Recording the band..

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by deekay911, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. deekay911

    deekay911 Guest

    our band wants to record some demo tracks, and none of us have any recording experience. We are a five piece, and have a Soundcraft M4 mixer, and a Boss BR-600 recorder. What might be a couple of options for getting the bext recorded sound? We probably can't easily isolate the drums btw...
    thanks guys!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    For your type of recording, I wouldn't worry about separation/isolation.

    In fact I make it a point, to track the entire band together in close proximity, relatively speaking. I like the bleed. It's part of what makes a recording, a recording. But then I like that full-bodied, live spontaneous quality. Can't get your rhythm tracks down right? Then you need to practice more.

    So you think I'm crazy? I must be nuts? Well probably. But I know what I know and I know that many famous bands have been recorded in that manner.

    Back in 1978, I was looking for a used 16 track Ampex. It took me to NYC to Regent Sound Studios whose owner, the late Bob Loftin, led me into a control room. This control room was in use. It was a tracking session. The band consisting of, drums, bass, guitar and the lead vocalist. All were crammed into this tiny studio. So small that the lead singer had his back up against the control room window glass, so I couldn't even see his face. It was all being tracked through a Studer console and sounded incredible, with all of the bleed! In fact, the singer sounded familiar to me? I was really surprised that Bob led me into a control room that was in use with a client? When I told him the guys sounded familiar he told me, " sure". I said it sounded like Robert Palmer? He said, " it is Robert Palmer". Two years after his big breakthrough hits. OMG! And here he was playing with the switches on the Ampex MM 1000 while it was recording.

    So, I like my musicians to be friendly with each other. Just not quite that close. Although I must admit, I recorded bands in other studios that small. Separation is only important and necessary when you have a lawyer taking care of the paperwork. I think the term " bleed" could also be substituted with ambience? And I like ambience. It's good if you know how to use it correctly. If a room has lousy acoustics? I'll use the lousy acoustics and accentuate it to make it even more obvious. Then you can use it to your advantage. I'm bad with math because somehow, I've always been able to turn a negative into a positive. I guess it's possible because I've done it plenty (a mathematical term meaning lots of crap). The term " polishing turds" could also be substituted.

    Polishing turds for over 37 years! Or making good recordings with bad musicians.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    For a quick demo that can actually sound pretty good, two mics set up in an XY stereo pair back off of the band a ways is a great way to get started. Run a take, listen to the balance, then do your "mixing" by moving people forwards and back, and turning amps up and down. The only problem is if you're electric and you're trying to put in vocals. Then you either have to find a PA to run the vocals through, or you do everything else without vocals and add them in on top, or you find another mic (it is a 3 channel board, eh? No, the boss isn't. Damn. ) Never mind. I was going to say you do the vocals without amping them, on a seperate channel, and everyone just has to watch the lead singer really closely for their cues, but those little Bosses only have two inputs. That's what I would do, and then you don't have to worry about the mixer at all, and you can still get a nice sounding recording. Good luck,

  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    How many mics do you have?

    Close mic the amps, put a mic or two low on the drum kit - aimed at the centerline between the toms horizontally...

    Basil's idea is a good one too.

    It's nice to hear a raw recording like that, with two mics.

    Of course, I'm currently (nine times out of ten, that is) in a garage rock kinda mood
    (and rockin' to ELO - "10538 Overture" as I type), so take it for what it is...
  5. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    Now the question is: Will he ever come back to read this?
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Somebody will...

    Someone's probably reading this right now...

  7. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    That's a nice way of thinking about it. That's why they pay you the big bucks, eh?
  8. baslotto

    baslotto Active Member

    I'm reading and it was interesting until now.
    Who ever gets the big bucks here should keep it going...

  9. deekay911

    deekay911 Guest

    Yes I am reading this :) thanks for the feedback guys! I also thought about having the drummer do the drums track first, mic'd, then play that back to him through headphones and have him play along with us while we go direct through the mixer. I guess we have to get the mix right there cos we can't do anything with it in the Boss. You think going to this trouble would give us any benefit over just stereo mics?
    Thanks again!
  10. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    I would say play with it till you find something fun that sounds good, but your sucess in trying to do anything fancy will depend on how many mics you have, how many channels you've got on your mixer, what types of mics you've got, etc. It's really hard to do drum tracks first, mostly because, there's not really much for him to do, eh? If you want to single track everyone, which I don't know if you can do or not on that little boss (You've only got what, six tracks to play with, saving the last two for mixdown?), then do it like this: Do the stereo micing thing I talked about earlier, but don't worry about mistakes in the playing, just the timing. Then go back and add the bass overtop of it. The the guitars, then drum, or whatever order fits. Then pull the original track out and drop in some vocals. Then you've got all your inputs on separate channels, and you can set levels, add some basic built in effects, etc. and mix down to the last channels. That's about 10x as much work, but you will get a nicer end result most of the time, but if you're a band that likes the energy of playing together, and feeds off of each other, it may be difficult for you. Good luck,


    P.S. If you're drummer can play to a click track, do so, especially on the "scratch track"!

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