Live recording

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sub guy
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Live recording

Post by sub guy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:00 am

I am in a folkadelic jam band and I play bass on my Model D reissue in that band. Right now we just practice two times a week and have been for the last few years. We are not getting to a point where we want to start recording our sessions as some of them are good enough to share with people. We want to keep the setup really simple for now so we are all going into a 16 channel analogue mixer and from there into a computer for recording.

My question is this and may be a dumb one. Is it best for me to go DI as in directly from the synth into the analogue mixer or is it done more like guitarists where they prefer to mic the amplifier rather than go DI directly into the mixer?

Also as a side note. Do any bands you know of record this way without mixing and EQ and otherwise changing the sound digitally in some kind of software? We are wanting to just keep it simple and mix it all in the analogue mixer directly into the recording. We do have the advantage that when we play publicly we will almost always be in the same location which we own or rent.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Live recording

Post by stiiiiiiive » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:48 am

Hey SubGuy !

I’m totally in the keep-it-simple approach. My advice: try to get the sound you want directly in the mixer. However, I would not exclude the possibility of processing the result to obtain something with the energy of the live: a bit of eq and compression is sometimes all that it needs.

With one of my band, we recorded an album like this: in our usual rehearsal place (we go there on a weekly basis), we set up a light, portable studio. We decided to record multitrack in order to mix it afterwards. Gear was really good, but we just took the necessary stuff. Once set up, we just played each song a couple of times, in order to have a good feeling about a take. We took half a day to install and we ended we great raw takes, soundwise. The mixing phase was even more fun and even easier. It takes time, though.

So that was not the simplest way to record songs, but it was the simplest way to achieve a multitrack recording “at home”, with no stress. Granted we are lucky that our drummer is sound engineer and can access nice gear.

But my message is this: keeping it simple is a thing, but if for some minor efforts you can obtain material you’ll be able to decide whether you want it raw or more processed, go that step further. It’s worth.
Ultimately, try it the way you are describing: that will give you the answer you’re looking for. Life goes on and you can do it differently another time, right? :)


About DI vs amp, this is up to your personal taste and/or your band’s. If the mixer bears it, you can do both. Recording an amp with microphone has some constraints if you record some other instruments with microphones too.

sub guy
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Re: Live recording

Post by sub guy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:19 pm

stiiiiiiive wrote:Hey SubGuy !

I’m totally in the keep-it-simple approach. My advice: try to get the sound you want directly in the mixer. However, I would not exclude the possibility of processing the result to obtain something with the energy of the live: a bit of eq and compression is sometimes all that it needs.

With one of my band, we recorded an album like this: in our usual rehearsal place (we go there on a weekly basis), we set up a light, portable studio. We decided to record multitrack in order to mix it afterwards. Gear was really good, but we just took the necessary stuff. Once set up, we just played each song a couple of times, in order to have a good feeling about a take. We took half a day to install and we ended we great raw takes, soundwise. The mixing phase was even more fun and even easier. It takes time, though.

So that was not the simplest way to record songs, but it was the simplest way to achieve a multitrack recording “at home”, with no stress. Granted we are lucky that our drummer is sound engineer and can access nice gear.

But my message is this: keeping it simple is a thing, but if for some minor efforts you can obtain material you’ll be able to decide whether you want it raw or more processed, go that step further. It’s worth.
Ultimately, try it the way you are describing: that will give you the answer you’re looking for. Life goes on and you can do it differently another time, right? :)


About DI vs amp, this is up to your personal taste and/or your band’s. If the mixer bears it, you can do both. Recording an amp with microphone has some constraints if you record some other instruments with microphones too.


Thanks for the reply man. We think we will just use an anologue mixer into the computer then IF later we want to add other components we have that choice.

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hieronymous
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Re: Live recording

Post by hieronymous » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:43 pm

Sounds like a cool project! To me the big question is whether you are going to record multitrack so that you can adjust and edit things later, or mix on the fly and record to 2-track, in which case it's burned in there, you can't change it if one instrument is too loud, etc., you can only process the entire mix which limits your options. If you're going to do that, then I would think just setting up a stereo recorder in the room might be an easier way to go. Actually, even if you're doing multitrack, it can be nice to have a room mic to add some room sound/ambience later.

Another question - will the mix going to the recorder be the same mix out in the room? Sometimes what sounds good in the room won't sound so good on "tape," especially if it's a smaller room.

I have an old ProTools/MBox rig for recording, but it only has 4 inputs - so I record my trio with 1) bass direct, 2) guitar amp mic'd, 3) kick drum mic, 4) single mic above the kit. I also set up a Zoom H2n in front of the drums to capture more of the kit in stereo and a little bit of the room ambience. I do process things a little bit later, and do all kinds of micro-adjustments of levels after the fact - even boosting a guitar phrase here or there, or editing a flub in the bass (that's me, flubs left and right!). I love doing it multitrack and being able to mess with it later - wish I had more inputs! I think a lot of it depends on what you want the recordings for - to listen to/critique later? To promote the band? To sell? Best thing is to experiment and see how it goes - might need to upgrade if you want to do multitrack.

EricK
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Re: Live recording

Post by EricK » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:30 pm

You might want to just mic the room and experiment with mic placement because it's going to be virtually impossible to keep the minimoog from bleeding onto the drum tracks. Believe it or not you can get some great mixes just with a small portable recorder and a couple of strategically placed mics.

Then you can also run your Minimoog into the mixer and get a direct signal from that to bolster the room....or a combination of both room and direct signals.

Then get someone to shoot some video and edit that all together because your setup has piqued curiosity here.
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sub guy
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Re: Live recording

Post by sub guy » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:10 am

EricK wrote:You might want to just mic the room and experiment with mic placement because it's going to be virtually impossible to keep the minimoog from bleeding onto the drum tracks. Believe it or not you can get some great mixes just with a small portable recorder and a couple of strategically placed mics.

Then you can also run your Minimoog into the mixer and get a direct signal from that to bolster the room....or a combination of both room and direct signals.

Then get someone to shoot some video and edit that all together because your setup has piqued curiosity here.



Thanks for that feedback man. We think we are on to something good but just still have a ways to go skillwise. We think a couple more years and we will start doing some shows.

One of my hopes is that we are good enough that Moog wants to feature our band not for our benefit but for theirs as it is a unique use of the Moog bass and it could open some doors of interest in Moog synths. My bass and the freaking acoustic violin sound amazing together.

sub guy
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Re: Live recording

Post by sub guy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:59 pm

hieronymous wrote:Sounds like a cool project! To me the big question is whether you are going to record multitrack so that you can adjust and edit things later, or mix on the fly and record to 2-track, in which case it's burned in there, you can't change it if one instrument is too loud, etc., you can only process the entire mix which limits your options. If you're going to do that, then I would think just setting up a stereo recorder in the room might be an easier way to go. Actually, even if you're doing multitrack, it can be nice to have a room mic to add some room sound/ambience later.

Another question - will the mix going to the recorder be the same mix out in the room? Sometimes what sounds good in the room won't sound so good on "tape," especially if it's a smaller room.

I have an old ProTools/MBox rig for recording, but it only has 4 inputs - so I record my trio with 1) bass direct, 2) guitar amp mic'd, 3) kick drum mic, 4) single mic above the kit. I also set up a Zoom H2n in front of the drums to capture more of the kit in stereo and a little bit of the room ambience. I do process things a little bit later, and do all kinds of micro-adjustments of levels after the fact - even boosting a guitar phrase here or there, or editing a flub in the bass (that's me, flubs left and right!). I love doing it multitrack and being able to mess with it later - wish I had more inputs! I think a lot of it depends on what you want the recordings for - to listen to/critique later? To promote the band? To sell? Best thing is to experiment and see how it goes - might need to upgrade if you want to do multitrack.


No one in this band is in a hurry but ultimately we will certainly put out some tracks for sale so eventually the setup has to be good enough for that. We are using a room mic right now for just listening later and seeing what works and what does not. What we have noticed with this setup though is that we can have a really good set-- good enough to sell but the recording is not really there.

I am kind of a purist so I dont want to get into processing the music very much. I like bands that are ALL about live sound like The Grateful Dead and such so we want the music we sell to be pretty close to what we actually played. I dont know much about this whole arena but I do know that the music the Dead puts out is WAY less processed than most music. We are aiming for that aesthetic. For me aside from the sometimes rougher sounding recordings the live approach seems to carry more magic in it.

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hieronymous
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Re: Live recording

Post by hieronymous » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:16 pm

sub guy wrote:No one in this band is in a hurry but ultimately we will certainly put out some tracks for sale so eventually the setup has to be good enough for that. We are using a room mic right now for just listening later and seeing what works and what does not. What we have noticed with this setup though is that we can have a really good set-- good enough to sell but the recording is not really there.

I am kind of a purist so I dont want to get into processing the music very much. I like bands that are ALL about live sound like The Grateful Dead and such so we want the music we sell to be pretty close to what we actually played. I dont know much about this whole arena but I do know that the music the Dead puts out is WAY less processed than most music. We are aiming for that aesthetic. For me aside from the sometimes rougher sounding recordings the live approach seems to carry more magic in it.


Good to hear about your band's aesthetic. But even if you don't want to go for a "processed" sound, multitrack recording still offers lots of possibilities for mixing and subtle processing, like reverb, compression, etc. Of course, you can do that as you record but if someone isn't monitoring the recording as it's happening, then you're stuck with what you got, whereas multitrack allows you to tweak later.

I was working with a drummer earlier this year who had a very naive understanding of recording - he wanted the kick drum to sound like it did from where he was sitting, and thought that throwing a mic in front would just transparently give that sound. But each mic has subtle differences, and the kick drum sounds different from the audience's point of view than the drummer's, and there are different aesthetics to how each instrument is supposed to sound, whether by era ('60s, '70s, '80s, etc.) or genre (a jazz kick sounds different than funk, etc.). Basically, recording is a whole 'nother world of art and gear - it's a big money pit if you let it be, but it's also fascinating and I think worthwhile to explore. Believe me, I am a hobbyist/amateur, but I enjoy it!

Gonna try and listen to your band later (from the other thread)!

sub guy
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Re: Live recording

Post by sub guy » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:05 pm

hieronymous wrote:
sub guy wrote:No one in this band is in a hurry but ultimately we will certainly put out some tracks for sale so eventually the setup has to be good enough for that. We are using a room mic right now for just listening later and seeing what works and what does not. What we have noticed with this setup though is that we can have a really good set-- good enough to sell but the recording is not really there.

I am kind of a purist so I dont want to get into processing the music very much. I like bands that are ALL about live sound like The Grateful Dead and such so we want the music we sell to be pretty close to what we actually played. I dont know much about this whole arena but I do know that the music the Dead puts out is WAY less processed than most music. We are aiming for that aesthetic. For me aside from the sometimes rougher sounding recordings the live approach seems to carry more magic in it.


Good to hear about your band's aesthetic. But even if you don't want to go for a "processed" sound, multitrack recording still offers lots of possibilities for mixing and subtle processing, like reverb, compression, etc. Of course, you can do that as you record but if someone isn't monitoring the recording as it's happening, then you're stuck with what you got, whereas multitrack allows you to tweak later.

I was working with a drummer earlier this year who had a very naive understanding of recording - he wanted the kick drum to sound like it did from where he was sitting, and thought that throwing a mic in front would just transparently give that sound. But each mic has subtle differences, and the kick drum sounds different from the audience's point of view than the drummer's, and there are different aesthetics to how each instrument is supposed to sound, whether by era ('60s, '70s, '80s, etc.) or genre (a jazz kick sounds different than funk, etc.). Basically, recording is a whole 'nother world of art and gear - it's a big money pit if you let it be, but it's also fascinating and I think worthwhile to explore. Believe me, I am a hobbyist/amateur, but I enjoy it!

Gonna try and listen to your band later (from the other thread)!



Thanks for the reply and tips. I'm interested if you got the chance to hear my band.

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