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Recording rehearsals


Phil UK

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Hi! Not a specific keyboard related question but has anyone got any advice as to the best and simplest way to record a rehearsal? We're not likely to keep what we record - we just want to be able to play something back that clearly separates instruments so that we can work on arrangements etc. I'm thinking maybe a Zoom or something similar? Any advice gratefully received!
Nord Electro 4D, Roland VR09, Roland RD-300SX
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I have been using this for a few years. My bandmates love it as I upload the sound files to dropbox and send them weekly links to listen. This is the entry level model. I'm sure the more expensive stuff sounds better.

 

It's easy as anything to use; I just plunk it on a table and set the recording level once at the beginning while everyone else plays. I then don't have to touch it for the rest of the session unless I want to split up all the songs into separate files in which case I just have to press start/stop.

 

http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/h1/

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I've been using a Zoom H2N for a couple of years now with great success. Turn it on, check the level and hit go. Normally I just put it across the room facing the band and let it run. The sound quality is great, even at high levels, and very detailed. I've recorded practices, demos and the odd bit of foley with it, and if I had a stand and some time to place it probably, could probably record a whole drum kit with it. Easily my favourite bit of gear, bar none!

 

As far as separation of instruments goes, that's up to you unfortunately. The H2N has plenty of detail, but if you haven't got the arrangements and balance of parts right, you'll know about it! Fortunately most recorders have a headphone jack to listen back to recordings, so fixing things on the fly is straightforward.

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Yeah, I've been using a Zoom H2 for this kind of thing for years. I also sometimes use it to record the actual gig as well.

 

Separation is going to depend upon the position of the recorder and how clearly each instrument can be heard. If you can hear it with your ears, you should be okay.

 

Afterwards, I use an audio editor on my computer to edit the one file into separate songs if I wish.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Afterwards, I use an audio editor on my computer to edit the one file into separate songs if I wish.

 

Which, after a 4-hour practice is usually abut 15 minutes of useful material, 30 minutes of blues jams/ambient textures, and the rest of the time arguing about Genesis/King Crimson/Marillion and bitching about the other bands we play in...

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We put everything through the mixer, so I recorded from that.

 

The balance wasn't perfect, but it was simple and easy.

 

The Zoom thing is probably a better alternative.

 

Nevertheless, for me, recording rehearsals is mandatory. If you go home and practice to these recordings, you are usually able to learn your parts much more quickly.

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I use a Zoom Q3HD with a 32GB SD card. Works great! The sound is excellent. Its cheap too, my niece gave it to me for Christmas 2 years ago. Its been very useful!

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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H4N allows 4 channel recording, which I have used with success in rehearsal to bring in a drum submix and direct keyboard channels, along with the stereo ambient mics.

Moe

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"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I use the H1 to record both rehearsals and gigs. At CD wav quality you get 3 hours recording time. Endorse the comments above regarding quality etc with one caveat, unlike a multi micced recording the loudest sound in the same frequency drowns out other sounds in the same frequency range.

 

Where this can be a problem is with bass and drums. If the bass plays a run each time a note is the same frequency range as the kick drum, in our case at least, where the drums are the loudest instrument in the rehearsal room, only the kick gets recorded.

 

To mitigate this I manually set the record level well below the level where the built-in limiter kicks in and then compress the track in Audacity to bring it up in volume.

 

In my experience this works well when working with wav files, not so well if the original is recorded as an mp3.

MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Thanks. I agree: being able to play back at home over a rehearsal is really useful. Our live arrangements are quite different to the band's studio recording anyway. I've tended to just use my iPhone: only average quality but good enough to play back in the car and at least think about my parts etc.
Nord Electro 4D, Roland VR09, Roland RD-300SX
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I use the Zoom H4n. I've recently got some really great recordings at gigs by taking a stereo feed off the sound board, plus stereo recording from the built in mic. I mix the two recordings it together in logic and it sounds great. It doesn't even seem to matter where the unit is placed -- just having that room ambience to add to the board mix makes everything come alive.

 

 

Yamaha YC-73, Roland Fantom 7, Korg Kronos 2-73, Roland RD-2000, Nord Stage 3 Compact, Hammond SK-Pro 73, Mainstage w/ Arturia Keylab 61 mkii, Yamaha U1 Upright

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I currently use a Tascam DR-07 Mk ii on a camera tripod when I need to record rehearsals or gigs.

 

Instrument separation - the Zoom R16 might work for you. It'll capture eight tracks simultaneously. You'll need to mic or DI each channel though.

 

I'd used a Zoom H2 in the past too - good results with it just pointing across the space at the musicians.

 

Also used an iPhone. It worked fine.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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H4N allows 4 channel recording, which I have used with success in rehearsal to bring in a drum submix and direct keyboard channels, along with the stereo ambient mics.
I got a Tascam DR-40, which is comparable to the H4N but cheaper.

 

The Tascam (and probably the H4N) has a nifty feature. Since it can record 4 channels, when I'm just recording stereo, I can record two channels normally and the other two from the same mics but at a lower level. This has saved some recordings.

 

A bandmate has the H4 (which can't record 4 channels at once). I've compared recordings and they're indistinguishable as far as I can tell.

 

The one feature the Tascam should have but doesn't is a built-in SPL meter. (I don't think the Zoom has that either.) Silly that they'd leave it out!

 

Here's a good review:

 

http://mikeriversaudio.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/tascam_dr-40_review_mr_final.pdf

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That looks like the best bet for low cost, if you don't need any fancy features.

 

The H4N is probably the best for a musician or singer/songwriter who wants to use something like this as a little 4-track recorder for recording ideas on the road (in addition to being a great live music recorder, like the DR-40.) The DR-40 lets you do sound-on-sound, but each track you add is stereo, and you mix as you go by bouncing. The H4N, on the other hand (and also the H4, I believe) allows you to record 4 independent mono tracks and then bounce them (to mono or stereo), after which you can add 2 or 3 more tracks.

 

Personally, I'd rather use something like an iPad for that, which I think is now possible. Or a laptop. But if you want a little 4-track recorder, the H4N is clearly the best bet. The H4N also has an input you could plug an electric guitar into, and has some amp/cab modeling.

 

The DR-40 is a bit smaller and lighter than the H4N, and a bit cheaper, with similar sound quality.

 

No doubt there are other good options. I believe Sony has some entries in the field, at higher price points.

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