Technology Makes It Easier To Record Concerts Secretly

from the a-taper's-world dept

A decade or so ago, I remember going to a club in NYC to see some local bands play. The friend who I went with brought along a tape recorder to record the show. As we waited online to get in, we noticed that the bouncers were searching everyone (which, actually, wasn’t that common). My friend figured he would have to give up the tape recorder and actually held it out to the bouncers when we got to the door. The bouncers looked at us like we were crazy and said they were only searching for weapons (and promptly confiscated my keychain pocket knife). Later on, talking to some of the band members, it turned out they were happy that we had taped the show, and asked for a copy of the tape. It sounds like similar situations still happen, as bands and clubs have very mixed opinions on whether or not they should allow fans to tape their shows. To deal with this, there’s a growing group of people who look for better technologies and methods for sneaking the recording equipment into the show. As technology gets better and smaller, fans are building it into their clothing and keeping the entire recording apparatus hidden. Bands, are still of a mixed opinion. Some, like the band I spoke to, are happy to find out people are taping their shows, and realize it can be good publicity for them. Others have been brainwashed by the RIAA to believe that any time anyone ever hears a note of their music, some cash should be immediately sent to their bank accounts. People who record those bands, though, say they’re not doing anything wrong since they’re not profiting off the recordings. In fact, they’re usually such big fans that they’ve already bought every possible recorded song by the band and (obviously) have paid to see them live.

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Comments on “Technology Makes It Easier To Record Concerts Secretly”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Who wants to record a nightclub??

Actually, the quality you can get off of a good taper is pretty much the same as if you bought a live CD, you should check out the tapes for shows such as: O.A.R., Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, etc… all these bands have open taping policies for their concerts, and sometimes, they are taped directly off of the soundboard. If you just stick a recorder in your pocket like mike described, yeah the quality is pretty bad, but some of the rigs people set up these days produce amazing recordings.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Who wants to record a nightclub??

My own experiences with taping (about a decade ago) found that you can actually get stunningly good sound quality tapes. The trick was to have (a) a very good microphone and (b) the ability to find the “right spot” in the venue. If you’re located well, the sound quality can be excellent – and I assume the technology has only gotten better over time.

I also found that tapings from the audience were often much better than soundboard tapings – though, I’m not sure why. I think it might have been the fact that you could hear the crowd clapping between songs. On soundboard records the crowd was completely drowned out, and it didn’t sound really “live”.

Will says:

Pretty damn good qualilty audience recordings actu

With today’s technology (DAT mostly) soon moving to solid state recorders (hard disk/flash) the footprint is very small, and the quality is great – the caviat is that you have to know something about sound and PA systems to find the ‘sweet spot’, but an experienced taper can get sound that is almost as good as something right out of the soundboard….

gluefreak says:

No Subject Given

Nice post, Mike. As a longtime collector of recordings (but not as a taper myself), I would like to reinforce what you say about collectors. To wit:

I have already bought every conceivable CD, DVD, etc, that the few bands I collect have put out. I pay for concert tix and God knows what other paraphernalia. Conversely, I never pay a single cent for boot recordings, and 99.9% of the people I trade with do not charge for boots either. If anything, they trade them, and often they give them away for free.

This means that boots are exactly what you say they are: free advertising. Marketing. Publicity. They detract NOTHING from the revenue of the bands. In fact, in cases where I have a boot of a show and the band happens to make a soundboard version available, I inevitably buy the soundboard because I want the highest quality. And I get the impression that I’m not alone in this.

Boots are not in the same class as filesharing commercial music. Boots are for obsessives who already put their money where their mouth is. Period.

And incidentally, you posted a while ago about not blocking IPs from RIAA etc. And I think you were 100% right there too. Maybe if some of those lawyer-duped “artists” would listen to analyses such as yours, we’d have some real PROGRESS in music distribution. I recognize that it’s not without its difficulties, but the internet will ultimately be THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ART, MUSIC, AND LITERATURE. I firmly believe this. It will allow good content to rise to the top, regardless of who produces it. And that’s a good thing for everybody.

I could carry on but I guess the blog is yours so I’ll stop…

Anonymous Coward says:

old hat

Ever been to a dead concert?

Tapers live right in the middle and take their art quite seriously. I’ve even seen tapers who had unique and patentable mechanisms for noiselessly deflating the party baloons what inevitably make their way into a concert. I even saw one guy get pissed at a couple who were making to much noise in their love making.

Second observation: if you want to get a weapon in a concert, disguise it as a recorder (cell phone)?

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