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Demo recording of a big band

Discussion in 'Recording' started by paquito, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. paquito

    paquito Active Member

    Mar 28, 2010

    I play in a local big band and we want to record a "demo" recording of few songs. I'd like to use as little gear as possible (because we don't have practically any :redface:) but, naturally, with best possible results. I can get my hands on two Yamaha Pocketrak CX and one Zoom H2 portable recorders. What would you recommend? Should I use all of them (one in front of brass section, one for rhythm section and one for overall room or maybe for drums separately...?), two or just one..? We have allready tryed something similar at one of our live gigs using the two Yamahas on each end of the stage and the result was quite nice after some mixing in AA.

    Thanks for your suggestions and help!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    Are you serious about recording on several separate unsynchronised recorders and then attempting to line up the tracks afterwards? This is not a recipe for a good coherent demo recording. The recording should be done on one device if there is no way of synchronising the sampling between separate devices.

    When you say "songs", I assume you are meaning band arrangements rather than having a vocalist.

    I also guess from what you are saying that you probably do not have the cash for a new recorder, but if you did, a Zoom H4N would be a good unit to go for. It's a 4-track recorder, with a pair of built-in mics and a pair of external mic inputs. It could be positioned in a centre spot somewhere over the head of the conductor position (if your band has one) for the built-in mics to capture the full band, and then a pair of individual spot mics for a couple of the band sections run to the XLR inputs on the H4N. It would be a bit awkward to operate the recorder when 10 ft up in the air without the remote control option, but I think this is an example of the sort of thing you should be considering for making a demo recording on a tiny budget.
  3. paquito

    paquito Active Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Thanks for quick reply!

    As I said, I've allready recorded on two separate recorders and then synchronised and sampled the recordings in Adobe Audition..I know this isn't optimal solution but it didn't sounded so bad...:redface: I would attach a sample for you to listen but I don't know how to do that...

    Yes, you're right, I ment band arrangements.

    I don't plan to do this often, so I'm not considering buying myself a personal recorder. These I can borrow from friends. But I'll consider that in the future. I'll just have to do this with the ones I can get now.
    So, what do you recommend...Yamaha or H2 in front of the conductor will be best?

    Thanks again!
  4. bicasaur

    bicasaur Active Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    I have the Zoom H4, but I'm not familiar with either of your units. I would put the better sounding one out where the audience would be for the capture. Placing the mic right in front of the conductor can get you an unbalanced sound, but you will hear less of the room acoustic. Placing farther back will get a better blend of the instruments, but if your room sounds bad then that will be more obvious. Maybe the best thing would be to capture with both units, one by the conductor and one in the audience, and see which one comes out best. I think it would be asking for trouble to try to blend audio from those two locations though...
  5. paquito

    paquito Active Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Wery interesting (for me-I'm total newbie in this) solutions...I'll try them at rehersals...
    Anyone else having a suggestion? I want it to sound as good as possible with, as Boswell said, a tiny budget.

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