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I screwed up Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Talking I screwed up

I was recording a band live last night, I was hired to record two nights of performances, no problem. Using a Soundcraft GB4 for mic pres (its what was available) and two Alesis HD24's. Only 18 tracks needed, running the second HD24 for backup to the first (don't trust hard disks) My first mistake was I realized I don't not have all the tracks on the backup machine in record mode, one track was not recording, (Bass Gtr) stop the machine in between songs and pushed record back to running all is good, till I get home. I get home and import the audio tracks into Pro Tools by the Fireport listen to the tracks and the first 20 minutes or so have low level square waves on all the track, don't know why yet, sounds like a hardware problem, sound like white noise. So to recap may main machine has issues and the backup machine was not in record. I should be shot.
Thanks for reading my rant. Have to go record one more night with this band hope all goes well.
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 
CraigM's Avatar
 

oh that sucks. sorry to hear that. Reminds me of a time awhile back when I had a band take days off work to do some live tracking. 20 seconds into the recording my 002 PT session freezes. Did this everytime. It was only afterwards that I decided to check the specs of my Mac / PT and it was....oh..... too slow. Whoops. (G4 400mhz! -ha-ha)
Felt like a ******bag. Made it up to them though, so all is cool. Live and learn.

Last edited by CraigM; 9th September 2007 at 01:12 AM.. Reason: whoa! we can't use the name of a feminine cleansing product? Maybe if I spelled it d-o-u-c-h-e-b-a-g?
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First of all, it’s very courageous of you to come on this “public” forum and state your rant.
I commend you for that. That’s very strong my GS friend, very strong indeed.

You have two nights, so that in itself is a very good thing. Of course the band is going to love the performance from the night you didn’t capture, but that’s another story.

I trust they know the problems you have encountered… right? I wish more people would understand that having a backup device of the same type is a good idea; backing up the backup with another type of recordable media recorder is a thoroughly awesome concept that saves your butt when applicable.

Besides the actual backup device, you must confirm that everything IS everything.
Having a way to monitor both recorders and such is key. Doing a test record during sound check is a must in this type of environment. IE: How can you hear the hum if you’re in (I assume) the same room with the band on headphones?
It’s just not the best situation. Setting up at FOH helps since you have a better shot at hearing what you should be hearing. The proximity of the backline and stage monitors blows my mind when I’m recording next to that sound source.

That’s one thing I don’t like about the Alesis HD24s. You cannot arm all the tracks at once; you cannot drag your finger across the buttons to arm as many tracks as you like; and, IMO the LEDs are way too small to actually see if all the tracks are armed or in record at a glance.

You must go through a check list with regard to everything that has to do with capturing a live performance since we usually only have one shot at it. If you went down the check list you would have found the error. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I trust you walked away from this with a lesson learned.

The bass GTR, why does (almost) everyone only record one track of that instrument? Unless I’m running out of tracks, I’ll pull an input from somewhere else before I pull a bass track. I need (want) at least two tracks of bass GTR. It’s only fair. With that said, welcome to the real world where many folks “need” 22 channels of drums; three channels of GTR, but one channel of bass and a stereo feed from the keyboard mixer on stage…

Crazy stuff for sure, but we do our best.

What I don’t understand is why only the first 20 minutes or so? Something must have happened or been plugged into something that was only operational at the top of the set. You must figure out what that was because it may come back again tonight….

It may be too late to read this post, but let us know how everything went and stuff.

Oh, and about shooting yourself. Only consider shooting yourself if it happens twice in a row on the same gig.

I trust you will find your issues and emerge the winner tonight!

All the best from Remoteness!
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shproductions03 View Post
I was recording a band live last night, I was hired to record two nights of performances, no problem. Using a Soundcraft GB4 for mic pres (its what was available) and two Alesis HD24's. Only 18 tracks needed, running the second HD24 for backup to the first (don't trust hard disks) My first mistake was I realized I don't not have all the tracks on the backup machine in record mode, one track was not recording, (Bass Gtr) stop the machine in between songs and pushed record back to running all is good, till I get home. I get home and import the audio tracks into Pro Tools by the Fireport listen to the tracks and the first 20 minutes or so have low level square waves on all the track, don't know why yet, sounds like a hardware problem, sound like white noise. So to recap may main machine has issues and the backup machine was not in record. I should be shot.
Thanks for reading my rant. Have to go record one more night with this band hope all goes well.

Don't delete these project files, whatever you do!
Sometimes a bad transfer can occur. Your files might be just fine and something got jacked in the import to Protools.

Use the preview function in the Alesis software and play a track or two directly off the disk. That will tell you where the problem is.

Good luck!
Old 11th September 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

Turns out the one Alesis machine malfuctioned, was not an audio problem but a hard drive problem, only noticed on playback of the drive. I still screwed up not getting the backup machine into record mode on the bass track, will have to live with that one the rest of my life, but the band is happyer with the second nights performes and all was good that night. Live and learn. Recording sounds pretty good, have to mail off the hard drives for mixing this weekend.
Old 12th September 2007
  #6
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Okay, remember to backup the hard drives before you ship them out.
No, if's, and's or but's my GS friend.
You must BU the HD -- End of story!
Old 13th September 2007
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Red face BU HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Okay, remember to backup the hard drives before you ship them out.
No, if's, and's or but's my GS friend.
You must BU the HD -- End of story!
Hi What do you mean with Backup the hard drive before shipping
do you mean to do a back up on site while load-out?

I believe he had a HD malfunction during recording cause I record Long long Shows like festivals of 5 to hours long and the backup will take about an hour or so and I get the ac always from the monitor console cause I like to record from stage (I feel I Have more control over the whole situation) you know when the schedule is tight they dont mind much about recording and they fix it on the go thing that works on a live stage but not on a recording

I use HD24 and never had problems with them I also arm all the 24 tracks on both machines when recording 8 track shows no mater how many instruments are playing I always record my split signal

It has happened that I'm recording only the tracks from the sound-check or the rider and the band invites someone on stage and sings and its impossible for me to arm that track but for the sound company you can always plug in turn on a channel
Old 13th September 2007
  #8
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Well, in this case I was refering to making a safety master of the hard drive before he ships them to the client.

It's not a bad idea to backup the drives while you're loading out. You just have to make sure no one pulls your power while in the process of that task.

I always suggest to run two (if not sometimes three) recorders so you don't need to spend the time later addressing the backup (safety) masters.

Yeah, I like to setup at FOH and have my A2 on stage with a comm headset back to me. It's the only way I fly these days.

So, you never had a problem with your HD24 -- Awesome, but I trust you knocked on wood when you wrote that... I guess you had to pause your typing; knock; then proceed with the typing, but...

You're running two HD24s? That's cool.
Where are you splitting the signal to the recorders?
Do you have double mic pres or is the split happening after the pres?

I'm with you on arming all tracks; you just never know what's going to happen.
Old 13th September 2007
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Split

Normally I take the end of the snake that goes to the Monitor Board and connect it to my Splitters 2x24 ch with very short tails 40 and 10 ft then take one end to the mon mixer and the other one to my preamps or my mixer
I normally use 2 Allen & Heath gl2400 424 Linked (very small & nice and clean pre-amps) and use its direct out to the hd24's if its a local gig or a drivable distance gig I take other preamps I have Focusrite Octopre or Grace design 802 and Just ordered some SSL Alpha VHD but always travel with the 2 mixers that way I have PFL

Before I got the HD24 I started with Roland Vs-2480 and grew up to 3 of them

I have all the system on separate UPS so One for each recorder the same for the boards and the pre racks so I have at least 30 min of power in case of some one pulls the wrong cable

I saw in some of your picts that you have a X48 How is it working for you?
does it works fine with external drives cause a 80 gb drive for 48 tracks seems a litle small for live shows

Thats one of the reasons I like the HD 24 you can use almost any drive in it and if you need to change drives you just swipe a new caddy in

the only problem they have given me is to sync them I need to record a few seconds of blank audio so they sync fine

and always go prepared or at least at sound check I create a new song for each band (each band is a song in a project) unless its going to go to video editing and they give me smpte i do the show from top to bottom in a single song

all your suggestions are welcome

take care

Ozzy

REC TO GO CORPORATION
Old 13th September 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
hle144's Avatar
 

Remind me never to hire you for a live sound gig or otherwise.
Old 13th September 2007
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
Remind me never to hire you for a live sound gig or otherwise.
Who are you refering? I assume the original poster, but...

People do make mistakes -- You learn from them and move on.

If you been doing it for decades and you're still screwing up; well, that's a different story.
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