Mastering live acoustic recordings??

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by joelinit, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. joelinit

    joelinit Guest

    would love to know people's tips for mastering live acoustic recordings. i run acoustic gigs in london, record people's sets then mix them either on the Yamaha AW16G i record them on, or take the recordings into Cubase and Audition to have more of a play with.

    that said, i've never been given any tips and only ever played around by ear so would love to know any suggestions for mastering/mixing live acoustic recordings, however obvious they may seem!

    my website's http://www.earmusic.co.uk where you can hear some of the recordings i've done. click the artist pages - all the ones with "earmusic live recordings" typed above the tunes i've done. some say "earmusic recordings" though they werent live. there's also examples in the "recordings" section of the site, though some were mixed on the desk, others in cubase.

    naturally a lot relies on artist techniques and instruments but i'd love any tips on what i can do to bring the best out of them!

    help help help!!
     
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Joe,
    edited: looks something in my computer was off, can hear the music now.

    I will do a bit of listening over the next few days and see if I can make some experience based comments.

    Regardless, what I personally do in mastering is probably all the expected moves: fade ins in the heads and fade outs in the tails, sorting song order and setting volumes, perhaps a bit of EQ and a bit of compression (on really low setting), finally making the CD.

    Otherwise it is about listening and fixing the worst.

    Most of the result is after all defined at recording time, mics in the right place helps.

    For me I have found that Samplitude is a great program for all of the post production. Saves having a separate program for CD burning.

    Gunnar
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    OK, I've listened to most of your live EarMusic recordings from the site you link to.

    I may be jaundiced, but I think your biggest problem is the material and the way it is performed. I meet this increasingly every time I go down the clubs to do sound and recordings. Performers (very often women for some reason) with a DI'd guitar chanting angry songs devoid of much in the way of melody. Then, suddenly, a voice pops up out of the morass and hits you as something different, something worth spending a bit more time on. You've got at least a couple of those in your collection. I won't name them.

    Recording the output of a DI box and laying it back down on a CD is always going to sound pretty ugly. Then there's the problem of a vocal from a stage mic with little opportunity to add a controlled amount of reverb and compression. Club performers seldom have good microphone technique, and it's the sound engineer's job to coax something workable out of it on the night and also later if it is to be mixed down. It may involve re-amping the guitar, although even that cannot substitute for not having recorded a track from an instrument mic that you can blend in with the DI.

    If the performers just want a record of how they sounded, then fine. However, you need to be fairly strict with yourself about which ones it's worth spending time polishing up. But then comes the reward - the discovery of a great song, a great voice or great guitar work.

    Apologies for sounding rather critical. Sound engineering is a necessary function. Keep it up!
     
  4. joelinit

    joelinit Guest

    not at all! objective criticism is the way forward!

    good to hear your comments about the artists' mic techniques - i run cheaper recordings straight off the desk after a quick EQ and mix down - sometimes, when absolute beginners come along it's nearly impossible to start anywhere!

    i'll often duplicated the guitar track, pan them and delay one by a few ms which can fill the sound out - would love to know any other tips like this? i understand that for a representation of a live performance it's often best to be as subtle and minimalist as possible, though i'd love to hear any golden rules or techniques that you might want to disclose??!!

    if you're in london i'll put you on the door for any of the up coming gigs i'm running to return the favour??!? all listed on the site if you fancy it!! http://www.earmusic.co.uk
     

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