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 Post subject: Live recording
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Tinhorn

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:33 pm
Posts: 241
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Machine type: AW16G
Guys,

I'm going to attempt to record a demo disc for the new band on Friday evening. I'll set up my G in the rehearsal space (which is a 12 foot x 10 foot room) tomorrow and mic everything up.

I got the G out an hour ago and was setting up some songs when I thought "dang, I've never done a live drum recording before; what do I set the Tempo at in the Song menu?". Does it matter if you're not using a midi-controlled drum machine? Probably not, I'm thinking . . .


This will be a fairly crude recording, with a fair amount of mic bleed. I'll overdub the vocals and the harp. Compress the hell out of everything going in? Or does this make the bleed worse? I guess I could direct record bass, guitar and keys while live mic-ing the drum kit. I have a tiny headphone distribution box and four sets of cans, but this may be overkill, and even slow down the session, owing to having to set up the headphone mixes so everyone can hear. It will be easier to just mic the amps and put a mic on the kick, snare, hi hat and cymbals and let it rip. This demo is for club and bar owners, so I imagine they just want to hear the band cranking out the identifiable bar-band tunes. Additionally, they want to be reassured by a demo, a website, and a band photo of the old geezers that they're not contemplating hiring a bunch of drunks or undependable, disorganized losers. So they can probably deal with a slightly dirty live recording.

Cheers, Randy

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:30 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Hi Randy,

I've miced acoustic drums before. Probably not in a professional way, but the results were more than acceptable.

I used 4 mics: 1 for the bass drum, one under the toms and two over the cymbals. I used dynamic mics at a fair distance. No compression on its way into the machine.

Make sure you do a proper sound test. Clipping drums sound awful. Have the drummer play a part that will be the loudest he'll play during the performance. And then use another 12 dB of headroom because drummers usually don't understand what the sound test is for... and they'll play louder during the performance than during the sound test (I call it the Animal Syndrome).

I've always considered mixing drums to be relatively easy. That is partly because of the relative big number of signals (in my case: four, but I've also done 8 in the past). It gives you a lot of freedom and using more than an ideal number of decibels for headroom is quite forgiving as you're adding up the signals of a bigger number of tracks.

Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:45 am 
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Marker Magician
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:20 pm
Posts: 3486
Machine type: AW2400
With 8 channels only I might consider micing up the drums into another mixer and sending a two track mix to the AW. That would give you six channels with which to work. Then you have option to get the harp in during the performance, or a scratch vocal, or take the keys in stereo.

Sometimes it is good to play into the PA and just put up a stereo pair in the room, away a bit, but this is "adjustable". Then close mic a few chosen pieces, like get a direct line on the keys perhaps. Mic the guit amp with a 57 or other dynamic, Line in the bass, maybe the kick ???

As for the tempo map - not involved, unless yu want to try feeding the drummer a metronome click. Headphones for all? .... You will get into a gear fuss ... Keep it simple. Mic the room and close mic strategically.

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:06 am 
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Finds Manual Useful
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For what it is, i would go for capturing a good performance over sound quality


If the band are not used to recording, headphones might affect their performance.

I would get them to set up like a gig & Mic the drums amps etc. i would also put up a few room mics as well.

You might find that you end up using most of the room sound and use the amp & drum micas for tweaking

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:31 pm 
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Marker Magician
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Yes -- Oscar's advice to concentrate upon capturing the performance is wise. Especially since you are creating a demo for the purpose of securing gigs. Promoters want to hear how you do sound, not how you could sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:44 pm 
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HamelnStock Survivor and Midi Guru
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:20 am
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Location: Belgium
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All good advice. My experience is that the recording setup depends on two things :
1. does the band suffer volume competion or can they control the volume somewhat. Too loud is too much bleed and then it is almost impossible to get a decent mix so make them aware if needed.
2. how is the acoustic of the recording location. If you have o lot of reverb use carpets on the floors, walls, windows to eleminate unwanted reflections. They too can kill a good live performance. If the band sounds really good all you need is a stereo pair. If they don't you need to mic as close as possible. 57's are ideal for micing 'noisy' bands.

My two cents ...

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Tinhorn

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:33 pm
Posts: 241
Favourite food: Jägerschnitzel
Machine type: AW16G
These are all good tips; thanks to everyone. I'm going to go over to the practice venue this afternoon and set up the mics and get some preliminary levels.

I will close mic everything; I record practice sessions on a Tascam 05 and find that there's no room placement for its stereo mic that yields a balanced recording.

I just thought of something; I only have two XLR inputs. I have maybe two XLR to 1/4" plug converters. I'm going to have to find some way to connect the SM57s and 58s to the G.

Always something . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Live recording
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:42 pm 
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HamelnStock Survivor and Midi Guru
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Hi Urbando, I always use a small mixer or even better a preamp to 'boost' the mic levels. It will help you get better levels without 'hiss' and it also solves the connectivity problem provided you have some spare 1/4 jack cables ...

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