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help - recording a live acoustic duo

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ToulouseCruise 21 Jul 03 - 03:19 PM
treewind 21 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM
smallpiper 21 Jul 03 - 03:34 PM
ToulouseCruise 21 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM
treewind 21 Jul 03 - 04:07 PM
Bassic 21 Jul 03 - 05:51 PM
Musicman 21 Jul 03 - 07:07 PM
Bob Hitchcock 21 Jul 03 - 11:03 PM
ToulouseCruise 22 Jul 03 - 08:38 AM
Kudzuman 22 Jul 03 - 10:35 AM
NicoleC 22 Jul 03 - 10:56 AM
ToulouseCruise 22 Jul 03 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Bardford 22 Jul 03 - 02:49 PM
ToulouseCruise 23 Jul 03 - 09:02 AM
Willie-O 23 Jul 03 - 09:26 AM
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Subject: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:19 PM

Hey Catters...

I have a very very basic acoustic duo on the go, two male vocals sharing lead/harmonies, and one acoustic guitar. We would like to record one of our shows live, and have in fact tried it with poor results. I have a standard tape deck that I have plugged directly into the Tape Out jacks on our powered mixer, but the levels seem all over the place. I realize the output would be based on the levels we have on the mixer, so it wouldn't translate the same way as out of our speakers. My deck doesn't have much for settings and I can't afford a DAT deck.... would it work using the monitor output (we don't usually use one, and the mixer has separate monitor EQ's so we can play a bit with the output)?

secondly, I would like to mic the crowd -- should I use an uni-directional mic pointed out to them to try to counter the speaker output looping back through, or do I try to suspend a omni-directional mic above them and not worry about the looping?

any help would, well, help.

Brian, Singer Ordinaire...


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM

It's worth trying just putting a microphone or stereo pair (if you're recording in stereo) in front of the stage. With the mics pointing 45 degrees R and L of the stage they will pick up some audience sound but more of your sound.

Don't bother with DAT - if you want to upgrade from tape then minidisc is ideal for this kind of job, will sound better than tape and cost far less than DAT.

It should have worked from the mixer though - can you be more specific about levels "all over the place"? Was the balance OK? were the levels just too high or too low?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: smallpiper
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:34 PM

The output to your monitor will be too high for yur tape deck. best bet is to run a feed from the headphone socket. Don't bother abot the crowd you they should be picke dup by the vocal mics


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM

Treewind -- the levels on the tape had the music very flat, my voice very high (shrill, not volume, and I am definitely in a middle-range of voice), and my vocals seemed to come out louder than my partner's... no bass response at all. It almost seems to resemble what smallpiper referred to, as far as the levels being too high for my deck. But with the monitor having it's own levels that can be set via the board, I thought we could customize the sound out of that (monitoring it, so to speak, through the headphone jack of the tape deck during our soundchecks). I don't recall actually seeing a headphone jack on the powered mixer.

so, to mic ourselves "freestyle" as you were suggesting, TW, are you suggesting to simply plug the mic's into the tape deck, or through the sound board? the reason I ask is that there is no mic-in on the tape deck (nice quality Teac deck, but not a whole mess 'o bells and whistles)

Brian.


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: treewind
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 04:07 PM

I did mean mic into tape deck. If the tape deck doesn't have a mic input that's the end of that suggestion...

The main speaker mix should be right. If it's OK coming out of the speakers if should be OK on the tape. Did somebody check the live sound balance was right?

Without seeing yur mixer-amp it's difficult to know what's going wrong. There's often a lot of trial and error in a setup like this.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: Bassic
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 05:51 PM

I think I can understand some of the problem. A sound mixed for a room and particular speakers can be substantially different from the "bare" sound. Each piece of equipement will add its own "colour" to the sound which you will be compensating for as you adjust things on the deck whilst doing the sound check.

I am no electrician or sound engineer but if the deck is also an amplifier for your monitors then the monitor signal would be too strong as SP suggests. If it is only pre-amped, i.e. the signal needs to go through another amp to power the monitors, then I would imagine it would be ok to connect to the tape decks "line in" connectors. (Dont take my word for this though! Get further advice!) That would, as you suggest, allow you to make adjustments to the deck output as if you were doing a monitor mix. The safest and most flexible way though would be to hire or borrow another desk and a few mikes and be completely independant of your PA. I am sure someone here will be able to give the definitive answer. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: Musicman
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:07 PM

best way i've found and use is to beg/borrow/steal.. and last resort, rent an ADAT machine... from your board use the insert jacks to the adat, only push the plugs in to the first 'click', not all the way, then it dosn't interupt the signal to the board. Do this for each channel of vocals/instrumentals... this then gives you the 'raw' signal from each input which you then can take home and 'mix' to the proper levels at your lesure. YOu could even point mics at the audience and record levels there to mix into the main sound at a later date. (just make sure those mics arn't going into the main mix for the audience... )
hope this makes sense.... works great.. i've done it for several gigs with our band.. and like the effects.. i can then download the whole thing to the computer and edit on the computer... then you're not worried about getting the 'perfect' mix during the live gig to get the best sound for the taping...

musicman


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: Bob Hitchcock
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 11:03 PM

I agree with musicman that using ADAT or simillar units to record live then mix later is by far the best solution, I have done this for live shows a few times. Where are you performing? I have a 24 track studio with tons of gear and mic's and can do the live thing as well. Let me know.

Bob


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 08:38 AM

Thanks for all the help, everyone... Bob -- We play in the Maritime Provinces in Canada, mostly in the cities of Moncton, Summerside, and Miramichi -- I haven't seen too many folks appearing from this area on Mudcat, so would be kinda surprised if you were in Eastern Canada!We are going to be doing some "studio" recordings as well (a friend has an excellent system), but we wanted to combine the two on a demo-type CD, mostly for friends and to give to future pubs where we would like to play...

If you DO happen to be in this area, our website is www.toulousecruise.official.ws so feel free to cruise on by!

Brian.


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: Kudzuman
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 10:35 AM

Minidisc recordings have resulted in some very good recordings for our duo, several through the board and then had great luck with a pair of stereo mikes (tiny little buggers) set out on the front of the stage near the speakers. We got a very good mix this way and got audience applause too. Don't worry too much about the audience sound. Your sound is what a demo should demonstrate.

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: NicoleC
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 10:56 AM

Lots of good points here. Yes, going out from the console tends to stink pretty bad and bear little resemblance to what the audience is hearing. It's sometimes useful to use this send to boost the vocals in the final mix, since the vocals tend to be very hot running through the console and hard to hear in a live mix recorded from the house.

I can heartily recommend the minidisc. There are many better ways of doing a live mix, but given what you have to work with, this will probably get you the best bang for the buck. If your venue is not too loud, the little stereo mic might do the job, but you will probably get better results with a pair of condensors and a separate preamp.

Alternately, if you can beg or borrow a little bit of equipment, you'll get a better recording with a small console (the nicer the better -- consoles 'color' the sound and make it sound less like you) and some fairly knowledgable help, I would:

Stereo mic the house, with a pair of nice condensors or a good stereo mic. Run this into two channels on the console with phantom power and pan them left and right. If the vocals are difficult to hear and understand, take a send from your main console into the mini console and mix the recording down to minidisc. This takes someone's help and judgement to do this while you are playing. If you have space on your console, you can do it on your existing console.

If you don't have help, you could mono mic the house and send that to the minidisc's left channel, send the vocals from the console to minidisc's right channel, and then later you create a mono mix from the minidisc, adding in as mich vocals as needed.

Nice thing is, once you have a minidisc, you can record very cheaply, so you can do a lot of experimenting to get the sound you are going for.


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:22 PM

... jotting notes down onto scrap paper to bring to next show, and to friend who has assorted gear....


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:49 PM

The above link didn't get me to this: Toulousecruise Website

Cheers,
Bardford


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:02 AM

Thanks Bardford... if nothing else, I now know how to make the blue clicky work, hehe...

Brian


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Subject: RE: help - recording a live acoustic duo
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:26 AM

Judging from the type of venues you play, lads, I doubt you need to mike the crowd...good luck.

Willie-O
Maritimer at heart, Ontarian by birth


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