Recording practice studio

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by kpgalligan, May 1, 2009.

  1. kpgalligan

    kpgalligan Guest

    Here's the deal. I've found other posts about this, but I can't really get a clear answer.

    I have a practice studio. Medium sized. I guess 300-400 square feet. We share with other bands, but we're holding the lease, so we can take some "liberties". What I'd like to do is set up a few mics around the room to get a decent recording of sessions. Between what I get with a handheld digital and what you'd get in an actual recording studio. By that I mean good enough that you could maybe use it for a demo, but not much more than that.

    On one wall we have the drums. Bass and guitars are sort of strewn around that. Singer is a little farther off. The layout could be changed if needed. There's also the extreme possibility of isolating the drums in a different corner and building walls, but that's probably more than I'd be interested in (unless we could swing pretty decent quality records, but I don't think we're there yet).

    One possibility would be to hang something over the drums to get a halfway decent recording of them, mic the guitars. Bass and singer right into the PA (and out to whatever is recording). Another option, if it would produce even a passable recording, would be just a few mics placed around the room.

    Any thoughts? A good link to previous discussions? I can put a little money into this, if its worth it. Just want some feed back.

    I have a few computers available. I'd probably use a laptop, just to save space.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. kpgalligan

    kpgalligan Guest

    PS. Could also lay out vocals after the band plays...
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    This is the way most records were made up to the early/mid 60's. There are a lot of ways ot go with this. All depends on the room, the band, the instrumentation. I'm going to assume fairly loud bands.

    My one big idea: go mono. If the bands are loud, there is no isolation. There is (probably) no good place in the room where there is a good stereo image. To hell with it. Louis Armstrong didn't need no stinkin' stereo. Frank Sinatra didn't need no stinkin' stereo. Chuck Berry didn't need no stinkin' stereo. The Beatles didn't need no stinkin' stereo. All of a sudden the problems of this 20X20 room just got a lot easier.

    I'd get a couple of omni mics ( Rode NT55s if you are on a budget) and a big bog o' sm57s. Put an omni over the drums. One to get another good overall sound. Then close mic as much as you have 57s and mixer inputs for. Close mic the snare and kick. Close mic the guitar cabs. Take direct feeds of the bass and vocals.

    If you don't have enough inputs to your recorder, put the mics into a mixer and use the aux outs to get submixes of the guitars, drums, vocals. Again, mono makes life a lot easier.

    Again, this suggestion is based on a lot of completely unjustified assumptions. But at least it is something to think about.
  4. kpgalligan

    kpgalligan Guest

    That's exactly the kind of response I'm looking for. I have no problems with mono. To be honest, I couldn't care less about stereo. I imagine the majority of times this will be heard will be in the local dive bar off the drummers ipod.

    Yes. Loud. For sure.

    Thanks for the input. I'll take a look at the list of gear and do some pricing.
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Great post Bob.
    Any other solutions would require a great deal more work and much less certainty of results, IMO.

    The only thing I can add is this:
    If you're doing a "demo" try running the same setup at a live gig where you'll have a decent crowd. When you hand an owner / booking guy a CD, he wants to know you'll help sell his alcohol. Hearing you live with a lively crowd goes a long way.
    Use that 2nd omni as a room mic to capture the crowd and the space.
    At the least, use an omni in the room.
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