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Record your bands practices

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Record every one, there is a ton of ways to do it. But what a great tool, you can hear every flubbed note, wrong tempo change, missed drum beat and sour vocal note. It's help us tremendously. we just stick a mic in the middle of the band room to a cd burner, not the best quality but effective, does anyone else do this?
  2. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I once worked with a band that did. They literally had hundreds and hundreds of practice tapes in their basement.

    I agree, it could be a very useful tool. Make several copies of each practice and give one to each band member, so they know what they have to work on. It's a good idea, people!
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Yes it is handy. It's helpful to check one's abilities, analyze the music, and see if your playing really helps or hinders.

    But rehearsal recordings are really more instructive for the guitar players and drummers.:D
  4. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I have a EQ on my little sterio, I can hear vocals and my bass just fine, actually it helped our vocalist the most.
  5. rygelxvi


    Jan 6, 2003
    Oh yeah. I use a computer recording system and get everyone on a seperate track. I can go back and just listen to one instrument at a time if choose. My band also does alot of jamming. Later I piece together the parts we liked and blamo we've got a song or two written. My setup may have cost more than your avarage tape recorder but It has really paid off.
  6. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I've heard of this, it's not to expensive is it?
  7. rygelxvi


    Jan 6, 2003
    Well if you have decent pc your already half way there. I recomend at least a 1 ghz cpu with 512mb memory. Then all you need is an interface. (you also need the software but there are many free programs out there). There are many availible in all price ranges and quality levels. The catch is the interface must have enough inputs to record everyone on seperate tracks. Mine has 2 mic pre's, which I use for vocal mics, and 8 line inputs, which i use for guitars, bass, keys, etc. The last thing i put in is drums. I use a seperate mixer for all the drum mics and send a stereo mix to my interface. This saves me the trouble of recording many tracks just for the drums. (if I were recording an album. I would record everything seperately and record the drums onto several tracks). For recording practices you can get away with 2 or 3 mics for the drums. One in the bass, and one by the snare/hats or an overhead or both (i use 7 because i my drumer has them).
  8. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    The tape dont lie;)
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm a big fan of recording gigs. It's usually just a matter of flipping the sound guy a Cassette or Mini-Disk. They're usually not brilliant mixes (after all they are mixed for live, not for the recording), but you get to hear what everyone's doing, good and bad.
  10. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA

    I record every rehearsal!, Very useful when you want to present new ideas to older songs or ones you just wrote.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't record every minute of every rehearsal - there's not point recording stuff I'm never going to get round to listening - but I do grab quite a lot of stuff and all our gigs onto minidisk.

    In the day or so following, I'll then go through, mark the bits I want to keep and dump the rest. I find it particularly useful when we're working on the arrangement of a song - if we come up with something good, I can practise it and then make sure everyone remembers it next week.

    Of course, we'd probably progress even more if I wasn't the only one taking the time to record, listen and learn from the practises... but, hey, that's all part of being a bassist, right? ;)


  12. there've been moments when i thought our music was turning into a religious experience. then we played it back and it was more like a satanic experience. just horrible stuff.

    taping is critical to the improvement and evolution of a band.
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I agree with much of what has been said. The Minidisc recorder is a great tool. I use it with miniature condenser microphones that give a pretty good recording. I can also run a line out from the mixer to get a recording of our shows. The sound quality of a minidisc is impressive. Much better than tape. Plus you can do editing on the minidisc player. It's not too hard to erase those parts where you guys are talking during rehearsal, and just have a disc of music.
  14. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    While the recording of the music is valuable for evolution, the recording of the banter between songs is priceless, especially if you can use some of the more brilliant bits on stage.

    I have one jam tape that dates to the early 80's and it's a hoot to fire this up once in a while to hear our young voices, our crappy tone and questionable musicianship laid out in the open like that....and we thought we were GOOD!

  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I tend to always use my MD in LP4 mode - that allegedly looses some of the quality (but, hey, I'm just sticking a mic in a small room full of noisy instruments... I can't say I've noticed it sounding particularly band) and it gives me about 5 hours of recording on a single disk. There's no worry about the tape running out before the climatic finale because we've run on beyond 45 minutes!

    I edit the recordings fairly ruthlessly - there's not point having hours of okay takes of different songs and chatting in between. I want the ones that are the best examples of how we will arrange the songs - sometimes even just the beginning or ending of a track. I also move things around a bit so that when I go back I've got all the work on a given song together, even if it took place of the course of several weeks.

    It's one of my most useful pieces of music related gear - I don't have a phemonenal musical memory but the MD recorder goes some way to providing an artificial substitute (combined of course with due diligence in actually working with the recordings until the changes are drilled into my head ;) )

  16. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    We got near demo quality recordings of our gigs by using a MD player. How? Read on........

    We had to work closely with our sound engineer to do it, but she was wonderful. Instead of having the usual 4 foldback sends, we got by with 3. The 4th one was used to send a mix to the MD player which was 100% completely independant of the FOH mix. It took us a few attempts but we got it sounding really good.

    Unfortunately that band broke up before we perfected it though.
  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If I wasn't playing bass at the gigs I'd certainly be up there by the sound desk - the best gig recording I've done was when we did small debut set at my church one evening. Because, among other things, I'm involved with running the sound at church, I set up my MD exactly as you described. Unfortunately it mysteriously got disconnected a little way into the second track (there was a bit of panic when one of the mic leads stopped working) but that one track sounded really good.

    Running straight from the desk also avoids too much of the audience talking. A friend recorded a more recent gig onto his DAT recorder - it sounded great, with the only fly in the ointment being the hum of conversation from the table below during most of the tracks :bawl: ;)

  18. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    I must say, I have to count my blessings! My bands jam space is in a full recording studio. So we record EVERY practice. It makes a big diffrence being able to find the rough parts of songs.
    The guy who owns the studio is really cool. We don't have to pay for anything!(he's good friends with our drummer.) We're even getting our first demo recorded for free.

    A big THANK YOU to Rob stanley for being such a cool guy!! :cool:
  19. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I still have the cassettes from some of the 80's gigs, where we 'flipped them to the sound guy'.

    There are some really nice gaps where he was getting a beer or hitting on some babe...

    Later I started recording rehearsals. I got lucky at the dump one day and found a Sony reel to reel that some guy's wife probably made him throw out.
    Put that on 1 7/8 and ran the tape 3 hours a side.
    Hung two mikes from the ceiling.

    My playing, mix and tone changed radically as a result. There was standard stuff I did that I thought worked well, until I heard variations that were much better.

    Regardless of how you record it, or what you do with it, there is no downside to it.

    It can do nothing but improve your playing style, just like any other critical analysis.

  20. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The only downside is that the recording isn't worth anything until you find time to listen back to it with a (constructively) critical ear.

    It's definitely improved my playing - it also means that I can relax when we get into 'jam' mode because I know I'll get a chance to hear when my 'voice' gets speaking and be able to practise the licks that drop out of my fingers when they'd add a suitable and personal touch to a song.