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Old 09-09-2013, 11:36 PM
joeguam joeguam is offline
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Default Best way to record a gig?

We have a gig coming up this weekend and I'm reaching out to get advice on the best way to record it. We'll be using the recording mostly for critiquing and improving, however, if we can get a good session of a song, we may also use it for a live demo recording.

It's a small martini bar venue so it's fairly intimate. The piano player will not go through the mixer and is just acoustic on a baby grand (which is more than sufficient for the room).

Should I just place a mic near the mains? In front of the stage?
What type of mic should I use, a dynamic (e.g. SM58) or a condenser (e.g. AKG Perception 220)?

Any info is greatly appreciated, thanks!

...
Joe
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:55 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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My band made a stage recording using the mixer and a laptop. We had microphones on everything plus an ambient mic out front, and mixed everything to a pair of the monitor sends and recorded that. The mix ended up a little strong on vocals, but sounded really good otherwise. Something like a Zoom would work really well too, if you can set it up out in the listening area.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:50 AM
Judson Judson is offline
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My Sampson Zoom Q3HD is compact, simple and does a pretty good all-around job on video and audio.

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Old 09-10-2013, 08:11 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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You haven't mentioned how you are doing the recording (stand-alone recorder or laptop and interface).
The trick will be to balance out the non-miced piano and vocals and instruments that are going through the sound system. A Zoom or mics set up in the optimal place in the room are your best bet, but unless you have a very quiet attentive audience, you are going to get the sounds of people talking, glasses clinking, etc.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeguam View Post
We have a gig coming up this weekend and I'm reaching out to get advice on the best way to record it. We'll be using the recording mostly for critiquing and improving, however, if we can get a good session of a song, we may also use it for a live demo recording.
Hi Joe...

Recording bands is a lot like photographing them. If you want great pics, hire a photographer with a good eye and great cameras/lenses. If you want snapshots have your friends shoot pics.

If you want a demo level recording, then hire it done. If you want snapshot recordings of the band, take a direct feed from the board, and just hand out the iPhones and collect the recordings later and put together something.

I'd find a local recordist who is skilled, and who has decent gear, and who understands what you want to do, and hire them. Give him/her access to the stage and board, and let them to worry about it. I'd plan on it taking one or two gigs for them to nail the process of capturing your sound.

There are plenty of $35-50 hr guys out there with decent gear.



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Old 09-10-2013, 09:54 AM
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My Sampson Zoom Q3HD is compact, simple and does a pretty good all-around job.
Joe,
Like you, we record ourselves strictly for the purpose of self-critique. We don't use monitors, so, we want to hear what the audience is hearing in terms of levels. I have an old Zoom H2 that we mount on a mic stand, push record, then wail away. It has proven more than adequate for this task.

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:03 AM
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My duo got a pretty decent sound recording once from the digital video camera we shot a gig with. It's nothing I would release commercially, but was more than adequate for a website upload and for critiquing. We just put it on a tripod out a few feet from the mains and hit "record."
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:45 AM
Hobo_King Hobo_King is offline
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For just a reference recording or a "by chance" usable demo a hand held is by far the easiest way to go either with the built in mics or some allow to use an outboard mic of better quality. When I want something of demo or live recording quality for my band, I use an 8 track hard disk recorder (Korg 888). I have an 8 channel short balanced cable snake and run anything going through the mixer directly into an individual channel. For the drums and bass which I don't run through our small PA I set up mics and run them directly to the recorder. If I have a channel left depending on how many people are playing that night, we have up to 8 people sometimes, I'll run a "room" mic as well. I mix all the tracks on lap top later.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:02 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is online now
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Small hand held digital recorder in the audience. My wife and i use a Tascam DR-7 for sound clips and it works great and is very easy to use as well.

The zoom stuff is great too.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:13 PM
Scotty12string Scotty12string is offline
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Zoom Q3HD -easy,compact, sound repro is incredible for such a small device, plus it records in HD video, great for live recordings, it automatically filters-out extraneous noise.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:13 PM
joeguam joeguam is offline
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Thank you everyone, so much, for the suggestions. I really appreciate it.

We need this mainly for self-critiquing, if a good recording comes out of it for a demo (i.e. potential customers or gigs), then that's icing on the cake. We're trying to save as much money as possible and use the equipment we already have until we have the funds to acquire more gear. In the event that we're going to actually cut a record, we'd definitely pay to do it professionally in the studio.

From what I gather, it seems like my challenge here is going to be mic placement in the room that will successfully record the following sounds evenly and balanced with as little audience clutter as possible:
- Voices out of the mains
- Guitar out of the mains
- Ukulele out of the mains
- Grand piano acoustically

Based on the gear that I already have, I think I'm going to use my AKG Perception 220 (which is what I use for recording in my home studio) and Logic Pro through a macbook. There's a small corner in the design of the building that is fairly equidistant between the left mains (all signals are mono, no stereo) and the open-lid-side of the piano. When I set the levels of the mix during sound check, the main goal is to level every other input to the acoustic level of the grand piano so that the audience hears everything in a perfect balance. So, I'm hoping that if I set the AKG in the corner, the reflections of the small corner will help to maintain a balanced recording between the mains and the piano. The audience chatter is not something we can control, but then again, this is not primarily intended for a cut recording, so we should be good.

Thanks everyone, really appreciate this and if I'm successful, I'll see if I can post something for you all to hear. I just didn't know if it would be better/easier/sufficient to recording directly out of the mixer board or do a mic in the audience. For our purposes, we really want to hear what the audience hears to fine-tune as best as we can. I know this will probably take 3 or 4 gigs of trial and prayer with the mic placement so we'll see how it goes, we could get luck in the first shot!

Cheers everyone, thanks again!

PS...Now I'm GAS'in for one of those Tascam recorders, haha!

...
Joe
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:30 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Mic the piano, use low output to the monitors for that input, record the stereo out from the mixer to the recorder.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:41 PM
chewie chewie is offline
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Get a gorilla tripod and ask the sound man to plug your handheld recorder into the desk via the line input and clip it with the the gorilla somewhere near him. Set it beforehand to record both the onboard mics and the Line channel if your recorder can do it, if not just go with which you want to hear back. Most sound guys will be happy to hit record for you. Take your own lead and adapter.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:59 PM
joeguam joeguam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
Mic the piano, use low output to the monitors for that input, record the stereo out from the mixer to the recorder.
This is a great idea, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this too. The room is real small and intimate that the grand piano is more than enough to fill the room and is actually perfect for the "high-end martini bar" setting/ambiance. Because of this, I thought mic'ing the piano would be overkill. But, if I take your suggestion a step further and mic the piano for recording purposes only, I could send the signal into Logic Pro only (and mute it to the mains) therefore recording the main outs of the mixer board altogether. This would even allow me to set a balanced mix in Logic Pro so that the the recorded levels are as best as can be.

Thanks for this suggestion, because this might work perfect for our self-critiquing needs. I just need to do some testing at home during our rehearsals to proof it out, but this would make it easier because we won't have to set up another mic in the audience. At some point, we'll still want to obtain an audience recording to hear what the audience hears, but that can be the next step.

Thanks again!

...
Joe
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:18 PM
gimme789 gimme789 is offline
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Zoom H2 all the way. If you want video also, Zoom Q3HD,
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