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On-Stage Recording Question

I am a bass player by trade and want to start recording my gigs. I will be using my SP C4's into my JB3. Usually the stages are small and we are cramped pretty close in a corner of the room. There are guitar bass and drums. From a few bad experiences with drunk people I do not set my gear off of the stage while I am playing. What would be some options for making a decent recording? Only the vocals are through the mains and I will catch a small amount of them from the one vocal monitor center stage. Any thoughts?


Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/15/2007 - 11:25
If you have a laptop, you can get a stereo recording interface like the Tascam Us-122 for about 110 dollars, and then get a decent condenser mic pair for 100 dollars, like the samson C02.

So that might not be too bad, set up both and see what it sounds like. A lot of better venues are pretty cool about letting you take a stereo tap off the board to record live, but that depends on the sound man (or woman). Hope this helps a little.

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/15/2007 - 12:02
I am all geared out can't buy anything else for a while....I get pretty good stereo signal recording to my creative JB3. Very rarely do we have someone running sound (we do small shows) maybe 20-30 people. What about mic placement? my C4's have omni and card caps. I am thinking of running split omni from one side of the (small) stage and hope they are not too far apart. How big of a difference does it make which way I point them should they be pointed at each other or away from each other?

RemyRAD Wed, 05/16/2007 - 23:19
I specialize in recording bands, live. I don't record PA systems although lots of people do. It's fine, if you like a recording of the PA system. I don't. It's OK, if you're trying to judge what your band sounds like through a PA. But, for a quality recording, you need to have everything miked up, DI'd and mixed. We are not talking about any kind of grandiose production but a simple, LESS IS MORE, minimalist set up. So a dinky little mixer and a few inexpensive " PA microphones" can yield a much better result than recording a P.A. system.

So, I guess I don't have any really good suggestions?
Ms. Remy Ann David

JoeH Thu, 05/17/2007 - 06:17
If you're going to record your band live in a "raw" situation, perhaps the most sensible way to go for your kind of budget is 4 tracks. Take a stereo feed off the board of everything, and put two omni mics out in the middle of the house, perhaps hanging from the ceiling midway between your mains cabs (to get the sound of the PA plus audience reaction, room ambience, etc.)

Later back in the comfort of your home or studio, you can listen to both and mix to taste. It won't be perfect, but you'll have a good blend of each, and can make something out of it, at least for now. It may also help you tweak your PA mix as well. Sometimes you catch things you weren't aware of this way. I used to do this years ago in my club-band days, and it was an inexpensive way to get live demo tapes of the band from time to time.

If the stereo live feed is lopsided or completely unusable, perhaps you could dial in a better mix using AUX sends or something.

Good luck with it!

Kapt.Krunch Fri, 05/18/2007 - 03:33
Yeah, I don't think you're going to get a very good recording at all with just a couple mics capturing everything from the stage. The drums and amps will overpower the vocals that are coming out of one monitor.

Of course, you COULD put one of the mics in a place that kind of captures the music as evenly as possible, and run a line-out of your PA to the track 2 for the vocals. You'd be stuck with music left and vocals right, but you could run that back through the mixer and set them both center to listen to. It'll be mono, but at least you may be able to balance the vocals against the music. And, I wouldn't expect either to sound very good. You'll likely get a lot of unbalanced sound unless your stage volume on the amps, the tones from the amps, and the drums were all set and played with tonal and level considerations met according to your placement of that one mic. But then again...who may pop that mic on a stand, move it into just the right position, and get a very nice recording.

Can't hurt to try, huh?

You could always rent some mics and a small mixer (maybe 8-12 channels: guitar 1, bass (2 and 3 direct and mic), vocals (4 and 5, etc.) drums (6,7,8, 9) and mic up everything to mix down. Probably still have issues unless everything was mic'ed well and kept at the same levels throughout the performance, or someone was manning the board.

Lastly, recording into an MP3 player...(I guess that's what that is?)
How much recording time does that thing have? Will you just let'er run, or will it be stopped and started on each tune? May be just as well to bring along the trusty old cassette deck and a few 90 minute tapes. You could always turn them into MP3 later, and it CAN'T sound much worse.


Kapt.Krunch Fri, 05/18/2007 - 03:42
Actually, I just thought of something else :shock: . What kind of PA mixer are you using? Brand and model? I'm thinking "routing options" that may let you mix a couple mics with the vocals from the mixer. You may be able to get direct vocal mics mixed in with both room mics for music...and not feeding back through the mains...depending.


Pro Audio Guest Wed, 05/23/2007 - 13:50
Well...a few things we did 4 shows in 3 days, onlything going through the pa was the vocals. Three of the gigs were on a a SMALL outside stage so i didnt even bother with throwing my mics up. one gig I placed the Mics omni behind my bass rig and it sounded just like I expected. Heavy drums and bass decent guitar and little vocals. Like I said I just wanted a raw recording and I got it. I can hear songs I need to work on, hear those dropped notes and the cool fills...Score.

Thanks for the suggestions about the mixer out but, I only have time or desire to play, and bring my big gear run direct off the mixer. or the desire it is a crate that is extremely dirty...But not in my control.

Any lastly you would be surprised the quality of shows that I have pulled from the JB3 it records at 44.1 wave and it has a 40 gig HD. It has two batteries that combine for upto 3 1/2 hours of recording. I started out on for ideas to get audience recordings of local bands. This is a decent setup. The chain is as follows: Studio Projects C4's-->Deneke PS/2-->High to low impedence connectors-->1/4 to 1/8 y conenctor -->optical input JB3.

Thanks for the input

cathode_ray Thu, 05/31/2007 - 13:40
Best Live sound I ever got - pair of NAkamichi condensors 6" apart(XY or whatatever) hanging over the soundman's head(he has the best seat in the house, right?)
Result is what the band REALLY sounds like in the house - somethings band can never really hear (kinda like Schrödinger's Cat! or does the light in the refrigerator really go out when you close the door?).