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band play through p.a. or separately?

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band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby denno » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:12 am

Hello, 'nother question while I'm working out the other one....

The guys in my band (all of us sexagenarians until 16 months ago), roots in the eqpt of half a century ago, love their particular bass, guitar, and (more modern stuff) pedal steel amps and speakers.

I am actually not sure what, besides our voices and my acoustic guitar, they run through the p.a., as they chase me away if I get involved :tongue: .

I am beginning to video-record us (different thread) and wonder about the efficacies of our mix. We're usually not working in very big or loud places. We don't have a soundman. I can certainly try different setups in rehearsal and listen to playback. But is there any consensus about a whole mix vs. no-central-gov't?

What kind of p.a. would it take to handle bass and lead guitar?

Here I am, late in my career, trying to learn how to do this...

Thanks,
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:08 am

It will generally depend on a few things, the quality and size of the pa being one and the onstage volume being another.
Generally in small venues it'll just be vocals and acoustics going through the pa (with maybe a bit of kick for the drummer), with the rest of the sound coming from individual amps.
Sadly this means you can't just take a feed from the desk for your video.
I'd probably start by sticking a stereo recorder on a high mic stand somewhere fairly central (but where it's not going to get knocked over or stolen) and take it from there.
If you have a regular sound guy just ask them to video something on their phone and see what happens.
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:37 am

Just because you want to record the whole band doesn't mean to say you have to put the whole band through the p.a.

You could play live 'as usual' and pick up missing elements purely for the recording and mix in post.

Of course, you'd then need to figure out how to multitrack record - which is a whole different skill set. But it is way easier now than it used to be.

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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby ore_terra » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:49 am

as the guys said.

you can find mixers that would fill all your needs: multitrack record all instruments while only sending to master bus (PA) lead vocals, acoustics or any that you wish.

I used to have a Zoom Livetrak - L12 and now they've released another version with more inputs.

Tascam has recently released another one.

in a higher cost range you have Behringer X32 producer, Midas M32R... then, if you don't mind using a tablet instead of faders you have the X air and other "wireless" options.
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:10 am

As other say, most probably nothing else go thru the PA besides vocals and acoustic guitar - it's a classic small place setup as drums and amplified guitars and bass are plenty loud already.

That wouldn't stop you from recording the individual instruments tough, if you have a mixer with enough channel and you can set up mics to the individual amps. You can still get these signals thru the mixer and the recording kit, but the channels don't need to go to the PA loudspeakers - so the mics would be there only for the purpose of recording the instruments. You'd end up with a bunch of track with good spill to "glue" and you add reverb to create a space.

Going that way, you need to plan time before the gig to set the mics up. Keep in mind, _plenty_ of time! Count at least a couple hours if you already are familiar with the rough mic positions, and if you aren't do as many test in rehearsal as you can.

An alternative is to record the room but here's people like Bob and others have way more skills than myself on how best doing so.
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby ore_terra » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:25 am

CS70 wrote:
Going that way, you need to plan time before the gig to set the mics up. Keep in mind, _plenty_ of time! Count at least a couple hours if you already are familiar with the rough mic positions, and if you aren't do as many test in rehearsal as you can.

ah! and that of course!

I got all the rig set up to record all rehearsals. that way I at least know where all goes for gigs when I'm recording them, but I do allow that, a couple of hours, for sound checks.

we're a quite simple set up (drums, bass, 1 guitar amp and 3 vocal mics), but still 2 hours is ok. you never know!
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:04 pm

CS70 wrote:An alternative is to record the room but here's people like Bob and others have way more skills than myself on how best doing so.

Recording the room and the PA output at the same time (preferably on separate tracks) can be remarkably effective. In the OP's situation I wouldn't go for anything more complicated.

Just position the room mics so that they don't favour one instrument over any others. I've just had to fix a live recording where the recorder was placed near the keyboard player so you can't hear much else when the keyboards are playing. Fortunately organ tones are fairly easy to see in a spectral display so I could remove much of the problem but it takes time and it is far better to place the mics (or recorder) in the right place to start with.
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Re: band play through p.a. or separately?

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:10 pm

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:An alternative is to record the room but here's people like Bob and others have way more skills than myself on how best doing so.

Recording the room and the PA output at the same time (preferably on separate tracks) can be remarkably effective. In the OP's situation I wouldn't go for anything more complicated.

Just position the room mics so that they don't favour one instrument over any others. I've just had to fix a live recording where the recorder was placed near the keyboard player so you can't hear much else when the keyboards are playing. Fortunately organ tones are fairly easy to see in a spectral display so I could remove much of the problem but it takes time and it is far better to place the mics (or recorder) in the right place to start with.

Good tip!-When we play without the backing vocalist, I have a spare input on the mixer and I'm tempted to try this myself next time..
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