PA job :)

Hi guys,

I’m “hired” to do some PA work for a local venue that is doing ± 1 gig a month and a small festival each year. I said “hired” cause since they are still in the starting fase of building up a steady crowd, and since I’m quite new to this as well its for free. But I’m already looking into some options to get some other stuff out of it that can benefit getting me other jobs later. So I was thinking of making live recordings while doing the PA job, so I can send the bands a freeby afterwards, and if they like it, they can by the whole gig. So I was wondering if any one had some tips going about it gear wise. They have this mixer(, and mic’s and everything, but the mixer seems interesting. It has an adiointerface that can be installed on multiple devices, so I think it should be possible to let the tracks pas true cubase and back to the mixer, or to cubase and the master out of the stage block seperately. Any thoughts ? I think I could make some “decent” recordings with it not ?

Greetings :slight_smile:

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The guy in the video is hillarious btw :smiley: haha, sweatin like a pig :pig:

You may have to keep the recording part in mind during any setup and routing to get the best result. And test it as much as you can along the way, sound checks etc, if you are able to have the time during other demands. If you’re doing it for free though, they can’t really “boss” you too much. :wink:

It looks like he’s in a movie theatre. They may have lots of hot lights on him for the video. And if he’s nervous, that could make him sweat, plus lots of botched takes of the video would make him stand in front of those hot lights longer. :grin:

I was thinking of doing a practice round :slight_smile: THey guys don’t mind it, so I’m gonna look for a band that wants to do there rehearsal on a stage for one’s :smiley: Then I have plenty time to figure it out. I just hope I can get some decent quality out of it.

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I think you can record at the input stage with these mixes, that’s where I’ll capture the takes from.
TBH, this is now my least favorite way to mix with these hands off app mixers and usually there is a sound douche running all around the venue, usually making the mix worse as that happens :slight_smile: nothing stops you from runnign it at one place, just saying that I notice a lot of running around of sound guys these days :slight_smile:
About recording bands - make sure you get they are OK with it, I personally would be rather mad if someone recorded my performance and then tried to sell it to me without my knowledge…or if it got broadcast without permission and without my final say as to the quality of material released, that’d slap you a cease and desist, and could get you fired. The venue could also be in some possible legal hot water.


You make an exilent point :slight_smile: I’ll ask them in advance if they want it or not :wink:

Hehe, yeah, the hip tech guy exploring his new found freedoms ;D hehe. I will probably do it from a static point. Gotta have my pc there to be able to record as well.

Recording live bands… I’ve done this a few times, so this might be useful.

You WILL want a few (probably FOUR) room mics, like SDCs or ribbons, not dynamics.

What you want in these mics, the good and the bad…

Dont point them directly at the PA, you definitely dont want direct PA or Monitors in ANY of your condenser mics if possible.

You definitely want AUDIENCE, a good bit of guitar and a little ambient bass is fine, and of course AMBIENT DRUMS are always good in these mics.

If you place these mics well, this is a good place to BASE your mix.

I always put my 4 on or around stage - usually one pair above the backline facing the audience and the other pair as outriggers outside the PA, or in the wings pointing across the stage. But ALWAYS facing the audience if possible.

Its very important to keep the audience mics AWAY from the audience;) That means dont let any ONE person get too close, thats why I like them up high.

Nothing worse than a heckler ruining your balance. 6-8ft is usually a safe distance.

Neat trick: you can double or triple your audience size by overdubbling audience from EACH SONG.

Ask the band to try NOT to FILL IN EVERY SPACE by tuning, hitting drums randomly or yapping in the mics too much WHILE the crowd goes wild. It will ruin your cunning plan.

Extra ambient mics on cabs and DI’s are always good. I have no problem putting two mics and a DI on everybody with an amp. Random Noise and other stupid stuff like interference, taxis, radio mics, dirty amp channels/ crappy leads can ruin your nights work.

Dont trust anybody elses gear.

Cheap laptop supplies can also emit noise on recordings when connected to crazy amounts of guitar amplification / distortion. Power management is IMPORTANT.

Dont record FX off the FOH unless its a stereo feed of wet FX only. Try to grab the signal without compression/gating/ reverb.


Wow, thanks for the list of tips man :slight_smile:

Only one thing I don’t get


FOH? Front of House… the console or Behringer mixer box thing you have to record from. You wont want all those FX printed to your tracks. If you can record them separate then great, route them to a spare track or two, you just make sure all your tracks are prefade ( and pre eq/fx) SENDS.

It will be in the manual.

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oh, and the xr18 doesnt really do pass thru audio… you control it via an app on an ipad or similar, all the ‘sound’ stays in the box.

You then connect your recording computer via usb to extract the 18 tracks digitally in real time. I wouldnt attempt to use one computer or laptop for all of this, you really need the two devices running side by side but still independently.

And dont let any of your computers see the internet while using these kind of mixers. Getting an ‘update’ in the middle of a show or even an hour before, can be disastrous.

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Thanks man :slight_smile: This is helpfull ! Its nice to be prepared bfore you go and start sucking, so I appreciate it !

I just checked out this video, and apparently there are plenty of routing options in the behringer box, that make it possible to get pre fader tracks into your daw. pfew. Was hoping for that, cause I wouldn’t have enough gear to fix it otherwise for the moment :slight_smile:

yeah Ive not used that box, just the Mackie version, but they are all similar. def get a run thru and rehearse your levels. maybe 2 days consecutively so you can record your mistakes from day one. get the signal right after analog…pre mute and everything. Some good stuff happens when you dont expect it.

Some other random stuff…

If you mic drum overheads/toms/ rooms/ guitar DI’s etc, put those in the high channel numbers, keep everything you need live, in the low channel numbers. You wont need the extra channels (live) until playback. Less channels are easier to mix (live).

Make sure the live mixer and recording mixer have the same channel numbering, you still need to check and adjust levels mid gig, but try to only adjust gain and subsequently recording (input) levels between songs unless you know you are going to clip. random gain changes during songs suck unless you really have to do it.

Of course, almost ALL musicians play louder in a show than in soundcheck, so give yourself HEADROOM here. I record @ -18dBFS. If you set your condenser mics a little below this in soundcheck, -24dB or so, they will be fine. Of course you are going to need ALL of that full 24 bit resolution in this game, it can get a little hairy sometimes :slight_smile:

I also record everything @ 48kHz - not just for the 10% increased resolution, but also for the video compatability afterwards. I dont mean JUST for the same night (video recording) … I mean anytime afterwards, which is usually quite often :slight_smile:

Use a FAST hard drive. pref. solid state but aim for min usb3 7200rpm… it also wont save until you hit STOP. … at the end of a gig some idiot ALWAYS cuts your power somehow. Try to hit STOP on the recorder within 30 seconds of the gig (or a band set) finishing. Seriously, remember this. you can always press record again if there are encores you werent expecting. If the set gets over 50 mins, this is also useful. You also dont want to hit windows’ file size limits (4GB on FAT32) either.

Borrow DI boxes if you dont have any. Anything noisy on stage is bad on a recording, try to fix it at source first. The ‘earth lift’ button on a DI can save your gig when its on bass guitar.

If you only have a single condenser mic left over for drum overhead, (not high hat), point it between the two lowest toms (rack and floor), just over the drummers (right) shoulder, close up is always good. Add kick and snare and thats a good 3 mic drum setup for now.

Ok, you can ask if I missed something.

edit…and you NEED white electrical tape (3M is good) and a ‘fine point’ black sharpie to mark your channels on the behringer box/ stagebox AND laptop lid/desk/table. Keep them all and mark things clearly in shorthand.

When recording AND mixing you need to know where EVERYTHING is, REALLY quickly.


Wow, thanks man :slight_smile: A lot of usefull tips !

Do you mean that if they make a video later, and want to use that audio or ? So you mean, you ALWAYS record on 48kHz, also in your studio ?

I never heard of this before. So does it mean you can’t record more then 4gb in one take ? Like, never ?

Is there a speciffic reason why you mention bass ? :slight_smile:

Q1. Yes to both. Somebody always has a video of the gig with crappy sound on it… good thing you are there to fix that. :wink: Doing the soundtrack first is a great way to make a live album. Then you can record video from a long soundcheck and then a whole gig to get lots of extra camera angles. Doesnt have to be in the same venue or on the same day…

Q2. FAT 32 is old, NTFS is probably fine/ virtually unlimited., I just dont know how long you can continuously record 18 tracks before something crashes and you lose everything. I would start getting nervous at about an hour. All you need is 30 seconds to stop / save and then record again.

Q3. Ground loop hum manifests itself around 50-60 Hz depending on your electrical supply. Thats right around kick drum / bass frequencies and as such, hard to eliminate in bass heavy instruments.


Is this due to a poor ground, or is it just the nature of the ground ? :slight_smile:

Thanks again mate :smiley:

Oh, and I just checked, my system is ntfs :smiley:

Multiple paths to ground.

The bass is connected to the amp, the PA and the recording system. Fixing the way power is supplied in the venue would be great but is usually not realistic, at least until youve really got things under your control.

If you can lift the ground on the DI signal, its just a simple switch on the box, at least you might get a clean signal path to your recorder.

Again, this doesnt happen every time. Depends on the band/gear, you will hear the hum in the amps/monitors and now know what to do.

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Ah ok. Electricity can be tricky :grin:

Anyway, thanks for all the tips. I’ll let you know how the first gig went :wink:

I meant, to do your own distribution system across the stage, using something like this.

Not rewiring the venue :slight_smile:

Oh I meant just in general, that electricity can be tricky :smiley:

I think the venue should be in ok shape. But I’ll find out next week :slight_smile:

Hey, time for some fun stuff now…

mixing live …

When I do it, I don’t even soundcheck stuff in SOLO (PFL), I pretty much much know what I NEED TO ADD to the onstage sound. Just add what you NEED.

  1. Vocals, you may have to cut some low mids and use a HPF - if you have monitors going, facing backwards, they will produce only some slightly muddy midrange in the room. Everything helps, so EQ around it to get them loud enough, without feedback.

  2. Guitars. as above, add a little high mids probably, guitar amps are always LOUD -

  3. Bass. add top end or high mids and low end as required, but prob not much low end actually required -

  4. keys. add high mids, top end for clarity, usually have to roll off lows -

  5. Drums. kick drum - is all high mids (usually 3kHz - 6kHz)plus some 50Hz - 60Hz, fundamental note - THEN brutally KILL all low mids… on analog mixers, I actually cut a little 100-120Hz, this may sound counter intuitive, but it actually lets 50-60Hz thru better.

  6. Drums. Snare drum - theres lots of Mid already in the room , so you barely need a touch of migh mid and maybe some bottom end (not really bottom - more like 400Hz).

  7. Drums. Toms - especially Floor Tom. At the size of venue you are working, I would brutally low pass everything on toms. Even crappy mics can add some nice bottom end on toms, it all helps.

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