Live to multitrack studio recording?

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area617
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Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by area617 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:31 am

What are your opinions on live-to-multitrack recording. I am looking at renting a 15x30 rehearsal space that I would like to use to record. I would be using 2 MOTU 896HD to a Mac G4. This is just a wide open, soundproofed space. I would have the ability to record up to 17 tracks at a time (8 each from the (2) 896 units plus 1 from another interface) I would setup drum shields and due some minimal isolation of amps (ie positioning in relation to other things and some wrapping with egg crate foam). The only things I would record seperatley are vocals and solos. I am not allowed to construct anything in the room like iso booths or control room. I know their will be bleeding between tracks but what would be the best way to minimize that?

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by RefD » Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:43 am

bleed is the glue that holds everything together!! :D

i'd set up some baffles/gobos, drape some blankets, build a matress tunnel in front of the kick to isolate the kick mic(s), face amps away from each other, etc.

i also would try to keep amp levels down to something reasonable and have cans for everyone so there isn't a volume knob war!
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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by Punkity » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:02 pm

Actually, bleed is not that bad of an idea. I don't worry too much about it (worry in the sense of "Oh crap, bleed exists"). Phase problems are the biggest problems you will run into (the 3:1 distance rule isn't a magic bullet, but do keep it in mind), and you won't be able to do anything radical to only one soundsource without effecting some/all the others. If you want wacked-ass stuff going on you will have to overdub, that is all. On the up side, the performances tend to be better in situations like this, and you will get richer overall tones.

There are some things you can do that will cut down on bleed. Gobos are one example. Here is a design that I've worked with:

Image

The dimentions up top will change in relation to the height (shifting left or right for balance), though the shift isn't a large amount at all. They work well but are HEAVY. Another is to make your own absorbers out of 703 insulation (Ownens-Corning), fabric and a wooden frame or just cheap, thin plywood backing and hang them like pictures. This would cut out some of the everything bouncing all over the damn place factor. If you want to go extreme, make a box or two with a similar wall cross-section as the gobo design above. Put the amps in them. It would be a bunch of work, would require some redesign, and be heavy as hell, but I bet they would work really well.

Just a couple of ideas.
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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by drumsound » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:45 pm

I'd say your two best friends in this situation are packing blankets and mic placement. Packing blankets are super cheap and very useful, mic placement is, well...you know about that.

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by Brett Siler » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:32 pm

The key is to turn bleed inro ambience that will add to the whole picture. By doing that you will have to experiment with instrument and mic placements as well as the volume of the instruments.

I had to do this in a very small room but the results weren't bad. Check it out.

http://www.myspace.com/stationaryodyssey

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by area617 » Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:09 am

Thanks for all the suggestions! Does anyone else have any or know of any tracks on the web that I could listen to as examples? I am seriously considering dropping $5000 for gear and I want to make sure I am going to get the results I am looking for.

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by bigtoe » Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:28 am

check out some stones records...maybe some zeppelin records...the who...the faces...i pretty sure it can be done...

Mike

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by area617 » Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:00 am

Bigtoe, I know that alot of great records have been produced this way but all of the bands you mentioned had more time, money and experience to achive the great results they did. I am looking for things done on a much smaller scale (ie 15x30 rehersal space and less than $5000) to listen to.

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by bigtoe » Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:42 am

'Bigtoe, I know that alot of great records have been produced this way but all of the bands you mentioned had more time, money and experience to achive the great results they did. I am looking for things done on a much smaller scale (ie 15x30 rehersal space and less than $5000) to listen to.'

i did a recording of a band a few months ago on far less than 5 grand worth of gear. they plopped a vocal on one of the songs before the submix and i thought it sounded rad. i'll see if i can get them to post it somewhere.

in general, you have far more tools than they ever had back then whatever the cost. your time is your own and 15 X30 is a decent size. go for it.

Mike

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by jerfo » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:24 am

I'm almost embarassed that I've seen this, but...

The Aerosmith "You Gotta Move" DVD has about 30 minutes of video footage from the recording of their "Honkin' on Bobo" album. As I recall, the whole band is crammed into a tight rehearsal space, with blankets strewn about everywhere. The drums were behind a small plexiglass screen, and Steven Tyler was tucked in an isolation booth with his mic, headphones, and ego. If I were you, I'd rent or buy this DVD and take notes on how they set up their recording space. You'll be able to steal a lot of recording ideas from the 30 minute segment.

(Fine Print: this is written by someone who is not particularly fond of Aerosmith. I am not condoning the general practice of purchasing Aerosmith music or videos.)


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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by Devlars » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:30 am

area617 wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions! Does anyone else have any or know of any tracks on the web that I could listen to as examples? I am seriously considering dropping $5000 for gear and I want to make sure I am going to get the results I am looking for.
First let me say that you can get very good results from recording everyone together, do so with little to no isolation by way of gobos and such and still attain a decent ammount of isolation from track to track.

I have recorded my band (shortly after our new drummer and bass player had joined) in a large church sanctuary placing the instruments as they would be for a live show. Everybody on the platform with the drum kit being centered. On either side of the kit and just in front of it I place the two guitar amps, with the bass amp being set back and facing the drummer a small ammount.

I mic the guitars with SM58s the bass was direct and the drums had two LDC overheads and an LDC for the kick and a room mic about 30' in front of and 10' up. You can hear the results of this set up here (that's all natural reverb by the way, as someone else who heard this thought I dumped it all on with processors)

My small disclaimer:
I have since recorded this way again now that everyone has a better feel for playing with one another and using slightly different mics and it sounded MUCH better, more defined. The largest factor was the performances being tighter though.

At any rate it was done with no isolation whatsoever, no gobos, no placing the band members far apart from one another, nothing. The room mic is essential in "glueing everyone together" in the mix.
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Devlars
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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by Devlars » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:46 am

Devlars wrote:At any rate it was done with no isolation whatsoever, no gobos, no placing the band members far apart from one another, nothing. The room mic is essential in "glueing everyone together" in the mix.
Yikes. I just listened to this myself after posting it and two things: 1) the last paragraph sounds like I'm bragging, sorry I'm not. 2) This is REALLY rough. I hadn't listened to this in quite some time and man is the recording quality odd. The mix was fast and dirty just like the set up was though. As stated before I have since done this again with a slight variation in mic choice and placement and it's sounds much better than the two songs on the link I posted.

Sorry I had to post this OTHER disclaimer cos those are pretty rough...so naive.
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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by drumsound » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:48 am

Devlars,

I thought those songs were pretty groovy and fun.

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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by Devlars » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:56 am

Thank you, you're very gracious. I thoroughly enjoy the songs we write but I felt compelled to make the disclaimers because of the quality of the recordings themselves.

I'll stop now. I don't want to inadvertantly hi-jack this thread.
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area617
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Re: Live to multitrack studio recording?

Post by area617 » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:18 am

Those songs sounded pretty good. Thanks.

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