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BIG session coming up, need advice

Discussion in 'Recording' started by iamfrobs, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Hi RO,
    I have a live session coming up on Monday. It's the most musicians I've ever had around me when I was recording. We are looking at eight, drummer, conga player, guitar, bass, keys, tenor sax, alto sax (guitarist), and trombone. And a really good singer.

    What I had in mind was doing the Guitar, Keys, Bass, and Set live, and tracking the rest. We want a sort of James Brown feel.

    Any thoughts?
    I'm surrounded by a lot of talent, I want to do the best job I can.
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Can you track it all once? I mean cleanly, not just inputs, like is the room good and big enough, etc.
    Because if they are real talented pros they groove off each other and often the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
    If not the rhythm (God spelling that word drives nucking futs!) section and whoever is the backbone to the chord progression or framework, then add spice as needed.
  3. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    No, fully live isn't an option. Only 8 inputs.The room is untreated, but big, about fifteen by twenty five. I think we are at regular eight foot ceilings... =/

    I was thinking direct on the keys, four drum mics, bass and guitar, and one for a scratch vocal track maybe.

    We might just set up live and see what happens for one of the songs they really have down.

    You think James Brown did it all live?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Don't forget the cowbell ^_^
  5. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    hey where are you recording it? the room description doesnt sound like any of the studios down there. what house is it in??

    i've recorded at 185 temple st basement, 153 liberty, 36 water, uhh... some house on orchard st, and 185 central apt.

    neat and fun! i'm in the middle of upgrading a ton of my mics - if you ever need some let me know.

    also, i have a lexicon FW810s and an mAudio Project Mix I/O that i am selling, if you ever need more inputs.
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member


  7. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    It's actually back home in Elma/West Seneca area. Just the house of one of the kids in the band. They are opening for O.A.R at FredFest though. They're pretty tight.
  8. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    i think your plan is good - as long as the drums, bass, keys, and guitar are tight with each other. then adding overdubs should be fairly easy
  9. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    You asked if James Brown did it live, and I tried to find some info on that and couldn't. But I know Sinatra tracked live with orchestras, and almost all motown was tracked live two drummers, bass, guitars, keys, singers. Seperate tracking is really something that came along in the later sixties when 8 and 16 track was introduced, before that you had to be good and tight and pro, now you fix everything in the mix, retrack parts twenty times, replace the drummer with samples. It is a wonder that any of the guys that use all this can play live or can they?
  10. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Well i have tracked all live with the various members other bands, and the results came out pretty good. Maybe we could even try one of the really really tight songs they are going to do live. I am still hesitant because of only eight mics though.

    Only one horn mic (for 3), and only DI for the bass and keys kinda scares me.

    I know that it was done MUCH simpler than that until the sixties, but they had the luxury of a wonderful room and gobos/baffles.
  11. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, great rooms, but the films and photos of the motown sessions I have seen very few gobos, none in the orchestral recordings of Sinatra. But again great rooms, great musicians, great instruments, well placed mics, and very little trickery in the post recording end, These recordings do stand up though.
  12. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Well, lets say we try to track it together, any placement tips as far as what goes where? I would think drums farthest away from the vocalist, horns/keys somewhere in between?
  13. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Depends on the room Dvdhawk told a story about a vocalists mic that was far removed from the drums but had incredible bleed, more than the one thay was nearby. You can track good drums with three mics, you could use one mic for three horn players they would just need to in a semicircle around it and not so far as to be outside the polar pattern. DI keys and bass I don't see that as I problem at all, except for the other musicians (being able to hear them.) Track vocals afterwards, and possibly lead guitar, that really depends on the skill set of the guitarist . I know a few guys who are one take wonders, smooth as silk, clear as glass and beautiful tone. They are improvisationalists too, amazing players. Others are good but I hate it when the lead player screws up a take that was smoking.

    A lot of the motown stuff was done with room mics and placing those you just gotta move around and find the spots, of course when you work the same room all the time at least you have an idea of where to start.

    Null points and watch the corners.
  14. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    jg, thanks so much for your responses.

    As a reward, (maybe) :lol:
    here is the band's myspace for you listening enjoyment, additional idea of what I'm working with.


    This recording was done at my college, with a lot better equipment than I can muster, but I still think they could be improved upon.
  15. mobilelab

    mobilelab Active Member

    I would record the drums, congas, bass and guitar together. This should produce a tight rhythm structure. If you can fit keys in here as well, great. I find overdubbing brass and vox achieves the cleanest sound. Good luck!

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