Sample live recording


I’ve been using Audacity to record and create archive sound files for musicians gigging around my hometown of Pueblo, CO. Here is an excerpt of jazz quintet led by sax player Carlos Crull. This is a live recording of a bar gig, I set up an ORTF mic pair in front of the group. Carlos sets up a mixer/amp driving 2 PA stage speakers. I’d be interested in feedback as I try to get the best sounding recordins I can. If I get any response I’ll post other sound excerpts as I go.


I’ve only listened to your first clip (the FLAC file) and I would say that the recording quality is very good. The only thing that I might suggest is that you could narrow the stereo field a little. I guess there was a lot of stereo separation in the live show from where your microphones were set up, but I’ve not used ORTF set-ups very often, so I’m unsure whether the very wide stereo field is due to the stage set-up, or the ORTF technique. There is something a little strange about sounds in the centre of the mix (such as the vocal) that I can’t quite put my finger on - it may of course be due to the live sound rather than anything that you have caused with your recording. Are your microphones specifically designed to be used in this arrangement? If not, you could try other stereo recording techniques such as X-Y or NOS. A-B recording would probably not be suitable as you would get a lot more ambient sound using omni mics. (A-B recording can also produce weird phasing effects when mixed to mono). My preferred method is usually X-Y with a matched pair of cardioid condenser mics.

The fashion these days seems to be for very loud, dynamically compressed mixes, but personally I prefer the full dynamic range of the live performance, so although your recordings may sound a little quieter than some commercial recordings I would not recommend using dynamic compression.

As archive material, there’s not much to change and should anyone wish to release the music publicly as a CD, then your recordings could be “mastered” to the producers taste.