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Recording Peyote Music

Does anybody have any tips on micing this correctly, its hard not to get a good voacl sound with a rattle and a drum going so close to the vocal, I have tried micing the singer with a 58, 9 times out of 10 they move off access, there is tons of bleed of the rattle.

my only thought to get a really clean sound is to record the vocals separtly which doesnt really work as the songs are kinda of heat of the moment

the other idea is to separte the singer and have 1 guy play rattle and the other play drum, but I think that its kinda of a thing for the singer to do the rattle at the same time

i guess i got to find the right group that will allow me to expierment,

or just throw up overheads & a 57 on the drum and hope for the best, which i have been doing

anyhoe any body who has some tips they would be much appreciated




Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/01/2006 - 20:43
as a pre cursur to this, I talked to a peyote guy tonite and he told me the guy who is singing has got to do the rattle part of the ritual, and mulittracking is technically out of the question , unless its harmonies after the fact. So on the last session here is what I did,

3 Mic overheads AKG c1000, and 1 Aphex (u87 lookalike, not sound alike) and a 57 on the water drum, lots of rattle,

ussually when I record pow wow, I use a d112 on the drum underneath, phase reversed and then 2 57s pointed upwards, just below the singers mouths,

I havent tried this with peyote yet,

anyhow if there are engineer producers who deal with Aboriginal / Native American Music, I would love to have a chat to see how they go about things, and possibly share some ideas.



moonbaby Thu, 03/02/2006 - 07:31
I did a Timucuan American Indian ritual many years ago. Rattles, chants, and drums.I ended up using a pair of Sennheiser 421s as overheads and an E-V shotgun for the vocalist. This was after serious trial-and-error with a single omni (AKG C452 with an omni capsule), and other assorted attempts. The shotgun kept the vocalist's rattle from being picked up off-axis too much. I gave it enough distance so that the dudes' head movements didn't go off-axis, though. I put it on a short desk stand and aimed it up at his face, about 3 feet away (he was sitting on the ground).
I put the Sennies up in the air, flanking the group. It seemed to work OK.
Frankly, I think that using condensers is going to bring up too much of what you don't want, IMHO. Also, is this indoors or outdoors? Good luck to you!

Jim "I Dropped Peyote Once Many Years Ago and I've Never Been the Same" Mooney

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/08/2006 - 10:38
I have heard a lot about 160's , I wouldn't getting a pair to do some stero work as well, There supposed to be really great mics, But I got a funny feeling that there pretty pricy, I will see if I can beg, borrow or steal one of the royers and one of the beta 58s and try em out see what works good.

thanks for all the suggestions again


Pro Audio Guest Thu, 03/02/2006 - 13:44
it is indoors, I will post a mp3 of one of the tracks on my soundclick, you can check it out if you like. I think it turned out okay, the only thing that bothers me is that musicians who do this music tend to think that reverb will solve everything, after I did one mix I went back and knocked out the verb a bit on the lead rattle overhead track , it appears to stand out way better

thank you for your input, I have to get a hold of a shot gun mic, I have one 421, I was thinking I might try some 57s as overheads, and a room mic


JWL Thu, 03/02/2006 - 15:35
my advice for this is to think less in terms of separate instruments, and more in terms of capturing what the performer is doing, regardless of how he is making his sound. I'd probably set up 2-3 spot mics to capture everything he is doing, and balance things later in the mix. This will also give the performer more flexibility in movement.

If you have gobos, set up an area for him with those; that will limit his movements somewhat without constraining him too much.

moonbaby Fri, 03/03/2006 - 05:37
That's why I suggested the capture the ensemble. If these guys perform the way that I think that they do, goboes are really not going to help. They will hinder the natural, "human feedback" that these types of ensembles need to perform. The times that I have witnessed performances like this, the performers are very close, physically and spiritually. Breaking them up with goboes (and I am one big gobo-buildin' mutha!) will lose that, IMHO. Proper placement of the shotgun will permit you to pull that track up to bring the voice into proper perspective. Many times these chants are practically whispered/murmured, other times they practically scream. Normally, I don't believe that trying to "fix it in the mix", but in this case, a shotgun (or maybe even one of those C1000's with the funky "super-cardioid dildo-thingy" they come with - pardon the pun!) will help in isolating the vocalist without physical barriers.

Jim "Purveyor of Los Goboes Grandes" Mooney

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 03/03/2006 - 11:06
Thanks for the input guys. Just to setup the scenario, there are 2 guys in the group one with a rattle and singing, and the other with the drum, the sit facing each other legs crossed on the floor. The first time I attempted recording them I used 2 overheads , some shitty apehx whcih I have since thrown out. and 1 58 on the vocals. It turned out okay but I was lacking the drum sound they wanted , so this time same setup . sitting down, I used 3 overheads, in a semi circle, and 1 57 on the drum. I was concerned about phasing so I dropppeed the 58 out of the picture, like I was saying in an earlier post, I found you could really hear when he was off axis, as you know you pretty much have to eat a 58 not to hear it go off. So next time I think I am going to do 2 overheads a shotgun postioned at his mouth and a 57 or a d112 on the drum, and see how that goes, my main concern is really getting the best picture, picking up the 3 elements properly without to much phase issues.

My guess is I will have to use a shitload of compression on the shotgun as the vox vary in loudness, not so much screaming but, there is a dynamic range to them,. anyhow thanks for the tips,

Which shotgun would you use ?

Sennheier ?

moonbaby Fri, 03/03/2006 - 15:36
I guess so. I used an E-V a long time ago, but there are a couple of Sennies out there that aren't too expensive....A-T's , too.
But they can still be a $500.00+ investment for you. I was serious about that "pattern adapter" that is supposed to come with the C1000 that you listed. Have you tried that? I am not a big fan of that mic, but this might be a case where it would work OK. Worth a try, at least...

moonbaby Tue, 03/07/2006 - 07:30
Well, I better retract that suggestion, then. I have a friend with a pair of those C1000s, and I know that those "pattern changers" came with them as part of the package. Maybe AKG was offering some sort of promotion to move that model then. Frankly, I wouldn't put any more $$$ into them, they don't have a very good reputation. My buddy likes them for recording "nature sounds" outdoors to a portable mini-disk recorder.
You might also look at something that would be more versatile in your arsenal, like a Shure Beta 58 ( very tight pattern compared to a "regular" SM58 ), or a Beyer M160 (ribbon, "tight" hypercardioid pattern) if you can swing the $$$. The M160 has a very smooth, un-hyped top end response, which when coupled with its narrow pattern, might be just the trick on that singer and his damned rattle. Sorry, I don't mean to cloud the issue...