Bar Scene Multi-Tracking

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by JeffGeb, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Okay I figured I would toss this out there and see if I can't get some wisdom from the local gurus. I have been asked to multi-track a few bands playing at a local bar. They are wanting it for demo CDs. I know this is not as ideal as taking them into a studio but what suggestion might some of you have. I have a few choices of equipment. I can go simple and use a Yamaha AW4416 or go with a laptop accompanied by a motu unit. Capturing with Sampitude. Also, since I am throwing all these questions out there let me add this one. What would one charge for such a service?
  2. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    hi there
    i do this a lot
    sometimes i will do it "right" - proper pres or mixer and my radar 24 - most of the time i use my KORG D16 - take a feed from the insert or line out of their board into the korg - 16 bits

    works fine for most people's idea of a "live CD"
    i have recently done a lot of "better than OK" cd's this way.

    don't even think about the laptop - also don't forget a UPS

    good luck

  3. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Thanks Dan,

    Let me ask, do you setup any kind of audience mics?

    Also, if you don't mind me asking, when you do recordings such as this what rate do you normally get?
  4. mpower

    mpower Active Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Home Page:
    What's wrong with using a laptop for this project? I have a Powerbook and Plan to track live recordings using a Metric Halo 2882, of course with a proper power supply not the battery ? What's the deal?

  5. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest


    I thought about using a laptop setup myself. Using a laptop with a motu 828 or motu 896, depending on the number of inputs you need, along with Magix's program called Samplitude 7.0.

    Bottomline, is that the audio will end up there anyways for editting why not just make it the original source? I have taken audio from my Yamaha AW4416 and converted it to WAV files in order to get it to Samplitude but I am not sure if there is any lose of quality with this process.
  6. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    hi again - for room mics you could stick up a couple facing the crowd to get the crowd sound - however I expect you will get enough of that bleeding from the on stage mics - if you have the tracks open, extra mics, and enough cable to route it well out of the way - try it

    There are several ways to charge - depends on what your studio plan is. We do everything here from record to master to reproduce cd's. Our studio rate is $50 an hour, but usually I wouldn't go out and do a mobile gig for less than $250. That being said, I will do it for less if I know I am going to get more work, or if they agree up front to buy X number of cd's for $Y. Lately we have even been doing percentage deals with acts that we think have real potential - almost like signing them and then producing them - presently we are doing this with 2 different groups. The big issue is why are you doing the recording - if it's to make money - then don't be shy about asking for enough to cover your time and investment in gear - if it's a favor, then do them a favor, but at least try to cover hard costs (rental, media etc.) - if it's a learning experience - knock your self out and learn.

    wav files - I dump down to wav file from the Korg D16 and load them into the radar all the time - I do not believe there is a quality degradation.

    why not use the pc - if he already has a Yamaha recorder, why not use it - I can't help think that the bar environment is less than perfect to be using a laptop - not to start another issue, but I would also be concerned about the stability factor on a live gig.
  7. Tungstengruvsten

    Tungstengruvsten Active Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Guelph, Ontario
    I've done this a bunch of times as well, starting out with mic's in the crowd to soundboard patches to a 16 channel rig-RME Digiface and 2 Presonus Digimax's. Works great, I use the Digimax's for my main pre's and the out of them goes into the FOH mixer(I usually do FOH sound when I do all this...more setup time but less hassle as I'm in good control of all aspects....) I also take all my own mic's(I have a bunch of 'road mic's' for this purpose) as well as all cables/snakes etc... The last one I did is at, this was a quickie job, I was testing out the RME/Digimax setup for the first time and it was a deal for the band as it was practice for me. They just wanted some good sounding promotional material.

    Anyways, I hauled out my actual computer, but I've built a shockmount box for it with air filters etc especially for this purpose.....damn smoky clubs!
  8. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Thanks guys for the feedback.

    FYI on the pricing. I am already contracted by one band at the club for Saturday night but there will be 7 other bands playing. So I was going to come up with a rate for recording their live performance.. I figured if I could get a flat $150 per group that would send me home with a huge smile... I've spoken to two of the groups and the price didn't seem to scare them off. I'll let you know what happens.
  9. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Home Page:

    Thought I would throw in a few ideas.

    I have done some simple recording of my and other bands in live shows at small clubs (Schuba/Chicago, Shank Hall/Milwaukee)

    I had great luck with two VERY simple set ups and started coming prepared to do one or the other based on soundcheck results.

    Option One: Two PZM mics far left and right, back of room, Two SM57's or 58's XY over mixing board pointing between the edge of the stage and the main on that same side.

    Option Two: Stereo feed from board and stereo mics.

    I like option two the best and usually try to test the stereo feed along with the PZM's. After soundcheck, I listen back and make a call. If the board feed is crap, I ditch it and go to using option one. If the board is good, I then make a call on either the 57's or the PZM's.

    People may very well chime in here and tell you that this is a crap method, but like it or not, my results have been really good. I can usually mix in just the right amount of crowd noise.

    I had one occasion where the sound guy told me he could only give me a mono feed, I took that, two PZM's and then a single SM58 centered about half way between the mixing board and the stage, hanging about 1.5 feet from the ceiling pointed directly at the drummer.

    I wish I had unlimited amounts of time to try these things out. I love the live sound and think that experiementation is the best way to get a killer sound.

    <<ps: all this was done about 6-7 years ago with a tascam 4 track portastudio 464>>

    Hope this is of some use.

  10. themidiroom

    themidiroom Active Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    St Louis
    You could consider charging one price for a simple setup using room mics and a sub mix from the house mixer; and a higher price to use individual mics on all the instruments. I've done both and the individual mics always works out better during the mixing stage.
  11. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Thanks JDier...

    Sounds like a plan. Like you said it will get better as I experiement with different setups. But I appreciate the headstart by having some of your experiences to work off of.
  12. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    hi again
    The problem with taking a feed off their mix or from the room is that you totally loose the ability to "mix" what you have recorded. Keep in mind that the live mix is set to arrive at a sound that sounds good in that room. That mix, in fact, may not sound good at all outside of that room.
    just a couple more cents
  13. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    I agree that taking the mix directly of the board could be a problem - because the mix is adjusted for the room acoustics - but if the sound in the room is great - then a stereo mix of the room itself should be as good....

    I would definately do a stereo mix of the room though - or maybe a 3 mic mix - one centered - then left and right. This should give you what you need in order to work it afterwards.

    The only other way i would go would be if the board had direct-outs - then i would take each channel seperately - but it's a lot more work afterwards mixing this down. Better control - more work -

    I own a D1600 - and have done this (stereo and 3 mic) rather successfully in the past with this gear.

    Happy Hunting

  14. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    One thing i should have mentioned - i would be (am always) careful with mic placement - otherwise crowd noise can be a real problem.

  15. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    My plan was to use the insert sends and record each track seperately. I'd rather invest the time in doing my own mix down to ensure a quality CD result.

    I will post some of my work at the end of this project to get everyones input on what I could have done to enhance the final product.
  16. mcguin

    mcguin Guest

    if you have enough tracks available it wouldn't hurt to also take a feed off their main mix (as well as individual tracks) - might add some overall vibe or atl east provide a fuller sound to your individual track remix
    just a thought
  17. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest


    Great idea. I happened to see a few bands last week and the sound engineer that was there was a $10 hr kid that thought mixing meant socializing with the audience. I do have tracks available therefore I plan on taking the overall mix but I doubt I will be able to use it for anything.

    This thread has been very helpful and I look forward to the gig tonight.
  18. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Okay it is 3am and I am just returning from anight of multi-tracking. I am excited to get these recorded tracks on my computer so I can start mixing them. There were diffently some lessons learned tonight. I will get more into it tomorrow. I am way to tired to go through them all now. Lets just say, when you think you are bringing enough equipment, pack ten more items.

    Thanks to everyone that put their two cents in. It was all valuable information.
  19. Treeline

    Treeline Guest


    I've been getting my feet wet the same way and was going over tracks from a recent festival where I took four tracks off the subs on the FOH mixer into my DPS16. Man, lots of lessons in one swell foop there; I'll continue to use the subs for tracking, but now I have a more definite idea of how I want to arrange them, and now I want another handful of 603s for ambient micing!

    I didn't have a setup to pick up the crowd signal, and now I'm regretting it. Stage bleed was not enough; I get the end of a tune, then wild clapping from some other zip code, then "Thank you" comes flying out of the monitors - all out of balance and nothing I can do about it. I'll have to edit out the crowd, or invent some noise. Pfft. :roll:
  20. JeffGeb

    JeffGeb Guest

    Well one of the important lessons I discovered the other night is NEVER bring your new or expensive mics to a gig such as discribed above. I have never seen so much damage occur to property so quickly as I have when I handed my new 441s out and got them back scratched, dented and looking like someone tried to eat the wire mesh.

    As for the tracks. They all sound great and I am currently working on mixing them down and burning a solid product. I can't thank the people above enough for all their input.

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