So my band is playing about once a month. Gigs where we have to bring our own everything, no provided P.A. mainly restaurant. Im looking to do some simple recordings, just so we can have a decent idea hows the sound. In the 1 hour things can be semi hectic, unloading bass amp, guitar amp, P.A. MONITOR, PERCUSSION, MIXING BOARD, miking 2 singers and the percussion and then sound checking. Were not quite smooth enough yet for me to set up my laptop and firewire box.
Im wondering if theres any simple way we may have to record. Im not even sure if a mic ran out in the crowd would pick up more of us or them. Were PRETTY low volume.
Better yet, All of these USB microphones Im seeing to plug into say an Iphone. Is there any advantage over running a normal mic into an Iphone?
don't use a USB mic or an iphone. just by a ZOOM HD recorder. they are fantastic especially for the price
The good news is you can get a very rough single 'room' recording using almost any mic & recording media (eg. phone, portable camera or phone - or just an audio interface connected to a laptop. . . no wrong way but plenty of tweaking needed to get the best out of the gear.
Higher quality and multi channel tracking is pretty tricky and I couldn't begin to advise on how to do it right.
To get a rough Idea of how you sound you just need a single recording - preferably taken fairly far back from the band - at least not in front of a cab.
My band has has good luck with a couple different Zoom recorders. You'll need to experiment as to where to place it for each venue. The same general location will not work in every room. They're getting pretty inexpensive now too.
board out plus room mic
I stuck a mic out in the room at one of our recent gigs. It was pretty telling, on stage we didn't realize our drummer was overpowering us (largely due to room acoustics I think).
A room mic combined with a feed straight off the board can get you a pretty decent recording if you balance them later.
I don't have time either to setup even a simple recording rig before the show starts. If you're doing multiple sets per night bring it in after set one. Or have a somewhat knowledgeable friend set your recording rig up at the venue and buy 'em dinner for their trouble.
+1 on one mic in the room and a feed from the board technique. I’ve used it to great effect. All you need is a two-channel interface like the TASCAM US122 or similar. In an audio editing program like Audacity you can duplicate the room track and delay it slightly for a great stereo effect. Make the board feed mono, then dial it in as needed to “anchor” things.
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Administrator, Pedulla Club #45
Administrator, Tobias Club
Big Cabs Club #23
My Rig: Stage and FOH Friendly
Show up early -- mixer out to laptop audacity
Or tape an iPhone/itouch to the top of a main ( no external mic)
I use a tascam recorder about 20 feet from stage with adequate results.
Everything below was recorded that way:
I bought an Edirol recorder a few years ago and I use it on every gig. It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes and runs off a pair of AA's. It can record about 4 hours at 16 bit 44.1kHz on one set of batteries and a 4GB card. It takes less than a minute to set up and the mics are decent. For documentation recording it's great, and some recordings I've made are good enough for demos.
The ZOOM is a similar unit and works the same way.
Don't record off the board unless you are in a very large venue; anything loud in the house will be low or absent in a board mix.
A zoom unit or a single condenser Mic in the middle of the dance floor (or wherever the purple are) would be my answer. Taking it from the mixer would probably be inaccurate since certain things are boosted based on stage volume
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