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Old 5th March 2014
  #2
Don't be afraid of a little bleed. When I record a band in the theater I have the guitar cabinets isolated in the catacombs under the stage but there is still a little rumble from the bass, sometimes heard faintly in the compressed room mics. Not a problem. I just ask to record extra takes of song sections where the bleed might be an issue later, and make sure those extra takes have only drums.

When the drums have stops and the other instruments continue through the gaps, there will be a need for those "quiet takes" for editing. And often at the end of songs you will need to remind the band to not make noise during the cymbal die-out. Don't click your guitar pedals, don't talk or sniffle or poot....

Another thing to be careful of are scratch vocals bleeding over the drums through those same gaps. I encourage the singer to participate in the tracking by setting up a SM58 on stage so they are in the midst of the noise, but must remind them to keep quiet in the gaps, at least for one good take so I have pieces if I need them for edits. The stage of the theater is set up like a band's rehearsal, except with headphones instead of a P.A.. Because the singer's scratch track is being recorded, I can learn the song faster, and I have a visual guide for the vocals in the song. Sometimes parts of the scratch performances are good enough to keep in the finished session!

Be brave and you'll have beautiful drum tracks with a "live feel" ready for overdubs. Or maybe keep all the other tracking performances too - like crazy Aussies Spiderbait.

Spiderbait "Tonight Alright" was done live on stage with no headphones. Those guys wanted a true live experience and they don't fool around. I set up a P.A. on stage with wedges and put away the headphones. I still had the guitar cabinets isolated, but those wedges were roaring along side the drums... somehow it all worked out. Below is a photo of Spiderbait guitar player Whit's duct-tape SG.

Live recording setup-ducttape.jpg
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