Recording Band Practice

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by qowenp, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. qowenp

    qowenp Active Member

    Jun 6, 2011

    I've been positioned as 'sound guy' for my band as we're trying to put together some rough recordings of a few songs. The setup we have is as follows:

    Two Marshall MG100 amps (Telecaster/Strat)
    Peavey Bass Amp
    Pearl Drumkit
    Tabletop mixer with built in Power amp (for vocals- connected to two Peavey PA speakers)
    3 Sennheiser dynamic mics
    2 other, cheaper mics
    MacBook Pro

    In the past I have plugged the 5 mics into the mixer, used four to mic the Amps/Drums and one for vocals. I then put the vocals on one stereo channel and the instrumentals on another and recorded on GarageBand (by running a line from the mixer into the macs input.

    This gave varied results but I wasn't exactly happy with it. If you guys could suggest a better setup that would be great.

    Where is the best place to position which mics? Which EQ settings on the Amps/Mixer? Would it be better to run the guitars directly into the mixer?

    Sorry for all the questions! I will be reading some of the stickied topics to get some tips but I have band practice tonight and I'm eager to improve our setup!

  2. aaronwaudio

    aaronwaudio Active Member

    May 25, 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    Home Page:
    You don't want to run the guitars straight into the mixer. You won't get any effects. With your limited mic choice, I would put 2 mics as overheads for the drums to pick up everything, and one mic on each amp, saving one for vocals. You will notice an improvement if you get an audio interface instead of plugging in to the Mac's input. For this application, check out the Presonus Firestudio, or one of Focusrites interfaces that will have 6 or more inputs (you might want to get more mics in the future). Another option would be to track each instrument separately into Garageband. Takes more work, but will yield higher quality results. You could mic the drums with all 5 mics (kick, snare, rack toms, floor tom, overhead) and you could do a stereo setup on the amps (one towards the center of the speaker, and one closer to the edge). Some things to think about. Ideally, you should get more mics and an interface, but these should be some decent solutions without spending much (or any) money. Hope this helps.
  3. qowenp

    qowenp Active Member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks a lot for that reply, it was very helpful! We have tried tracking the recording, but often we end up out of sync and although the individual instruments sound better, the tracking process usually yields un-synchronised results.

    If anybody has any tips for multitracking, or just improving a live recording that would be great. I will look at getting an input for the mac, as it will get plenty of use.

    The mixer we use is a Phonic Powerpod 1860 II, if that helps.

  4. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    A very simple way to record your rehearsals is to use one LD mic placed in the center of the room. It will give you a good representation of how you actually blend together.

    My band recorded all our rehearsals with a single LD mic. I had to practice to find the best location for the mic where it picked up drums, guitar cabs, bass cab and PA in a balanced way, but the recordings sounded a lot like early Ray Charles recordings..where that's exactly what they did.

    Individual micing each instrument won't really give you an idea of what your band sounds like live.

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