Capturing A Great Performance
There’s a lot that goes into making a great recording, whether the performance is done in a studio or live onstage. Both approaches can produce a brilliant recording, so long as the team involved in recording has taken the trouble of knowing how to become a recording engineer and knows how to edit and mix the soundtracks expertly. Beyond the technical expertise needed to create a great sound production, there is also the element of talent and taste that goes into mixing a great recording. Some of these things can be taught, but some of it comes from sheer know how, which can only be taught up to a certain degree.
Capturing a Live Performance
A recording of a great live performance is a very special type of recording. Though the sound may not be as perfect as a piece recorded in a controlled studio setting, a live show will have elements of spontaneity that are sheer gold. The key, however, to getting a great live show on tape is in making sure the space has been carefully set up in advance by the sound team, and that every aspect of capturing the recording has been taken care of. In most cases, the sound engineer will want to feed the vocals directly from the stage mike into the sound system. This will make the sound much more clear during the mixing process, and ensure that every phrase and joke will come through clearly.
It’s usually best to record a set live show on three consecutive nights, so the engineer can use the best takes and have some choices. In some cases, however, there will only be one night’s show to work from, but in that case, some of the spontaneous mistakes and off the cuff patter can be played up as proof that the show really was all live, and all fresh for the audience.
There’s no doubt, a great performance is something to be savored and enjoyed, so it’s worth the trouble of using a great sound engineer to get the best possible version of a great performance.