Hello, my name is Frank Huang, and I’ve been filming metal and punk concerts for almost 11 years. I run a video blog / YouTube channel called Max Volume Silence Live (formerly Pit Full of Shit) which has been featured on Metal Injection, MetalSucks, Noisey, Cvlt Nation, The Obelisk, Brooklyn Vegan, Loudwire and others. Throughout the years people have been asking me what kind of gear I use, so today I will show you my current setup! (most of this is the rig I have at Saint Vitus Bar, the venue that hosts most of the shows I film.)
My main camera at the moment is Canon C100 Mark II. It’s a solid machine that works really, really well in low lights, which is a very important part of concert filming. At the bottom are the three main lenses I’m using; depending on the room size I switch between the two zoom lenses, and the fisheye lens is awesome for smaller basement shows where there’s no stage but it’s small enough that I can cover everyone without zooming.
Another lens I use at larger venues is the Sigma 50mm-500mm. I got this lens from Torsten who created another long-running YouTube channel Unartig. It can get some pretty decent medium to close up shots even if you are in the far back of the room, but the downside of this lens is that it goes to F6.3, which is a bit of a problem with low lights sometimes.
Last year I started doing multitrack recording at most of my videos. The best scenario for me is if I can just plug my laptop into the soundboard and get all the tracks so I don’t have to pack an extra box of cables, but that’s rarely the case. A lot of the venues, especially punk ones, have older analog boards where there’s no USB port, so what I am doing at Saint Vitus is plugging in 12 Y cables to split out the signals from home snake cables: one side goes back into the PA, and one goes into the Zoom H6, and with the additional capsules I can get 12 channels from the board. It isn’t really the ideal situation — sometimes I need extra channels for certain bands, and I have to pick and choose what tracks to give up — but it’s the affordable way for me to do this for now.
As for room sound I use a Sony PCM D50. It came out in 2008 and it’s the only piece equipment I’ve been using the whole time. It still sounds better than most of the recorders I’ve tried.
My most recent additional is the little black box underneath the PCM D50 called an Instamic. I use it as an overhead mic behind the drums as basically a GoPro version of microphones. I clip it on either a stand or the curtains in the back of the stage and remote control it on my phone with bluetooth, and it records right into itself. It works perfectly without clipping.
I use Beyerdynamic’s DT770 for monitoring and mixing.
I use Manfrotto tripods, SanDisk memory cards and Glyph hard drives. These brands are usually slightly more pricey than others, but they are much higher quality. It’s definitely worth spending a bit more money on these than breaking your camera or losing your footage.
I use Adobe Creative Cloud for all my post-production work.
Also check out these concert videographers’ work: