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By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:26 pm

Hi all.

Long time lurker/subscriber/learner, I've not found an intro forum, so I suppose this might do?

Hello everyone.

(Ok, that's a bit lame, but I'm not sure how to do it better ;) )

I spent a day a while back with some mates trying to record a load of covers. I'd appreciate any feedback on this one, it's the first time I've tried recording live, and the mixing was interesting. (I'm also not sure of how to put links into the forum, so this might be fun...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dQmotNlSy0
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby zenguitar » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:44 pm

Welcome to the forums, have fun :)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:00 pm

Hi Tim, what was the recording set-up here? Line-out from a desk or direct to AI?
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby Dave B » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:05 pm

Thoughts and a question.

1. There's not a lot of bottom end generally. That looks a big bass amp so you should have a hefty amount of bottom on that and the guitars seem to be missing some low end as well.

2. Drums
a) I think you need to mic the kick better. I tend to stick the mic into the drum and point it towards the beater so that you get the boom from inside the shell and a nice solid click from the beater hitting the skin

b) I can't see a a snare mic - is there one? I'd recommend it

c) The overheads : I'm trying to work out if you're using some cunning way of having each mic point to the other side of the kit or whether they are just strangely positioned. I tend to point them straight down at the kit and positioned so that each one gets about 50% of the kit so that it's not picking up any one thing. (not directly over the cymbals so you don't just get that - slightly back so that you get a bit of everything from that side).

Are those deliberately pointing that way?

d) the guitarist on the left needs to adjust his clean level a bit. When he turns off the distortion for the solo, you can barely hear the chords he's playing

The overall balance of instruments and vocals seems fine. I'd just beef up the sound a bit. If you didn't get a great kick recording, then I'd cheat and trigger a kick in the DAW - it really helps make the drums a bit more solid. (ditto snare)

All IMHO and YMMV obviously ;)

HTH :)
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:53 pm

zenguitar wrote:Welcome to the forums, have fun :)

Andy :beamup:

Thanks Andy, I always try to :thumbup:

blinddrew wrote:Hi Tim, what was the recording set-up here? Line-out from a desk or direct to AI?

Drew it was a new one for me. It's a fairly new band, and we hired the rehearsal space for half a day. It took 90 mins to mic up everyone to my Scarlett 18i20 (so 8 inputs):

Drums: 2 overheads & a kick
Main vocals
Backing vocals (me and Paul, don't think we had any on this one)
Bass: DI
Paul guitar: mic
My guitar: mic

Through the Scarlett into my laptop running Sonar. So everything recorded at a level that doesn't break the meters (!) and then mixing it all afterwards.

I have to say, it was a lot of fun :)

Dave B wrote:Thoughts and a question.

1. There's not a lot of bottom end generally. That looks a big bass amp so you should have a hefty amount of bottom on that and the guitars seem to be missing some low end as well.

2. Drums
a) I think you need to mic the kick better. I tend to stick the mic into the drum and point it towards the beater so that you get the boom from inside the shell and a nice solid click from the beater hitting the skin

b) I can't see a a snare mic - is there one? I'd recommend it

c) The overheads : I'm trying to work out if you're using some cunning way of having each mic point to the other side of the kit or whether they are just strangely positioned. I tend to point them straight down at the kit and positioned so that each one gets about 50% of the kit so that it's not picking up any one thing. (not directly over the cymbals so you don't just get that - slightly back so that you get a bit of everything from that side).

Are those deliberately pointing that way?

d) the guitarist on the left needs to adjust his clean level a bit. When he turns off the distortion for the solo, you can barely hear the chords he's playing

The overall balance of instruments and vocals seems fine. I'd just beef up the sound a bit. If you didn't get a great kick recording, then I'd cheat and trigger a kick in the DAW - it really helps make the drums a bit more solid. (ditto snare)

All IMHO and YMMV obviously ;)

HTH :)

Dave, thanks for this, really useful :)

1. I'm thinking this is probably due to my attempts at mixing, so I've either got my monitors a bit bass shy, or my headphones (akg701), or my ears. Or possibly a bit of all three. I can work on this.

2a. Thanks for the advice. This was the first time I'd tried micing up a kick drum, and I'm sure it can be done better. I'll try your suggestion next time.

2b. No, there wasn't a snare mic because I was running out of inputs. I had 8 in total, so had to compromise! I'm using a Red5 Audio rvk7 mic set, and have suggested to the drummer that we try a recording session at my place some time, looking forward to that :)

2c. Ah, now that was indeed me trying a Timbo cunning plan (c). One mic pointing at the snare, one at something else on the other side of the kit. Didn't think about crossing over the streams, will try pointing straight at the closest bit next time.

2d. That's a good point, and something I only noticed today when I listened to the track again. Might bump him up a bit in the quiet bits (mind you, I spend most of my time telling him to turn the f*** down, so that might be a tad ironic :) )

Never tried the trigger thing, but I'll give it a go and report back. Again, thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:04 pm

As well as Dave's points above I'd also suggest it's very dry and a bit of reverb would help glue it together as well as making the vocals sound a bit less exposed.
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby Dave B » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:28 pm

Doc, do a search through the articles on the main site as there's at least a couple of good articles on drum mic'ing (including different numbers of mics) and drum mixing. It's a great resource.

My other thought is that if I only had 8 inputs, I'd be tempted to use 4 channels for drums (2xoverheads, kick and snare), bass, guitars (x2 here) and main vox - if I had to sacrifice channels, BVs would be first to go, then main vox, then guitars. The reason? They are all easy to overdub later.

Also, if I were running short of good mics, then I would cheat and use DI boxes on the guitars (in between the guitar and the pedalboard) and then use a software amp sim on mixdown. That way I could match the tones where needed and not worry about the mic not being positioned fantastically or being 100% appropriate.

Of course, if I had lots of time, mics and inputs, I'd be very purist ... ;)

Another note : your Scarlett should allow you to expand it over it's Adat connection so if you are planning any more, and needed extra kit, it's always worth putting out an SOS (sic) and see if someone can loan kit / time to help out.
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:38 pm

I agree with the other comments, it is pretty good actually but needs more weight in the low end.

Regarding drums, I get what I think are pretty decent drum recordings (by my not particularly high standards) with a kick and single overhead. If you use two overheads making sure they are exactly the same distance from the centre of the snare is a good plan.

That kind of miking won't give you a huge processed drum sound but I'm a live sound guy really and more interested in capturing what the band actually sound like. Plus I lean towards melodic/acoustic music (though I do occasionally play in a fairly loud power trio playing Santana, Cream, Dire Straits covers etc).
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:28 pm

blinddrew wrote:As well as Dave's points above I'd also suggest it's very dry and a bit of reverb would help glue it together as well as making the vocals sound a bit less exposed.

Thanks Drew, I'll give it a try
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:32 pm

Dave B wrote:Doc, do a search through the articles on the main site as there's at least a couple of good articles on drum mic'ing (including different numbers of mics) and drum mixing. It's a great resource.

My other thought is that if I only had 8 inputs, I'd be tempted to use 4 channels for drums (2xoverheads, kick and snare), bass, guitars (x2 here) and main vox - if I had to sacrifice channels, BVs would be first to go, then main vox, then guitars. The reason? They are all easy to overdub later.

Also, if I were running short of good mics, then I would cheat and use DI boxes on the guitars (in between the guitar and the pedalboard) and then use a software amp sim on mixdown. That way I could match the tones where needed and not worry about the mic not being positioned fantastically or being 100% appropriate.

Of course, if I had lots of time, mics and inputs, I'd be very purist ... ;)

Another note : your Scarlett should allow you to expand it over it's Adat connection so if you are planning any more, and needed extra kit, it's always worth putting out an SOS (sic) and see if someone can loan kit / time to help out.

Thanks Dave, I didn't think of overdubbing, worth looking at in future!
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:34 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I agree with the other comments, it is pretty good actually but needs more weight in the low end.

Regarding drums, I get what I think are pretty decent drum recordings (by my not particularly high standards) with a kick and single overhead. If you use two overheads making sure they are exactly the same distance from the centre of the snare is a good plan.

That kind of miking won't give you a huge processed drum sound but I'm a live sound guy really and more interested in capturing what the band actually sound like. Plus I lean towards melodic/acoustic music (though I do occasionally play in a fairly loud power trio playing Santana, Cream, Dire Straits covers etc).

Thanks Sam, I can see me trying out different setups for drum recording in the near future :D
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:00 pm

DocBobalot wrote:2b. No, there wasn't a snare mic because I was running out of inputs.

A quick trick for this one - very often someplace somewhere someone has a somechannels- mixer available. Can be really anything. If you do, worth multi-miking the drums to that mixer and then you simply bring a stereo out to the main mixer. Sure you have a pre-made mix of drums but if you work a little on the balance on the headphones I find it's often better than having just one or two mics on the drums.
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby DocBobalot » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:56 pm

CS70 wrote:
DocBobalot wrote:2b. No, there wasn't a snare mic because I was running out of inputs.

A quick trick for this one - very often someplace somewhere someone has a somechannels- mixer available. Can be really anything. If you do, worth multi-miking the drums to that mixer and then you simply bring a stereo out to the main mixer. Sure you have a pre-made mix of drums but if you work a little on the balance on the headphones I find it's often better than having just one or two mics on the drums.

Hmm, that's got me thinking. I can always get hold of a half decent mixer...

I think I will kidnap the drummer for a day and have a play round with different mic setups to see what I can get out of them.

Thanks CS570 :thumbup:
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Re: By way of an intro

Postby blinddrew » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:21 pm

You could also use a hybrid approach using a mixer whereby you route all your drum mics there, take the stereo feed to two channels on your input but, if you still have one free channel, you take an aux send of anything you think might be problematic or critical later (kick or snare spring to mind) so you can moderate that level afterwards (raise it or polarity reverse it to lower it).
N.B. I've not tried this but it makes sense in my head!
N.B.2. taking a separate feed of the kick would also make using it to trigger a sample much easier.
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