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Recording Live

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Virus, Aug 13, 2005.


  1. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    My band is wanting to record some stuff we make up so that we don't forget it 20 minutes after we play.. I need to know what type of equipment to get so that we can record live, exactly how we play in my basement. We tried an old crappy thing with a tape deck on it, but we couldn't play loud and we had to put our volumes at ridiculous levels so that all instruments could be heard. I pretty much couldn't hear myself while we played, but on the recording I'm fairly loud. That's cool, but I want to record exactly how we really play.

    I was thinking the best way would be to mic everyone's cabs, the PA speakers and the drums and just send that into a mixer/recording thing..

    I'm looking for something that will record live, at fairly loud levels.

    I hope I've been descriptive enough, let me know of anything we'll need. Mics, mixers etc. I would record into a computer, but I've been told you can't really record live like that.

    I'm completely lost when it comes to PA's and recording.

    I forgot to mention, I need to know of decent PA's for us to sing through. They don't need to be the greatest with 1 million channels, just enough for 3 or 4 mics. :help:
     
  2. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    I'm not sure who told you that recording live into a computer isn't possible, I've been doing it since 1995. It's dirt simple, as long as you aren't wanting to do much post-production, and are willing to live with what-you-hear-is-what-you-get type recording. Make sure you have a good mix, do a couple of test recordings, move as many or as few mikes you have until you get a sound you like, and hit the record button.
     
  3. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    And check the sticky FAQ threads. A lot of information is packed in there, and could answer an AWFUL lot of your questions, and provide you with ideas.
     
  4. I have recorded band practice for about three years in the basement using a cheap digital recorder (Zoom MRS4) and two cheap condenser mics (Oktava) purchased on eBay. I convert the sound files to .wav using a free program from Zoom. These files are then edited using the most basic version of Sound Forge. The Zoom records on smart media cards which I download to the PC for editing, e.g. EQ, reverb, etc. Sound Forge is used to burn the music files to a CD. I have a sound meter which I use to measure the dB levels of each instrument at the mic's before the band starts recording, it has been key getting good balance. People are amazed as to how good the CD's sound. The CD's are not studio quality but they are good sounding nonetheless.
     
  5. discoboo

    discoboo

    Dec 25, 2002
    charleston, sc
    my band uses one of those tascam 4 track portastudios...we hang one mic from the ceiling and one over by the kick drum and bass. it picks up everything real good. i must have 300 practice tapes to go back and listen to.
     
  6. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    Would sticking a mic directly in front of each cab work? I need to know what type of hardware to buy, makes models etc.
     
  7. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Sticking a mic in front of each cabinet would work. Sticking a single mic in the middle of the room would work. Hanging a mic from the ceiling would work. For somebody that has zero experience, I'd recommend getting whatever cheapy recording package is offered by Sweetwater or Musician's Friend, and learning how to use that gear. For simple song demos or band rehearsals, Big Cadillac's method would work very well.

    All you'd really need, IMO, would be two cheapy condensors (so you get stereo, and mixing capability simply by moving the mics around the room until you get a sound you like) going into a cheapy 2-track mixing board (the only Behringer gear I own is a 2 channel mixer just for this purpose), and either an all-in-one recorder like Zoom, Boss, and Roland make, or some cheap software and your stock soundcard in your computer. Learning to use a simple setup like that will teach you tons about what kind of gear is actually important for your application. It will also cost you less than $200 if you use your computer and some freebie or shareware programs.