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Recording live acoustic band
Old 27th February 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Recording live acoustic band

Hi

I am going to record 2 sessions mainly live on a the studio.It´s not a very good room but I would like to get suggestions an experiences from other people. We talk about folk music...violin, pipes, percussion (maybe some drums as well), whistles, guitar,bass...


PLease post some comments

ctmix
Old 27th February 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I would suggest that you have two approaches to take - the first is to accept the fact that you won't do any overdubs, punch-ins, or other fixes and record the whole band without using any headphones. In other words, set them up in the room and let them play as they normally do - what you'll get will be pretty much what you'll get. You can record them either with multiple mics like a normal session but accept the bleed as part of the sound, or you can go for the sound of the group with a stereo pair, possibly augmented by some spot mics.

The second approach would be to isolate each player as much as you can with gobos, cases, taking instruments direct etc., and hope that there's enough isolation to be able to work with individual tracks.

I've done both, and while I personally prefer the first method to the second, you can get good results either way.
Old 27th February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I had a session yesterday of something like that. I used a stereo room mic (Soundfield) and had some B&Ks, 184, 414s and a U87. We let the musicians get comfortable and then kind of treated it like we would a small orchestra. In other words, placed the mics maybe five or more feet away from the instruments. You will find some instruments are just not loud enough in the room so move some mics in closer. We had two flutes and a piano accordion which were very quiet.
We also had a kit which started out behind the rest of the players (who were more or less in a straight line). It sounded great but the drummer was unhappy because he felt he could not play loud enough. So in to an iso booth he went. So beware of the drums!

What kind of folk band is it you are recording?

DW
Old 27th February 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Good suggestions from Dave. He posted while I was still typing. I took it for granted that you were going for a live take of the whole band. Certainly was my first instinct. No headphones unless the drummer requests more of the band (which he may well do, especially if he is isolated).
Old 27th February 2003
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I agree with you, the fresh approach without headphones. Besides, the studio has a small room and one smallest iso booth (maybe good for the drummer as you said with your session beech.
I had though about dave first suggestion thanks it confirms my instincts as well. The iso is very small but I could put the drummer there if he needs to play louder as beech said.

ctmix
Old 27th February 2003
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Beech I will rec a more traditional band (whistles, pipes, percussion, sax violin ) and another one more electronic oriented with drum ,Keyb, elect gtr.The latest more complicated to rec live as we commented before.Anyway I could also split this latest band between (drums,bass,gtr,keys and add the more traditional elements later on a second pass because of the room limitis.
what do you think?
Old 27th February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Well ctmix, it's difficult to say, without knowing some detail; like, do the band all know the song. Even if they do, I'd probably try and capture the 'rock' section with a guide (or scratch as they say in US) from the traditional elements. It won't really matter if it's only a guide, you could put some or all of them into your small iso room, or even halls, control room...anywhere you can. As long as you get a vibe going. I hope I understood your question .

DW
Old 28th February 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Split recording

That´s the way I think, I will try to rec some guide (split recording as you said)after that I will record the other musicians.However, not everyone has got studio experience, and you know how difficult can be... I can not imagine a total live rec as I though in this case.

A last notice, One of the bands has scheduled the session without the drummer(I hope this is a joke!).

ctmix
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