I filmed a couple live sets for a band in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The All Weather Band is an Americana band, playing a wide range of music and genres.
They played live at Stoner Grill featuring songs by the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Wylan Jennings, BB King, Eric Clapton, Elvis, Dave Dudley, The Band, and more. They had a great energy and were very fun to shoot.
The audience at the venue was great as well. They featured a guest harmonica that night on many of the songs. I shot the music video with five cameras, four were set on stationary tripods, the last camera was for tight shots.
I held the tight camera on a gimbal for motion and stabilization. The audio was recorded on three audio recorders and the cameras each recorded sound from their position. One problem that came up with recording the sound was the ambient noise in the room which made a few of the audio recordings unusable.
It’s hard to tell during a set because the sound coming out of the speakers would seem to be loud enough to overpower all sound in the room but when an audience is drinking and having a good time they can talk very loudly and make a surprising amount of noise. I found that placing audio recorders close to the band and speakers in the front works best for recording live music.
To capture the live band the stationary cameras are set on wide shots mostly so that each musician could be covered and nothing was missed and to cover if one goes down or a person blocks a shot. This video, as well as previous videos covering events of all kinds has once again shown the secret to filming live events- having at least one extremely tall tripod.
I use one heavy manfrotto that was able to almost reach the ceiling and it helps immensely in getting over all obstructions and getting a clear shot of the action.
I also need to use a step ladder to reach it but it is worth the hassle of bringing that extra heavy gear around. I felt a little like the tapers who recorded the Grateful Dead which was kind of fun.