live gig recording budgets

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live gig recording budgets

Postby dave01.cooper » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:09 am

Howdy TR

Done a few in my time but the age old question of how much are bands/artists willing to spend always pops up.
It's such a hard topic as too less, they don't trust you and too much, they don't trust you!

I'm talking about pub/venue gigs, probably up to 300pax. Nothing huge.

Avg rig of 24 io, stg splitter, good mics/pres/outboard + with your own dedicated monitoring area out the back/side of stg the price will also include editing, mixing and possibly mastering...

I'd love to hear opinions :)

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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Wiz » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:19 am

I just did a mini survey here in Bundaberg about this very topic.

I was wondering about buying something like the Allen and Heath QU16 or QU24.

I could take that, use everything else of theirs, add mics and DIs as I needed, record the show to hard drive, and mix the show on iPad out the front.

Then provide the band with a mix of the songs.

I asked around how much people were willing to spend, to have someone mix their show( not a great positive for a lot, in that they mix themselves from stage) and get a mixed live recording of 3 to 4 sets... my figuring I could do a pretty quick mix in reality....

drumroll please....


Most thought 300 bucks was fair.


:|
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Chris H » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:36 pm

My 2c Ha!
Assuming the gear is great and the engineer has a wealth of experience; $300 isn't fair....that's 6 hours at $50 per hour for engineer's hard labour, lugging in and, set up, recording the show and lugging out........ and the equipment hire is free. To be fair, no one should do it for under $600........ and that's for the recording only. :ar!
Mixing etc at your normal studio rate, maybe with a discount thrown in as a sweetner.

You would make more money testing and taging!!!
Last edited by Chris H on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby stosostu » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Whilst I agree that $600.00 is fair, I doubt that you would get many takers at that price, it is (more than likely) more than the band is getting paid for the gig, anyway.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Chris H » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:46 pm

..........I would rather do one recording at $600 than 2 at $300 ;)
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Kurt » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:48 am

I have the service available as part of my live setup. It is rarely taken up at $250 for a dvd with all the raw tracks on it or $450 for a quick mixdown

It takes me 10 minutes to patch in my recorder which cost me $1.5k 10 years or more ago and is virtually no extra work (until it comes to getting the files of the recorder, which is time consuming)

Considering buying something like the A&H ICE16 and doing it even more cheaply, direct to USB stick for $100? $1000 investment, no effort required.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby gigpiglet » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:03 pm

as always…. it depends.
i have done $300 jobs - where i was getting paid to mix FOH already, and i patched a 24ch recorder into the direct outs of the console i was already mixing on and pressed record

i often to $6000 dollar jobs (like I'm in melb for right now) with large track count recorders, redundant version of same, two track rough mix from a dedicated console, splits, all of the above on UPS, etc etc.

most jobs fall somewhere between the two.

to "justify" to people a standard sort of 24ch gig like the one you mention if they ask why its so much… i say
$500 for my time (day)
$500 for the hire of the equipment/ transport etc
$500 studio hire to mix it
$500 for my time (day to mix)
make $2000 sound pretty right to me
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby gigpiglet » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:05 pm

to clarify - I'm not talking about a "oh i can give you a recording if you want for a bit extra"
I'm talking about being hired to come and do a professional job - and if you mess it up there is going to be a lot of trouble (as there might be 7 camera guys with all that hire gear - so over 5 grand - shooting the gig too… and thats all lost if your audio isn't perfect.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby dave01.cooper » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:23 am

drumroll please....

Most thought 300 bucks was fair.


Funny thing is Peter, that's what a lot of bands are willing to pay for their 'next release' live recording I've found. Hell i did a recording one night for $80 ffs... I was mixing foh too and wasn't too strenuous but still had to cut it up for them. Never again.

But that's not to say that bands/artists whoever, aren't willing to pay $5000 for one neither, all about their budgets. I think it really comes down to how it's interpreted by the group too.
For instance if it's shopped as you said Gareth "oh I can plug in an 8ch recorder and do it for you if you want" then of course they're not going to give you more than $100 for it. If they really want a quality live recording with quality gear, edited/mixed in a professional studio + mastering then they will pay good money for it, same with anything, people will pay the price of a service if they know it's going to be good and offered to them correctly...
Video is too becoming such an easy thing at gigs, 2 or 3 Canon 5d's paired with good audio and there's a handy little live dvd.

Interested to hear about what pre's people are if their live rig is in a standalone RU case, say 4 to 8ch pre's in 1RU format, not console based pre's. Bit sceptical on adat based pre's having experienced first hand systems going down because of them...

Also anyone done any live recordings with thunderbolt based units?

Sounds like you've got your rig sorted Kurt - specs on the rig you're running?


cheers
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Wiz » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:32 am

Good call on the video thing

I have been doing these in the studio for the last year.

Mainly for singer songwriters.

The advent of Final Cut Pro x made this stuff really easy.


http://youtu.be/yUYSv41BfXU
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby gigpiglet » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:28 am

hey dave
re the pres our stand alone racks (4RU with 24pres and a 24ch joeco) have midas XL48 units.
they are extremely good, sound excellent, very hard to clip, etc etc.

for a good cheaper solution I've found the presonus units to be very good. (for the money)
i still keep a 4ru case here with an analogue joeco and 24ch of presonus for exactly what we are talking about here - someone just wants to do a quick live recording, they can press record themselves, doesn't matter if it fails etc etc.
i dry hire that rack for a few hundred bucks.

for larger track counts we use sound craft (generally) digital consoles and MADI out to my digital joeco's.
though i have option cards/ converter bridges for all the other digital consoles so can work off them if required.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Chris H » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:25 am

This thread points to many of the issues we face in setting up a live recording service or any recording service for that matter. There are many around who will record AND mix a show for as little as $150! Mostly these recordings are not valued by the band and when they want a recording that "matters" wait till they are playing a bigger venue or an important show and increase their budget accordingly. I just posted on my Baha thread about how and a little bit of why I have finished up my live recording room there. A summary might be "its hard to get a worthwhile financial return out of small venues"
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7583&p=69763#p69763
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Kurt » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:33 am

When I started out as a "lighting guy", code for box pusher/heavy thing lifter in the small PA world, bands could pay $10 for a tape of the desk mix. 20 years later I sell bands multi camera video of their set for $25. It actually takes less effort than the tapes used to. It's not financially viable from a $per hour perspective, but it is a nice service that bands appreciate, some things are not about making money so much as building relationships.

A great adage from a certain Rick O'Neill's defunct column went along the lines of "People don't respect what they don't pay for". It has stuck with me since I read it several years ago. From that I think we can extrapolate another truth; the more people pay for something, the more they value it. There are countless examples of things becoming more sought after when they are more expensive. I remember the shit storm over a DVD player years ago that was horribly expensive and got rave reviews, before it was revealed that it was literally a much, much cheaper DVD player (that had got ok reviews) in a new case.

Live recordings (at this level) are about the performance, not the gear used to capture it. When I mix one of my live recordings I try and reduce noise a bit but I don't edit, I don't generally agonise for hours over automating things, I treat it like a live mix, it isn't going to be perfect.

I think in this day and age of quantised perfection, the thing stopping most bands from releasing live albums is the lack of perfection, not the quality or cost of recordings. If a band isn't happy with their performance, they may be more likely to "release it anyway" if they have paid $5000 for it than if they'd paid $500 but the fact is that most bands at the level I work at are not confident enough in their performance to take a punt. These are the bands that are a small venue's bread and butter. This is why a live recording service, independant of the PA, is probably not financially viable in small venues.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Chris H » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:49 pm

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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Lee » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:15 pm

Chris that photo made me laugh so hard.:)
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby dave01.cooper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:09 pm

Hahaha awesome Chris, pure awesome.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby ftdrummer » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:34 pm

Gareth, how have you found the XL48 compared to cheaper 8ch units? I have some Yamaha MLA8, and I'm considering expanding my ch count with a Midas.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby Ben M » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:28 pm

ftdrummer wrote:Gareth, how have you found the XL48 compared to cheaper 8ch units? I have some Yamaha MLA8, and I'm considering expanding my ch count with a Midas.


Hey Duncan, I own some XL48's as well. They're really quite nice for live recording (basically XL4 pre's), lots of output options - toslink, AES and analogue, good metering, don't break up easily.. phantom, hpf, pad etc... nice sounding converters too! Highly recommended.
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Re: live gig recording budgets

Postby gigpiglet » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:07 pm

yep - the XL48 is pretty awesome

sounds significantly better than a profile (we often do a safety record from the FOH console on MADI as well as our main record on an analogue rack)
very solid sounding
but also a very solid unit… big, deep rack. heavy for what it is.

no complaints at all though!
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