Jazz band recording session

Discussion in 'Microphones & Recording' started by wavelength, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. wavelength

    wavelength Guest

    I am gonna record a jazz band soon, It's a 8 trks, The studio is quite small, it only can contains 1-2 people with the same type of instruments, otherwise it will be too much leakage. The line up is

    Cello, Guitar(flamenco/acoustic), Male vocal(gospel/r&b), drums, keyboard/piano.

    I've got mics as follow,

    4* akg c2000b
    4* akg c3000
    1* akg c460
    1* akg c414
    1* rode for vocal overdubs
    1* shure 57
    1* atm 33r
    4* akg dynamic

    Please can anybody help? Any recommendation? Also anybody knows the best way to record cello? Please!
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    wavelength, Mic the cello between the bow and bridge, about 8-12" away (best thing is to ask the cellist to play, and put your ear in that position and move in or out to find best position for mic). I'd use either the c2000, 3000, or rode if you want the definition of the bow. The 414 will give you a warmer sound. Depending on the sound of the instrument and what you get to tape, or disk, you might use the low frequency rolloff as well (last resort) if the sound is too boomy. too bad you don't have a big, live room to track cello in, strings love a live room. You could track the guitar at the same time, players facing each other, since you have several cardiods. Leakage isn't always bad, but surely makes it tougher when/if you need to do punches. Is keyboard digital? Go direct there and track drums at the same time, especially if pianist is doing a bass line on left hand. Track vocals seperately. Good luck!
  3. wavelength

    wavelength Guest

    Thanks, riversedge, the idea of recording cello is very helpful. Also if I want to overdub, do you think I should record the drumkit first or with keyboard together?
  4. pappskalle

    pappskalle Active Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Home Page:
    Ask who is the leader of the band(who sets the mood/pace).
    Record those first.Put the singer in the controll rom or drummer for that matter(with a basic kit, ie. NO kick :D ) and let them be coached. My experience is that the drummers tend to relax a bit more and play a bit more musically :eek: later in the process or when they are being coached.

    Discuss/Inform the band how you plan to record them so that they can prepare for the situation.
    Since space/tracks is an issue, be creative, and work with the band to get good performances to tape.

    Good luck and have fun!
  5. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    wavelength, As a general rule, if drums are involved, track them first just because there's more setup and tracks to be dealt with (in your case, you might consider doing a submix on the drums because of your track limitations...just be sure you're really happy with the overall balance between drums & cymbals, since it will be a bear to fix after consolidating to a couple of tracks). As for the piano, I'd feel OK about tracking at the same time if it's electronic. If it's a real piano, put the drummer in CR with you and listen as best you can through headphones. Honestly, if you had a big enough space, I'd do it all live, that's how jazz recordings were done in the old days when they only had two tracks! Most jazz players do better when they can play off each other rather than building a track part by part. I totally agree with Roger's post about seeking out the band leader, democracy doesn't work that well in a session :roll: ,also the suggestion to have fun...that will go a long way to get the best performance out of the players. By the way, where is tank?
  6. How can this be a "jazz" session if everyone is being recorded one at a time?
  7. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    so true! :)

  8. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    My experience with live strings is quite a bit different. I will say that I have seen double basses and cellos miked by placing foam around a mic and sticking it in the bridge - and it can sound not too bad. If it works, great, but it might not. Here is the alternative . . .

    My technique for almost any acoustic string instrument is to avoid the f-holes because you will only get a substantial build-up of bass frequencies. Getting too close to the bow is also a problem because you can get a lot of scratch and screech you don't really want.

    Bowed strings do love a live room because the nature of the instrument is such that it has different frequencies coming from different places and a live room and a distance mic gives them a chance to blend.

    However, if you must close-mic (not the end of the world) I would avoid miking the bridge (too trebly), the bow (Too screechy) and the f-holes (too bassy). My choice is to place a mic above the neck midway between the bow and the nut (the top of the neck where the playing area ends). I go for maximum distance before leakage is a problem (in your situation, that could be pretty tight).

    From there adjust for balance between bass and treble by moving in and out and/or up or down.

    Please let us know how you ended up doing the session.

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