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Advise on recording a band live off the floor. Dynamic Microphones
Old 27th November 2009
  #1
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paul999's Avatar
 

Advise on recording a band live off the floor.

I am recording a band that sounds stiff and unnatural when recording to a click or wearing headphones. They are a gritty nashville bluesy, rock thing. They can record without vox if they look at each other.

My room is very big. About 3500sqft with a stage in it and very live sounding. I usually record drums with a couple xy 414's 20ish feet away to use as snare reverb when there are no other instruments tracking.

Question->How close would you have the amps to the drums and which way would you aim them. Would you get rid of the room mic's.
Old 27th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
I've recorded bands "live" a fair bit at the moment, in a double garage/at gigs. Room mics definitely help. Set up the band in an arrangement, with respect to the room mics, as close as possible to how you're going to mix it (guitar to one side? Not sure about the bass though...). So you're kinda treating it a bit like a classical recording. Spot mic everything, and bring up the room mics undernearth - you'll probably find you don't need much of them to provide the depth and glue you may be looking for.
I often find the vocal mics act as room mics. But if you're not tracking vocals then I'd defo say go for room mic(s)!

Although spill is mostly your friend, I'd try to isolate the guitar amp mic from (particularly) the hi-hat and other cymbals as much as possible, this is the spill that irritates me most in my experience, constraining panning and EQ.

Hope some of that helps...

Oli
Old 27th November 2009
  #3
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mic close, use dynamics.
Old 27th November 2009
  #4
Here for the gear
 

If you have a good headphones monitoring system, build boxes and isolate amps, and turn them as low as possible, making them almost not sounding in the room, and put it all out to headphonesmix. Ive had pretty good work done that way recently.
As for the bass, I know it sucks to use a DI out from the amp, but it just might do the trick. Or you can try do use the DI out for sending to monitor mix and build a box for it also.
Dunno, but it has worked out pretty well for my, but still, Im a student.

Old 30th November 2009
  #5
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Here's a couple of tricks.

-Don't place things too far apart to minimize bleed. Keep it together. There will be more bleed but the bleed will be useful and not some vague roomy ugliness.

-You need a good mix in the room. If guitars are too low there will be more drum bleed in the amp mics and vice versa.

-decide on where you want to pan guitars in the mix. If you have two guitars you should have one amp on either side of the drum kit and pan it the same way. If you mirror guitars you will have the guitar bleed in the overheads on the wrong side wich will result in a vague mix (of course this is only the case when using stereo overheads)

-record bass with a DI (you can have an amp in the room, but don't record it) and re-amp later on. It's better than having another mic with bleed.

- vocals are tricky. They are the softest element in the room but they end up the loudest in the mix. You can strive for ultimate seperation or have a combi of room mic/vocals or even vocals/front of kit mic. In smaller rooms the vocal mic may be the only overhead mic you'll need in the mix. You don't have much control later on the mix, so the mix happens in the room. I suggest a sm7 and something like SE Reflection filter on vox.
I have fairly small room and I'm thinking of experimenting with amplifying vocals in the room to give the drums a little of their own medicine.

- be conservative with compression unless you want your drums to sound like ass.

- If your room is really that good you could set up a stereo set to track the overall band. However, your vocal mic will most likely give you more than plenty o' room sound.

Have fun!

Hans
Old 30th November 2009
  #6
Gear Addict
+1 on everything outlaw said :D

the right kind of bleed is your friend
Old 1st December 2009
  #7
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Well Thanks for all the tips everyone. I took a lot of the advise. I set up packing blankets about 4 ft high around the drums. I put the right guitar player's amp on the right and the left guitar players amp on the left right next to the kit. I but the bass amp just off center in front of the drums with a baffle between the bass and guitar amp. Bleed was minimal so I mic'd the bass. We will over dub vox.

The only "problem" I discovered after doing a 10 min mix was that every time the bass hit a note the snare chains rattled I cut a bit of 250hz and it made the difference I needed.

Hear is a quick mix no eq, no comp, just raw tracks.

Kind of a Neil Youngish thing.

Thanks for the Helpthumbsup
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Old 1st December 2009
  #8
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Fire the right-hand guitarist!

Only joking, kind of :0) I know it's a rough but it's really unbalanced, weighted towards the left. Might be better to double track the rhythm guitar, spread it out and get the 'lead' in the centre. Easier said than done I guess though now you've recorded it that way.
Old 1st December 2009
  #9
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paul999's Avatar
 

I heard the leaning left thing to. I am not sure what this is. This is literally a 10 min mix and I quite possibly screwed something up like panning the master bus I'll check it out. Thanks for the feedback.
Old 1st December 2009
  #10
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I don't think it's the master balance, I'm on headphones, snare and kick are hitting centre. It's more of a freq/arrangment imbalance as the rhythm guitar is fuller tone/always present whereas the lead is sporadic with no bottom end.

It evens out a bit when the lead is always in later in the track, but the rhythm guit still feels dominant because his timing/performance is solid but the lead's isn't, it doesn't sound like it (lead) was performed with any confidence so all those things are adding up.

Do you have more than one useable rhythm guit track? Just make that stereo, then tidy up the lead's timing, centre it and give it some bals

Then lay down some keys while they're not looking heh heh!
Old 1st December 2009
  #11
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

nice job! However, no vocals= fairly easy. there's a lot of room already. If you added vocals to this you're screwed. If you want to practise this type of recording do it with vocals.
This thread should go into the red with at least 9db overbias. 300 posts minimum. Everybody talkin' ' bout vintage, old school, tape, 70's whatever. But when a thread shows up that deals with the heart and soul of old school no one chimes in.
Sad state of affairs. Don't flame me. You know I'm right.

-C-
TstikeB

Hans
Old 1st December 2009
  #12
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Joram's Avatar
 

Response a bit late but..er..why did you set up all instruments and amps on the stage when you've plenty of room?
Old 1st December 2009
  #13
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent View Post
.

Do you have more than one useable rhythm guit track? Just make that stereo, then tidy up the lead's timing, centre it and give it some bals

Then lay down some keys while they're not looking heh heh!
I see what you mean. This is all that is recorded so far. Funny enough I was given a fender rhodes mark II about 2 weeks ago. The band is going to over dub some rhodes for additional rhythm.

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Outlaw Hans nice job! However, no vocals= fairly easy. there's a lot of room already. If you added vocals to this you're screwed. If you want to practise this type of recording do it with vocals.
The left rhythm player is the singer and there was no way he was going to get a good enough performance while recording for this. As for the room sound I recorded it with room mic's and added a ton in on this quick mix. When there is only the instrument tracks it's pretty dry actually.

Quote:
This thread should go into the red with at least 9db overbias.
I don't understand.

Quote:
300 posts minimum. Everybody talkin' ' bout vintage, old school, tape, 70's whatever. But when a thread shows up that deals with the heart and soul of old school no one chimes in.
Sad state of affairs. Don't flame me. You know I'm right.[/QUOTE
]

Quote:
Joram Response a bit late but..er..why did you set up all instruments and amps on the stage when you've plenty of room?
The drums are my studio drums and where already there. Further with the amps in this position everyone could hear themselves very well because their amp was aiming at there head. No more me syndrome. Also I then had the room mic's quite far away (35ish feet) but nowhere near a wall. What would be the advantage of putting them all on the floor?
Old 1st December 2009
  #14
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

well, I was trying to be poetic. This thread should go through the roof. 5 star thread. It´s what recording is all about.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #15
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paul999's Avatar
 

I see some times I'm a wee bit slow.

Your point is so true. It seems the heart of recording is less important than the massive lists of every compressor known to man kind.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #16
i think outlaw hans makes a good piont about setting up close together.
the last band i recorded and the next session will be done like this, all live.
i messed up the first one and didn't cover the bass amp so that's running through everything, but live and learn.
the SM7 is great for this sort of vocal.
recording like this is fun and fits into my PTLE just fine with around 20 tracks!
Old 3rd December 2009
  #17
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by passivepeter View Post
i think outlaw hans makes a good piont about setting up close together.
Yeah that was a good tip and I am glad I did it that way for a ton of reasons.

-useful bleed (as Hans mentioned).
-musicians could hear them selves better.
-Musicians play tighter (less time delay issues then when people and gear get too spread out).
Old 3rd December 2009
  #18
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Set up close together so the direct bleed is clean and use baffles behind the players to absorb reflected bleed from the walls.

Forget about clicks.

A great live vocal mike is the Beyer M-88.

If you can, get them to not use headphones.
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