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The "live" studio sound...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by backinthelab, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    In a couple of weeks, I'll be working on a project where we're looking to get more of a live capture in my studio. I've worked with a couple of drum setups, and I think that I've found some good positioning. But, questions still remain, should I track everyone together, just rhythm section..etc, etc. I have a small iso booth that I was thinking of putting the guitar cab in, then running the bass DI and tracking in that fashion, but my live room is too small to isolate enough to avoid bleed.

    Before I ramble too long, any tips/tricks/suggestions to making your recordings have that live and spontaneous feel, either in tracking or mix?

    A great example of what were looking for is Breakestra's album "Hit the Floor". You can hear clips here (Track 5 is the best, IMHO):


    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    just go direct with everything. reamp or overdub later. most musicians think they can nail a take perfect but reality is most can not and they'll have to fix stuff anyways.

    Just get the drums sounds right and a good drum performance...everything else is secondary until this is done.
  3. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Yes, I have no problem tracking the rhythm section and going over it again, but the band really wants to track everything in one room. Put it this way, the drummer doesn't want a click track because he thinks it takes away the feeling. I'm skeptical of this due to the size of the room and the inability to fix mistakes due to bleed. On the other hand, the last album that this band cut was, in thier eyes, overproduced and really didn't capture their live energy (which they have a TON of).

    If you listen to the Breakestra track in the link above, you can hear an old-school sound that has been captured perfectly with the feel of a live performance. Any other suggestions on how to accomplish this?

    BTW, I did have track 4 listed, it's track #5 that is the best.
  4. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    A click shouldnt take away the feel...unless they are meaning full tempo changes just not errant ones in the song. Plus if you recording to a grid with a tempo, editing and comping is to much easier. These guys sound like pain in the ass.

    A good drummer should be a able to play along with a click with the band. A better drummer knows the tunes inside and out and doesnt even need the band playing and can just play song to the click.

    Any ways back to that live sound thingy...if you want to do it the way the band wants..perhaps renting out a large space and doing a remote situation would work best...i dont know..Im the retarded recorder around these parts.
  5. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I agree with him 100%!!!

    A good drummer will naturally speed up and slow down in different places, according to the emotiional content of the song.. ACDC would sound boring and ploddy if they played to a click, and early Stevie Wonder would sound more like Jamiroquai :lol:

    I've been playing in a rock band recently, with a young and enthusiastic drummer who has (IMO) bags of talent.. he speeds up and slows down all over the place, but I am resisting the click track thing with all my might because he's a really exciting player to listen to, and I'm convinced his timing fluctuations are a big part of that.

    Anyway, what with the new bass rig and the other guitarists re-valved head I think we finally have our backline sounding spot-on.. next time I record that band I am going to arrange them around a mid/side pair of LDCs with the mid mic switched to omni, and spend some time positioning amps etc to get the best possible balance of the whole band on that centre pair. I will then spot mic kick, snare, toms and the two guitars, and DI the bass so that I have some options afterwards..

  6. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Many drummers play live to a click...yup and the band is all the more tighter for it. yup...
  7. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    oh and by the way, it's a rariety to have a drummer who is on the click 100% of the time. slightly ahead and behind the click is enough for any type of rock or music that doesnt call for time changes or dramatic tempo changes to capture this so called emotion you guys are blabbing about...it's a load of bs.
  8. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I had to create a tempo map for a classic motown track recently, in order to create an instrumental version for a backing track . There's a really simple snare fill that repeats several times through the track: that fill is consistently faster than the rest of the song every single time, sometimes by nearly 5 BPM, but afterwards the beat snaps back to within 1/2 a BPM of where it was before.. of course, those motown players were famously sloppy weren't they :lol:

    IMO that very simple drum fill would have sounded ploddy and boring if it were played at the same speed as the rest of the song, and the drummer's (probably instinctive) speed up through it is the mark of a really good musician.

  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Only if the band is sloppy to start with. :shrug:

    Classical musicians don't use click tracks, they watch the conductor, or maintain eye contact for critical bits.. a rock band that can do the same will always sound better than a rock band playing to a click. (IMO)
  10. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    yeah your opinion is wrong.
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    No, your opinion is wrong! :lol:
  12. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Dammit..no tag backs!!
  13. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    Lloyd: You're it.
    Harry: You're it.
    Lloyd: You're it, quitsies!
    Harry: Anti-quitsies, you're it, quitsies, no anti-quitsies, no startsies!
    Lloyd: You can't do that!
    Harry: Can too!
    Lloyd: Cannot, stamp it!
    Harry: Can too, double stamp it, no erasies!
    Lloyd: Cannot, triple stamp, no erasies, Touch blue make it true.
    Harry: No, you can't do that... you can't triple stamp a double stamp, you can't triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd!
  14. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    ooooooooooooooooooooookay then, now that that's out of your system. Any response's that might assist me? I'm not real concerned witht he click track, jsut using that as an example of the how this band want's thier album to sound. Any advice on mixdown or how to set them up in the room?
  15. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I told you what I would do, assuming the band can actually play and they have their sound together: a Mid/Side stereo pair in roughly the middle of the room, with your best omni as the mid mic. Then move things around and optimise amp settings till you have a good balance of everything on that pair.. now you can start adding spot mics for the parts that need it.

    Its sort of like the approach I take to micing a drum kit, but extended to the whole band.
  16. mercurix

    mercurix Active Member


    I'm doing something similar. I think you should definitely put them in the same room and use as many gobos as you can. Line in the bass obviously to get all that low end out of the bleed and just separate everyone else as much as possible, specially the drummer from the rest of the band. Then, most of the live feel you'll do it during the mix.

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