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First timer needing assistance

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First timer needing assistance

Postby Mujician » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi, I'm new to the world of sound recording. I've been getting to know Logic Pro X, and I have decided to get a Behringer x32 as an upgrade from my audio interface. I realise its not an interface per se, but it has the ability to be used as such.
What I need to learn is how to get people to hear things when they are recording. I have pretty much used my interface to record only me playing so I have used the headphones and its all very simple. However, if I was to set up mics in one room and have the mixer and computer on another room, how do I get enough headphones back to the musicians, and how do I route specific things like a click track to a conductor, or how do I give lots of bass guitar to a drummer etc? Many thanks
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:48 pm

Without trying to be facetious, you'll need to read the manual. With a digital desk like that pretty much any input or any collection of inputs can be routed to any output using the routing matrix. You'll need to work out what you need to do (draw it up on a bit of paper) and then configure the routing matrix to do that.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:49 pm

On an analogue desk you'd use the pre-fade aux to supply the cue mix. The full X32*, like most digital desks, names things slightly differently but it can provide up to 22 physical/analogue outputs which you can use to provide cue mixes to the musicians. That adds up to 22 separate mono mixes, 11 stereo or any combination.

I'm assuming this is for recording/tracking so to use these you will need headphone amps. The alternative (better?) solution would be to invest in Behringer's P16 system which provides an independent 16 channel cue system. Both methods will provide more than enough separate mixes for a typical rock band.

edit to highlight the following paragraph in the light of blinddrew's 'straight to the point' post :D :-

The first thing to do is to start getting familiar with the X32, there are countless routing options but it is highly unlikely it's features or sound quality will limit you.

You mention a conductor, are you recording an orchestra or big band? They will need a different approach to a rock band. A rock band will probably expect separate cue mixes for each musician, an orchestra/big band might only want headphones for the conductor and, maybe, soloists and drummer. To a great extent it will depend on how you record and your miking techniques (rock band, all close mics, orchestra, maybe a couple of stereo arrays).

Finally, is this going to be a commercial studio or location recording? Again

* FWIW I use an X32 Compact in the studio, before I retired from live sound I used the same desk plus an X32 Rack for my bigger gigs.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Mujician » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:11 pm

Thanks Sam, mobile/location recording. Yes - I'm a jack of all trades musically, classically trained, playing orchestras, and bands and everything in between. I'd like to stat offering recording to some of the outfits I play in.
I'm considering a headphone preamp - to give several outputs for monitoring. Obviously these won't be adjustable in terms of the mix in them. What kind of monitoring system would you recommend for giving an individual mix to everyones monitoring headphones?
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:36 pm

If using an X32 you have 22 mono mixes available, to get those to the musicians you'll need 22 headphone amps. But when are you going to need 22 separate mixes? If recording an acoustic ensemble with a stereo pair (or two) and, maybe, a few spot mics the musos won't need headphones, They'll be much happier hearing each other. The only time you'll need multiple cue mixes is when they can't hear each other whilst playing and TBH I doubt you'd get a performance worth preserving if that's the case.

Drew nailed it in a couple of sentences, I'll add "decide what you need (and orchestra don't need cue mixes, not even the conductor unless you are working to a click and that's hard unless the conductor is very experienced at doing it)"

Hopefully others with more experience in this will be along soon, my experience is mostly of live rock bands, if I was recording an orchestra I think the only cue mix I would provide would be talkback to the conductor but given my lack of experience there I wouldn't take that as definitive advice.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby CS70 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:58 pm

Mujician wrote:Thanks Sam, mobile/location recording. Yes - I'm a jack of all trades musically, classically trained, playing orchestras, and bands and everything in between. I'd like to stat offering recording to some of the outfits I play in.
I'm considering a headphone preamp - to give several outputs for monitoring. Obviously these won't be adjustable in terms of the mix in them. What kind of monitoring system would you recommend for giving an individual mix to everyones monitoring headphones?

Maybe you're asking how you can hear what's being recorded while the performer has his own cue? Usually you keep the "control room" headphone for yourself (the engineer) and you give a cue mix to the performer which is not necessarily the same as yours (for example you want to exclude effects so you hear the room/position effect on the microphone clearly etc).

As Sam said, with any given type of mixer/digital mixer/interface you need to find out how to route stuff to a specific output channel.

If you want to hear at any moment exactly what the performer hears or all performers being fed by the same channel then yeah a headphone amp can be a solution - but with digital desks usually you can do complex stuff like grouping controls, copy/paste, duplicated etc.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby The Elf » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:08 am

Mujician wrote:What kind of monitoring system would you recommend for giving an individual mix to everyones monitoring headphones?
As Sam already mentioned: https://www.behringer.com/Categories/Behringer/Signal-Processors/In-Ear-Monitoring/P16-M/p/P0421#googtrans(en|en)

I would also recommend the P16-D to save on daisy-chaining and separate PSUs: https://www.behringer.com/Categories/Behringer/Signal-Processors/In-Ear-Monitoring/P16-D/p/P0944#googtrans(en|en)
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Mujician » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:07 pm

So I'm getting mega confused about things right now. I'm not necessarily looking to record orchestras, this was merely an example to find out about how I would be able to get a feed of some kind to a conductor, or singer, or drummer or whatever. So someone I know has said I should look down the focusrite/scarlett avenue. This has at the most 18 channels, which arguably might be enough for me, however, I'd need to be spending more than a behringer x32 on the scarlett and the october to make up the total channels. I'm also not totally clear on the whole talkback, and headphone amp thing.

Here's what I'd like to be able to record.
- Rock bands from 3 members to 8 or so (ska and reggae) (including drum mics)
-Folk Bands. Again, from just a few members to potentially 8 or so including drum mics
-Classical soloists - instrument and piano
Instrumental groups - from string quartets to brass bands, and I'm asking if I can have a practice on my orchestra too. (when everyone is there, its a huge full symphony orchestra)
I know I'll need to learn various techniques for mic set up etc. and I'm happy to learn this - its the equipment side of things I'm struggling with. What I really want to do is future-proof myself against making lots of purchases. I don't wish to buy an interface that will accommodate the rock bands, then buy more stuff to accommodate the bigger groups.

I'm also baffled at the peripherals required like the p16-D, and the behringer 16 channel monitor. 16 channels to me says that 16 people can plug into it, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I'm happy with using logic pro and my USB interface, and I really want to step up my game. Apologies for the long post. Can anyone offer any advice on which gear route I should go down? Suggestions for my 'mobile studio' would be gratefully received. The main chunks of hardware - such as mixer/interface/talkback and headphone monitoring for 8 or so people (I have seem the Behringer HA8000 V2)

Many thanks again
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby The Elf » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:01 pm

Mujician wrote:I'm also baffled at the peripherals required like the p16-D, and the behringer 16 channel monitor. 16 channels to me says that 16 people can plug into it...
No! It means that 16 separate channels of audio can be passed to every connected P16 mixer (and you can potentially connect an awful lot of mixers - far more than 16!). These channels might be drums, bass, guitar, lead vocal, keyboards, etc. Each artist with a P16 mixer can create their own mix of these 16 audio channels.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:08 pm

One other approach would be to buy something that can be expanded later if needed. I'm going to suggest starting with an RME Digiface USB and a Behringer ADA8200 which will give you 8 inputs and 8 outputs. If you need more inputs and outputs you add another Behringer ADA8200 or, if you want slightly better quality you could go for one of the Focusrite or Audient 8 input preamps. You can use up to 32 inputs with each Digiface and, on the PC, you can use up to 3 of them together to give 96 input channels (the Mac probably doesn't have a limit). You can plug your headphone amp into the ADA8200 to give you a cue mix output and the RME Digiface includes their Totalmix software which allows you to set up cue mixes and talkback.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:13 pm

Also consider that you may well need fewer mics for brass bands and orchestras than for rock bands, mainly 'cos you'll probably use at least 7 or 8 on the drums (get into in and out kick mics top and bottom snare mics, room mics and close mics for every cymbal and you'll be up to 20 for the drums alone, then two on each guitar amp and a few keyboards and even an X32 is looking short of inputs). Acoustic ensembles like brass bands OTOH are usually recorded with a couple of pairs plus spot mics for soloists (not my area of expertise though so can't expand on that).

Also if you did try to close mic every instrument in a brass band (you might possibly do this for a big band jazz ensemble) you'd need a mic for every instrument, that starts getting expensive and you'll have most of them sitting in the locker much of the time so hiring for bigger channel counts makes a lot of sense.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Mujician » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:20 pm

James - could you tell me more about the RME usb method please. How would I set up talk back, how can I ensure a way to get some kind of mix back to the musicians?



Sam - thanks. Yes, I was aware that I would probably need less - but its the drums aspect I'm thinking of mostly. Especially if my folk band were to record. I think including 7 mics for drum kit we'd require about 14 XLR ins.
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:33 pm

The approach to recording these groups won’t be the same across the board (no pun intended).

Perhaps it’d be worthwhile picking one or two and learning about those first rather than trying an all encompassing learning curve?
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby Mujician » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:45 pm

Thanks Mr Reject, I want to future proof myself against the need to upgrade later. My intent is to practice at one of these disciplines first, and start to understand, however - its the mixer/interface element I would like to buy outright. along with the other peripherals for headphones and talkback if required.

I'm still struggling with knowing what will work well
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Re: First timer needing assistance

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:50 pm

Mujician wrote:James - could you tell me more about the RME usb method please. How would I set up talk back, how can I ensure a way to get some kind of mix back to the musicians?

RME Interfaces come with Totalmix which is effectively a digital mixer built into the interface but controlled from the host computer. Some of their interfaes have DSP which allow you to do effects but the Digiface USB doesn't have DSP so Totalmix is mainly used for controlling levels here.

As I understand it, each output can have its own mix and there is a dedicated control room section which acts as a monitor controller and also as a talkback controller. You can control the mix remotely from an iPad or computer via their Total Remote software.

The RME interface that I use is too old for Totalmix so I don't have first hand experience of it (but plenty of others here do) but I've been looking at getting a Digiface USB when I next need to upgrade so I've been keeping an eye on what it does.

The main advantage of this system is that you can start with an 8 in/ 8 out system for around £500 and expand it as needed for for around £150 per 8 channels (if you go for additional ADA8200's).
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