Academy Dashboard Forum Academy Academy Lesson Suggestions Tracking and mixing stage performances

  • This topic has 8 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Scott Peets.
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    Mikkel Junker

      Hi there.
      Newbee here.
      Maybe I'm the minority in here - but I think it would be excellent with a lesson how to mix and produce live stage performances and how to deal with all the spil, chaos, uneven levels, noise and so on, when you have to make the best of a recording where you can't retrack.
      MAybe a discussion on making the right choices, preserving the live-in-concert feeling and how to prepare for the production.

      face (chris) Janton

        Not sure how much production can be done - the performance is preserved. Whole lot of mixing can happen.

        Scott Peets

          I recorded live performances for over 20 years. Live festival broadcasts to unplugged performances. Many obstacles can present themselves. It can be quite a challenge.I'd be happy to share my experiences.

          face (chris) Janton

            My experience has been with a bluegrass/western swing (somewhat) band - covers. Banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, fiddle. Condenser mics on all the instruments (no pickups) along with 4 vocals (dynamic except for the fiddle player) - 8 mics, hot wedges (guitar player can't play/sing right without 90 dB in his face).

            Lots of recordings with all 8 mics direct from their mixer + mains.
            Lots of recordings with tape out from the mixer with an M/S recording of the room - mics in front of the band low.

            Lots of challenges, someday I will learn proper use of gates, expanders, compressors, and mute buttons. De-essers might help too.

            Magnus Johansson

              There´s a lot of live recordings to practice on over at telefunken.


                If I do a live recording, I always set up a Decca Tree. The idea is to capture the overall picture almost as if you’re in the best seat of the concert house. I also record a split feed of all the channels from the Front of House. In the mixing stage, I push the Tree up, apply the required EQ and then I bring in the lead vocal, solo, and backings. After that, I mute all of this and start mixing the rest of the close mics, starting with the drumkit. I don’t clean up everything, but I start to search for a balance that works, leaving in the bleed. Only if it becomes really ugly, I’ll try to manage this with automation, expanders, whatever is needed. However, the odds are that you can’t solve this problem without introducing other problems that probably are more problematic. In that case, I ballpark it. I still have the Tree that may back things up. Mixing a live recording is quite a challenge, the key is to not do drastic edits, applying a lot of automation, listening to the overall picture and to not zoom in on details, and of course the Tree.

                Mikkel Junker

                  Sorry - been away for at few days...
                  Well, to start with - the mixing/post production I do most, is Trad. Soul (Blues Brothers/the Commitments) - it's the band I'm playing in.
                  But I do other bands as well - being a live technitian (that was not correctly spelled), I occationally record them as well - mainly for demo or Youtube demos.
                  @Scott P - Marvellous - I might hold you up on that. I was really amazed by you take in "Only Women Bleed" on feedback friday. You crated that "beeing in the hall" sound. It seems like You have some experience in that direction.

                  @Magnus - I'll check them out - thanks

                  @Kevin - Decca tree - never tried that - only AB setups. I guess the idea is to get a more defined image? I only use my AB for ambience.

                  Yea, it's a struggle and very difficult to maintain a clean and tight buttom - without the kick loosing focus, when you have 11 people on a quite small stage. And the bleed in the backing mics is allways ruining the overall mix...

                  Matt Graham

                    Scott, your website and credits are insane!!! I love it!
                    I have built a modest Dante mobile recording rig with the intent of providing live performance recording for local artists as well as controlled studio sessions. I would LOVE to hear what wisdom you are willing to share!


                    Scott Peets

                      More than happy to Matt. You can email me at [email protected]


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