Can I Record a Live Performance? Understanding the Ins and Outs of Live Session Recording


The thrill of a live performance is unmatched. The energy, the spontaneity, and the raw talent on display make for an atmosphere that is both electrifying and captivating. But what if you want to capture this magic and relive it later? Can you record a live performance? Well… The answer is yes, and Arcus Sounds specialises in recording and filming them, but there are several factors to consider when undertaking live session recording. Let’s delve into them.

Understanding Live Session Recording

For a Live session recording, we’re capturing audio or video during a live performance. This could be anything from a concert, theatre production, comedy show, but at Arcus Sounds we’re usually working with musical artists. We’re aiming to preserve the authenticity and spontaneity of the performance for future distribution to promote and support the artists work through the power of their presence on stage.

The process of live session recording can be complex, requiring specialised equipment and technical expertise. It involves multiple microphones to capture different sound sources, high-quality video cameras for visual content, and mixing consoles for balancing audio levels, fantastic but subtle monitoring for the musicians to hear their best whilst looking their best too. And of course, some experienced and talented people managing all those details!

Technical Aspects of Live Session Recording

Once you’ve navigated the legal landscape, it’s time to consider the technical aspects of live session recording. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Equipment: The quality of your recording largely depends on the equipment you use. High-quality microphones, cameras, and recording devices are essential for capturing clear audio and video. Additionally, you may need stands or mounts for your equipment, cables, and possibly a mixing console.
  2. Placement: Where you place your microphones and cameras can significantly impact the quality of your recording. For audio, consider the acoustics of the venue and position your microphones to capture sound from different sources effectively. For video, ensure you have clear sightlines to the performers and that lighting conditions are suitable for recording.
  3. Post-Production: After capturing the performance, post-production work like editing, mixing, and mastering can enhance the quality of your recordings.
  4. Backup: Always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong during the performance. This could involve having spare equipment or additional storage options on hand.
Live Session with BODEGA at Arcus Sounds Studio east london
East London Rehearsal Studio Arcus Sounds in action

The Benefits of Live Session Recording

Despite its complexities, live session recording offers several benefits:

  1. Promotion: Artists can use live recordings to promote their work or build their portfolio.
  2. Avoid the music video trap: Live sessions are cheaper than music videos, and promote your presence as performers as well as your musical talent.
  3. Get more live gigs: Promoters love to see what you’ll do on a stage, and only a live session gives them that with confidence.
  4. The Global Stage: Taking your live presence to the global video stages like YouTube can get you new audiences across the world, and open up touring options.
  5. Capture your artistic history: A live session is the most raw and clearest capture of your art at this point on it’s journey, capturing it beautifully add to that journey by marking this stage in all its live glory.


So yes, you can record a live performance – but it’s crucial to navigate both legal considerations and technical aspects carefully when undertaking live session recording projects. With careful planning and execution, you’ll be able to capture those magical moments on stage accurately – preserving them forever in high-quality audio or video format.

Remember that while technology has made it easier than ever to record live performances, you’ll still get your best results at a quality studio with a great team, get in touch to hear how we can support your live session dreams down in East London. Happy recording! 
Don’t forget to check out our signature series, The Sounder Sessions, to see the results we get here!

Ps. Legal Considerations in Live Session Recording

Before you hit that record button during your favourite band’s concert, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications involved in recording live performances.


Firstly, copyright laws protect most performances. This means that without explicit permission from the copyright holder (usually the performer or their management), it’s illegal to record their work for any purpose other than personal use. Even then, some venues have strict policies against any form of recording due to contractual obligations with performers or broadcast rights holders.

If you’re planning on distributing your recordings commercially (or even sharing them on social media), obtaining proper permissions becomes even more critical. Violating copyright laws can lead to hefty fines and potential legal action.

Always worth ensuring you’ve obtained all necessary permissions before embarking on any live session recording project. Have a great session!

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