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Live Jazz Band Recording - Need Advice
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NorthEnlight
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#1
20th June 2007
Old 20th June 2007
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Talking Live Jazz Band Recording - Need Advice

I need some advise since this is my first live jazz band recording. I normally do studio based rock recording and mixing so this is a little out of my element.

The venue or bar is really small. The band doesn't use a PA at all. I'm hoping to set them up in a half circle but I have to keep them in the corner of the room.

I'll be using (2) Digimax and (1) Mini-me for pres fed into an M-Audio light bridge running PT M-Powered. The band is made up of a 6 piece drum set, an upright bass with pickup and amp, a Keyboard with amp, a tenor Sax and a trumpet. These are the microphones I have available to use.

(1) TLM 103
(1) AKG C414B-TLII
(1) Cascade M20u
(2) Cascade Fat Head
(2) Cascade M39
(3) Nakamichi CM300 w/ Omni & Cardioid
(1) Octava MC012
(2) PVM 480 super-cardioids
(1) PVR1 omni condenser
(1) Beta 52A
(3) e604
(4) SM58
(2) SM57
(1) SM48

I'm mainly looking for advice on which microphones you would use for the trumpet, sax, and room. I'm also open to any other advice you may want to throw my way.
#2
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthEnlight View Post
I need some advise since this is my first live jazz band recording. I normally do studio based rock recording and mixing so this is a little out of my element.

The venue or bar is really small. The band doesn't use a PA at all. I'm hoping to set them up in a half circle but I have to keep them in the corner of the room.

I'll be using (2) Digimax and (1) Mini-me for pres fed into an M-Audio light bridge running PT M-Powered. The band is made up of a 6 piece drum set, an upright bass with pickup and amp, a Keyboard with amp, a tenor Sax and a trumpet. These are the microphones I have available to use.

(1) TLM 103
(1) AKG C414B-TLII
(1) Cascade M20u
(2) Cascade Fat Head
(2) Cascade M39
(3) Nakamichi CM300 w/ Omni & Cardioid
(1) Octava MC012
(2) PVM 480 super-cardioids
(1) PVR1 omni condenser
(1) Beta 52A
(3) e604
(4) SM58
(2) SM57
(1) SM48

I'm mainly looking for advice on which microphones you would use for the trumpet, sax, and room. I'm also open to any other advice you may want to throw my way.
This is my bread and butter.

Get a DI for the fake piano.

Do not use a DI on the bass. A super cardioid on a boom with the just below the f-hole on the g-string side of the bass will do. (Unless the bass player is a pussy. If so, you can "cheat" by blending in a little DI. Try to avoid it, it sounds wrong for acoustic bass.) You can also try wrapping a SDC in a rag and fitting it into the bass bridge pointing up.

Drums; 1 mic oh (AKG 414), 1 mic for the snare/hh (sdc) and if you need it, 1 for the bass drum.

Saxophone; tlm-103

trumpet, Cascade ribbon

If you want to talk further, give me a shout during the day.

-Andy
914-663-8323
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NorthEnlight
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21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
This is my bread and butter.

Get a DI for the fake piano.

Do not use a DI on the bass. A super cardioid on a boom with the just below the f-hole on the g-string side of the bass will do. (Unless the bass player is a pussy. If so, you can "cheat" by blending in a little DI. Try to avoid it, it sounds wrong for acoustic bass.) You can also try wrapping a SDC in a rag and fitting it into the bass bridge pointing up.

Drums; 1 mic oh (AKG 414), 1 mic for the snare/hh (sdc) and if you need it, 1 for the bass drum.

Saxophone; tlm-103

trumpet, Cascade ribbon

If you want to talk further, give me a shout during the day.

-Andy
Great! Thanks for the input.

One question, why only one mic for an over head? Is is typical in Jazz not to use a stereo overhead?
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthEnlight View Post
Great! Thanks for the input.

One question, why only one mic for an over head? Is is typical in Jazz not to use a stereo overhead?
It has become standard to use 2 oh mics. All of the classic recordings from the 50s and 60s were done with 1. I think the end recording sounds more like a live band if you record each instrument mono and use point source imaging to create stereo.

example: piano-left, bass-middle, drums-right, saxophone-left, trumpet-right.

or experiment when you mix. Use the leakage to your advantage, but be careful not to get into any weird phase issues.
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
It has become standard to use 2 oh mics. All of the classic recordings from the 50s and 60s were done with 1. I think the end recording sounds more like a live band if you record each instrument mono and use point source imaging to create stereo.

example: piano-left, bass-middle, drums-right, saxophone-left, trumpet-right.

or experiment when you mix. Use the leakage to your advantage, but be careful not to get into any weird phase issues.
Listen to The Meters. They did this technique a bit... I believe...
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22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstudio View Post
Listen to The Meters. They did this technique a bit... I believe...
I'm not hip to the Meters. Is that a band?

Anyway, the technique I described was standard for classic jazz recordings. Check out stereo LPs from Columbia, Mercury, Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Impulse, Riverside, Jazzland, Pacific Jazz, Contemporary etc...
ESL
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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jazz recording

If you use a 414 as an overhead, I recommend setting it to subcardioid.
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22nd June 2007
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Originally Posted by ESL View Post
If you use a 414 as an overhead, I recommend setting it to subcardioid.
Thanks! I'll try the Hypercardioid pattern, no supercadoid on the C414. Since I'll be using a narrower pickup pattern, should I suspend the mic pretty high up over the kit? Would you recommend the mic placement be in front, pointing down at the kit, or above the kit, let say, above and pointing down at the snare? I guess I'm a little worried about getting full coverage since the drum kit is pretty large. I'll obviously listen for the best placement but this will be my first mono overhead recording so some direction is appreciated.

I also think I'm going keep it minimal, love the old Blue Note albums!
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22nd June 2007
Old 22nd June 2007
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I would point it straight down as hight up as possibile.
Play with the height as the band is playing and the drummer is hitting the skins.
See what works best.
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22nd June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESL View Post
If you use a 414 as an overhead, I recommend setting it to subcardioid.
Only do this if you've got 2 oh mics. If you're only using 1 mic, set the thing to cardioid or wide cadioid. The "main drum mic" should be picking up the whole set. Spot mic the hh/snare for a little extra "chip" and when the drummer goes to brushes.

If you want to see how Rudy Van Gelder did it back in the '60s, check out these photos.

http://www.ctijazz.com/photogallery/...taylortate.php

http://www.ctijazz.com/photogallery/...gestaylor1.php
#11
24th June 2007
Old 24th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthEnlight View Post
Thanks! I'll try the Hypercardioid pattern, no supercadoid on the C414. Since I'll be using a narrower pickup pattern, should I suspend the mic pretty high up over the kit? Would you recommend the mic placement be in front, pointing down at the kit, or above the kit, let say, above and pointing down at the snare? I guess I'm a little worried about getting full coverage since the drum kit is pretty large. I'll obviously listen for the best placement but this will be my first mono overhead recording so some direction is appreciated.

I also think I'm going keep it minimal, love the old Blue Note albums!
You seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick, so to speak! Subcardioid, as mentioned by ESL is wider than cardioid, not narrower.
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24th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petermedland View Post
You seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick, so to speak! Subcardioid, as mentioned by ESL is wider than cardioid, not narrower.

Yes, a subcardioid is like a cross between an omni and a cardiod.
A supercardioid is most sensitive right up front while rejecting sounds at the rear.
A hypercardioid is most sensitive at the front and sides while rejecting sounds at the rear.
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24th June 2007
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SUBcardioid!

If we need any help explaining subcardioid further, perhaps this will help:

http://www.soundpure.com/showProduct.do?id=590

A picture of the polar pattern.... "wide cardioid"

Just in case you want a reference to subcardioid, this Schoeps capsule is an excellent example of a subcardioid. Exhibits little bass proximity effect, shares frequency response to the omni with more rejection from 90-270 degrees off axis.

The advice you have been given by Andy and others is SPOT ON, so I'll go back to shutting up.

JvB
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25th June 2007
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Originally Posted by petermedland View Post
You seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick, so to speak! Subcardioid, as mentioned by ESL is wider than cardioid, not narrower.
I misread. Subcardiod makes a lot more sense in this application.

I had the gig on Saturday and it went really well! We had enough channels and mics to try multiple techniques on all instruments. This will be great in post since they played a wide variety of "jazz".

Mic'ing the bass at the f hole was spot on, the DI tone was really wrong.

The C414 mono overhead sounds great for Miles Davis tracks, but I might switch it to the x/y SDC OH for the Herbie Hancock funk track. I love options!

Cheers and thanks for the great advise. I'll post a track or two when I'm done.
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