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#2467963 - 02/02/13 04:34 PM Live studio recording levels
stevie b Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 543
Loc: Virginia
Quote from Griff in other thread on limitations;
As a matter of habit these days, when I'm working with my own band, I record the full band live with whatever I have available in the way of mics, crap or not.

Why? Each time, I learn more about controlling bleed, about mic positions that maximize one instrument to the exclusion of others directly nearby, not to mention forcing the band to have pristine interactive timing. End quote



So how good does the bands levels need to be for good live studio recording?

We did our first CD with separate takes on most instruments. We lost some cohesiveness and energy taking this route.

This time around we are planning to do it all live. All instruments and vocals will be routed to the board. The only sound in the room will be drums. Everyone will wear headphones with independent mixes.
The drums will be behind a shield, but will still be bleeding into vocal mics.
I hope this will still leave us the ability to overdub vocals if necessary. I believe the pressure is on the drummer since he needs the perfect take.

We have been practicing the songs and making a rough recording with a couple ambient mics while doing so. I have noticed the drums and one guitarist a louder than the others.
How critical will even volumes be when we begin recording this way?
All parts will be tracked separately and inputs levels can be adjusted accordingly.


Edited by stevie b (02/02/13 04:35 PM)

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#2469933 - 02/08/13 03:36 PM Re: Live studio recording levels [Re: stevie b]
stevie b Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 543
Loc: Virginia
Let me use another approach to the question.

Does anyone have any suggestions for recording the band as a whole in a practice room (20' x 15' L shape)
I'm thinkimg all headphones. Keys, Vocals, and Bass direct.
Drums Live using enhanced Recorder Man technique.
The 2 guitars are probably my biggest question. They like it loud, but neither is a Jimmi or Stevie Ray as far as using the amp as an essential part of thier tone.
I'm not sure it it will be better to record them direct and use re-amping or software such as amplitude, or risk bleed over into live drum and vocal mics?
Any Suggestions?

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#2470008 - 02/09/13 06:27 AM Re: Live studio recording levels [Re: stevie b]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Trying to figure out how this one slipped under my radar for a week.

I would run the guitars at the lowest level possible to be audible to the rest of the band and mic the cabinets. This is what I did with our full-band take, and it played out beautifully. I'd go direct in with the bass along with very low room volume. Vocalist can either sit out or, if you need the vocal to keep track of your position in the song, you can have them sing with just enough amplification to be heard.

Our vocalist in that cover band had such a powerful voice she needed no amplification at all - she even could be heard very dimly in the background of the drum mics.

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#2472900 - 02/20/13 11:02 AM Re: Live studio recording levels [Re: Griffinator]
Russkull Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 648
Loc: So Cal
Stevie, I'm interpreting that you're looking at two choices:

1. Everyone wears headphones and goes direct, or
2. Everyone wears headphones and only the guitar amps (and drums) aren't direct.

Griff's idea is good. For me, I'd lean toward your thought of recording them direct - just because everyone is wearing headphones anyway, and as you said the amps aren't an integral part of the guitarists' sound.

Another option if they don't like going direct is to put the amps out in a hall or in another room and mic them there. Barring that, stick them in the corner of your L shape and/or use gobo panels or something similar to wall them off. You'd get a little room volume but that might make it more manageable.
_________________________
"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug

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#2472999 - 02/20/13 04:36 PM Re: Live studio recording levels [Re: Russkull]
stevie b Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 543
Loc: Virginia
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I'm leaning towards mostly direct. We have an adjacent room with a door. I'll probably stick the lead G amp in there.
The other guitarist has too much of an amp for the purpose and states he can only turn it to 1 on a normal night.
I'm considering using a direct box with a preamp to the board for him. I've tried direct, but not much level to work with that way.
I need to check his amp and see if there's a pre output.

The lead guitarist convinced the drummer to buy one of those plexiglass isolation pannels, but I'm concerned that the sound reflection may be a problem.
Since He will be the only sound in the room I don't see the need for isolation.
We are still finalizing the song structures , so I'll try a couple different approaches while we are working on details.


Edited by stevie b (02/20/13 04:38 PM)

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#2473056 - 02/21/13 04:19 AM Re: Live studio recording levels [Re: stevie b]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Experimentation is definitely your best friend. smile

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