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One room for all, band and engineer
Old 6th February 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
One room for all, band and engineer

First of all, please forgive my english

A friend of mine is building a semiprofesional studio, with a nice budget of money in equipment...

But he wants to make just one room, for recording and mixing and everything...
I mean the sound guy is in the same room with an icon with the band,

have you seen that??? Im asking if you saw that in a prof studio,

He works so much making dubbing for films and wants to be in the same room cuz blablabla, I say we are in the 21st century and we created the TALKBACK

but he still prefer one huge room instead of something smaller,

So it means that is imposible to put a gate on drums before you push rec, am I wrong??? or compress well before tracking

please tell me more pros(if any) and cons about it, Im thinking I need to become a true master dealing with leakage....

thanks
Old 6th February 2009
  #2
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
1. never gate drums when recording. Daft idea. Gates are for latyer - if at all.

2. yes - stupid idea. Okay for some genres, but for many - you need to listen to mic's through speakers as you move them around..... unless he's so sure of what he's doing.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
cheers narco,

sure, you re right, you should gate after, I ment drum phase check,
you can do it in the same room??? maybe with headphones???
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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taturana's Avatar
 
12 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like to work in the same room with bands... sometimes... it's good to be in the same room...

get yourself some extreme isolation headphones and go for it...

if the room is big enough... you can even work with speakers in low volume... if you position the speakers, the band and the mics accordingly... i normally only do basic eq... no comp or gate (as i don't trust phones for compressor settings) and track at low levels.

in a small room... well it's going to be hard... but it can sound surprisingly good sometimes...

make some isolation stands if you want more isolation..
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogica ➑️
cheers narco,

sure, you re right, you should gate after, I ment drum phase check,
you can do it in the same room??? maybe with headphones???
yes and no. Checking how things "sound" is even more important - best to hear it on speakers.

Yes it's great to be in the room - and when I'm recording - once I've got the sounds together - i go into the room and sit with a remote.... more fun. However - you just can't do the job properly at loud volume all day - and it's LOUD in the recording room. Headphones? no - just not workable for serious work.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
thanks narco,

no more experiences with this???

How can I solve phase problems before tracking ???
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
there was a studio in brooklyn that had this set-up. about 4 years ago, cowgirl something? rodeo?
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogica ➑️
thanks narco,

no more experiences with this???

How can I solve phase problems before tracking ???
I think solving phase issues is easy - just track a little and check it out and use a bit of common sense. Where the problem lies is in useful feedback (not sonic!!) and objectivity in recording. It's just very hard to do at volume. If the recorded music isn't loud then you can be a bit more "on it"..... It's fun, certainly - and I've recorded at Mad Dog in LA before they lost half the rooms, and that was a cool vintage one room set up if you wanted it - but it's just hard work with acts.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Deleted 2848499
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I had to steal this from another thread. (sorry to original poster)



This is George Massenburg working in his room, which also has an icon. (Blackbird Studio C) Obviously he is a genius, and one of if not THE most prolific engineers alive, but just wanted to show that there's more than one way of doing things. Of course, this type of music calls for this sort of thing though...
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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bobsandifer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
WOW what great find...
Im no George Massenburg but this is the way I have always recorded bluegrass or small indie bands. The control room at my home studio sounds amazing. Why not use it.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiZKiD ➑️
I had to steal this from another thread. (sorry to original poster)



This is George Massenburg working in his room, which also has an icon. (Blackbird Studio C) Obviously he is a genius, and one of if not THE most prolific engineers alive, but just wanted to show that there's more than one way of doing things. Of course, this type of music calls for this sort of thing though...
entirely suitable for that kind of work. Try doing a heavy rock outfit that way though ! ouch!

GM also gets world class clients - many of us don't!
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
jonsays's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Beautiful -- If I'm not mistaken, isn't this how Gillian Welch's Time (The Revelator) album was done? Mostly in one room?
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Check out Real World Studios in the main room, and Rogue studios in Toronto. Real world is a little different because that control room is HUGE, but the new Rogue is a smaller room and James does just fine. I've heard some great stuff come out of there. On the other hand, he does have some ISO booths for amp separation.

Edit:
Old thread wow, just saw the date, ah well.
Old 23rd October 2009
  #14
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Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Eddy Offord (producer for Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer) worked that way,
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
lobsty's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's funny, "the all in one room" approach sounds like bad news to me in theory, but Nao Anzai used to have a setup like that in Melbourne and he did some really great sounding stuff... including some seriously loud and rocking bands too.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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dangoudie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"The best thing about having the console and the engineer next to the musicians is fast communication. It's nice to look at somebody in the eye and talk to them openly in the room. You can think of it like a well balanced band that doesn't rely heavily on stage monitoring. The more isolation you have the more people you need to monitor the situation and you just might waste a lot of time dealing with fundamentals." - Daniel Lanois (Brian Eno, Toto, U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan)

I know that Sting's place is the same and one of the places I work in also shares this setup. I think it is necessary to have a booth or two but there are massive benefits to being in the same room for a lot of scenarios. Acoustic guitars, bass, strings, vox... basically anything other than drums IMO.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Clueless's Avatar
James Taylor prefers the one-room layout, and used it to good effect for his "Covers" CD. I blogged my discussion with him about this.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm moving to a new room couple of months from now. I have two seperate rooms right now. The new tracking room is bigger. the mixing room is the same size as what I have.
I've expereienced mixing in different rooms. Even if it's an untreated room, larger rooms are so much better for mixing. In my small control room I always end up screwing things up. I always check in bigger rooms ( tracking room, friend's houses etc.).
In the new room I'm going to go all in one as well. That means that the MCI will be in the tracking room.
However, I will have a control room as well. A simple monitoring console, or just a daw and some speakers (and maybe outboard pre's and a compressor). It's all about proper routing and having a jh-24 remote in either room . This way I can listen in isolatation to what I'm recording or choose to be in the same room with the artist (which can be a very good thing production-wise) and have the benefits of mixing in a large room.
But this is all about being creative with the space you have. If space isn't an issue I would always build a seperate control room. If not only for the fact that being day in and day out in the same room with amps, drumkits or having to wear headphones the whole day cannot be healthy.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Stitch333's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This guy does the whole 'one room recording thing' to a Tee:
Nathaniel Kunkel: News
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Our studio has been up and running since 1985. It is an open concept studio. Some call it an open communication studio. We refer to our control 'area', not control 'room.' The control area is actually one foot below the level of the actual studio area. We sit behind the desk, and look slightly up at the performers. We also have totally separate lighting for the control and studio areas.

With quiet gear, we have found no sonic negatives to the situation. On the positive side, it makes for a friendly, informal feel to the studio, and keeps noise levels of the ubiquitous studio 'visitors' to an absolute minimum. It allows a small area, to seem much larger, sonically. The sound (air) waves do not know the difference between the control and studio areas. Ergo, we take advantage of both, for a more spacious sound.

We have had repeat customers who have told us that it is this 'atmosphere' of lack of separation between engineers, producers, and talent, that has partially drawn them back to us. This also works positively for us, in mix-mode. The larger, correctly treated combined studio/control area, has less acoustic challenges, than would a much smaller control room. We actually have one set of inexpensive Cambridge Soundworks home speakers mounted on the far wall of the studio, which gives us a good 'home stereo' reference - at the proper distance from the listener.

Good luck in your thought process.
Byll
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Cameron Johnson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
One of my best recordings (in my opinion! haha) was made whilst I sat in the same room as the band as they recorded. Mind you, it most certainly could have been a vibe thing, and the fact that it came together so smoothly and quickly could endorse that. However, I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of having one room for all.

Maybe Phil Bova will pop on and comment... his place has essentially one room, with a divider that partitions the room. It's a neat idea if you do want some isolation, but it also gives you the option of having everything in one room.

Cheers,
Cam
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
p_bro's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I do often work in a studio here in montreal wich has this kind of set-up, and most of the time, really love it, and the artists love it even more. The relation beetween the engineer, the producer and the musicians is really different when all in the same space, No chating behind the glass during takes, so no paranoΓ―a from the musicians, and the engineer and producer have to stay 100% on focus, since you're in the middle of the band and can't move or talk!
Of course it takes a little bit more time to set-up the sound, you have to take break to listen in the monitors often at the beginning of the session, but here again, since the musicians are with you, they get really involved in the process.
It reinforces the idea that everybody is working together and I think it's a big plus.
It's not for every project/band, but when it works it's really really cool.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Some good comments so far....and did want to note that there have been a few interesting threads regarding this on the forum if you search for them. There are benefits and drawbacks - and a need to adust to working this way. This includes becoming VERY familiar with how headphones translate. I had a pair of the Remote Audio isolation phones that offer incredible isolation...I swear it is like 50db or so. You could sit right in front of a raging guitar amp and move the mic around and clearly hear what the mic was hearing with little interference from the room. Arguably, this is quicker than going back and forth to a control room. Drums are a little trickier and usually require setting up mics...record a bit...listen. Repeat as necessary. There is an appeal to the flow and vibe of a 'one room' studio...and a certain simplicity that is refreshing. Yeah, I do it out of necessity - and have often longed for a nice control room, but I might do it the same way again even if I had a choice.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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BrandRecordingCo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Working in the same room as the band absolutely sucks. I've done it many times, and only because I had too. Even with Isolation headphones, you cannot truly hear whats going on. You need to be able to hear the source through speakers in a separate room while tracking. Drums are especially impossible to hear even with Iso headphones in the same room.

If he has the budget, tell him to build two rooms.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Santiago's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Someone already quoted producer Daniel Lanois, who has become of the great proponents of this way of working. Do a search on youtube using his name and you can see several of his "one room" studio set-ups

It should be remembered that you can often keep the noisiest sources (valve amps, bass) out of the way in isolation booths (or DI in the case of bass), while still having all the players in the same room, as long as they use headphones. Probably the band learning to play with headphones is a must for this type of approach, but it will be more versatile than having the whole band and their amps in the same t

Maybe in some cases you could also have a plexi-glass screen for the drummer (you may not want massive bleed from the drums on the vocal mic on every song, although in some cases it can be ok)
Old 23rd October 2009
  #26
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogica ➑️
First of all, please forgive my english

A friend of mine is building a semiprofesional studio, with a nice budget of money in equipment...

But he wants to make just one room, for recording and mixing and everything...
I mean the sound guy is in the same room with an icon with the band,

have you seen that??? Im asking if you saw that in a prof studio,

He works so much making dubbing for films and wants to be in the same room cuz blablabla, I say we are in the 21st century and we created the TALKBACK

but he still prefer one huge room instead of something smaller,

So it means that is imposible to put a gate on drums before you push rec, am I wrong??? or compress well before tracking

please tell me more pros(if any) and cons about it, Im thinking I need to become a true master dealing with leakage....

thanks
When I record a band, I`m in the room with them. However, when we`re getting sounds, you need to be in the control room making sure you get what you want. I have recorded in a one room setup but its more difficult and not very pleasant for the engineer. My advice to you is have your friend consider their long term goals. Some artists will not feel comfortable working like this so if he/she is planing on recording with others, their needs should be considered as well. Much success, post pix when complete.
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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DrFrankencopter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar ➑️
Working in the same room as the band absolutely sucks. I've done it many times, and only because I had too. Even with Isolation headphones, you cannot truly hear whats going on. You need to be able to hear the source through speakers in a separate room while tracking. Drums are especially impossible to hear even with Iso headphones in the same room.

If he has the budget, tell him to build two rooms.
I don't see the big deal. Even if you have a separate control room, when you listen to the drums, if you find a problem you need to go back into the live room, make an adjustment, and then back into the control room to hear the result. What's the difference between this and recording part of the performance, hitting play and listening back (you need a good mixer setup to prevent feedback on playback...but that can be worked out)...if you need to make a change, you're in the right room, and (likely) have a decent set of isolation phones to get you moving in the right direction. Pretty comparable to the two room approach IMO. Things would be faster with 2 rooms if you had a good assistant to move the mics though.

The other thing to consider is that big rooms sound better than small rooms. I'd by far much rather work one big room than 2 or more small/acoustically compromised smaller rooms. I only record my own band, and friends/acquaintances now...in a commercial setting I can see some advantage in getting away from the band. But in projects you're really interested in, you can't beat the communication and sense of 'oneness' by being in the middle of where the music is happening.

To each their own though....

Cheers

Kris
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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jproc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I hate separate rooms... my setup is all one big room... better interaction with the artists... less of a "performing in a fish bowl" feel for the artists as well... less running back and forth between rooms... less cabling...
also comes in really hand if you are recording yourself sometimes - no running back and forth to hit record...
get some good isolation headphones... make sure all of your equipment, especially computer system, are quiet enough or isolated enough to not be picked up in the mics.... learn to sit still and be silent during takes... get a good rubber foot mat to prevent the occasional foot tapping from bleeding into the mics...
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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mikecorwin's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Has anybody mentioned Ethan Johns yet?
Old 23rd October 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
ive worked like this doing vocals quite alot. sonically its great; but spending too much time in a room with a singer can be trying. .
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