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live to DAT

Discussion in 'Recording' started by GigaBoy, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. GigaBoy

    GigaBoy Guest

    I've been asked by a friend to record two bands performing at a private party and create a CD of the performances. It's an electric jazz funk quartet and a blues trio. I'm doing this mostly as a favor and there is little pay, that's alright. Also, it's likely to be a bit of an out of control crowd. So, I want to do the best I can with a minimun of gear. I'm considering doing it with only a stereo pair of mics, with sandbags on the mic stand bases.

    The room has exposed bricks on its sides with drywall on the opposing wall to the band and is long (50') and narrow (22').

    I have the following mic pairs to choose from: KM-86, C-451 (both ck-1 and ck-2 capsules), C414EB (my best guess), RODe NTV, and assorted dynamic mic pairs.

    I have no practical experience with just a stereo pair to capture the whole thing, but this is how I want to do it as I'm not interested in mixing the show.

    Here's what I plan to take: C414-EB pair, Presonus MP-20, RNC, SV-3800 DAT. I'm just hoping that some of you may offer advice as to the problems I should anticipate or offer traditional techniques I may not be aware of. What would be suggested positioning and orientation for the stereo pair? (starting point) and pattern selection on the 414s? Or would I be better off with the C451s (I have spares of these)?

    Thanks all, I'm just looking for a little guidance as this is something I don't do very often.

    Bill http://www.gigaboyav.com
  2. weezy christ

    weezy christ Guest

    if it's just a trio (guitar/bass/drums right?), try positioning the 2 mics as close as possible to the band and in the best most neutral position to pick up each instrument equally - duh, well i guess that's a no-brainer.

    obviously you'll have to experiment a little with the positon and also your type of mic array, be it mid-side, ORTF, coincident or just a spaced pair. i'm more of a stereo mic fan, preferably one with a selectable angle switch. I have an older Sony stereo mic that adjusts anywhere from 90 to 180 degrees; i can usually stick it in the middle and shift it a foot or two and get decent results.

    keep in mind that you're probably not going to achieve the perfect recording with just 2 mics, no mixing. me and another engineer that are in a band together have done this a bunch of times and our early attempts were really washed out, ambiguous and lacked a lot of detail. once we realized that we were idiots for not the putting the mic(s) closer to the action, the recordings got a lot clearer. the most important thing is to get the mics in there as close as possible - better to capture the music and not the 'rowdy' party, right? unless that's the whole idea... :D

    check out the link for tips: http://www.radiocollege.org/rc/tt14.html

  3. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    oooh, :eek: I bet those KM86's sound really good if they are in good shape . Definitely don't count them out. The 451's are pretty cool, they always sound a little thin to me a though. Good luck.

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.
  4. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Not knowing anything about the band, or much about the room, I'm not going to even try and offer suggestions. But I will say that I recorded a couple of shows last year on two mics (Neumann KM184's) straight into an SV3800. No EQ, no compression. What you are attempting to do is not impossible. Personally, I'd prefer to use two mics any day; mic'ing every instrument and attempting to mix live to two track is not necessarily easier. My only suggestion is to try and get some rehearsal time with the band in the room. Use that time to find the best sounding spot in the room. Surprise, that's where the mic's go. Good luck.

  5. GigaBoy

    GigaBoy Guest

    Yes, the KM86s have been useful as room mics in the past, usually with drums. I think I'll take them and a pair of 451s for extra choices. I had assumed that the most reasonable starting position might be maybe ten feet in front of the band so as to also capture the vocals coming out of small PA cabinets. Would some kind of absorbant material on the brick wall adjacent to the mics be advisable. I'm also trying to convince the host to let me put some soft absorbant stuff on the reflective opposing wall to the band. I'll be taking my large atlas rolling booms and sandbags for security, just how high could the mics reasonably be? It's a high ceiling (20-25 ft). Considering the uglyness of the other end of this room, I'm guessing that cardioid may be my only reasonable choice, but I'll experiment. Thanks for the input.

    Bill http://www.GigaBoyAV.com
  6. GigaBoy

    GigaBoy Guest

    I'm also getting the impression that the large diaphram 414s may not be the best choice. Wouldn't mind leaving those at the studio anyway.
  7. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    "But I will say that I recorded a couple of shows last year on two mics (Neumann KM184's) straight into an SV3800. No EQ, no compression"

    I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea. What I wrote in the earlier post was not exactly correct - although I did not use any signal processing, the KM184's did go into a mic preamp prior to the SV3800. But it was a very straightforward preamp with only gain adjustment. If I had it to do over again, my only possible change would be to consider using omni mics. The room ended up sounding pretty good and I would have liked to add more of the room sound; either by switching to omni mics or adding a second pair of mics. To keep things simple, I would probably just go with a pair of the KM183's, the omni version of the 184. Adding a second pair of mics to capture more room sound would offer greater flexibility, but at the price of less convenience. I would need to use a small mixer instead of just sending the two mics to the right and left inputs of the DAT recorder.

  8. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    If you're going live to dat, I would also suggest an apogee converter (ad1000 or Psx100). This will allow you to get a better s/n ratio without worring too much about hitting the red (and getting digital distrortion in the process). A finalizer is also an option, but I don't really like the way those boxes eff my mixes up.

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