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Multitrack Recording a Concert

Here's the deal, I want to record a live concert using multitrack recording. I need to know exactly what gear would be cheapest and best and how to set it up.

I have a Yamaha MG24 14FX and a PC with Pro Tools 8 on it.

I want to be able to go from the sound desk into whatever I need to and recorded through pro tools so I can do a post mix. At most, I'd only need 12 channels.

If someone can tell me exactly what gear I'd need and how to get it up then that would be great!

Comments

bouldersound Sun, 05/19/2013 - 08:34
You've left a lot of unanswered questions. What's your budget? Is the PC portable or do you need a separate recording rig? If it's a separate rig do you want to use a laptop and interface or a standalone hard disk recorder? Are you providing the live sound with that Yamaha board? Are you including some audience/ambience mics in your 12 channels?

My live recording setup is integrated into my live mixing rack with my old Mackie on top, my whole effects rack in front and an Alesis HD24 permanently connected by splits on all the insert sends.

Misery Sun, 05/19/2013 - 17:43
bouldersound, post: 404819 wrote: You've left a lot of unanswered questions. What's your budget? Is the PC portable or do you need a separate recording rig? If it's a separate rig do you want to use a laptop and interface or a standalone hard disk recorder? Are you providing the live sound with that Yamaha board? Are you including some audience/ambience mics in your 12 channels?

My live recording setup is integrated into my live mixing rack with my old Mackie on top, my whole effects rack in front and an Alesis HD24 permanently connected by splits on all the insert sends.

Budget isn't a problem. I'm half looking for something small I can maybe buy that will do a good job, if not I can just hire. The PC is portable as I'll be using the laptop. The Yamaha is controlling all the live sound so I want to go from their to something else to be able to record. I won't be using an audience mics before its never massive crowds and wouldn't make a difference.

Does any of this help?

MadMax Sun, 05/19/2013 - 19:26
Misery, post: 404842 wrote: Budget isn't a problem. ... ....

Does any of this help?

Not really...

Personally, I prefer a standalone dumb box recorder. They do one thing... and they do it well... and leave little chance of actually screwing anything up.

Since budget is no option, look at the JoeCo, TASCAM, HD24, etc...

You'll need to deal with the insert issue since there are no direct outs on the channel strips. Pop a 1/4" TRS half-normalled patchbay at the top of a rack, Run an insert snake from the console to the patchbay. Run jumpers from the backside of the patchbay to the recorder inputs and viola'... done.

Flight pack the badboy up and in one case, plus a briefcase for drives (Or put a locking drawer lined with foam, for drives, in a little bigger rack.) Wind up the insert snake in the bottom. You should be able to work this way by watching your levels.... as there's no way to actually monitor everything unless you patch in the outputs of the recorder to the inserts... Which plenty of guys do... but, that's your call on how you wanna deal with latency.

bouldersound Sun, 05/19/2013 - 22:43
I really like my HD24. It's so easy that it doesn't distract me from actually mixing a show. I've recorded 2-track on a laptop and the HD24 is easier.

One option for doing an insert tap is to replace the 1/4" TS connector one end of an instrument cable with a TRS and connect the conductor to both tip and ring, with shield going to sleeve as normal. Use that end in the insert and you can plug it all the way in without interrupting the signal path. It's safer than the "fist click" method and more compact than a patch bay, but it doesn't work if you want to insert a processor.

Boswell Mon, 05/20/2013 - 04:28
If you are content to use the house board's pre-amps, your best option is to get a JoeCo Black Box recorder [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.joeco.co…"]model BBR1U[/]="http://www.joeco.co…"]model BBR1U[/]. This model is supplied with unbalanced cable looms to connect directly to insert jacks on a mixer without interrupting the signal flow to the FOH fader section. All you would need to take to the gig would be the recorder plus an external USB2 hard drive.

With this route, there's no need to get an audio interface. After recording, you plug the hard drive directly into a PC for data transfer and mixdown.

Misery Mon, 05/20/2013 - 07:13
bouldersound, post: 404854 wrote: Three ways to get signal from inserts have already been suggested: patch bay, instrument cables to "first click" or build/buy insert tap cables.

Where's the best place to buy tap cables? and how well they usually work.

I've only been doing this stuff for a year so some stuff is new to me and gets a bit confusing.

Boswell Mon, 05/20/2013 - 07:48
The [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.hosatech…"]Hosa DOC109[/]="http://www.hosatech…"]Hosa DOC109[/] is an adaptor cable to convert an insert jack into a direct out. You would need 12 of these plus a corresponding TS jack loom. Have you decided yet what you would plug the other ends into?

With a year's experience under your belt, you may already have had a few live sound disasters, so don't underestimate the capacity for things to go wrong on the night. I strongly advise not going the audio interface/laptop route until you have looked very carefully at all-in-one solutions like the JoeCo box or the Alesis HD24. Keep it simple!

bouldersound Mon, 05/20/2013 - 07:54
Misery, post: 404855 wrote: Where's the best place to buy tap cables? and how well they usually work.

I've only been doing this stuff for a year so some stuff is new to me and gets a bit confusing.

The Hosa DOC106 adapter would do it, but a dozen of them at $10.50 is a bit pricey, and you still need twelve instrument cables.

The first click method is the cheapest, but it's easy for the plugs to get pushed all the way in and cut the signal. Also, on some mixers the ring contact isn't sprung strongly and the plug could fall out. If the ring contact is good and strong there's a cheap way of keeping the plugs from getting pushed in. Get a length of 1/4" ID automotive fuel hose and cut it into precise 1/4" lengths (experiment to make sure the length works). Slide one on a standard 1/4" plug and you have an instant insert tap cable.

MadMax Mon, 05/20/2013 - 11:51
bouldersound, post: 404859 wrote: The Hosa DOC106 adapter would do it, but a dozen of them at $10.50 is a bit pricey, and you still need twelve instrument cables.

The first click method is the cheapest, but it's easy for the plugs to get pushed all the way in and cut the signal. Also, on some mixers the ring contact isn't sprung strongly and the plug could fall out. If the ring contact is good and strong there's a cheap way of keeping the plugs from getting pushed in. Get a length of 1/4" ID automotive fuel hose and cut it into precise 1/4" lengths (experiment to make sure the length works). Slide one on a standard 1/4" plug and you have an instant insert tap cable.

Look at the JoeCo that Boswell suggested, or do the patchbay dance. Doing otherwise is asking for trouble when you least need it. After luggin' crap in/out of venues doing mobile recording for almost 20 years, I still WON'T suggest the single click/half inserted 1/4". It's just plain too much of a PITA, and if it can go wrong... it will.... and at the worst possible moment.

By using a std 24 point x 1/4" patchbay, you can still use any outboard comps/gates on the live side and still track the individual channels just fine... sans insert.. which is the way I prefer to track live.

You can find decent insert snakes, from 12-24 channels, from Horizon, Whirlwind, etc... Hosa (et al) generally only make single channel and 4 channel snakes with molded ends for kinda' cheap money... but dealing with one snake is much more convenient and far less confusing. By using a patchbay, if you do indeed use hardware inserts, you will need a few single channel trs to trs patch cables to create extra channels... but you can get up to 12 of them on a 24 point, if you need that many inserts.

bouldersound Mon, 05/20/2013 - 12:32
After doing this for just about exactly 20 years I agree that keeping it as simple and reliable as possible is an advantage, but I also feel that investing thousands on a recording rig based around an $800 live console may not make a lot of sense, especially if the OP is still experimenting. I think trying things the cheap way is reasonable while learning.

Misery Mon, 05/20/2013 - 17:59
I've been enjoying all your suggestions and have learnt a lot from what I've been told. Here's a bit of an updated idea I'm thinking of doing.

My friend has a spare digital desk we can use that can be used as a interface with pro tools. I figured I do the tap cable technique into his desk. My problem is we use a gate which of course uses the Inserts. I'm assuming by buying a patchbay, I can still use the gate AND record?

MadMax Tue, 05/21/2013 - 05:15
There's a difference between going cheap and pissing away money, and investing smart and doing it right the first time.

Decent used 24 point patchbay - $50 (New $100)
Used HD24 - $800
3x 4 channel Hosa snakes - $100
12x trs-trs patch cables - $25

So, where's the thousands of dollars to do the job right?

Depending on the digital desk, you might be in better shape using it, or in worse shape... it's all very specific to the individual desk and the actual I/O routing.

If you end up using a digital console that has light-pipe outputs, your 3x 4 channel snakes could go down to 2x 8channel fiber optic cables.... or it could be 6 SPDIF cables, or 2x AES, or a single firewire cable, or it might remain the same 12 individual channels with a patchbay.

In an ideal situation, whether analog or digital, the desk feeding the recorder should have pre-fader/pre-eq/pre-insert, direct channel outputs.

bouldersound Tue, 05/21/2013 - 09:32
MadMax, post: 404933 wrote: There's a difference between going cheap and pissing away money, and investing smart and doing it right the first time.

Decent used 24 point patchbay - $50 (New $100)
Used HD24 - $800
3x 4 channel Hosa snakes - $100
12x trs-trs patch cables - $25

So, where's the thousands of dollars to do the job right?

Yeah, that's on a single thousand there. One JoeCo Black Box is thousands.
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