live in a too small room

any suggestions? old band reunion…

"Can’t Say"

The Blind Shadows Band, recorded with various mics (Peavey, EV, Sennheiser, No Name), through - well, the vocals are going through an old Midiman mixer, and the instruments are in through a Behri 1604. Effects include an Alesis Micro Limiter on the live vocals, and GranComp3, and Classic Reverb on the mixdown… Done with an old P1 200, and nTrack 3.1, my old M-Audio Delta44 for the sound card.

Room is 4.5m by 3.5m, 2.4m high, acoustic tile ceiling, carpeted floor, open closet for computer gear… Oh, and concrete block walls on 2 sides.

Tony W

Well, the drums sound too distant for me - actually the kick sounds good to me - but the snare and cymbals sound too distant - same with the non wah-wah guitar - is it bleed? Any way to isolate them? Record things really dead? Put the guitar amp in another room?

But, if it’s OK for me say it :) - I thoroughly enjoyed it, however. hilarious stuff toward the end there. When was the band active?

Strange; I have been hating the kick sound, and thought the rest of the kit was too forward! Do you mind telling me what you were listening to it with?

The drumset was recorded with an EV Cobalt SM57 clone for an overhead, centered about 10cms higher than the cymbals, directly over the mounted toms and pointing at the snare, and a no-name dynamic a few inches out from the hole in the front drum-head. The Cobalt is being run through a little Audio-Buddy pre, and the the kick through our Behri mixer. Unfortunately, I only have four recording inputs to work with, so I have been sending the drums and Mike’s bass guitar (DI, with the amp loud in the room, and being picked up by all the mics, more or less) in mono on 1 and 2, my guitar on 1, Rob’s guitar on 2, and the vocals split between 3 and 4. As for the lead guitar, I just did not have the amp mic (SM57) up loud enough that day! And Rob’s VOX wah pedal adds a crap-load of gain every time he stomps it; things recorded later that same day had better levels, but did not come out as musically interesting IMO as this song.
Believe it or not, we made that one up as we were playing it, and this is the original, and only, version! :)

I am really glad you enjoyed it. The band was introduced by friends in the early nineties, and originally had a more soulful sound, with an Al Green style singer, but he left to sing gospel - a lot of money in gospel, and lots of work if you’re good, and he was. Gerald the drummer took over most of our singing then (BTW, Gerald is blind since 17 years old, hence the name of the group - Cheap Exploitation! You bet!) with Rob or me writing the music, sometimes together, and all of us contributing lyrics. In 1993 we began playing around Georgia Tech, and downtown Atlanta, but I think we were just a little off; we were too white (our rock side) for black audiences here, and way too black (our funky side - I am the token white boy in the band) for white audiences - at least the ones we were playing for then. Suffice to say, we never quite found our niche, and by `96 musical frustration and personal irritations (3 of us were sharing a house at the time) led to the band’s original demise. Even though the band fell apart, we were able to stay friendly with one another, and a few years ago Rob managed to talk all of us into playing together again, just for fun, on Sunday afternoons, and you have heard the result of regular Sundays… Where we go from here is unknown; we all have careers, and health problems (my heart, another’s diabetes, normal middle-age crap), but I think we will always make noise together. Good or bad, there is nothing finer than making music!

Well, maybe a couple things as fine! :p

'til next time;

BTW, the song Willow Wind, downloadable from my website, is originally a Blind Shadows song, music by me, lyrics by Gerald.

I listened on the crappy computer speakers, so there you go. :)

Man, you guys are doing it the old fashioned way - 4 tracks live! Puts me in mind of the first R2R 4 track I got in 1977…or of a disk I have somewhere of early Who recordings, that includes the raw tracks before vocals. :)

The drum sound I hear is the result of the recording method - that’s exactly the sound I would have expected. The way the kick is miked, you have a “present” sound, like a stax recording (is the kick pretty well damped?), but the way the rest of the kit is miked, it’s a “live” and more distant sound, like it was recorded in a small club. I’m sort of stuck in the past, and like a close snare. Given how you recorded it, can’t change much in the mix, eh?

Anyway, how about overdubs? Bass DI on one track, kick and overhead on 2 and 3, and rhythm guitar on 4 with the amp off in another room, or the hallway, or something for more separation, then overdub vocals and lead? Then just use furniture or futons or packing blankets taped on the walls or whatever to kill the small room a bit. Won’t fix it a whole lot, but it will help some. If you had a condensor for the drum overhead you might like that sound better than a dynamic - is that something like the cobalt 7?

Willow Wind - doth mine ears detect a strat there? :D

I think overdubs would help a lot, but we only have so much time each Sunday; perhaps tomorrow! The bassist moves offices for a living, and keeps saying he will get us some sound-damping cubicle dividers, but… :(

No Strat - my old Westone/Electra Phoenix with the coil taps pulled! A good sounding guitar there; these days I mostly play a Strat style Ibanez or an old Van Halen style Kramer (it’s the Ibanez on Can’t Say).

'til later!
Tony W