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Recording a Jazz Combo: Advice Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 3rd December 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Recording a Jazz Combo: Advice

Hello everybody. I am relatively new to the world of recording and would appreciate some help as I prepare for my first recording session.

I need to record a jazz combo consisting of:

Drum Kit
Upright Bass
Female Vocals

The mics I have available are:

2 Fathead II Ribbons
1 EV RE20
1 Sennheiser MD421
1 KSM32
1 SM57

I also have the pres from my Focusrite Liquid Saffire and PRO MPA II.

I plan on running the upright DI and possibly the guitar as well. I am thinking I will record the vocals separate with the KSM32. Thoughts?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Old 3rd December 2012
Lives for gear
Led's Avatar
When you say the vocals separately, do you mean in another pass? If so, I'd say record them with the band instead. You're a bit short on mics, but if it were me I would skip the di's and go like this -
Fatheads as a pair over the drums, RE20 on the upright bass, MD421 on the brass, have them both play towards the one mic, KSM32 on vocal and 57 on guitar.
I'm not a fan of di stuff for jazz ensembles, but that's not to say it;s wrong, it's just my preference.
Good luck, have fun with it.
Old 3rd December 2012
Lives for gear
pkautzsch's Avatar

Get another 421 for the brass if you can, and you might try to give the singer a 58 to get bleed manageable, especially if it's a live performance and she's in front of the band.
Definitely go mic AND direct for the double bass. DI can get you some definition over drum bleed, mic gives you better sound if drums don't bleed too much.
Not sure if I'd go stereo for drums. Often just one mic in the "near the drummer's right ear" position works fine, when there is enough bleed in the other mics to add space.
Old 3rd December 2012
Lives for gear

Where will this recording take place?
Old 3rd December 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
The live room I'm working with is approximately 18' X 13'. It is carpeted with Auralex 2X2 panels on the walls.

What would you guys think of using the Fatheads as a stereo pair for the horns and the KSM32 as a drum overhead/room mic?

What I meant by recording the vocals separately was doing them in another pass after the session.
Old 3rd December 2012
Lives for gear
scottwilson's Avatar
I tend to use a DI on the bass as a fallback, especially with acoustic jazz in a less than ideal room with little treatment (Auralex squares don't really count) and no gobos.

You only need a room mic if you're going for a primarily 'room' sound with accent mics. Otherwise, you probably won't need a "room" mic as there will be plenty to bleed... especially with those ribbons.

You'll want the drum overheads closer than you'd think, and be sure to point the horns (and most of the other instruments) away from the overheads.

Old 4th December 2012
Lives for gear

Do you have any gobos?

You want to orient the band so that the reflections of the instruments are the most pleasing (or least damaging) to the other open mics. Reflections can potentially be more damaging than spill.

You also want to try and use as few mics as possible. Take the DI of both guitar and bass as a safety. Sometimes it is useful to sneak in the bass DI a little bit to put a "point" on the note.
Old 4th December 2012
Lives for gear
scottwilson's Avatar
Here's a set I did with 6 mics and 2 DI. I could have gotten by with fewer mics, but we wanted to make sure we got a clear snare sound as he had just gotten it from a guy who made it for him.

2 OH, Snare, Kick, GTR, Sax, GTR DI, Bass DI

It's a decent room about the same dimensions as you're working in, but I brought my own treatment. I have some 2x8 panels I built stuffed with acoustic batting. You can see them in the video - the gray panels behind drummer and next to sax.

And some visuals...

Old 4th December 2012
Lives for gear
king2070lplaya's Avatar
In the middle of a session right now, of a jazz octet, to 8 tracks:

1 - Drums (the Steve Remote knee mic)
2 - Bass mic (fig 8 ribbon)
3 - Bass DI (not gonna be used in the mix)
4 - guitar
5+6 - piano L and R
7 - Tbone and Tenor sax
8 - 2 alto saxes, doubling on flute

It's gonna be huge! Sounding, anyways. No gobos necessary, either!
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