What would you do in this barn?

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kcswingmaster
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What would you do in this barn?

Post by kcswingmaster » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:19 am

I am interested in advice and ideas for recording in this barn loft. Mind is set - the barn is on the farm-was a dance hall in the 50s and this is where I want to record....but...getting the band together as a group is a challenge (farm is an hour away from them) so I need to hit the ground running.

Band is - male vocal/guitar. female vocal, steel, fiddle,upright bass -

I have drawn up scenerios ranging from everyone gathered around one or two mics in the middle - to partitioning off a couple areas for (semi) isolation of the bass and the steel amp. I havent measured but it is roughly 40x40 with a 15'-18' peak.

Here is a bit from the first round of sound check (singer/guitar & I).
http://soundcloud.com/phantomsoftheopry ... check-barn

Using this 3 mic configuration.
Image

Of course the sound I want is this....but oh well
http://www.amazon.com/Always-2001-Digit ... B002FALLLA


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Post by Bro Shark » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:12 pm

The farmer's daughter.

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:20 pm

Band is - male vocal/guitar. female vocal, steel, fiddle,upright bass -
Hi,

You need to think about what the end result will be.

The Bobby Darin record was most probably recorded at Capitol Records in LA. yep...

Label: Capitol 1791
Mono & Stereo
Entire album available on CD: YES!
Chart information: Debuted on 11/17/62, peaked at #100 and remained on Billboard's LP chart for 6 weeks

Oh! Look at Me Now! was Bobby Darin's first LP for Capitol. With classic arrangements by Billy May, the album has many classic Darin tracks such as the title song and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square."

Your barn will not sound at all like Bobby's record. This is because Capitol Records:

http://www.capitolstudios.com/index.cfm?page=studioa

Looks like that, and sounds like that. Also, they used several of their 6 underground chambers for the reverb sound that you hear on this album.
Now, if you REALLY WANT that sound, send 59.99 to me, via PayPal, and I will spill the beans. Joking... kinda...
To get that Bobby Darin sound from that barn you will need isolation between the singer and the band. You can do this by having them at different ends of the barn, and carefully positioning your mics.
Now with that said, you need to ask yourself the following question:
What does the BAND want?
Then, do that instead.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Brett Siler
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Post by Brett Siler » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:41 pm

Just because that space is Capital Studios doesn't mean you can't get great sounds in there. That space has some SERIOUS potential. Huge, all wood.... damnit I just got drool on my keyboard.

My personal approach would be set up the band just like when they play a live show. Get out a stereo pair of room mics and start there. Get the band balanced in there by moving the people around the room until it sounds great. I would then mostly like close mic them for panning purposes or a little more detail, or other subjective things I might want to do upon hearing the music and getting a vision. Keep those room mics out for over dubs too! It will help anything blend that hasn't been recorded live with the band.

I would say just start off trying to get the band sound like themselves and go from there.

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Post by kcswingmaster » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for the input...

Bro- carefull what you wish for :wink:

Nick - ...but Capital hasnt heard my top secret grain bin yet :P Actually the sound we seek is somewhere between Hank Sr. and BDarin....maybe like a Roy Hogsed or early Hank Thompson. Late 50s but not quite 60s.... That said, I do have about 3 crooner tunes that need the vocals to be huge.


Brett - that is def on the list to try.
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Post by E.Bennett » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:45 pm

One possible issue might be noise from rain. I can't tell if that is a metal roof. If it is, watch the forecast before scheduling the session. It looks like an awesome place to set up microphones! Have fun.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:13 pm

kcswingmaster wrote:Thanks for the input...

Bro- carefull what you wish for :wink:

Nick - ...but Capital hasnt heard my top secret grain bin yet :P Actually the sound we seek is somewhere between Hank Sr. and BDarin....maybe like a Roy Hogsed or early Hank Thompson. Late 50s but not quite 60s.... That said, I do have about 3 crooner tunes that need the vocals to be huge.


Brett - that is def on the list to try.
LOL.

And for that HUGE vocal sound keep the following in mind :

Reverb CHAMBER. Not a modern reverb, not a spring reverb, but a chamber. Which plug ins do you have? One of them might have something like a chamber which you can adjust.

The lead vocal MUST be drier than normal (not totally dry, but not in with the band either) so you can slather the aforementioned Chamber to it.

BIG lead vocal means SMALL backing band. Sorry, but that is the truth of it. Listen to all those records you mention, they all have one thing in common : The lead vocal is LOUD on them. Do the same to your mix.

I do it to my singer clients, and the LOVE it. I put the percussion / drums at the back of the mix, and never allow any instruments to EVER get even remotely in the way of the vocal. That is the trick for these types of albums.

The secret is, that anyone who listens to the music, who is not an audio engineer (most everyone other than you and me) will focus on the lead vocal 100% of the time, so everything else is decorations, incidental.
Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by trodden » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:50 pm

Bro Shark wrote:The farmer's daughter.
I couldn't find the "like" button. *golf clap*

kcswingmaster
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Post by kcswingmaster » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:06 am

Bugs, birds, and cows, I dont care but yes, rain would be an issue. At this point I hope it does rain every recording session - we have recently baled half the corn - other half making 0-60 bushel. Cows have no grass and water is getting scarce. :cry:

Thanks again Nick..... I am still a freshman to the whole recording thing. I am however smart enough to ask guys like you for advice. Your mix advice is spot on and I need reminded as I tend to bring the band forward.....

I do not have plug ins...actually the only thing I plan to do with a computer is to time align the Tascam 58 with the HD24.

You guys have given some great ideas. Closer to being ready. I am debating on one last piece of gear - a compressor for the vocal??.... looking mainly at the UA LA-610 or 6176. Im unfamiliar with compressors :oops: but seams to be a tool to help bring the vocals out front??
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:15 am

kcswingmaster wrote:Bugs, birds, and cows, I dont care but yes, rain would be an issue. At this point I hope it does rain every recording session - we have recently baled half the corn - other half making 0-60 bushel. Cows have no grass and water is getting scarce. :cry:

Thanks again Nick..... I am still a freshman to the whole recording thing. I am however smart enough to ask guys like you for advice. Your mix advice is spot on and I need reminded as I tend to bring the band forward.....

I do not have plug ins...actually the only thing I plan to do with a computer is to time align the Tascam 58 with the HD24.

You guys have given some great ideas. Closer to being ready. I am debating on one last piece of gear - a compressor for the vocal??.... looking mainly at the UA LA-610 or 6176. Im unfamiliar with compressors :oops: but seams to be a tool to help bring the vocals out front??
Cool.

Ok, since you don't have plug-ins, you have to do with a hardware reverb. You got any? Try to get one that has several different types of reverb. I have a hardware one, the Lexicon MX400, and it is a great reverb unit, has all the classic reverbs, and also has 4 ins and 4 outs, so you can set up one stereo reverb, plus two Mono effects such as delays. Very useful box. And not expensive.
And as far as compressing the vocal, yes please, BUT DO IT IN THE MIXING STAGE. If you are a novice in compression this is definitely hands down what you must do. Because in the mixing stage you can learn to use whatever compressor you have properly, and not squash the lead vocal the wrong way. And believe me, there is no undo for a hardware compression once it's recorded. when you;re mixing you can take 10 minutes and loop the lead vocal until you get the best setting for each song.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:53 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:you have to do with a hardware reverb.
f that, dude's got a huge barn to work with! record the vox as dry as possible and then reamp them in the room and there's your reverb.

agree about compressing the vox in the mix. don't compress in tracking if you don't know what you're doing.

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Post by kcswingmaster » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:28 am

I had never considered using box effects. I mix from source - to board- back to source. The board does have built in fx that prob sound best of the effects I own (Allen&Heath). I will for sure sound those selections out during mixdown. I was hoping to get what I need out of the barn for short - the lower level of the barn for longer - or the grain bin for ? havnt tried it yet.

Here is a sample with the barn mic exagerated... most of the bass is coming form the room mic - oh ...& those bugs I speak of :shock:

http://soundcloud.com/phantomsoftheopry/more-barn
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:17 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Nick Sevilla wrote:you have to do with a hardware reverb.
f that, dude's got a huge barn to work with! record the vox as dry as possible and then reamp them in the room and there's your reverb.

agree about compressing the vox in the mix. don't compress in tracking if you don't know what you're doing.
I suppose he could do that too.

But he'll have to phase cancel that rain... ;)
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by KennyLusk » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:25 pm

I drooled when I saw the pictures too. Man, what "wouldn't" you do in there would be my question. Looks like it has the potential to be an ultimate studio.

But I'd second making it baffle-city. There's way too much open space and reverb happening in there. I'm not so sure you'd get anything worth keeping as far as tracks go without some serious dampening, and that's a big a** space to have to dampen. So - again, baffle city, right?
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Post by Brett Siler » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:07 am

kcswingmaster wrote:I had never considered using box effects. I mix from source - to board- back to source. The board does have built in fx that prob sound best of the effects I own (Allen&Heath). I will for sure sound those selections out during mixdown. I was hoping to get what I need out of the barn for short - the lower level of the barn for longer - or the grain bin for ? havnt tried it yet.

Here is a sample with the barn mic exagerated... most of the bass is coming form the room mic - oh ...& those bugs I speak of :shock:

http://soundcloud.com/phantomsoftheopry/more-barn
Nah, I don't think you need a digital reverb box at all. You have that huge space which sounds great from your clip. If you did get a reverb at all, I would go for a spring reverb for your style of music. Mostly likely I would just use room mics for verb. Hypothetically that would be the best type of reverb for that style of music in my opinion.

For a compressor since you haven't messed with them to much i would recommend something easy to start off with something simple like the DBX 163, DBX 160XT, or UA 1176 (since you mentioned UA comps, it is a lot more expensive than the DBX's mentioned). On Those comps you just turn a knob or slider and get more compression, pretty simple.

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