Old 4th June 2005
  #1
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Thread Starter
Talking Live Recording

I've read a few threads here ou audience and crowd recording. But I still don't know what equipment I need.

My goal is to make a live recording of a worship band. The room is about 30x30.

I've made a recording using 2 Shure 58 or 59 microphones about 20 feet from the stage. They were about 12" apart and not facing different directions (so maybe I didn't do it right?) I gave them about 60db of gain and used an Alesis 3630 before recording it into my laptop.

Since then I've realized that I need to record at least the drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard on separate tracks and mix them later. I've just bought a MOTU 1224 off ebay. I plan on getting a second expansion unit as soon as I see one come up.

Getting back to my question, I'd like to continue recording the house mix from the stage, but some of the vocals and drums over power the crowd. I want to get the vocals from the crowd too. I've read that people mount shot gun mikes on the speakers. The shutguns won't pick up too much of the speaker sound? Thats hard for me to fathom...but I don't know anything at this point! So if I were to find some good shot gun mikes on ebay and mount them on the speakers aimed at the audience (which is singing along) I will get a good mix?

Here is what I get when I aim the two shure cardiods at the stage from 20 feet away:

http://media.diywelder.com/Church/05...the%20lord.mp3

I improved that song a little (the one in the link is unimproved) by attenuating 150hz and lower by 40% and everything above 4khz by 275-300%.

I don't want as much of the singers, drums, guitars in the shotgun mix. It didn't really help that the cardioids had pretty much line of sight to the speaker stacks and everyone in the crowd was facing the other direction... Based upon how that recording sounds, with a shotgun shock mounted on top of the speakers, do you think I'd have less band sound and more crowd? Do the make shotgun mikes with different focal spots? I'm not going to be aiming too far and I'd like to get a lot of crowd.

Any suggestions? There are some more recordings in the same directory as that other link.

Thanks,
Grant
Old 8th June 2005
  #2
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Matt Pneumatic's Avatar
 

Hey Grant. I listened to your recording and as far as a spaced two mic setup goes, it doesn't sound all that bad. Though for a loud rock band (especially one that's going through a PA), you really need to multitrack the performance and mix it later. You can always mix in your crowd mics and get that live crowd sound that you want. I feel that you should spend more time on getting the sounds multitracked to tape or hard drive at a good level when recording a live rock event. Unless you have a LOT of time to rehearse and get the mics in the right place, using a stereo micing array is going to kick you in the butt later on when you want to change something in the mix which you obviously can't.

When I'm doing a live rock recording, there are so many things to worry about. Phase, ground hum from the mics, ground hum from the DI's, crowd mics,...the list goes on forever it seems. Unless you have a huge crew that's working for you, just worry about good close micing technique and good levels to tape. You can make it sound amazing later in the studio upon mix down.

-matt
Old 8th June 2005
  #3
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Thread Starter
I sat down for the first time with my MOTU 1224 off ebay. I have seen the light! Those recordings were done off of a $49 sound Blaster USB from CompUSA.

I plan on using the 8 inputs like this:

1. cardiod on the music stage pointed at congregation
2. lead vocals
3. keyboard
4. second guitar
5. lead guitar
6. bass guitar
7. kick drums
8. Overhead drums

Sound like a good plan? I'm looking for some more cheap deals on ebay so I can just grab every chanel (all the vocal mics).

Its going to be soooo nice having a sound device that accepts "real" line level inputs.
Old 10th June 2005
  #4
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Thread Starter
So I made two more recordings using my new MOTU-1224. NO eq except a fall off at 100hz on the room mic and a low pass filter on the bass guitar.

At the end I noticed that the high pass filter was activated for the bass guitar input. Great, cut the bottom 80hz of bass out of the bass guitar...

This recording was mixed last night in a hurry. I'll redo the levels later. But any suggestions for improving it more?

These recordings have not been compressed yet, like the others.

I used a multi track recorder to grab these tracks from the Midas Venice 320. The position I set the track in the mix is in parenthesis. I used the inserts from the venice which are pre-eq, pre-fader, pre-mute, pre-everything except the mic preamp, mic gain, and high pass 80hz filter (which is what I think killed the bass guitar).

-Stage vocal group mix (center)
-Electric guitar (right)
-Accoustic (left)
-Keyboard (left)
-Room mic (center)
-Bass guitar (center)

I also recorded a drum group mix and a tom, but I threw them out because they didn't turn out good.

I'm going to try to get them to put an overhead on the drums instead of the tom mic. There are no drums in the multi-track recording except what comes from the room mic. Its not like they use a lot of that in the house mix anyway. I also wasn't able to get the room mic to the front of the stage. It was still located in the back of the room. Their snake doesn't have any free connections.

060905-Holy is the lord.mp3

060905-How Great Thou Art.mp3

Any improvement in your opinion? I need to lighten up the drums and get more bass, or maybe that's just me. I need to add some reverb to the accoustic before I turn its levels up. Sometimes he would get offbeat a tiny bit. :( Any other tricks for cleaning up live music? When done in the back of the room, the muddy sound covers up all that.
Old 11th June 2005
  #5
Gear interested
 

Wow.....
waaaayyy to much bass guitar in those last two tracks - no bassiness to it, but its too high!!
Compensating for the high pass filter by simply turning it up doesn't really work...

It is a high pass filter by the way - passes highs, no bass.

What software are you using for mixing/editing?
I haven't done much live stuff....But in the studio, I usually stick a high pass filter on everything that needs it - usually guitars, sometimes snare, vocals....
just variable high pass filter plugin and move it up untill you start taking out the frequencies the instrument is relying on...In other words, take out the woofiness but make sure the proper tone of the instument remains....
This clears it up - just remember, don't take out what you need!! take out only as much as you need, so it still sounds good without the unneeded lows...experiment and it will make sense...

8 Channels? Maybe try this:

1.Kick
2.Snare (or OH - overhead - left for stereo)
3.OH (or OH right)
4.Bass
5.Guitar 1
6.Guitar 2
7.Keys
8.Vocals!!

I'm not sure that the room mic works....
Its great that you're playing around... try things...

Oh...you want crowd mics...
Then try crowd mic at expense of kick or one of the OH mics....
Experiment!!

Which you're doing...

Good luck! And keep us posted.
Old 12th June 2005
  #6
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hibbsy
Wow.....
waaaayyy to much bass guitar in those last two tracks - no bassiness to it, but its too high!!
Compensating for the high pass filter by simply turning it up doesn't really work...
yeah, it was too late to use the big speakers, so I had to use some old IBM computer speakers. Couldn't tell it was too much with them.


What software are you using for mixing/editing?
I haven't done much live stuff....But in the studio, I usually stick a high pass filter on everything that needs it - usually guitars, sometimes snare, vocals....
just variable high pass filter plugin and move it up untill you start taking out the frequencies the instrument is relying on...In other words, take out the woofiness but make sure the proper tone of the instument remains....
This clears it up - just remember, don't take out what you need!! take out only as much as you need, so it still sounds good without the unneeded lows...experiment and it will make sense...

8 Channels? Maybe try this:

1.Kick
2.Snare (or OH - overhead - left for stereo)
3.OH (or OH right)
4.Bass
5.Guitar 1
6.Guitar 2
7.Keys
8.Vocals!!

I'm not sure that the room mic works....
Its great that you're playing around... try things...

Oh...you want crowd mics...
Then try crowd mic at expense of kick or one of the OH mics....
Experiment!!

Which you're doing...

Good luck! And keep us posted.[/QUOTE]

All right, Right now they've got a snare mic, two toms and a kick I think. There are no free inputs on their snake, so I'm going to try to convince them to drop one of the tom mics for an overhead...at least for one day.

On that note, can anyone provide me with a drum track taken with an average overhead mic in a situation where there was live music all around? It doesn't have to be a full track, just something I can play for them. I'll put another thread up and see what I can get.
Old 5th July 2005
  #7
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Its frustrating trying to figure out exactly what my software is doing. for example I solo each track and make sure that no clipping occurs, and when I play the mix the output level peaks. Its really strange! I'm using Adobe Audition 1.5. My tryout ends soon, but I'm not sure I want it.

I am not able to get the sound I want through room mics only. In fact, in these 3 new recordings the room track is quiet. Its almost like a cheap reverb. It does add the live feeling I want. The 3 mixes below don't include as much room sound as I want, I'm still working on those dynamics. I finally realized that it would be impossible to get a loud congregation with the size of the room and the volume the worship service is run at. Now I'm focusing on the lead singers...leading the recording. What an idea! Anyway, I still don't know how to use my software completely, but it seems like for the most part once I get the settings right they will carry from song to song with only a change needed in the master volume.

I have a software "dynamics processor" (just a compressor) on these tracks:
-Electric Guitar
-Accustic Guitar
-Bass Guitar
-Mic on small tom (I forgot to save the overhead track? I'm surprized how much sound comes through the tom mics)
-Singers -- I feel this is being compressed a little too much in the mixes. Drums are kinda pulsey too

There is no compressor on the keyboard. Its electric and farily flat...or at least its very predictable where the levels will be. There is also no compressor on the room track.

Any suggestions? I'm still learning and next will try fine tuning the compression and eq some of the tracks.

http://media.diywelder.com/Church/063005-AllBowDown.mp3

http://media.diywelder.com/Church/06...strumental.mp3

http://media.diywelder.com/Church/06...eatThowArt.mp3

My subwoofer was turned up too high during mixing, so there may not be enough bass in these 3 songs. Next time I'll play a song through the computer and adjust the stereo so it sounds good, then mix.

Any pointers on where I should be learning? This would be the 4th recording session I've done.

1st with two mics in the back of the room with a misconfigured compressor.
2nd with a properly adjusted compressor.
3rd with a multi-track card and no good drums.
4th, what you hear here. (14 tracks)

Do the latest recordings sound like they should for my experience level? What things should I do next?

We have some orrigional songs, for example the "Great is the Lord" song so it would be nice to be able get a good recording of them.

Grant
Old 5th July 2005
  #8
Gear nut
 

Just to address your original question - you might get a more desirable result using small diaphragm condensers rather than dynamics for the crowd noise.

Experiment. It's your best teacher...
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