The Null Device

The words so surreptitious

The street finds its own uses for audio recording hardware, it seems. Miniaturised audio recorders and hidden microphones designed for naturalists and anthropologists are being adopted by music fans to surreptitiously record live gigs. (via TechDirt)
The equipment has legitimate purposes too, being used by naturalists to tape the sounds of tree frogs or researchers to record indigenous rituals without calling attention to themselves, but it has been embraced by tapers who see a band's "no taping" policy as a challenge.

"The fan community sees no-taping policies as damage and routes around it", to paraphrase a Grateful Dead lyricist. Meanwhile, some tapers are devising their own tricks of the trade.

Some who secretly tape frequently have special "taping clothes." One taper in the upholstery business "made himself a fancy-looking vest," said Oade. He sewed the cables and the microphone into it, and put the DAT recorder in a fanny pack.

Surreptitiously taping a gig isn't hard; doing so and getting decent sound is the tricky thing. (I've got a rather dodgy-sounding minidisc of last year's Morrissey gig to vouch for that.)

There are 2 comments on "The words so surreptitious":

Posted by: Graham Sat Jul 26 09:15:17 2003

I've occasionally pondered the feasability of getting two people to tape a gig with two recorders to get a better stereo image; getting the two recordings to line up in stereo would be a bit tricky, I imagine...

Then again, you could just bribe the sound guy to, say, plug something into the board.

Posted by: acb Sat Jul 26 09:44:18 2003

The problem with the board is that you don't get the air in the venue.