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Great Live Set-Up...Terrible Recorded Sound!!! HELP

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Strangebird, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Strangebird

    Strangebird Member

    So I have this live set-up that seems great here it is: We are in a smaller soundproof room in a studio in manhattan.
    we have 2 mics left and right as overheads for drums going into zoom h4n recorder which is going into Garageband via usb as two seperate tracks. 1 mic on guitar amp going into alesis multimix8 input 1 panned hard left, 1 mic on Kick drum going into alesis multimix8 channel 2 panned hard left and 1 vocal mic going into PA connected thru patch cord to line-in input on alesis multimix8 panned hard left. alesis multimix8 is into garageband via usb as two seperate track left and right. so 4 tracks simultaneous in GB.

    We have this setup but cant figure out how to get the sound we feel we should have. we are learning as we go and have no experience with engineering.
    Here is a link to a quick jam we did and I hate the sound!!!!

  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    you've got four tracks, you have to budget. center oh, +kick, ch 1. gtr, ch2, vocal, ch3. bass? if none, use stereo OH. your dealing w/ 2 'stereo buses'. your lookig at them as individual tracks using panning, cool stuff, it's like portastudio stuff i love. really you have the right thought process of tracks, but it's where to put your mustard?

    sub-mixing, is your area right now. live you 'group' tracks. same stuff different name. if you want a stereo drum sound, you have to determine the kick + OH, and commit to trks 1/2. add gtr vox. done.

    it's alot of sound check, or pre-mixing, or whatever name. you need to make your recording sound finished as soon as you press stop. just keep messing w/ the mics and thrying stuff, it could take like days, but when you 'get the sounds' there to all 4 trks, they'll be done. barely anything left to do.

    what you want out, you have to balance in. sorry i'm vaugue, but it's true. you have to mix it as is. it's live. it's energy. get some punch from the kick w/ eq and more importantly gain, and mic position.

    you gotta just take a simple setup. kick, snr,gtr,voc. that's it. right in to your computer. there are delay's and chorus, and distortions, tons of stuff to create in the mix. but you need solid 4 tracks. so manhy ways to go. i like the kick snr gtr voc aproach, it's direct, sure, but gives some workable elements. or, if you tell the drummer to not kill the cybols, kick OH, more real.
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I don't know that mixer/interface well but it looks like it will do up to 10 separate tracks into your software (channels 1-8 and the stereo mix). You shouldn't have to pan anything on the mixer to keep things separate in Garage Band. Just start by creating mono tracks to record your mono inputs and do your panning in the software. If there's some way to capture the vocal without the reverb it would allow you more room to adjust during mixdown.

    Probably a major cause of the sound you don't like is the room itself. The sound bouncing around the room is affecting what gets recorded.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I've rehearsed for an NYC gig with a session drummer and bass player in one of those Manhattan rehearsal studios - right by MSG. (We said 'hello' to Richie Havens outside, bonus)

    Obviously, every square inch of space counts in Manhattan, so a lot of those rehearsal rooms aren't much bigger than the elevator that got us up there. Little rooms on both sides of a narrow hallway with musicians doin' their thing inside each (more or less) soundproof room. Our room was equipped with a decent little PA for vocals, a few guitar amps, basic drum kit, and a couple keyboards - which is fine, but I sure wouldn't want to record there. If that's the kind of shoebox practice studio space you're talking about you need to rein in your expectations.

    I'm just picturing you in that scenario I've been through, if I'm completely off-base then you can disregard all of the above. [and all the rest for that matter]

    In either case, I would say to get a significantly better recording will require:
    A) A dedicated recording interface and a handful of addition mics.

    B) Monitoring everything through headphones while you're recording, and not blasting anything through the 'Great Live Set-Up' while recording. It's just going to bleed into the overheads.

    C) You can't underestimate the sonic value of drums with new heads that are specifically tuned to sound good recorded. You can absolutely get a great drum sound with just 3-4 mics (in the right places) - assuming the drums themselves sound great, and the room isn't killing you. If you're using a rental drum kit, I wouldn't be surprised if the last time the heads were changed was the last time someone beat a hole through one.

    Best of luck.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    also possible, since rooms are expensive and so are mics. Just take some D.I's and re-amp and drum replace. between drummagog and guitar rig, you'd have something pretty reasonable, for a demo. you could use a kick,snare, OH and a fair amount of time editing the OH track to trigger the proper cymbals.

    once you get the drums, you can just overdub everything else. that will give you the most polished results. i tend to hate guitar amp sims, but guitar rig sounds the closest to a mic'ed amp to me. if the rooms/instrements aren't up to snuff, take them out of the equation by using sound replacement.

    just a thought
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I would put my first effort into keeping the bleed out of the vocal mic, starting with switching to headphones from live monitors and placing the mic for the least amount of bleed from the drums. Next I'd look at goboes and treatment, even crude "incorrect" treatment. Much of the room sound I heard was in the range that could be helped somewhat with rugs and blankets.

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