Academy Dashboard Forum Production Recording Techniques 70´s Rock in a Live one Room Session

  • This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Henning Oppermann.
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    Henning Oppermann

      Hello fellow Plappers,

      i´m about to record the pre-Production of Vintage Rock Band "Jail Job Eve".
      To give you an idea where they at, here is their last Album

      The direction i´m heading will be a little more dirty, open and vintage. My feeling is, that they write Songs that would feel more authentic if recorded and mixed in a more vintage way. I´m looking for the production and recordingtechniques of the first Raconteurs album, the Black Keys album Brother and El Camino, as well as some "genuine" Vintage sounds from the 70ies like Floyd and of course Led Zeppelin.
      The sound should be punchy but dirty. Raconteurs really hit the nail for me.

      My Job as the Producer with that band was specifically look for ways to create sounds that catch the ear aswell as setting grounds for that open Bandsound here is my list so Far:

      all will be recorded live in one Room (that includes amplification etc. not only the players, space is an issue in our little room).
      Drums: i shoot for an "enhanced Glyn Johns technique" with the typical Overhead plus kick plus snare. In addition i checked out really nice spots in our room for room sounds.
      As we are recording the whole band, i will try to get the whole band to sound good in those spots but i have one Mono spot in a Corner, where the drums simply sound massive.I will try to get it as isolated as i can, so not let the guitaramp shoot straight into that mix haha.

      as typical Effects to print live i will have two tape echoes at my disposal. I´d say those are really useful (while live recording) on sources that are closemiced. I would use them on vocals and guitar. in later stages of the production i would of course experiment with them on drums, and organ aswell. I want to set them up as a Send like in an FOH environment, to have the possiblity to put them into the monitormix for that extra vintage vibe feeling.

      i´ll be REALLY careful with the setting of sounds gainwise. I think my mantra is: "as clean as possible, as driven as necessary" there will of course be expections for Trademark sounds that might become driven HARD. (looking at you apocalypse fuzz)

      we will be as minimalistic in Overdubs as we possibly can. (they are VERY good players and im confident we can track Solos etc. without them crying about it later because it was not "the Take") The reason is that the production can´t become too crowded. I dont want those massive guitarwalls and doubles all over the place. the balance between clarirty/punch and the dirty side is important to me. If everything is dirty and crowded and wailing and all of this in one room i can say good night to my clarity.

      there will be no click unless absolutely necessary. One thougt i have was there will be no more then 4 takes per song in a row. if its not there yet we will change the song and come back later to hit a mood that fits the song perfectly. (lets see what you guys think of that idea)

      last but not least. I will always look out for the performance. i think the dirty aspect of an albumsound always comes first and foremost from performance and attitude, i hope i can generate an atmosphere where that can happen.

      To all those who record Bands in one room:
      What are your findings, what are the traps you fall for, do you have any advice that you want to share that might help me to sketch the album in a way that its almost there.
      what microphones do you use (im thinking in the direction of ribbonmics and dynamics because they are more directional and maybe a few sources that give me some sparkle and highend i.e. condenser of some sort)

      any help is more then welcome and very much appreciated

      thank you guys!


        Hi Henning,

        Well, whether or not you are the producer, the band should have their shnizzle together. I mean, the drummer has his sound, the guitarist has its sound, etc. Your job is to capture that sound as authentic as possible.

        I also prefer to record the whole band together as one take. However, if there are certain instruments like brass section, percussion, backings, add lips, etc. you better do this separately. I also don't see the benefits of recording the solo immediately. You can work yourself in a lot of trouble by doing that, but hey, it's your party.

        Some things to think about:

        - If you have the space, set up the drummer on a riser.

        - Record at least drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards together. If you want, you can record a scratch vocal if you have a separate vocal booth or give the singer an SM58 and let him sit next to you in the control room.

        - spend enough time in micing up everything and making headphone mixes.

        - Put the musicians in one room, so that they can give signals to each other.

        - Put the amplifiers and cabinets in another room, so that they don't bleed into the drum mics and room mics. Heck, set them up outside if you need to.

        - Work fast and let the magic happen.

        - Musicians are not machines. Even if you record only 4 takes per song, after 2 hours of intensive playing, many musicians have had it. Spread the recording over more days if necessary. If that's not possible, it's better to record 6 songs very well rather than 10 songs worse.

        - Get the sound that you want right from the source. So, get the guitar- bass- sound that you want out of the cab's. Tune the drums carefully and regularly. If the drummer uses a piccolo snare, tell him that he doesn't get the snare sound of "The Red Hot Chilli Peppers" that he wants. Put new strings on all the guitars, a day or two before the recording.

        - Get the manuals of the keyboards! "Nice sound, but can you mute that delay please?" "Euh... Is that even possible?" : )

        - Get copies of the lyrics!

        - If you want, you can use reference music. Don't try to copy the sound, but try to make it a lot better!

        - Be relaxed! If one song doesn't go very well, just try another song. Never get angry! Talk about something else than music. This takes away the tension.

        - Don't project your aesthetics on the band.

        - Lastly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

        Hope this helps.


        Leslie Pugh

          Leslie Pugh
          09:33AM@Henning Opperai I have done some small scale recordings live room band recordings. The real problems if so exist, with good musicians of Merit, is volume control in one room "bleeds into microphones", Not saying it is a bad thing , but it is dependant on levels, mic placement, polar settings of mics. Getting the right sound for the song is another bed of issues, and to remember those settings used on each song, if doing a album, and you want all to say sound the same or like or what you say you want it to be, Is not so easy over long times, as days. Each day brings with it elements of pressure Humidity changes, and different moods of those involved, So how does one go about it, is just try to capture the best performances, in keeping things relatively as the same (once dialled into a good vibe sound)as possible throughout the album, there might be little things or some Effect changes, but the room and some stable elements should keep to a set standard, I guess. I have not made a Album, so. The rest might be to get the sound of what you are stating you would like to sound like and play that as a reference..see the spectrum form, and frequencies of that , try to match it?. Some secret sauce helps if you got it. Just my opinion, Perhaps Warren might help , as he seems to be doing it well in his own ways of course. Remember some of the things in past 70 recordings happened by trial and error.
          Leslie Pugh
          09:45AMoh and Some if not all at that time line used Tape machines, hacked effect peddles. and fiddling with different ideas and settings, getting a sound to be different from the others, so they would stand out from them. I think was the idea.
          Leslie Pugh
          10:00AMNot sure but Allen Parson used a reverb method, turning the track around, adding reverb and then turning the track back. In that day I believe it was reversing the tape . And see what happens adding the verb, kind of made a sound no one had.So fiddling with ideas..Was used. And placement is important of the instruments and amps. Surely . The more you play in such a room, the more it sets its self up for you finding, this should be here, that should go there.I found slight movements, once keying in placement of mic and instruments or amps, changes a lot. Try to also use direct line feeds from amps if they got em, or di boxes, along side the micing or room and instruments. Helps cut the bleed out, or add in, or gives you more to fiddle in a clean or dirty spirit. If needed. Once the room sounds great, and no line issues of noises not supposed to be are snuffed out as best can be (troubleshooting out unwanted noise). Then capture the best performance begins. kNow the songs. and decide, its a take, or, take 27 or more, is up to the one knowning the sound and songs done rightly so wanted.

          Henning Oppermann

            thanks guys for your input! so far we are on the same page. I´ll keep it in mind 🙂

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