I'm new here. Recently i was invited to record a jazz quintet with very important musicians (one of them was one of Pavarotti's arranger). They are all Excellent players. I'm a more rock producer, I've recorded many rock, pop, wahtever bands, but I've never recorded any jazz band. I was very honoured with the invitation. The Album is not just Jazz. Is a mix of Jazz, rock, fusion, and something in the middle!
The quintet is formed by a drummer, a bass (electric in this case...no upright), Electric guitar and acoustic, piano (full concert piano) and a Viola player(like violin but a little bit bigger).
The mixer is a SSL 4000G, but all will be recorded with neve pre amps.
I guest some of you will try to say to try only mic the kick drum, overheads and maybe snare. But this is some kind of different approach,i guess. I'm thinking in miking all, and than use it or not...since I'm mixing also!
And still don't have all the mic list from the studio but i can rent it if want to...i have the budget(if is worth it).
What do you think i should use? If you could have all the mics in the world, what would you use?
p.s. If you're are thinking in using room mics, you should consider that the studio is 200 m2 and it has variable acoustic in the live room.
Shoot you opinions.
Wow, that's a pretty broad question, but I'll give some tips on the drums: In most situations, I mike every drum, plus stereo overheads, plus stereo room mics. Better safe than sorry. As soon as you skimp on drum mics and don't mic everything, someone is going to be pissed that you have less control in the mix. So track everything and if you decide to go for less is more, turn off (or down) those close mics and go with the natural less miced setup. My usual setup:
Kick inside: Beta 52, Kick outside: AKG solid-tube or Shure SM7 broadcast mic, snare top: SM57, snare bottom: Beta 57. Hi Hat: SM81. Overheads: Pair of SM81 or AKG 414. Rack toms: Sennheiser 421. Floor Tom: 421 or D112. Stereo Room: AKG 414 or some other matched pair of nice large condenser mic. And if you still feel the need to mic something, try a behind the shoulder, large condenser mic aimed at the whole kit. This should give you plenty of options at mixdown time. The Room Mics and the behind the shoulder mic are great for Squishing with an 1176 compessor to give you some natural room/reverb sound. Good luck! I always love recording drums! Bart Ft. Worth TX
I'd say the single most important tool would be knowing that the group sounds like live and what they want their recording to sound like.
for the most part jazz fusion is recorded close like a lot of rock/pop recordings. unfortunately jazz/rock fusion can run the gammut from Tribal Tech or Brecker Brothers to something Much smoother. it's hard to say what you should use, or what your techniques should be without knowing what you want the end result to sound like.
on the whole though, it's probably safe to say you won't want recordings that are too bright (then again, they might want it bright so it's hard to say).
solo strings can be pretty harsh with most mics so I'd start with something warm and smooth like a ribbon mic or an un-hyped condenser like a TLM193 or TLM170.
for the rest of the instruments, you can pretty much use whatever you would normally use. a 57 or ribbon for the guitar, di the bass and mic the cab, anywhere from 3 mics to a gazillion for the drums, and whatever you like to do for a good piano sound.
just keep in mind what you/they want the final product to sound like!
Ask the band for some reference tracks to listen to since they will cover so much ground. Like the others have said the band should already know what they want soundwise before they record and should be able to point you in that direction. Then as long as you track in that vein you will have the right options in place for mixing.
The earlier record has a more jazz sound...but it was a more jazz record. This musics are a little bit different...my first approach is "jazz sound" but than i listen to the musics, and sometimes they ask me for something different.
You're biggest clue, I would think, is how the drummer plays. Is he loud, punching and articulating well; rolls on toms? Does he play more like a funk or rock drummer with a lot of chops? Or does he play quieter with a lot of finesse? The latter drummer might do much better having less mics and more room for his articulatoins. Jazz drummers typically like less mics. I've heard so many times drummers express great frustration because their drums end up not sounding like their drums. But ironically the loud FUSION type drummer likes every drum mic'ed. Weckle.
I agree with almost all that has been advised so far.
Most fusion is similarly recorded to rock/pop, but with an emphasis on clean, natural sounds rather than a lot of processing.
A lot of fusion is fast and complex. So large lumbering sounds will only cloud the issue.
So less of the compressed room etc you would use in a rock production.
I would say, close mic everything ala rock/pop and try to go for the best clean and naturalistic sounds you can.