Mic bleed during live recordings, good or bad?

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by DaperDan, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. DaperDan

    DaperDan Guest

    This is my first post on this AMAZING forum. I found this forum about a month ago and have spent at least an hour a day here reading. I have learned so much already its crazy.

    About my question, Mic bleed during live recordings, good or bad? I own a Coffee Shop that doubles as a venue at night. We have a foot tall stage that is wedged into a corner. The place was originally owned by a man who loved jazz and had jazz shows, so the acoustics are pretty damn good. he put up acoustic tiling and carpet and what not.

    I record using a Delta 1010 to pc. We have shows a couple times a week and I have recently started recording them. I can get very good recordings using mics to mic all equipment, vocals, drumset, and have a stereo condenser mic placed above the audience in the middle of the ceiling directly centered to the stage, that alone usually gets good levels for quick recordings, but I like multitracking it to be able to adjust the levels.

    Im pretty much new to recording. I just need some advice on how to clean up the extra noise the vocal mics and other instrument mics pic up during recording..ie the loud high drum noise. i read somewhere on this forum that it adds to the sound, which it does, but some drummers play so loud that the guitar mics pic up that, as do the vocals, and it gets pretty ugly after 8 tracks are down.
    any help or feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

    The Dan
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    yes it happens
    you just have to deal with it

    controlling the stage volume is the key here
    for both the live performance and for the recording

    it is a live performance so it has to be exactly that ... live
    the musician has to be comfortable and not focus on recording ... that's your problem

    yes controlling the acoustics about the stage and the rest of the venue will help both the live show and the recording

    choice of mic and positioning is your main tool of trade
    leave good headroom and no red lights and just let it record

    practice and more practice

    this is your venue and you are in the sit possition to make this venue an excellent place to record a live show

    reseach and talk to people
    wish I were there to help you
  3. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    Welcome to RO "The Dan"! Mic bleed in live recordings can be good or bad depending on lots of things. In your case, probably more bad than good. One thing that will surely help your vocal mic is to buy a gate. When set correctly, it will turn the mic off when no one is singing in it. These are very handy and can be used on just about any source to reduce bleed. Hope this helps!

  4. Spookym15

    Spookym15 Guest

    A gate is your best choice. Mic bleed is not a bad thing unless you have something over powering your mic. You have to remember that this is live it is not a studio recording and a lot of time I will mic up everything in one or two room I like a more live sound in my recording. But that is just me.
  5. DaperDan

    DaperDan Guest

    wow..i can't believe there are already resposes.
    i love this forum.
    i pretty much live here when im not working.
    i not only own the venue, i am the live 'sound guy', recording man, and video recording. heh. i have some 'croonies' as I call them that help
    run mics and cords, but most of the time i feel like a chicken with his head cut off, but I love it!
    I have an Alesis 3630 Dual-Channel Compressor/Limiter with Gate right now, so I guess I should look into using the 'gate' function to try and minimise the bleed. If it is set wrong wont it cut off the lower db when the singer is singing? I think when I first got the alesis I had the gate unknowinly turned on because during a performance as the band tried to talk in between songs his voice would stop if not loud enough.
    Practice I guess.
    Thanks for the responses. I have many a question, the cool thing is, the more
    I read this forum, the more get answered.

    The Dan
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    If the drummer is the main source for the bleed-through into vocal and/or guitar mics, you need to get the drummer under control, dynamically speaking. A gate will not really help you achieve this because every time that the gated mic comes on, you will still get the drums into that mic. If it is, say, an acoustic guitar that you are attempting to mic up (or an oboe, for that matter!) and the drums' volume is louder than that intended source's level at that mic, then what you will get is...the drums! Only now, it will be the drums only when the source is playing, instead of all the time. Trust me, that can be pretty funky sounding...and not in a good way!
    What you need to do is to "contain" the drummer so that his sound doesn't wash into all of the other mics. How? In the studio we use "goboes". A gobo is a moveable panel that may be placed around the kit to make up a kind of "wall" that can surround the kit. Remember when you were a kid and made "forts" out of boxes and stuff? Same idea. I won't go into length as to how to make a gobo (4 of them should do on a typical 5-piece kit). They aren't difficult, they only have to be about 3-4 feet tallx4feet wide, and should be a wood panel with some sound absorption on the side that faces the kit. You can be very artistic with the design-I let the groups I work with put their wives/mates to work decorating them in every sort of fashion. These will definitely help in keeping the drums contained. Their being "modular" makes them flexible in their placement and useage. These are also an excellent way to contain a loud geetar amp.
    Even better,though, is what TV soundstages and larger churches,etc. do. That's clear plexiglas panels- a trademark brand of these is Clearsonics-and these surround the drummer, too. But because they are clear, they can extend upwards of 6 ft so that the CYMBALS are contained as well as the drums, and the drummer can still see the band. Unfortunately, that also means that the band can see the drummer :lol: You can make your own panels like that, too, but working with plexiglass is not as easy to work with as wood. A sign shop in your neighborhood may be able to assist you in acquiring and cutting the plexi. I've done something of a cross between the 2-goboes and plexi. I built some goboes (4 for Ringo) and they are 3 feet tall. Then I mounted plexi "windows" to the tops of them that extend another 3 ft , yielding a 6-ft sound barrier. Less plexi ($$), better sound containment. The only problem is that you can still see the drummer!!! Happy New Year!!!
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    P.S.: Skip the 3630. That "gate" should be re-labelled "joke". No offense ( I have a 3630-they look cool in the rack 'cause they light up like a Christmas tree!), but that is not a good gate. But, like I said, even a great gate (Drawmer, dbx,etc) isn't gonna do what you want to do.IMHO.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    This we agree on. Imagine the sound of a door slamming in an open hallway. Such it the subtleness of a 3630 'gate'. And adjusting it will only bring you sorrow over the loss of hours of your life you'll never get back.

    I am not a fan of any sort of gate when recording live. There are things that happen in a live performance that a gate will not always allow to happen. My suggestion is first, get out of the corner. Being in a corner no matter how much acoustic material has been applied, is still the same principle Mr.Klipsch so elegantly demonstrated with the 'corner horn' speaker from some years back.The closer the source gets to the corner coupling, the louder it gets out in front.

    Microphone selection and control of certain elements, such as drums, are going to get you better recordings in a live situation.

    There are those who may argue this point, but the simplest solution is ; control the area, control the loudest and most dynamic aspects, and choose mics which have quality side rejection.
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Don't bother gating any mics: if you are recording them to seperate tracks you can do that better afterwards.. I suggest you try to minimise spill as best you can in other ways during the setup, as that will also make setting up a software gate easier later on.

    So: don't automatically assume the drums have to go centre-stage. If you can persuade the drummer to sit in a corner it may be possible to get vocal mics a bit further away, and easier to avoid them pointing straight at the ride cymbal ( :twisted: ) .. get the band to run their backline just loud enough for them to hear themselves and no louder, and encourage them to only add in the minimum they really need in the monitors .. and maybe add some hyper-cardioid mics to your box (I find my Beyer M88 very useful for drummers that sing backing vocals for example! M201's are good too..)
  10. DaperDan

    DaperDan Guest

    yeah..after I thought about it, applying a gate during recording would be stupid. I can always do it later. and like someone said, you will still get the drums when it is on, probably sounding really weird.

    Now getting out of the corner is another problem...this link,http://www.the-dip.com/stageshot.jpg, shows a pic of the stage. its been extended to about where the guitar player is standing. moving the stage is out of the question...if i owned the builing, man, it would be a different story, heh. but thats how a usual set up looks. im using beta 58a for the vocals and Sennheiser E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Mic for instruments.

    thanks for your guys help!
    merry christmas!
  11. jahtao

    jahtao Guest

    Getting a hypercardoid mic and seeing the difference might be a good place to start. They have a smaller pickup pattern / more side rejection in case you didn't know.
    I remember reading that the AKG 441 was designed for vocals on stage, probably on the AKG website. But the 451 is their most famous hypercardoid mic. Most people seem to ok with a SM58 but you are in a smaller space than most.
    Question: which mic has the smallest pattern? (just curious)

    Gobo was the first thing i thought of but it might look silly.

    Acoustic guitar / instruments, think DI (plug em in acoustic guitars) or contact mics or clip on mics. This will get the drummer out of these. DI bass too maybe?

    And then move the drummer and vocalist as far apart as poss.

    Something else to think about would be to go for a diffrent sound. Capture the sound of the performance like they do with orchestras. Small number of mics capturing everything not spot mic everything. Or only spot mic to reinforce the room sound, vox? Ah its a sweet and subtle art.

    your cafe sounds cool
  12. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    The "441" that was developed for hypercardioid live use is the Sennheiser MD441, not an AKG. These are wonderful dynamics, but are very pricey. The AKG C451 was "standard" as a cardioid mic. being a modular capsule design, there was an optional hypercardioid screw-on capsule, but that was pretty rare. The Shure Beta series offers some decent "hyper-" and "super-" cardioid live mics at a good price.
    Goboes can be pretty discrete. They don't have to be obtrusive to be effective. I have used them in a blues club as well as churches for quite some time. There are as many different ways to fashion them as there are people to use them. Happy New Year!!

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