Recording with a big band

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Ben Rose, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    I haven't found this topic in another thread yet, so hopefully I'm not duplicating efforts here.

    Does anybody have tips for recording with a big band? I'll be recording another CD with my big band this May, but in the past I have used the slab. At least some of the songs on this recording will be on DB. Hopefully I will have something that I can submit to TB when all is said and done.

    We record in a large high school band room. The band sets up in a large square facing inwards. In the past, every instrument has been mic'd separately and a DI has been taken from the guitar & bass. I set up between the drummer and the guitarist. Can I still set up in this situation without getting too much bleed from the drums, assuming the upright is mic'd, which I would prefer? How can I balance being loud enough in the room for the rest of the band, while still not sounding overly amplified on the recording? Should I just use the sound of the pickup (Schertler Stat-B)? One song will feature the bass as the melody instrument. Should I track the bass separately for this song, at least for the head and solo?
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Unfortunatly, that's not the optimum arangement for making a recording. If you mic the upright, there will need to be baffles (gobos) set up to minimise bleed. If you're recording multi track, volume won't be a problem cause everyone should have a seperate headphone mix. My assumption is (because you guys are going for low budget venue) that you're going to be going direct to 2 track. In which case - no seperate monitor mix and you/re going to need to be heard by the rest of the band in as "live" a manner as possible, with the trade off being a sacrifice in the sound quality of the bass.

    I've never been happy with the sound of the pick up direct into the board, the live to 2 stuff that I've done most was just dry (mic on the bass), some was a direct out of the amp (ugly).

    Best of luck.
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    While not ideal, have the engineer mess around with you going direct from your Stat B. It is not as good as the Dyn B for direct recording (I've had a lot of luck with it going direct), but it is not a piezo and not as harsh as most pickups direct. If he is a good engineer, I'd be willing to bet he can get a usable sound.

  4. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    We are multi-tracking (48 track I think), but we will not get our own headphone mix, or any headphones at all. So, yes, I need to be heard as in a live capacity, although the recording sessions are typically at a lower volume than live. I imagine that if I want baffles, I'll have to supply my own. Without headphones I may end up pretty isolated from the rest of the rhythm section.

    Has anyone tried recording with a small condenser mic like an ATM pro35 or similar? That may sound better than a pickup, and should not have as much bleed as a standard condenser mic, but I'm not sure what level of noise will be in the signal. I'm trying to avoid shelling out big bucks on an ATM right now.