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studio gaffes #3000936 07/29/19 08:48 PM
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matthew mcglynn Offline OP
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I think it would be fun to collect studio gaffes. Recording is complex, and we all start from zero and figure it out as we go. We're bound to fail sometimes.

Here's one that I just discovered recently when reading some old session notes from 10+ years ago. The note said "Audix D1 under the snare -- facing exactly away from the kick drum to help isolate the snare signal." That's a gaffe because the D1 has a hypercardioid polar pattern. What I apparently didn't understand at the time is that the HC pattern is essentially like a baby figure-8. Hypercardioid mics pick up more sound at 180 degrees than Cardioid mics do. That means that facing the mic "exactly away" from the kick drum was the *worst* way to minimize the kick drum sound in the bottom snare mic. (The nulls on most HC pattern mics are usually about 30 degrees off that rear center point.)

Too esoteric? I guess I could share the time I tried to re-amp a snare drum... put the studio monitor on top of the snare, pointing down, with a mic underneath the drum pointing up. I thought I'd play back my pre-recorded snare track and try to record some snare response because I hadn't tracked a bottom snare mic originally. No problem at all... except the mic's output wasn't muted in the DAW. The mic was playing back through the speaker on top of the drum. The feedback was horrific, for about half a second. And then the mic died. Not kidding. That was a $250 mistake. But the sort of mistake you only make once. laugh

Anyone else willing to admit a mistake from a past session? No judgments here -- I've made plenty.


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Re: studio gaffes [Re: matthew mcglynn] #3000945 07/29/19 09:18 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Originally Posted by matthew mcglynn
I guess I could share the time I tried to re-amp a snare drum...

Wow - I've never even thought of doing that. What sort of effect were you hoping to get? idk

Quote
I put the studio monitor on top of the snare, pointing down

What kind of monitor? Would have to be a small one, I would guess...suspended how?

Quote
with a mic underneath the drum pointing up. I thought I'd play back my pre-recorded snare track and try to record some snare response because I hadn't tracked a bottom snare mic originally. No problem at all... except the mic's output wasn't muted in the DAW. The mic was playing back through the speaker on top of the drum. The feedback was horrific, for about half a second. And then the mic died. Not kidding.

What made the mic die?

dB

Re: studio gaffes [Re: matthew mcglynn] #3001051 07/30/19 03:28 PM
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Eberly Studios Offline
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Rough day on a 32 track live sound + on site recording of a 3 hour musical. 7 piece band with something around 16 wireless lavs for the actors. Set up the session, looked at my meters & recorded 2 shows in a row.

Everything seemed to go perfectly until I went back to the studio & listened--and immediately freaked out.

Somehow I reassigned the snare input to 2 tracks, and the kick to 0. I have no idea how I didn't notice it.

Luckily I saved my ass by using the kick bleed in the snare track to re-trigger with a new kick sample. Took a while to fix, and the client never knew--but man, I felt like an idiot.


Mike @ Eberly
Re: studio gaffes [Re: matthew mcglynn] #3001073 07/30/19 05:43 PM
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Brian McConnon Offline
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A good idea gone wrong:

Fresh out of college I was interning at a studio that had a courtyard in the center of the building it was in. I thought it would be cool to record drums in it to capture the reverb sound. The engineer says "OK, if you wanna set it all up, we'll give it a try". Next day I come in early and set up the kit, run cable, test mics and placements - running back and forth like a maniac while a friend of mine (not a drummer) tries to help me get sounds.

Then... it starts raining. Then it pours! I was so wrapped up in it I hadn't noticed the weather getting worse. Soaked kit, soaked mics, soaked headphones/amp, everything. The drummer and the engineer were pissed!


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