point at the geometric stage center or the far side in an attempt to counteract the off center position, doing so will only aggravate the panning imbalance. Setup using your preferred microphone configuration (when far off center it can help to use less angle between microphones offset by somewhat more spacing between them than you might otherwise typically use) then close your eyes and turn the mic-stand to face toward the apparent center of the band once they start playing, regardless of whether that has the microphones pointing in a visually off-centered way.  Most likely you will find yourself facing more toward the close-side PA.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2022, 11:25:49 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Papaphunk

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2022, 09:43:03 AM »
I would post up adjacent to the SBD if they let you. Bring a friend to help protect your gear when you go for a beverage refresher or bathroom break.
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2022, 10:48:01 AM »
Depending on your gear, what Gutbucket said.

Being in an equilateral triangle between the two stacks is generally the best location for sound and ambiance.  However, if you have omnis and there is a lot of crowd noise, sometimes standing right by the stacks gets one a noise free, although sterile sounding tape.  Its called a stack tape. 
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Online nulldogmas

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2022, 02:34:30 PM »
As others note, a lot of this is going to depend on 1) the type and volume of music, 2) the sound in the room, and 3) your mics.

If you're recording a loud band or one with a quiet crowd in a good-sounding room, you can get away with being back by the board. If everyone there is chatty and the band is one person with an acoustic guitar, you'll probably want to get closer.

If you have small mics you can mount on your shoulders or the sides of your head, you can get away with less distance between them than Gutbucket's otherwise-definitive instructions, since your head will provide some additional stereo separation. That can be a good option for going up closer ... though too close and you risk not getting enough sound from the PA, and being short on vocals...

Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2022, 04:56:01 PM »
I'm not trying to be silly, just stating some personal experiences, but anywhere drunks / loud talkers / off beat clappers and other assorted idiots are not located is my ideal taping section. I've not once had a tape ruined by a room or location, but I have had several ruined by the above mentioned idiots. So personally I like taping from the 1st row of balcony's and using cardioid, or hyper-cardioid, mics to capture what's in front of me and nothing to the sides or behind. It's just my preference of course. Also, I mainly stealth instead of open-tape.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2022, 05:01:07 PM by moondust.and.solitude »
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Offline Scooter123

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2022, 04:59:10 PM »
Depending on the distance between the stacks and the balcony, I have experienced echo issues with a balcony location.  The greater distance between the balcony and the stacks, the more likely one will experience echo. 
Regards,
Scooter123

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Offline aaronji

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2022, 05:07:17 PM »
Is there any ideal location for taping?

Oftentimes, for open taping, it is wherever the venue is willing to let you set up your gear. Hopefully, that's also a location where you can protect the stand (and the precious cargo at it's top) a bit...

So personally I like taping from the 1st row of balcony's and using cardioid, or hyper-cardioid, mics to capture what's in front of me and nothing to the sides or behind. It's just my preference of course. Also, I mainly stealth instead of open-tape.

Even cards and hypers pick up stuff off axis.

Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2022, 05:19:04 PM »
Is there any ideal location for taping?

Oftentimes, for open taping, it is wherever the venue is willing to let you set up your gear. Hopefully, that's also a location where you can protect the stand (and the precious cargo at it's top) a bit...

So personally I like taping from the 1st row of balcony's and using cardioid, or hyper-cardioid, mics to capture what's in front of me and nothing to the sides or behind. It's just my preference of course. Also, I mainly stealth instead of open-tape.

Even cards and hypers pick up stuff off axis.

I understand. Like I stated a few times, just my preference. Yes, you are correct, I shouldn't have said "nothing to the sides and behind" but by design they eliminate a LOT more side/rear chatter than omni's do. No doubt.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2022, 05:22:28 PM by moondust.and.solitude »
Mics: Lewitt LCT-040; Naiant X-X Omni's; Audio Technica U853AW's; Sony ECM-166BMP's; Audio Technica AT-853's.
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2022, 05:47:27 PM »
Welcome to the cool kids club!

The answer to your first question is that there is ALWAYS an ideal spot to record from.  If fact, there are several depending on the sound you are really trying to reproduce.  My ideal spot is in front of the board and dead center or what I call the "mouth of the beast".  When you are standing in it your ears will know it. 

I'm not trying to be silly, just stating some personal experiences, but anywhere drunks / loud talkers / off beat clappers and other assorted idiots are not located is my ideal taping section.

This is a big ask in a post-COVID concert-going environment.  Many people feel over-entitled to talk over live music more than ever.
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Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2022, 06:58:40 PM »
Quote
This is a big ask in a post-COVID concert-going environment.  Many people feel over-entitled to talk over live music more than ever.

I agree. I went to a show on Wednesday night and three ladies were talking as loud as possible so they could hear their conversation over the music for the majority of the concert. The strange thing is that 2 of the 3 had their backs turned towards the stage. Why would they even bother to spend the $300+ dollars for tickets (each) just to ignore the entertainment? I'm not talking down about them, but they would have had a much better conversation at a nice restaurant and saved a lot of money. Just seemed a bit odd to me. Strange world. I just have to accept that the other people attending aren't there to ensure I get a nice recording, so I just roll with the punches and try to adjust as much as possible.
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Offline admkrk

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2022, 07:21:25 PM »
While, yes, you want to be in the best location, do not sweet it too much. I would rather be off in a corner than in the middle of chaos. In other words, the crowd can matter as much as the room. Not to mention venue limitations, as aaronji said. One show I set up in the OTS (handicap section, to the left) and moved between sets to my seat (Centered, but a little farther back), and it all sounds the same. While it sounded better live, there is little to no difference in the recording. If you are interested:
https://archive.org/details/paf2006-06-25.neumann.admkrk.35452.sbeok.flac16

I have gotten surprisingly good recordings under the balcony and good, if talkative, recordings sitting at the bar.

Your gear will make a bigger difference than your location.
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Offline RyanJ

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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2022, 07:33:24 AM »
I'm not trying to be silly, just stating some personal experiences, but anywhere drunks / loud talkers / off beat clappers and other assorted idiots are not located is my ideal taping section.

This is a big ask in a post-COVID concert-going environment.  Many people feel over-entitled to talk over live music more than ever.

I agree to all of this.
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Re: Is there an ideal taping location?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2022, 07:53:04 AM »
We can all agree talkers and whistlers suck.

The answers here are interesting.  I personally would be found next to Scooter or Rigpimp dead center FOB wearing my gear.  I don't own a stand so that's not an option.

 

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