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Author Topic: recording all at once for live feel...  (Read 3034 times)

Rob Darling

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Re: recording all at once for live feel...
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2005, 09:04:58 AM »

The hard thing is that instruments, across the board, have been in loudness wars for 50 years now, and it's hard to really get a bunch of instruments to sound great in a room together because they're so friggin loud.  I don't know about anyone else, but while I love the engergy, I can't say I remember ever thinking a full modern rock band sounded great in a studio.  I'm sure that making a Tom Petty or Bob Dylan volume could be fine, but anything north of that, energy-wise, is just too much volume for any room that won't be too long for rock tempo.

The thing I've done a couple of times that I LOVE is putting the band in the room with the amps isolated, but giving the band wedges.  It gives them all the energy of the live thing, but with a much more controlled sound in the room.  I highly recommend it.
rob darling

Weird Geoff

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Re: recording all at once for live feel...
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2005, 09:41:01 AM »

great point Rob..you have to be dealing with the right room and instruments and volumes as well as players to get decent results..

If everyone refused to multitrack and only do things live in the studio, would the bands go back to focusing on their own performances and natural sound? and would that make music "better" somehow? I dunno..probably not..maybe..its an interesting thing to think about..


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Re: recording all at once for live feel...
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2005, 09:50:07 AM »

every time i actually track a record i never have a problem getting a band to tweak their amps.  at a live show bands are very unwilling (me included) to touch their amps.  in the studio, i have yet to run into any attitude about that.

and with particular topic, every band i've recorded like this has been great about controling their amps and creating on big sound that works together.

i think a lot of it is focused around ear plugs.  it's hard to dial in the level of your amp with ear plugs in.  you can't hear any of the high end, you don't know how your amp is cutting through with the cymbals.  you have to take the plugs out, set your amp up, and put the plugs back in.  i watch guys tweak the EQ on their amps with plugs in standing up.  what good is that?  

A.  you can't hear your tone when the 4x12 is hitting you in the knees.

B.  with your plugs in it's even worse.


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Re: recording all at once for live feel...
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2005, 02:33:48 AM »

Recording equipment in the room with the band except the example in my house

The best recording I ever did was all in one room live.  It was a quintet: drums, bass, keys, guitar and voice.  4 mics on the drums.  Bass was miced only.  I think I ran the keys in stereo direct, but unbeknownst to me the guy had speakers built into the board and that sound bled onto the drum overheads too. We did overdub the voice.  There was tons of bleed on every track and it didn't seem to matter.  I made little or no effort to isolate anything except the bass.  I put the guy's amp behind a couch in the room.  This group was composed of great players.  We tried guitar overdubs but they didn't work because there was so much bleed in the OH.

I also did a heavy metal band this way.  Lined up the bassist, drummer and two guitarists in a straight line with their amps facing forward.  I put the singer opposite the band with her mic facing away from them.  It was so loud that even with pro hearing protection I could feel my eardrums vibrating.  The bleed was insane, but we went with it and didn't even use the vocals we tried to overdub.  The client loved it.  Told me it was the best recording they'd ever done (and they've been around for 20 years).

Other times I've had problems.  Too much undesireable bleed in the overheads, bass mics and kick mics.  You can always try to gate the kick and snare some.  If you have a good device that's sensitive enough it will help.

If you want to capture the whole band live and you don't isolate, everyone has to nail it, obviously (except maybe the singer if they're willing to overdub).

I have the luxury of occasionally recording in my house.   I put the drummer in the living room facing the back of the house.  The bass amp goes in the hallway facing the back.  The guitar amp goes in the dining room facing the back.  Sometimes we treat everything but the drums as a scratch track (turn the amps down low and crank them up in the headphones).  Other times we just let it rip and deal with the bleed.  Covering the kick drum & mic with blankets seems to help some.  I'll build little "boxes" made of furniture cushions around the guitar amp.  The bass doesn't seem to bleed enough to be a problem with a set up like this.

The biggest challenge seems to be avoiding a general low/low mid murkiness that tends to pervade all the tracks if you're not careful.


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Re: recording all at once for live feel...
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2005, 07:40:56 AM »

Getting the overheads to work is the problem every time.

When it hits perfectly, the guitar bleed is perfect ambiance, and not "smear". Another way to approach it is to listen to the guitar bleed through the overheads and move the amp around until you like it. Then close mic the amp to complement that.
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