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recording rehearsals

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by vgbassman, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. vgbassman

    vgbassman Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2016
    Hello everyone,
    I recently started and new band and I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some good musicians and we have a good sound engineer as well.
    Everything seems to be going well except it seems that everyone in the band is stuck on getting the best sound at rehearsals (thanks to the sound engineer) and we end up wasting a lot of time doing sound checks even at rehearsals and spend less time actually rehearsing...
    I personally would like to just record the sessions of whatever we play and just learn from it... when I brought the concept of recording to the band, everyone agreed but now it's been over a month and we are still trying to look for fancy software and laptops and frills to "record"...

    ...Long story short... can you guys please recommend a SIMPLE, straightforward, no frills, old school recorder that I can use to records our rehearsals and then listen to them at home...
    We are using an A&H 2400 mixer... I could get a line out from the mixer and just quietly record on the side and do my thing... if you know what I mean...
    I see the Zoom H4N pro seems like a good option... but are there any cheaper and maybe simpler options to records direct from a mixer?


  2. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Tascam DR-05 is a good option.

    Rickter and hopwheels like this.
  3. Jeffro3004


    May 17, 2016
    London, UK
    I just stick a Zoom H4N in the middle of the rehearsal room. Job done.
  4. vgbassman

    vgbassman Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2016
    thanks guys...
    I assume both Tascam DR-05 and Zoom H4N can record from a direct out from the mixer?
    Also, I see the price difference between these two is significant... Tascam being a 100 bucks and the Zoom H4N being about 200... Is there a significant difference... incase anyone knows... thanks
  5. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    iPhone voice recorder also works if you just want simple rehearsal feedback. IRig makes an XLR to IOS interface for cheap to go from mixer to iPhone.

    But it sounds like your band mates just like farting around and don't want to work. I can't help you there. No reason anyone needs concert sound at a rehearsal.
  6. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'm impressed by the fact that a 'just-started' band has a sound engineer.
    That's some serious forward-thinking right there.
    vgbassman likes this.
  7. If you already have such a mixer that has outs/inserts for every single channel, you should get a recorder or interface than can at least record 8 separate channels. I would look for a used ZoomR16 or R24.
    And I likes this.
  8. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    The Allen and Heath 2400 has direct outs for every channel. If you have a laptop you can record into, get a Tascam 16x08 (pretty cheap, decent quality, and 16 inputs!!) and some recording software (Reaper is pretty cheap too).


    Spending time at rehearsal to get multi-track recordings is potentially not the best way to rehearse. It not only takes up time but can also shift the focus on rehearsing to recording... which are separate things... this is not a pitfall that your band definitely will fall into, but it's something I am wary of... in one of my own bands the guitarist, keyboard player, and myself are all recording engineers, and we do multi-track our rehearsals which are at the guitarist's studio. The first rehearsal or two there was way more setup time than I would have liked but it's at the point now where it really doesn't detract from rehearsing all that much if at all.
  9. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    The simplest is to tap the stereo output from the mix board straight into a Zoom H2N. Or just put the H2n in the middle of the room in "omni" mode.

    REAPER is likely the least expensive way to record to computer. Your laptop can be connected to the same stereo main outs from the mix board, and record directly to REAPER. While not as easy as the Zoom, it's actually less expensive (assuming you already have a laptop).
  10. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    He specifically mentions this model and asks if there are cheaper options.
  11. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Main difference between DR-05 and H4N is extra inputs (actual mic preamps) in the H4N. Both have basic line inputs. Quality of mics / sound is probably about the same. The H4N supports XY or AB mic config, while the DR-05 is AB only. This is not a big deal. I am not sure if either or both support recording line (or mic in the case of the H4N) ins while the mic is active. Probably it's either the mics or the line ins... but if the H4N will do both mics and line at the same time, seems like a winner.
  12. blixild


    Mar 4, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Tascam has the DR-40 which is $100 and is probably the closest equivalent to the H4N. I have one and it's excellent. The 4 channel capability is very useful (at least to me). You can use the internal mics plus 2 external sources of your choosing. I've gotten very good gig recordings by using the 2 internals plus a line off of a PA. You can also set it so that all 4 channels use the internal mics, but 2 of them are auto-limited in case it gets louder than you expected when setting the gain initially.
  13. TedH


    Dec 6, 2014
    Westchester, NY
    Shure MV88 to your iPhone/iPad does the trick here. $120, drop into a DAW and edit/upload to Soundcloud for private review.
  14. Cazman

    Cazman Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    Yup. Been using Zoom H2n to record every rehearsal, practice, and gig for last 3 years. Simple to use, share files with bandmates, and sound quality is plenty good for reviewing band progress.
    Can be had for about $100.
    Rickter, Kubicki440 and vgbassman like this.
  15. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    I use an iPad with a Zoom iQ7 mic attached. Surprisingly good audio and video. The bass get over-represented on the recording, IME. I just turn down my amp a bit when we record.
  16. Rickter

    Rickter Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I will second the Tascam DR-05. Bought mine off Amazon for $85.
    I was asked to join a band a few months ago and we were having trouble pulling things together. There were errors made and timing issues during rehearsals but nobody could remember where or when those problems manifested. I bought a DR-05 at started recording EVERY practice. We improved drastically within a couple of months. As they say, "the tape doesn't lie".
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    In any case, rehearsal and sound check are different things. There should be a cutoff line where sound check and any other preparation ends and rehearsal begins.
  18. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Jeffro3004, very succinct reply. May I ask why you settled on the H4N? I have an almost-similar question open in the Recording Equipment page. Specifically, why the H4N and not the H1, H2n, H5 or H6?
    chris merrill likes this.
  19. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Zoom H2 in the middle of the audience position, which also serves to check volume balance. That unit because it was cheap when I bought it new, and sounds good, especially with the pre set low, limiter on, at 32 bits; an 8 gig SD card will outlast a practice session.
    Cazman likes this.
  20. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    From the H4N description, it doesn't appear to have omni mike capsules, only cardioid. For the purpose of recording practice or rehearsal, either can work, but I would always choose omni capsules because they are the only capsules that give you the actual sound at that spot and present the low end accurately. The cost is mono-compatibility, which I will accept. Hence, my recommendation of the Tascam DR-05. YMMV.

    BTW, I'm still using the same old M-Audio Microtrack that I've had since they first introduced it. Back then, I bought a custom-made mike unit from The SoundProfessionals that has two omni capsules powered by the Microtrack's plug-in power, but running the mike signals through the TRS balanced inputs. Lately, it does an amazing job of recording my kids' band and orchestra performances, enough so that I send my recordings to the conductor at the middle school, since I'm the only one making a decent audio recording. If they know I'm coming, they even reserve me a seat in the front row, center aisle.

    Last edited: May 18, 2017

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