The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Pre-Recorded drums for live shows
Old 9th November 2009
  #1
Pre-Recorded drums for live shows

Hello there,

My band has been working on a mix of originals and covers for sometime to start gigging, however, we just got rid of our drummer last week for many reasons. Anyways, I am the singer, and used to be the drummer in the band when we first started out, so our new plan is to pre-record all the drum tracks in my home studio with me drumming to run through the PA while we play live. I would then play acoustic guitar and sing, and we have a bass player and another guitarist. I'm looking for any tips, suggestions, experiences you have had with pre-recording REAL drums. I am not interested in programming them in electronically, as I want to play an acoustic kit to get more of a live feel. I will be running everything through a mono PA, so here is my plan for recording:

Kick- Beta 52
Snare and Toms- Sm 57's
OH- (mono) AT 4050 over the kit
HH- AT 4041
Room- AKG perception 200

I want a direct clean sound, with just a bit of room for character. Again, I'm running this mono through the PA...so no need for stereo width. Just a good clean sound. I plan to play along to the cover songs we are doing through headphones to keep good tempo through the song, and will be testing a song or two tonight to see how it goes.

I'm mainly looking for experiences with this, and if it goes over well for a live crowd. We are performing popular covers that most people enjoy listening to from new stuff to old rock songs.

BTW: This was the original plan for the band, but we decided having a drummer would be best. 3 drummers later...we are back to our original plan of playing to backing tracks. Getting another drummer right now is just not an option and would take far too much time. We have a show in 3 months.

Thanks
Old 9th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
imaginaryday's Avatar
how will you play back the recorder drum tracks? are you using a laptop or a hard disk play back device?
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Well, the plan for now is to use a laptop, probably using i-tunes or something. I know this probably isn't ideal. Like I said, we have awhile to figure it out. I figured just creating a playlist in itunes with our set list order and just running down the list. I would then run that through my interface via fw and out the interface into the mixing board.

Any tips would be great on this...it's new to me and I'm looking for the best way to do it.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

You should set up a mannequin or a full size cut out of



in front of a toy drum set on stage.

That would totally rule.

Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
imaginaryday's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
Well, the plan for now is to use a laptop, probably using i-tunes or something. I know this probably isn't ideal. Like I said, we have awhile to figure it out. I figured just creating a playlist in itunes with our set list order and just running down the list. I would then run that through my interface via fw and out the interface into the mixing board.

Any tips would be great on this...it's new to me and I'm looking for the best way to do it.
a laptop on stage is great if you are planning on triggering samples and music parts during a performance. in your case, make life easy as you will have less to carry around/set up and less chance for things to malfunction.

for your situation, i would make it simple by uploading your track to a digital playback device (ipod or something else) in wave format, run the output to a volume pedal, then to your mixer.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Darm's Avatar
 

Record a kick or snare to one channel (left), and the rest of the kit to another one(right).
Then get it on your ipod and give it to the soundman of the club you're playing)
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
imaginaryday's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darm View Post
Record a kick or snare to one channel (left), and the rest of the kit to another one(right).
Then get it on your ipod and give it to the soundman of the club you're playing)

i don't think it matters since he is playing back in mono (per his post).

he just needs to pay attention to phasing during the recording process.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darm View Post
Record a kick or snare to one channel (left), and the rest of the kit to another one(right).
Then get it on your ipod and give it to the soundman of the club you're playing)
Awesome idea! I didn't think of that. Yes, my pa system will be run in mono most likely, however, I could just bounce down all my drum tracks to a stereo file with kick and snare to the left, and the rest to the right. Then from the computer/audio interface plug the left side of the signal into a channel on the board panned center and the right to a different channel on the board, panned center. Then it can go through the pa and drums will be on two channels...one being kick and snare and the other being the rest of the kit. Very cool idea and makes things a little more workable.

Thanks!
Old 10th November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
I'm mainly looking for experiences with this, and if it goes over well for a live crowd.

Thanks
No, I doubt it will sound good or make a good impression on a live crowd, especially in a small venue where they dont have a monster sound system.

The feel and excitement and sound of a live drummer in a small club just cant be replaced by a pre-recorded track.

Find a new drummer, doing it this way isnt going to help your sound or reputation as a great live act.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Darm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
Awesome idea! I didn't think of that. Yes, my pa system will be run in mono most likely, however, I could just bounce down all my drum tracks to a stereo file with kick and snare to the left, and the rest to the right. Then from the computer/audio interface plug the left side of the signal into a channel on the board panned center and the right to a different channel on the board, panned center. Then it can go through the pa and drums will be on two channels...one being kick and snare and the other being the rest of the kit. Very cool idea and makes things a little more workable.

Thanks!
I would not do that this way)
I d rather have kick and snare on separate channels (l/r), cause their balance is more important.
Probably snar alone, and kick with the overheads in the other channel
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
No, I doubt it will sound good or make a good impression on a live crowd, especially in a small venue where they dont have a monster sound system.

The feel and excitement and sound of a live drummer in a small club just cant be replaced by a pre-recorded track.

Find a new drummer, doing it this way isnt going to help your sound or reputation as a great live act.
This is what my fear is. I know you can't replace a live drummer. However, we will probably be targeting college cafe shows and stuff for now, and not so much the bar/club scene. I think it may go over ok at some outdoor events, or cafe style places. But I fear that you are right, and it won't look as good. We shall see I guess.
Old 10th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
No, I doubt it will sound good or make a good impression on a live crowd, especially in a small venue where they dont have a monster sound system.

The feel and excitement and sound of a live drummer in a small club just cant be replaced by a pre-recorded track.

Find a new drummer, doing it this way isnt going to help your sound or reputation as a great live act.
My band has been doing this for a while and it's fine if you make up for it by being excellent in all the other ways available (and if you're not doing that anyway, why are you having a band in the first place?).

Yeah, it's a compromise, and I'd prefer a real drummer. But we spent so long trying to find a drummer after our old one left that I got sick of it and made the decision that if we didn't pursue the compromise, we might as well give it up. Drummers are hard to find, and if you're making music that's unusual at all or lacks commercial potential, you are less likely to find anybody to commit to being in your band. Better that you make the music you have in your head with a backing track behind you than not do it at all.
Old 11th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
This is what my fear is. I know you can't replace a live drummer. However, we will probably be targeting college cafe shows and stuff for now, and not so much the bar/club scene. I think it may go over ok at some outdoor events, or cafe style places.
One possible reason to reconsider the sequencing idea is that you can more easily modify the tempos at the gig. You can even get the sequencer to follow someone in the band. Friends of mine who have played over recorded drum tracks cite fixed tempo as the biggest frustration.

You don't really know how fast to play a song until you do it in front of a live audience, and there are some subtle differences in crowds and venues that can influence the 'proper' tempo for each.
๐Ÿ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 5654 views: 1807831
Avatar for sfmill
sfmill 7 minutes ago
replies: 1116 views: 234372
Avatar for mercurydime
mercurydime 13 hours ago
replies: 175 views: 11499
Avatar for Kan Kaban
Kan Kaban 15th December 2013
replies: 145 views: 13006
Avatar for Pro Sound Guy
Pro Sound Guy 29th May 2017
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ Show Printable Version
โœ‰๏ธ Email this Page
๐Ÿ” Search thread
๐ŸŽ™๏ธ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump