View Single Post
Old 8th June 2012
Special Guest
Al Schmitt's Avatar

Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this!

Would you share your approach to a big band session? How do you set up the players? How do you approach mic'ing them - do you rely on individual mic's? section mic's? overall mic's? Do you tend to put any particular instruments in an iso booth?

And in a similar vein: how do you approach recording strings for those big, lush pop arrangements?

What are some of your favourite or go-to techniques for getting "that sound"?
Big band sessions are some of my favorite ones to do. I set up the big band with the rhythm section toward the back of the room, usually with the drums and bass in booths for some isolation, and the brass and woodwinds in front of them. I usually set the woodwinds toward the left, and the brass to the right in kind of a "V" shape. I pan them the same way in the mix. We use a combination of close mics and section mics to get a natural sound. If the band and the arrangement are good, they pretty much balance themselves in the room.

For strings, the approach is pretty much the same. Violins toward the left, violas in the center. celli, and basses toward the right. A few spot mics over the sections, and a pair of good room mics. Again, if the orchestra and arrangement are good, it's easy.