Live recording and gig report

:slight_smile:

In case anyone is interested…

I got a gig playing guitar for this lot: www.motelkings.co.uk.

They haven’t played for 6 years and their guitarist is out of town so I got the call. Four cds of songs, 1 rehearsal, and 2 hours on stage (2 sets). Great fun if not a little harrowing.

Anyway, I mentioned in another thread that I was looking for an outboard interface. Well some serious ebaying got me sufficient spondoolicks to pick up a Tascam 1641. First outing was to record the Motel Kings gig.

We’d hired a biggish PA, so they handled the mic-ing up. We split the XLRs at the desk (using passive XLR splitters), into my Soundcraft mixer and then into the Tascam into 10 of the analogue inputs. Recording was done using my entry level Dell laptop (with all the unnecessary services etc stopped), and a little software programme that isn’t n-track. The tascam is USB2.

Recorded 10 tracks at 24bit 44.1 for the full 2 hours (and the sound check). The Tascam didn’t miss a beat.

Bass: DI
Keys: DI
Guitar: SM57
Snare: SM57
Overheads: AKG C1000s
Kick: AKG something
Harmonica amp: SM57
Vocals: SM58
Crowd mic: AT small condensor. Forget the model.

All the tracks sound great, although I’m not really happy with the '57 on the guitar cab. Sounds kinda fizzy to me although it sounded fine out of the PA. Maybe I need to work the EQ a bit.

Anyway, I’ll post some tracks if I’m allowed (not my songs).

And a big vote for the Tascam.

That’s great Mark! :agree:

Please do post up some stuff if you are able. Mixing live stuff is all I’m about these days… it’s a challenge mate…

D

Quote: (Diogesneez @ Aug. 31 2009, 11:12 AM)

Please do post up some stuff if you are able. Mixing live stuff is all I'm about these days... it's a challenge mate...

D

Ain't that the fact. It would have been much more helpful if we'd all made mistakes at the same places in the same song instead of all in different places....

And that flippin' guitar player kept getting louder; levels all over the place...., no... wait... that was me, doh!

I'm really looking forward to having a go at this. Everything sounds dry (obviously) and pretty flat at first listen. Got any tips or suggestions D on how you approach your mixing of live tracks?

Cheers

Advice? Yeah… QUIT NOW! :laugh:

Just jokin’… Dry huh? Reverb and delay plugs are your friend used sparingly just to get a little “air” in there. I have to really pay attention here as I have some sicko desire to over-do reverb… Maybe it’s because of the natural roar between my ears… :laugh:

Get used to automation. If you have a PC capable enough and a hardware controller, ride a fader or faders and record volume envelopes. In my case, my old PC is rather long in the tooth and I have to keep the latency up so hardware recording of fader moves would be tricky even if I had a hardware controller. So… I spend a lot of time drawing envelopes or riding a fader with the mouse early on while I can keep the latency down.

Mic bleed? This one is a PITA and I have only hit on a few things that help. Automation, flipping the phase on one mic channel against the other… (gotta be careful with that!) Highpass EQ’s help cut the ‘mud’ on the offending bleeder etc… Just common sense stuff really.

I’m still experimenting myself. The main thing is keep it fun. So far, I have been enjoying it. I work in short spurts so I don’t get sick of everything so quick. One of those songs I posted a link too? There are about TEN different project files saved for that one song. I’ll go back and forth to revisit them and make notes. < MAKE NOTES!! MY feeble brain NEEDS a notepad…

D’s live mixin’ TO DO list:

Explore side-chaining a bit more… (so easy to setup in ‘R’ as to be laughable)
Play around more with ReaGate… (gate plug)
Play around a LOT more with ReaXcomp… (multi-band compressor)

Next time, pre-recording TO DO list:

Work on drum mic placements…
Talk to performers. They can help out more than anything else…

D

Hi Mark A:


Good for you…




That Tascam 1641 hardware looks so interesting…
Question.
?
Is the drivers all O.K.
for the 1641…
in your opinion, that is…
????






Bill…

[EDIT] Mistakes are something you can’t rehearse… In fact they are the best part of doing a live stage… Well, to me they are… You’ll never hear mistakes done the same way again… :( :agree:

Marc - that is so cool. You must be from my future. I’d love to be able to
do that some day. What letter does the other little software progran begin
with?

Hi D, Hi Bill,

D, thanks for the tips. I was already part way down the reverb route. Struggling to find the right one at the moment, but something right will come up. Levels are all over the place, so mucho envelope drawing I’m sure. I’ve got a mic I setup in the crowd which gives me a starting point for what the FOH sound was but it’s gonna be hard to capture “big”. Also these guys albums sound pretty sweet so in a sense I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Bill, I know what you mean. I guess having played for years in some very tight and well rehearsed bands that I find it frustrating to make silly mistakes. Also (not surprisingly) these guys don’t do the songs live as they do on the cds - and it was pretty much the cd arrangements that I learned, and without knowing the guys that well I wasn’t sure if some of the hand signals meant two bars, two solos, or something else!!

As for the Tascam the drivers seem just fine provided the Tascam is turned on when I startup the DAW software. I’m getting a few crackles now that I’ve started loading up effects etc, and even though the processor isn’t being hit I think I may need to up the buffers to cope.


:slight_smile:

Mark

Quote:

I wasn't sure if some of the hand signals meant two bars, two solos, or something else!!


YEAH! Pet peeve of mine. Whichever vocalist is leading the song on our team at church is responsible for cuing the band via hand signals. The main guy is good at it. We very seldom miss a cue when he is leading. Some of the others however... TRAIN WRECK!! ROFL... We're playing the verse section and she's still singin' the chorus! AAARRRGGGHHHH!

Hand signals: Know 'em, learn 'em, USE THEM! Except for the middle finger 'sign'. Let's forget that one shall we? :laugh:

D

PS What do you suppose shaking your hand as if trying to flick a booger off a finger means? Repeat? Speed up? Slow down? Stop NOW? Go fetch me a tissue? WHAT!?!?!?
Quote: (sevenOfeleven @ Aug. 31 2009, 3:39 PM)

Marc - that is so cool. You must be from my future. I'd love to be able to
do that some day. What letter does the other little software progran begin
with?

R


Mark
Quote: (Diogesneez @ Aug. 31 2009, 4:06 PM)

Hand signals: Know 'em, learn 'em, USE THEM! Except for the middle finger 'sign'. Let's forget that one shall we? :laugh:

D

PS What do you suppose shaking your hand as if trying to flick a booger off a finger means? Repeat? Speed up? Slow down? Stop NOW? Go fetch me a tissue? WHAT!?!?!?

Well at least we could wander across the stage in that rock 'n' roll manner for what looks like a cool chat during the harmonica solo. In actual fact it's me and the bass player trying to figure out if we're supposed to go up to the 5th for a bar before the middle 8.

Well it’s begining to sound a bit bigger on headphones (yeah, I know, friends don’t let friends mix on headphones but it’s late here). I know it’ll sound worse on speakers but at least I’m going in the right direction.

Thanks for the tip on the “X” compressor D. I’ve got the guitar starting to sound right and the bass is on the way there except it’s a bit farty.

Hey… I checked out that web site. Looks like a FUN band to play in. Good score Mark! :agree:

Do they have tunes online somewhere?

D

I dunno D. I have all the albums (obviously). I’ll ask if I can put one or two songs up somewhere.

I’m a bit too “rock” and they are blues/R&B so my guitar vocabulary was stretched a little thin and did verge into “inappropriate” places on some of the songs… well let’s face it, they are mostly 12-bar variations and come the 5th solo I’ve run out of ideas! It would be good to have a bit more time to work on some of the guitar parts rather than just “survival”.

I’d love to play with them again. The bass player and singer already gig together; the keys player, I don’t know, but the drummer has got itchy stick-hands to do something again. Geographically we’re 200 miles apart but that doesn’t have to be a problem for the right gigs.

It’s awful to sit-in on a stage when everyone knows your sitt’in… Everyone thanks for the job you did, and then takes a deep breath and turns the other way…
:)
:p
:laugh:


I was a great fill-in bass player…
that’s what filled in my calendar to seven days a week…
Eight days if there were matinees…

:p



Bill…

Well the guys are talking about doing a few “choice” gigs later this year and next so we’ll see how that pans out.

It’s funny - my son said my guitar sounded great out of FOH but on the recording it’s a fizzy, weedy mess. I recorded the exact same feed - an SM57 split into the desk and the recording rig. Anyway, lot’s of EQ, lots of multiband compression and a slice of Free Amp has done wonders. I should have made some notes on what the PA boys were doing with the sound…

Ok, here’s a couple of toons…

Tunes here

Enjoy

Oh yes!
:agree: Fresh air! Thank you!

Yep…
Nice…
Mark A…
I hear some Dutch Mason …
Hughy Lewis, Donald Dunn and the MG’s…
Danny Gratton
It’s BarRoom stuff…
You’d be busy if you wanted to work over here…


I am sure I can see some blue smoke coming off the voice coils of the speakers in you amp…
The keyboard guy has a nice touch…
The drummer and bass player work well together…


Thank you for those links…
:agree:
:)
:p
:laugh: Your mix works well…



Bill…

Thanks guys. I hope the band like them as much.

Compared to their albums my mixes sound a lot more “rock” than “R&B”, but that’s what they get for asking me to play guitar and mix the recording :slight_smile: