Academy Dashboard Forum Production Recording Techniques Live recording help

  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Magnus Johansson.
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    Zack Passman

      Hello folks. I wish I had more time to scour this wonderful forum but my time is limited what with all the jobs/little kids etc going on. I have a cover band and I'm trying to get better at recording/mixing etc and using my band as practice while also trying to improve the quality of our demos and dubbing video of our band for promo purposes. Anyway I have been leaning more and more towards trying to get better at the actual recording end first and I am afraid I'm just extremely novice at it all. I will describe my current setup below but what I'm wondering is, given the time constraints that I usually have in terms of setup time for a gig and making priority one being putting on a good show over getting the best recording, if there's a better way to do what I'm doing.

      So this is how things usually run. First off, the board I'm using is a Behringer x32 Producer. This has an expansion card that allows me to record to 2 32 GB SD cards one at a time so I can record a 3 or so hour show without bringing a computer with me.
      As far as the rest of the setup, I have a Shure Beta 91A in the bass drum, a Shure SM81 as a single drum overhead, the bass goes direct from a pre-amp box which also feeds the bass amp. The amp is unmiked. I have an Audix i5 on the guitar amp. There are 3 vocal mics all Senheiser e935s. Then I have the trumpet and trombone going through inexpensive AKG D8000M microphones and the sax is going through a wireless clip on mic that I'm not actually sure what it is. Then lastly to pick up the sound of the audience I have an AKG P420 facing out.

      The vocals and horns are mostly what's going through the PA as these aren't large venues but we have a little guitar and bass in there too. We use in-ear monitors to cut down on stage volume and feedback. All the setting up is pretty straight forward. The drum overhead is about 36" or so high over the drummer's right shoulder aiming at the snare to pick up the kit. This leaves me with 6 unused mic pres.

      I have access to two matched condenser mics for overheads should I want to use them but my thought was that getting the extra mic setup plus finding phase will eat up the precious setup time I already have. We're lucky to get 2 hours to setup, sound check and go usually and often we have one hour. This includes the drummer setting up his kit. So time is of the essence. To save time, the board allows me to create a virtual mix which helps but I still have to set levels for each instrument and make sure the balance is good. I don't have a sound guy other than me.

      Any tips on miking/mixing later?

      Very much appreciated. Thanks!


      I'm attaching a clip from a recent gig. I definitely want to keep it live sounding because I've dubbed video when it doesn't sound live and it's very disconcerting. Anyway I'm sure this could be better.

      Magnus Johansson

        Have the same role as you in a coverband. I have it slightly easier with only one acoustic instrument, drums. I would put more mics on the drums for sure. Even if it´s not going out in the PA it´s nice to have in the inears. Personally I have only the PA sound going out in my ears, the others have personal mixes. I rarely change anything but the masterbus eq so soundcheck is pretty quick. Sure, optimal would be to have more control of whats happens to the boom and fizz when people starts to occupy the dancefloor. We do bring our own PA so thats a little help there. I believe it´s more common in other countries to just bring your instruments and plug in to existing PA. It happens here too but it´s rare. Keep finetuning those inears during rehearsals and musicians start to mix themselves. Too much guitar, bring it up in guitarist monitors.

        Phasey drums, I use xy overheads. Not as wide result but pretty safe for phase. Nice to have stereo in recording. Playing mostly small places I don´t put that much of the overheads in the PA. To me the main problem with acoustic drums in small places is the cymbals. I you have inputs I would consider also doing stereo crowd. Nice to have during mixing.

        Zack Passman

          Stereo crowd would be nice. I’ll try that next time

          • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Zack Passman.
          Zack Passman

            I have done some work to the mix and tried to reduce some bleed to help me get a little better separation.

            Ed Vincent

              Hi I’m also looking fo advice on live recording.
              This is my 1st attempt using the Glyn Johns 3 mic
              On drums, bass DI, Sm 57 on guitar amp, Sm 58 on vocals.
              Used my MR816CSX with laptop.
              This is my rough mix


                Hi all

                I will be recording a 4 piece band live soon old school 50's style Chicago blues  and was wondering what you think of  my approach and can you suggest alternatives  okay  the live room is not that big 7mts X 5mts drums will be 3/4's the way down room  in front of that I am using  some acoustic panels  in L shapes  to create some isolation for bass and  guitar just forward of drumkit i was going to use a Akg D112 on kick off the head to give it a little air  (kick is double headed with no hole and just a small felt damper front and back) I was going to use either 2 akg C214's for overheads or a couple of OPR Rocket  ribbon mics which have an old vintage sound to them for overheads on the bass cab another akg D112  and for guitar  I was going to use a SM 57  but was also thinking of trying putting a Royer R-10 next to it as well  and to finish off putting 2 mesanovic ribbon mics down end of room for room mics to capture some air  and roomy sounds

                I have many other mics to use but was looking for your thoughts on  this  setup or if you have any experience in live recording in small rooms  any suggestions would be helpful as this will be my first live band recording in my room as I usually record each instrument separate


                Magnus Johansson

                  My little experience of live recording in small room is.. biggest issue is drums in other channels, most notably the vocal mic(s), not so much other sound in the overheads.

                  Havnt tried myself to capture room in those occasions. In a multi track I experimented with the overheads were tracked with Lewitt 560. With that mic you can record both membranes and alter polar pattern in post. For that experiment it worked well using those tracks in cardiod for overheads and slightly delayed and reversed cardiod for room. That tracking room did have some height to it. An idea as I type... position drums close to door and drum room mic in the next room.

         had a sale on its live band in small room course just the other day. $5

                  Good luck with your recording.

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