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Recording Live now with a horn section

I'm recording a band with a horn section, not too experience with horns especially in a live in the studio scenario

There's an sax, not even sure if it's an alto or tenor and a trombone. I did a rehearsal recording for them and used a 57 on each, it came out pretty well considering drums, electric guitar are blaring away as well.

I'm thinking for the real recording of setting up a gobo between the horns and a gobo for the bass and guitar. I was thinking of putting a room mic for them either behind the horns or just beside them.

Just wondering about mics/mic placement for this scenereo or should I convince them to track later? They are more than competent enough as a band to play together and definitely have a great vibe doing that so I'd rather sacrifice a little sound quality for the band to play together


moonbaby Tue, 09/21/2010 - 08:56

You are right on the money in keeping that "vibe" going with the group playing together. I don't know what mics you have at disposal (besides the afore-mentioned 57's), but the E-V RE-20 (or RE-27) works well on horns, and it's tighter pattern will keep bleed from being so obnoxious. Goboing the horns is probably a good idea to help in keeping the other instruments from bleeding into the horn mics, btw.
Just make sure that the players can still see and hear each other for cues.

bouldersound Sat, 09/25/2010 - 11:18

steppingonmars, post: 354188 wrote: I've got a gobo set up between the horns and the rest of the band, wondering about doing a ORTF stereo set up with sdc's a few feet in front of the horns, I'd have stereo separation and some control over the trumpet and sax level

And you'd have a ton more bleed than close micing.

bouldersound Sat, 09/25/2010 - 18:44

steppingonmars, post: 354191 wrote: I guess I'll have to see, I did it this way with a guitar and a mandoline with drums in the room, it came out ok, the horns should be way louder than that, would they not drown out the drums on those mics anyways?

It's possible that it won't be too much, but close micing will have less bleed than a more distant stereo technique. The other issue is the bleed between the two instruments in the stereo mic field. You'll have to treat them as a pair, so if there's an problem with one anything you do address it will affect both.

steppingonmars, post: 354191 wrote: I could gate the horns too so they only come on when they are playing?

You could, but if bleed is at all noticeable then every time the gate opens it will alter the sound of the drums and guitar. The only way to know is to record and apply gates. It may work, it may not.

soapfloats Sat, 09/25/2010 - 18:47

In my experience, when drums are in a room, they rule - unless you are very careful.
They are the loudest instrument and will get into any mic (and a lot!) if not well isolated.

I had the same setup for a reggae/ska band, and we decided to track the horns separately.
The gobo will definitely help, just beware that the drums will come over and around the gobo, so definitely go close mic, and keep it close to the gobo.
BTW, ribbon mics work beautifully on both of those sources.

steppingonmars Thu, 09/30/2010 - 22:36

Well we got the tracking done. I tried the sdc's , but the producer thought the dynamics would be a better choice for the style of music. The sax brought a clip on mic which sounded great and I used a 57 on the trombone, it came out good. Everyone was pleased and I got paid and another job out of it so I guess that's what matters