January 24, 2015

This week we’re going over filming all kinds of live music, whether it’s a huge concert or a small live session in the garage.


So over the last few week’s I’ve been filming a lots of live music with the band Glue. There are so many things to consider with live music sessions, from mic placement to lighting to editing.





This is more of the stage lighting approach, with hard light coming mostly from the back. This can be created fairly easily by using lights without an diffusion, and placed behind the talent from fairly high up. One person’s rim light can be the other’s fill light.

Here we have an example of softer lighting, which works really nicely for the stripped back, acoustic track. Again a nice location and wardrobe with muted colours that all fit together with the vibe.


Here’s a video with something we can aim for – great quality audio recording, brilliant location  and lighting, plus great coverage and editing.

This one is very cinematic, inspiration for anyone thinking of outdoor recordings.


cameraCanon T3i Body cameraCanon T3i (600D) Body
lensTamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC lensTamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC 
40mmCanon 40mm f/2.8 40mmCanon 40mm f/2.8
zoomZoom H5 Audio Recorder  zoomZoom H5 Audio Recorder
 condenserCondenser Mic (Audio Technica) condenserCondenser Mic (Audio Technica)
rodeRode VideoMic Pro  rodeRode VideoMic Pro 
 xlrXLR Cable xlr XLR Cable
 tripodLibec TH-650DV Tripod  tripodLibec TH-650DV Tripod
tripodBenro Travel Tripod  tripodBenro Travel Tripod
al5280Aputure AL-528S LED Light  al5280Aputure AL-528S LED Light


Recording the audio is of course the most important part of filming live music, and it’s not nearly as simple as pointing your VideoMic at the band… There’s of technical knowledge behind a good music recording, so the videos below should serve as a good introduction.



A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on



















Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Bednář Jan

    Hey Simon, I started to watch your channel a month ago or so and I’ve already learned a lot of stuff and I appreciate, you are giving out your ideas and problems you had to solve, especially that you are probably 2 or 3 steps (read “film making years”) ahead of me, so this is super helpful.
    I work as a sound engineer and video is my hobby, but I just wanted to share my last video, which was done exactly the opposite way as you said in the beginning of your video: I had only one GoPro and one camera, but I knew we are going to play 7 shows and musicians are using in ear monitoring system with click in it, so I basically recorded each band member during different concert. Lights and surroundings are changing, but that just shows the “tour” idea. I would love to hear your opinion on this piece: http://youtu.be/NVeaSd12fsg .
    Thank you and keep it rolling.

    • I’m so glad you’re finding the videos useful! It means a lot.

      That’s a really creative way to add an extra element of interest to a video! I’ve never seen that before, so nice job! It could be cool to try it in locations with even more variety, maybe some outdoor performances during the day so people really notice! Or get the band to wear the same clothes whenever you are filming so people only notice if they are paying attention.

      • Bednář Jan

        Thanks for the input! :)

  • James Burton

    Simon, how would you suggest recording at a concert or recital when the main instrument is the piano (mic’d), but the singers supporting it are not mic’d by the venue? Using my Rode shotgun at the back of the room got pretty good audio (and the organizer was happy), but I felt disorganized by it, and was somewhat unhappy with the final result. The setup was a piano (mic’d), moving emcee/host (mic’d), with singers behind the piano (un-mic’d).