Help with Jazz Big Band Recording

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by drumrob, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. drumrob

    drumrob Active Member

    Jun 2, 2004
    Eugene, Oregon
    Hi all,

    I know there have been a couple of big band threads in the past and I have scoured them for details. I was hoping some of you might be able to jump in and help me out with a big band jazz recording I've got coming up. I've mostly recorded small groups, solo singer/songwriters, with the occasional rock band and church choir thrown in.

    First, the setup of the band:

    4 Trumpets
    4 Trombones
    5 Saxes
    Bass (Standup with pickup/amp)
    Keys (not sure whether we'll use electronic or acoustic)
    Guitar thru amp
    3 Female singers

    Here's what I'm thinking so far. I would set up a main stereo pair to use as the basis of the recording. I will experiment with X-Y and Blumlein set ups. I would also mic each member of the rhythm section to add in for definition. The 3 singers need to be miced. Then I would use the remainder of my 16 channel limit (Yamaha AW4416 recorder) on the brass/saxes.


    MAIN PAIR - Studio Projects C-3 multi-pattern (x2) either in cardioid for X-Y or Figure of 8 for Blumlein
    BASS - D.I. or EV RE-20 on amp
    GUITAR - D.I. or SM-57 on amp
    KEYS - D.I. electric, or Oktava MK-012 (x2) pencil condensers on acoustic
    DRUMS - AKG D-112 on kick, Oktava MC-012 (x2) as overheads
    SINGERS: Heil PR-20 (x3), alternative would be overdubbing using various tube condensers (see below)
    ENSEMBLE: Thought about putting 3 mics across sax section (V69M, Mouse, SE5000 ?), and 2 mics (two C-1's or S7-b/Hamburg ?) above t-bones and trumpets to fill out the channel count and act as solo mics.

    Mics available (in addition to ones mentioned above):

    B.L.U.E. Mouse
    SE Electronics SE5000
    MXL V69M
    ADK S7-b
    ADK Hamburg
    Studio Projects C-1 (x2)
    Audio-Technica 4047
    Shure Beta 87a
    Oktava 319
    Oktava 219
    AKG SE300B with CK93 hyper cardioid cap
    Audix i5 (x2)
    Audix D1, D2 (x2), D3, D4
    AKG C1000S (x2)
    and a few others that I don't think apply

    Whaddaya think?

    Thanks for playing, and for your help!

  2. JasonAlanJohnson

    JasonAlanJohnson Active Member

    Jul 21, 2010
    Like always, it comes down to the sound you prefer. I remember when the Buddy Rich tribute album, "Burning For Buddy", came out in the 90's. It made the Buddy Rich Band sound way more "present" then they had ever sounded before. Clearly they used more DI's and Close Mics. After listening to a lot of big band records with that type of sound, I have decided that I do not like it. I prefer to listen to recordings that resemble the perspective of an audience member listening to the band live. That is just my opinion, and I would not be surprised if most people disagreed with me.

    That being said, I would definately put your tube condensers on the singers from the get go. I would not expect jazz singers to recreate the same emotion during overdubs, and I would make the vocal sound a top priority when tracking. Just me though, you do what your heart tells you.

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