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live to 2trk question
Old 13th February 2003
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar
🎧 15 years
live to 2trk question

Checked out a jazz combo tonight in the room where I may record them in the next couple of weeks. The core lineup includes a small drumset, acoustic bass, electric keys and vocals; but there are frequent guests sitting in, on almost every number. The small PA system only carries the vocals and electric keys. The drums and all horns are un-amplified. The acoustic bass and any guest guitarists play thru their own amps, but are not put through the PA system.

So, I've got vocals and keys in the PA, bass and guitar coming off their amps, and acoustic drums and horns. The overall volume level is moderate to low; the drummer has great control and a light touch. No one instrument seems overpowering; even while soloing, there didn't seem to be any serious "volume war" type problems. But the constant parade of guest horn and guitar players causes a unique problem that really screws with my stereo pair mic plan. The guest players position themselves all over the place and some casually stroll around as they play. I don't have to worry about them strolling "off-mic" as they aren't mic'd, but I can't imagine how all of this is going to sound through a simple XY stereo pair. Having a single horn player wander across the stereo soundstage might be weird and annoying, but it shouldn't cause any other problems. But when I have the stereo pair positioned on the center of the core instrumental trio, what happens when 2 horn players and a guitarist all set up far, far to the left of the existing band? Will the whole image shift so that the perceived "center" is now somewhere between the guests and the rhythm section? Or will the soundscape seem out of balance with a weak center and strong image hanging far off to the left?

Any suggestions on how to proceed with the limitation that this will be a simple XY stereo recording with NO spots?


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Old 13th February 2003
Lives for gear
bjornson's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Could you politely request that the traveling minstrels limit their movement to help the recording? besides the shifting stereo image, I'd be worried about the bodies moving directly in front of other instuments too, Changing the timbre at the microphone. On the plus side, you'd be representing whats actually happening on the stage.
Good Luck!
Old 13th February 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I totally agree. I couldn't have said it better!

But, good luck on trying to get them to stand still or minimize their movement.

I've been there and it sux. They always say, "sure thing, no problem." But, they forget and do their musician thing anyway...

That's show biz.
Old 18th February 2003
7rojo7's Avatar
🎧 15 years
multitrack and mix later. you're never going to hear what's goin on anyway. set up spots where you think you'll need them. you may want to take directs of the vocals, bass and keys. In mixing you may have to delay things around a bit but you can make a spetacular recording like this. do a google on Decca recording before you start.
stereo pair (which you may never use but it helps when you're panning and mixing), direct vocal, direct bass, direct keys, 3 spots where you want. That's 8 and easy. take everything flat, if you don't have to provide monitors for them you only have to worry about mic. position and level to "tape".
bon courage.
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