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What would you do? (live recording question)
Old 26th October 2002
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
What would you do? (live recording question)

Here's the setup:
Small club. Punk band. 4 piece. I want to do a multitrack live recording. Nothing fancy. Decent quality will do. This isn't coming out on Universal, or anything. Just trying to get the hang of live recording.
The house has a small mixer (Mackie type thing). All instruments miked. I know the soundman and he is cooperative.
I have a DPS16. 10 tracks hard disc standalone. My own set of mics, if I need them. A Mackie 1604 vlzpro if I need it. And all of that stuff.
How would you pros do this? I don't want to put any money into the project. So renting a mic splitter is out (if I could even find one).
Old 27th October 2002
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Well Sam,

I have a few questions to ask you, for a perfect answer, but let's see if I can guess this one out...

Four piece punk band -- drums, bass, two guitars, one vocal, right?
Based on that line up and since you only have ten tracks, here's my take on it.

Drums: kick, snare and two overheads (positioned for a full drum kit sound or submix a few mics on your sMackie)

Bass: One DI, since you only have ten tracks. I would go with an additional bass amp mic but ... you know, only 10 tracks of simultaneous recording.

SR GTR.: one mic

SL GTR: one mic

Vocal: obviously one mic

Audience: two room mics (positioned for maximum audience sound or submix front and rear room mics on your sMackie)

That should get you hanging pretty good in the live recording department.

Well, if you have to use the club's sMackie, use the direct out/inserts and patch them directly into your DSP16. Not knowing which sMackie the club has makes this a guess, but you got the picture.

Good to hear you got a cooperative soundman. That's key when you're using the club's stuff!

Your own set of mics, may come in handy if you don't like what the club has to offer. Use your sMackie 1604vlzpro in this case. The first 8 direct/inserts can go to the DSP16. The other mics can be mixed and sent to the HD via the two stereo buss. If you got to mix more mics, IE: more drum mics or more room mics, etc., use the those four busses for that.

You may want to try using a combination of your mics and the club's mics via direct or mixed feeds from the soundguy's board. If so, make sure you're plug into the same power source as the PA. Also, bring plenty of cheater plugs, like AC and XLR ground lifters. Especially since you don't want to use a real mic splitter.

See if you can borrow another mixer, so you can monitor the output of the HD. Or get a killer headphone amp so you can hear the DSP16 directly. This is a very important thing to have. Confidence is a beautiful thing in a live (one shot deal) recording session. Hey, if everything is cool with taking the club's direct feeds, you could use youe sMaclie for the monitor mix and just submix the audience mics to the HD. You should have plenty of inputs for that.

I know you don't want to put any money into the project, but a $20 -- $30 (8 or 16 ch.) mic splitter rental will help you, big time, in the long run.

Hey, if you got the time and the sound guy is cool about it, maybe you can get there early and test the various options out before the band gets there and soundcheck begins. You don't want to be knee deep in cables during soundcheck!

Bang for buck, the Akai DSP16 is a pretty cool box. Evaluate your options and you will win big time.

I hope this helped and good luck.
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