Mobile Recording Question?

Discussion in 'Affordable Recording Forum' started by chadmaniaus, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. chadmaniaus

    chadmaniaus Guest

    Howdy! Got some questions and hope I can get a little advice. Just found this site last week and have found some great info!

    My intent in building my studio, was to do live audio recordings as well as in my studio. I've only taken it out a few times and have been spending most of my time getting to know the hardware and software really well, before sticking my neck out there in a live situation. I'm currently using a PowerBook G4 with ProTools LE and the Digi 002. Recently added the PreSonus Digimax and a 16 channel snake and trying to build up my mic inventory.

    My question is, in a live situation..where there is already a sound board and mics are already placed, what is the best way to get the individual tracks/signal into my system? I've heard of some signal splitter boxes, but haven't really been able to find anything. Guitar Center hasn't been much help! I could also mic everything, but it seems like a waste to 'double mic'. Or is it a combo of both?

    Any other tips or advice for someone new to live/mobile recording would be great!

    Thanks!
    Chad

    [ February 09, 2004, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: chadmaniaus ]
  2. bgavin

    bgavin

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    What about direct-outs from the house console? You will have to get the sound engineer to agree to this. You can control your own levels coming in.

    You will need the appropriate number of cables to make the connections. I assume it would be TRS on the house side, and whatever inputs to your system.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Respected Past Moderator

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    Whirlwind makes various spliter boxes, some that are even rack mountable. www.whirlwind.com
  4. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

  5. chadmaniaus

    chadmaniaus Guest

    Thanks! Looks AS8X4 Active Splitter could be one possibility. I guess the real challenge is to be as prepared as possible and know beforehand what board I'm planning on tapping into...and take it from there. Just curious if may others are doing mobile recording?
  6. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    If your intrested in roll ur own with good known transformers Jensen shows it on their site. Jensen . On that page they also reference two other companies that use their transformer other than the one mentioned previously. I do not have anything against Whirlwind or any other company just wanted to add more to post. On that page if you click on one of the transformers it will open an Acrobat document that gives specs and suggested circuit for use.

    I must admit the transformers are sometimes pricey but its worth consideration. At least that way you know the specs of transformer and are not guessing as I am with my splitter box here.

    BTW correct me if I'm wrong here, I thought GC was associated with Musicians Friend. Musicians Friend lists two boxes if you search for mic splitter. One by Rolls and one by ART. Both are for one mic split to two outputs.

    Another way is to use the house boards direct outs to your gear. After all if they have DO on channels more than likely they are not in use. But you must also consider finger pointing that would go on if one of you picked up a hum or other problem. That could easily wear out your welcome real fast.

    In the past I've offered to set up my board and give the house a feed from it. The way I work that is I DO to my recorder pre fader and adjust fader to suit house mix needs and give a mono, usually, out from main mix buss to house system. I've not been anywhere yet I had a problem with that setup but I also carry a direct ISO box similar to a whirlwind director just in case I need to break a ground loop should one slip in uninvited. You could even appease the house sound guy and let him run the mix as long as he does not touch your trims to DOs without mutual agreement. After all it is his mix on the FOH system and he does feel responsable because he is. Again this stops the finger pointing there also. I must also say here that the jobs I work do not put effects on the channels. If you do have need to insert effects on a channel you need to refer to your boards diagrams and be sure that they are post DO not pre. It would be almost impossible to fix an effect in the mix later.

    Good luck and remember when you work remotes Murphy will invite himself to the party when least wanted. He's crashed several of mine big time.
  7. chadmaniaus

    chadmaniaus Guest

    Thanks for the detailed info Jeeper! Will definitely check all these out. I've done little remote gigs here and there, but looking to step it up. I'm going to record a show at the EMP here in Seattle on Thursday, so just trying to get all my ducks in a row if you will! :)
  8. Live-Audio

    Live-Audio

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    A quick note about direct outs....
    On many live oriented consoles the individual channel direct outs (not the insert send) are shipped from the factory "post fader". On better consoles this is a switchable feature. At the company I work for most I had to go through all our large format consoles (40chs & up Ramsa, Yamaha etc) and change the direct outs to pre fade for live recording use. Unfortunately this isn't something you'll do at a show as it usually involves pulling each channel mosule to move jumpers or flip dip switches.
    JTC
  9. Cucco

    Cucco

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    What kind of music are you recording live???
  10. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    I record mixed Contempory Christian with a little Folk style thrown into it. Usually small choir with solos up through quartets thrown in from time to time. I can not put a better description on it right now for you.

    Use now a Mackie MDR with small Soundcraft board. Gefell M300 SDC pair on Choir, Newman KMS 105, Shure SM58 SM57, AT 4033 pair, and several cheepo mics on everthing else along with DI some instruments.
  11. backountry

    backountry Guest

    i tap my mobile setup to the inserts on the mix console of the band. insert only to the first click and this will give you a pre fader out on most consoles. i take each of these insert outs to my mixer inputs for gain control to my adat. this way you are isolated from the bands mixing engineer moves, with the exception of trim setting. a little before hand communication with him will assure that you capture some good tracks.

    terry
  12. Speaking of snakes

    Gentlemen,

    Speaking of snakes, any recommendations for decent quality snakes? I'd like to be able to use it for recording and for live. I'd probably be looking for a 50 or 100', 16x4 (TRS for the four returns). Any brands to stay away from?

    Thanks.
  13. bgavin

    bgavin

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    I really like the Whirlwind Medusa Standard (not Connect). Yes, they are pricey, but IMO worth the cost. If you order one, you can spend the extra $$$ and have the SnakeSkin applied to the fanouts for more sturdiness.

    I urge you to consider a roll-mount snake if you are looking at 100 feet. I've worked with both for portable use, and the rolls are more self contained. More money, of course.

    My question is why TRS for your returns? Instead of a 16x4, why not a 20x0 entirely in XLR. Then you can use standard mic cables for your returns. I don't use any TRS connectors for my live sound rig, which is why I brought this up. If I lose a cable, another standard mic (XLR) cable does the job. One must keep spares handy, and all-XLR means fewer spares.

    I use all QSC power amps, and Rane crossovers. All are XLR connected.
  14. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    Most times this will work well if the tapped board does not have use for the insert themselves. I've never exactly done it your way because I was always hesitant about making a noisy connection with 1/2 insert. My solution there, which I've seldom done, is to have a special cable made up for tap. I've used trs connectors on the source board end of the cable but I arranged it so the tip to ring was soldered together using the center of the unbalanced cable. Then I plug all the way in with the trs connector. This is what the jack does in the board in its uninserted position. The tip to ring is shorted by its spring and only seperates when plugged into. Naturally the sleve is system ground and connected to the shield.

    There are a few boards and I can not call which right now that actually have send out on ts or trs balanced connectors. These are somewhat rare for bands but they may be found with house or sound company boards. Should you come up on one of these best ask about handoff. They could be balanced trs or unbalanced ts connections. Certainly more common you will find this on boards group outs.

    BTW those group outs can be handy when the band or house use effects on the channels. You can then ask for the channel to be assigned to a group out by itself. Then they can put their effect on the group's insert and assign the wet signal to the main mix or loop the aux bus back to a channel input via the effects box. This could cause you to have to do some fast talking with the band/house sound person to get your desired signal dry.

    Hope I worded this well enough to be followed.
  15. Bgavin,

    The reason I need TRS at least on the board end is because I'm using a Mackie 1604VLZ. All of the sends and returns are 1/4" TRS. I'm not really sure why, maybe to save space?

    Everything else I'm using (dbx 1231 eq, yamaha REV500 effects, dbx compressor and qsc amps) are all XLR. Makes it a bit of a pain because you need to have a number of 1/4" TRS to XLR cables. However I like the Mackie board and don't see much point in replacing it.

    Thanks for the Whirlwind tip.

    Cheers.
  16. bgavin

    bgavin

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    That is as good a reason as I can think of.

    Bummer is, keeping spares for extra cable types, and the cost of building/buying extra cable types. My eyesight went away when 40 passed by in the rear view mirror, so XLR are easier to solder.

    :D

    FWIW, avoid the tendency for cheap snakes. I think you really get what you pay for with the better (read: pricey) snakes.
  17. Patty D

    Patty D Guest

    Do any of you ever have problems with ground when running your mixer on a separate edison source than the mixer your pulling from? I've used DO's and 1/2 inserts both and had no problem as long as the recording gear was drawing from the same electrical. We used a press box with transformers when there was a separate edison used. That was one input to many outputs though, does it change with multiple channel splits? My experience is on live sound with someone else pulling for the recording. Interested in learning more about the recording aspect.

    Patty D.
  18. MadMax

    MadMax

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    At a minimum I'd be looking at the set-up I run:

    Whirlwind W4 with dual iso outs. Get the Jensen transformers if you can afford em'. I'd seriously consider the groundlift option. Saved my arse on more that one occassion!

    If-n you wanna' get REAL fancy, you can go ahead and get a couple of mass connector sub-snakes. (Personally I just use regular fans... that way, if I need a goofy connect, I control it instead of my snake head controlling me.)

    A couple of 300 foot trunks and 3) 25-50 foot pigtails. Get a spare if you can.

    The W4 is 48x8. If the FOH board is stuffed at 32 in's, you've got 8 additional lines for an extra com, video feed, house mic's, etc.

    NEVER take direct feeds! Give em' to FOH or monitor world. Almost everytime I do a live gig, I'm on a secondary power feed. You could kill someone with a difference in power legs! At the very least, yer' gonna light up a guitarist who sings! That's gonna make a BUNCH of people REAL unpleasant to live with.

    When I run FOH or am stuck in monitor world, I flat refuse to let anyone grab my directs or my inserts. Sorry to tell you, but if something goes wrong, I coming out from my hole to put a serious can of whoop-a@# on the recording guy. You blow my stuff up and I'm getting just a tad miffed!

    If you wanna' record the band, you have either got to do it right, or do it with your own mics... and YOU provide all the electrical tape to isolate your stuff from mine. That's what I'm told, and so that's what I tell the other guys.

    Besides, if I supply the head, snakes and pigs, that gives me the right to double check all the connects and get my track maps right.

    Oh, and don't forget coms!!! If something dinks on stage, you better be able to get the word from monitor world that a line is changing. (This is another reason to supply the snake... If I want coms, the production company is usually more than happy to spot me a belt-pack and a headset... jeeze, THEY DIDN'T have to run the snake!)

    As for regular snakes... medusa... but I'm slightly biased.

    My .02
    Max
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