live recording nightmare (long)


New member
I'm recording a jam session, and really would like the best results possible.

There will be four amplified sources: Two guitars, organ, and bass, and several drum sources: Congas, bongos, found percussion, trap set, etc.

The equipment:

MICS: 5 SM57s, 1 SM58, 2 small diaphragm condensors, and a smattering of 57 and 58 copies.

BOARD: 12 channel Yamaha Powered Mixer. (I know, but beggars can't be choosers.) This machine has global graphic EQ, but only sweep/boost pots for LOW and HIGH on each channel.

DECK: Roland VS880. Four simlutaneous inputs. Fully editable perchannel EQ. COSM Microphone Modeling.

The plan is to get the best board mix possible, stick it into two of the Roland inputs, and record it onto tracks 1-4. If I'm happy there, I'd like to use the condesnsors to capture the room and send them via some subtle digital reverb into the other two VS880 inputs. I would eventually route the to tracks 5-8.

What do you think? Any EQ suggestions? Is the condesor plan worth it? Room set up hints?
A lot depends on the room...if you're in a crappy room, try the condensors as drum kit overheads first. (maybe even if the room is OK).

Also, since the VS can do track copy, don't waste the disk space doubling the tracks during the session. It sounds like you planned to. I'd record the board outs to 1-2 and the condensors to 3-4, then track copy the tracks later. You'll double your recording time.

I would record the band in stereo using the two condens mics, given that the mics are ok. Use track 3 to catch a clean vocal directly from the mixer. So I can mix the vocal in front in the final mix. Then use track four for lead guitar, also to be able to mix it to the right level. Then record all 4 tracks in one shot. I´ve used this technique on my MD multitrack using two AKG C1000s mics with great result.
It´s simple, but it works in Copenhagen
Good luck
Peter the dane!
the advice from juncher is right on. pretty much exactly what i would do, though i might add one additional track for the percussion. but the main concept here is to use the two condensers as a stereo pair to track the overall sound of the group together. trying to individually mic each instrument in a group like that often results in a sonic nightmare. try to keep the room as neutral as possible - the deader the better - a live room will kill you for this kind of stuff. put your "space" around it with something like the "piano hall" reverb on the 880.
Thanks for the help so far, I'd love to get more... I guess I should have been a bit more specific in my first post. Vocals (if any) will probably be group chanting ala Soul Saints Orchestra or Funkadelic's "funkadelic."

The room IS crappy. Well, it's a basement anyway. I've taken the usual steps towards deadening: carpeting, blankets, mattresses, etc. Any other quick and inexpensive tips?
Yo Leader of Beans:

Sounds like you have yourself a real project.

However, Here is something you might consider:

Record your drums, bass, and chord changes (piano/organ/or whatever) FIRST.

Then, overdub in the solos on whatever. [I guess you will need at least 8 tracks to do this.]

Last of all, dub in the vocal part; then, comes the most time-consuming part of the project, MIXING it all down.

I record some clients merely by using CD music backgrounds and I have all the other tracks, one or two or more, to put the vocal on.

If I do the music, I usually get the drums and chords in first, then I dub in the bass and whatever strings/lead horns, etc., I need to finish the song.

Most important avoid bouncing tracks. When you commit two or more takes to one track or two tracks you lose control of individually tweaking that ONE TRACK. Whatever you combine in a bounce has only one slider for volume and only the one set of EQ's. So, I don't bounce very much, if at all.

Hope this helps,

Green Hornet