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any good resources for tracking live with a band

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hithere, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    hey guys, I have been a solo artist for a long time, and have been overdubbing and tracking everything myself for a long time.

    I have been extremely interested recently in going into the studio and recording live with a support band. I write a lot of the stuff, and would pretty much be with people understanding they are helping my goal, or more of a sideproject from their bands.

    I have a ton of great friends who would be willing to go in and work with me.

    I am really interested in this as far as budget goes, since tracking a really tight live band, can take a lot less time than track by track.

    I was wondering if there were any good articles you guys could point me to to read up more on it. I know the hugest problem is bleed, and that using smaller amps etc, is really helpful.That's fine for me as my main amp is a princeton reverb. Also I heard that if the bass amp is too close it can cause the snare to ring out.

    My local studio has a decent size live room, and one isolation room.

    I found a great video on mix magazines website, with some engineers talking about why they track live and their methods of doing so.

    Was wondering if you guys had any other good reads
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Couple of very general points. Tight band playing through small amps at low volumes - good. Tight at playing while listening to the mix through headphones - better. Those can be practiced out of the studio and off the clock.

    How about describing the instrumentation, music style, etc.
  3. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    yeah definitely trying to do the headphone mixes.

    the material is something around Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, and Death Cab for Cutie.

    I know tom has done his share of live tracking, and death cab's newest album was almost all tracked live.
  4. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    yeah definitely trying to do the headphone mixes.

    the material is something around Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, and Death Cab for Cutie.

    I know tom has done his share of live tracking, and death cab's newest album was almost all tracked live.
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Man... this is amazing ain't it?

    10 years ago, and everyone was flipping out over the best way to lay down individual tracks....

    Now everyone if going nuts over how to actually play live... as a band... the way we used to dot... actually, the ONLY way we could do it!

    The best way to do this is to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more.

    Taken from the Motown playbook; the gats and bass on DI, with less than 15-20 watt amplifiers in the room.... scratch vox in a booth.... rhythm section all at once, vox next, then sweeten it up.
  6. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    yeah, it's funny, I only had the option of tracking single tracks because I was recording everything myself.

    but to me as a younger kid at 19, I am feeling this may be the way I want to make my records for the most part, it seems so much more natural, and even therapeutic to someone like me used to spending tons of time on tracking every little thing by myself.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    When there were more opportunities to play live that's how most bands got tight - in front of a crowd. Harder to do that today in most places. The days of several bands in a small town getting three gigs a week are gone. But as Max points out, even back then there were groups of musicians (mostly freelance) like the Funk Bros. (Motown) MGs (Stax) and the Wrecking Crew (various LA labels) who got tight working in the studio. So it can be done, and it creates a great groove when it is done right.
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry, double post.
  9. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    One of the great things about working with talented musicians is everyone brings there own take on the music and original music can be greatly increased by this. "The sum is greater than the parts."
    These days I mostly play live or record doing original stuff using different sidemen, sometimes we are a 4 piece others 5 or 6 and people revolve, rarely is it the same but usually from a group of about ten people. We have all been playing a long while which makes this a lot easier than when I was 19.

    Since my brother and I write most of the music we have a pretty simple formula to avoid endless band practices, which can be a scheduling nightmare as well as killing a certain amount of spontaneity. I think you want to be well rehearsed but still open to some improvisation. We record the song using a single rhythm guitar track and scratch vocal, sometimes even doing this just on an acoustic, with the exact arrangement, intro, verse, chorus, bridge, solos and/or outro. We distribute this to the players and meet a few times before the gig or session just to work out the kinks or see if everything is gelling. If everyone does their homework and is professional you can be awfully tight quickly. Only you can judge how well this going before heading into the studio. With good advanced notice (at least a week) no studio I have worked with has a problem with putting off for a week or two time I booked. You want to make the time worthwhile but don't try and do too much in one session, typically three or four songs is a great session sometimes less. If a song is not gelling don't beat at it, move on to the next one or call it quits for the day. Revisit it in rehearsal.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    BLEED is not the problem. It's the answer. Snares buzzing from the bass guitar? No problem. Love it. It's all good. It's organic. It's natural. No artifecal ingredients. It's real. But you have to be a talented engineer to make it sound good. So get to work. I'm not paying you to play on the Internet. Why do you have the microphone pointed that way?

    Roll memory-chip!
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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