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#1 Ryan Ball

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 08:57 PM

Hey, kids!

I'm going to be shooting some live concert footage with my K3 for a music video. It wll be shot in a club on color film. Anybody do this and have suggestions for me as far as lighting goes? Should I bring additional lights or can I make a typical club's lights work for me?

Thanks in advance.

Ryan
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#2 Zachary Vex

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 01:31 AM

I recently shot in a very small club and got excellent results with really limited light. In front of the band there were three par cans that held the most ridiculous combination of lights... 60 watt practicals on the outsides aimed at the bass/keyboardist on one side and the lead guitarist/singer on the other, and in the center was a 150 watt flood that was 3 stops brighter at the singer's mic. To solve that, I aimed the flood down at his guitar to take the hot spot off the singer's face and bring him to just a half-stop over the other two mics.

I had taken all of the gels off of the front cans and left the red and blue gels on the rest of the cans behind and around the band, and had those dialed down to about 50% on the dimmers. I don't know what the bulbs were in those... I just balanced by eye. The front bulbs were at 100%. I was shooting with Vision 500T (7218) which I shot as ASA 4000. I was able to manage f4 because the stage was so small and the lights were so close... I really needed those extra inches of depth of field because of all the movement. It all looked pretty exciting through the lens as I shot it. Contrary to how many Aaton users complain about the flickering mirror view I found it very arresting, reminding me constantly that each of those flashes of light was an individual photograph and had to be composed in an exciting and sexy way.

I pushed it 3 stops and although it has some grain visible in the HD transfer, I find that grain in rock and roll images is adds a sense of history to the texture, a reminder of so many very important rock concerts from years ago caught on 16mm film with a grainy result. Focusing under such limited light conditions was quite a challenge so whenever I changed positions I zoomed in quickly and focused on the mic's grille and then pushed it just beyond to be ready for a face. The Aaton LTR-7 is so heavy and long (although quite comfortable on the shoulder) that it tends to steady itself very well, unable to turn quickly or jitter much, so the shots were very fluid even though I was having to weave through the crowd and step around obstacles. The size also caused people in the audience to have some respect for wherever I was headed and make room for me when I got there, and duck out of the way, unlike shooting with my HD camera, which people treat like a camcorder being handled by a tourist, standing directly in the shot or jostling me.

Literally every shot I got was useful, luckily because of the gelled pars surrounding the stage which turned everyone's hair a saturated red, blue, or purple as they moved around, and provided eerie rim lighting and back lighting. The transfer turned out really nice. The colorist managed to straighten out the white balance pretty quickly and we just ran it straight through with hardly any adjustments.

A quick note about capturing live sound: I recently acquired an inexpensive MicroTrack (by M-Audio) stereo recorder. It records at 96K or 48K sample rates and 24 or 16 bit resolution, and contains its own set of mic preamps (TRS inputs) which even have phantom power if you need it. The mic pre's are pretty good, lots of headroom for a loud show. I used a pair of Beyer M160 mics in an x/y pattern that were a little too close to the ceiling so they got a bit tubby, but they should unkink and compress nicely in ProTools. I didn't worry about slating anything, but shot as wild and since I'm so familiar with the songs (having documented this band for months) I can literally lip-read what they're singing to sync up each shot. The Aaton's crystal sync should perfectly lock to the Microtrack's crystal control when I begin editing. I think I'm going to pick up an x/y stereo condenser mic for future club work to avoid having to run two cables and get the Beyers all set up. Often, people documenting shows take a feed directly off the board, but in a small club, this is usually a terrible idea! Guitar and Bass amplifiers are often so loud on stage that the soundman leaves them out of the mix, and when you get home, there's no guitars or bass on your recording! It's much safer to capture your own stereo mic mix if you have equipment that can be placed at a reasonable position in the audience, and this will capture applause at a nice level as well. Make sure you aren't distorting the recording by doing a test recording of sound check or recording a bit of the warmup band.
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#3 Ryan Ball

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:05 PM

I recently shot in a very small club and got excellent results with really limited light. In front of the band there were three par cans that held the most ridiculous combination of lights... 60 watt practicals on the outsides aimed at the bass/keyboardist on one side and the lead guitarist/singer on the other, and in the center was a 150 watt flood that was 3 stops brighter at the singer's mic. To solve that, I aimed the flood down at his guitar to take the hot spot off the singer's face and bring him to just a half-stop over the other two mics.

I had taken all of the gels off of the front cans and left the red and blue gels on the rest of the cans behind and around the band, and had those dialed down to about 50% on the dimmers. I don't know what the bulbs were in those... I just balanced by eye. The front bulbs were at 100%. I was shooting with Vision 500T (7218) which I shot as ASA 4000. I was able to manage f4 because the stage was so small and the lights were so close... I really needed those extra inches of depth of field because of all the movement. It all looked pretty exciting through the lens as I shot it. Contrary to how many Aaton users complain about the flickering mirror view I found it very arresting, reminding me constantly that each of those flashes of light was an individual photograph and had to be composed in an exciting and sexy way.

I pushed it 3 stops and although it has some grain visible in the HD transfer, I find that grain in rock and roll images is adds a sense of history to the texture, a reminder of so many very important rock concerts from years ago caught on 16mm film with a grainy result. Focusing under such limited light conditions was quite a challenge so whenever I changed positions I zoomed in quickly and focused on the mic's grille and then pushed it just beyond to be ready for a face. The Aaton LTR-7 is so heavy and long (although quite comfortable on the shoulder) that it tends to steady itself very well, unable to turn quickly or jitter much, so the shots were very fluid even though I was having to weave through the crowd and step around obstacles. The size also caused people in the audience to have some respect for wherever I was headed and make room for me when I got there, and duck out of the way, unlike shooting with my HD camera, which people treat like a camcorder being handled by a tourist, standing directly in the shot or jostling me.

Literally every shot I got was useful, luckily because of the gelled pars surrounding the stage which turned everyone's hair a saturated red, blue, or purple as they moved around, and provided eerie rim lighting and back lighting. The transfer turned out really nice. The colorist managed to straighten out the white balance pretty quickly and we just ran it straight through with hardly any adjustments.

A quick note about capturing live sound: I recently acquired an inexpensive MicroTrack (by M-Audio) stereo recorder. It records at 96K or 48K sample rates and 24 or 16 bit resolution, and contains its own set of mic preamps (TRS inputs) which even have phantom power if you need it. The mic pre's are pretty good, lots of headroom for a loud show. I used a pair of Beyer M160 mics in an x/y pattern that were a little too close to the ceiling so they got a bit tubby, but they should unkink and compress nicely in ProTools. I didn't worry about slating anything, but shot as wild and since I'm so familiar with the songs (having documented this band for months) I can literally lip-read what they're singing to sync up each shot. The Aaton's crystal sync should perfectly lock to the Microtrack's crystal control when I begin editing. I think I'm going to pick up an x/y stereo condenser mic for future club work to avoid having to run two cables and get the Beyers all set up. Often, people documenting shows take a feed directly off the board, but in a small club, this is usually a terrible idea! Guitar and Bass amplifiers are often so loud on stage that the soundman leaves them out of the mix, and when you get home, there's no guitars or bass on your recording! It's much safer to capture your own stereo mic mix if you have equipment that can be placed at a reasonable position in the audience, and this will capture applause at a nice level as well. Make sure you aren't distorting the recording by doing a test recording of sound check or recording a bit of the warmup band.



Wow!

Thanks for the detailed response, Zach. I will keep a printout of this on hand for my shoot for sure. Great suggestions in deed.
  • 0


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Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Glidecam