Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Recording live....

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, Jul 28, 2005.


  1. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    The other day I setup our band room with all our guitars mic'd, bass run through direct and all the drums mic'd so we can try and record some stuff "live" this evening at practice.

    Anyone have any tips for me?
     
  2. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Before you reach for a plugin or EQ or processor of any kind to change the sound of something in the mix, try moving the mic. The results will be enlightening, and the sound will most likely be much better.
     
  3. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    any tips for mic placement on the guitar amps? I'm going to try and run the EQ flat on everything, but I'm sure it will take a little while to get all the levels set.
     
  4. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I wouldn't recommend running flat eq on everything. With the guitars you should eq the amps until you get the tone you want coming out of the speakers. Of course, you can and will likely eq guitar tracks later, but use the mixer eq to make corrections and separation for the track within the mix. Hope that makes sense.
     
  5. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    the only problem is that i can only record into one track on the computer.....don't have the interface to do multiple tracks at once....so everything is going into one track so it has to be mixed correctly the first time.

    how would you suggest EQing the guitar amps?
     
  6. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I suggest putting the mixer and computer in a seperate room, then connect some speakers as monitors. While the band is playing, have someone who's ears you trust sit at the mixer and adjust things until they sound good through the speakers.

    Perhaps you can mix it yourself if you don't mind playing bass in a seperate room. You'll hear yourself through the computer speakers instead of your amp, but that's OK.
     
  7. Yup, we do it this way. With our setup, we can't multitrack in a live situation, but we can overdub. I'm thinking of setting it up so the bass and guitars go into the drummers headphones as we play, but there will be no amps out front.

    This way, we can get a "live" drum track and overdub everything else on afterwards. There really shouldn't be any bleed into the drum mics if we are all going through to his phones, should there?

    Anyone else do it like this? Our setup is on PC, but its a fairly cheap little program.
     
  8. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Okay, we tried it last night and we finally got a pretty good mix on all the instruments but we were having problems getting the vocal levels right.
     
  9. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you can, keep the volume down. High volume causes all sorts of problems - for example, getting things that are prone to feedback (like vocal mics) on a par with the instruments and overloading the input channel (leading to a clipped sounding recording, that will be unpleasant to listen back to). It can also encourage - sloppiness that you don't hear when your ears are reeling under extreme sound pressure levels will be apparent when you listen back to the recording at a lower volume.

    Personally, I get very good results with a minidisc recorder - there must be magic in the microphone, because some of the mistakes I remember making just seem to disappear when I listen back the next day! ;)

    Wulf
     
  10. Thanks for the advice. I always record the bass and the drums at room level, but normally record guitars at high fire volume.

    I usually get the guitars at a really really loud level in a small room (ie - bathroom) and it sounds, well, like it sounds :meh:

    I'll give your system a try - might make us sound a bit different. :hyper:
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It depends on the music. It works well with the 'Teeth; we're playing music that is largely acoustic (although often performed with PA support) apart from electric bass and occasional electric guitar and we only let the drummer use a snare and various percussion instruments ;)

    Mind you, I also got some pretty good recordings playing with Lovesjones, which was much higher volume at gigs. One of the 'secrets' was to keep the recording level low enough so that even the loudest passages (big finales or punchy hits) didn't peak out the recording levels.

    If you're sending the signal from your mixer to a PA (so the bass and vocals can be heard) as well as to the computer for recording, it might be worth seeing if you can use different channels (eg. main signal to the PA but one of the monitor channels for the recording); what you need to get a useable sound in the room is likely to be quite different to what's needed for the recording.

    Wulf
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I think every pro studio in the world records drums this way. The trick has already been mentioned - try to keep the volume in the cans low, especially if there's a click track or any other sounds with a strong attack and strong mids-high frequency presence (they spill out of the cans more so that say bass guitar notes). Try to use "closed" cans. Better still, use proper isolation cans if you can afford them.

    Apparently the Vic Firth a drum cans are very good for this. They're about US$50 and you'd have to ship them in. No-one in Austr has them (I looked), though Vic Firth sticks etc are common, so you might be able to convince a store to bring you in a set.

    BTW, this applies to any recording involving microphones. I remember losing a whole days worth of grand piano recordings because the pianists cans were too loud and we could hear the click on the piano track. And a noise gate didn't fix it because some of the piano passages were quieter than the click spill :(
     
  13. Thanks Pete

    I thought that most drum tracks were recorded this way. ;)

    Another quick question, if you don't mind. I really like the way Dave Grohl records his voice on the Foo's albums. To me, it sounds like he's chorused and then compressed??? Any ideas on this?
     
  14. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I am not sure which Foo Fighter song you have in mind but I may be able to shed some light. If I read things right, your vocals are overdubbed, so you have a clean vocal track. Set up an aux input with a chorus on it, now send some vocals through it. Adjust the chorus settings and levels how you like them. If you don't follow me, I can get more detailed. The point I am getting at is that chorus like all time based effects are typically used in conjunction with an aux send, as apposed to dynamic effects which are inserted on tracks. Such are compression,EQ and gates.

    On the issue of compression, strap a compressor across the vocals and compress to taste. Typically a 3:1 ratio getting about 3 or 4 db of compression a good place to start. Though its more of getting it right per song. You may find that 3:1 won't cut it or it may be too much, has a lot to do with your singer. It may take some EQ to get it to set right in the mix as well.

    If you are using compression as an effect that is a completely different deal. In that case you may just want to simply squash the hell out of the vocals, 8-10 db or so of constant gain reduction. 6:1 to 8:1 rationwith a low threshold will get you started. The tricky thing you will find is that in different passages the comressor may not react how you want it too, due to attack and release settings. I recomend splitting the vocals into different tracks, one for verse, chorus, etc.. Then compress each accordingly. Becareful to avoid "pumping" when using comression, too slow of an attack and too fast of a release at the right threshold/ratio can sound terrible, and not cool. :D

    If I am getting an idea of the sound you are after you may want add a touch of distortion ala amp modeler to put a little sauce on the vocals.

    Also, what has worked for me, is too (once again) copy the vocal track and then mix the clean copy with your highly effected track for the final mix, you may even try adding some funky verb to just the effected vocals.

    Ok ok I am done. Hopefully that was not annoying. Good luck!
     
  15. Fantastic post!! Thanks so much, Droog. :hyper:
     
  16. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    No problem. What goes around comes around right? I am a better engineer than I am musician.
     
  17. not to take over this thread, but i'm recording some stuff through a mixer, and it sounds good until it hits the recording process, then the sound hit's **** level wherever it's sent to. i have two options, a tascam analog recorder with a recording level, and a creative nomad jukebox (i think that's what it is) with a 1/8 linein for recording from cds......i tried recording onto this jukebox with the headphone level of the mix cranked ( i thought the mixer had the right levels) and the recording gain on "1"......it sounded like thick static to say the least, to the point where no music was to be found......whats the best setting for a mixer like this on the headphone output?? PLEASE HELP!!

    Moderator Edit:- Please remember the TB rules require all profanities be fully masked.
     
  18. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The headphone output isn't ideal for recording. It generally deliveres a signal level which is too low for most recorders and recording software.

    If you can, record from the mains output of the mixer. If that's not an option, put some sort of signal booster in between the headphone out and the recorder.
     
  19. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    for anyone interested here is a clip of some of the better stuff we got recorded...

    Cortez jam
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Not bad for a one track recording. And like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and hopefully the better the end result. Keep up the good work.