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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Recording Corner »

Permalink Recording your band in studio: all together or one by one?

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image (nothing official yet, just some badly mixed snippets from practice)

PolloGuitar wrote:

You didn't say how many mics you have, but if you are recording a trio, I think at least five- Kick, snare, one overhead on the drums, guitar and bass. If you can have two for stereo overheads, that would help. If you can record a direct out of the bass, that would be good, too.

I agree with Ferenc here: his advice is right on the money. I too appreciate the addition of a DI from the bass signal and a set of ambient stereo overhead (at some distance) away from the band. I'm a big fan of unique "room" sound if you can find the right setup for your space. Good Luck!

Here's a couple SG101 threads about recording drums--

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DeathTide wrote:

Samurai wrote:

Hi everybody! Last year we got close to recording our first album and made some demos with pretty little success) The main thing I cannon understand till now is how to record generally.
First demo we’ve recorded one by one (drummer recorded all the tracks first, than bass was recorded using drum tracks, than me recorded all guitars using ready rythms). It was clean and nice sounding, but completely lifeless. No band synergy or drive.

I do happen to be a recording professional, but not music (Film & TV). I have been recording music at home since I was six (forty seven now), but I do not purport to be a music recording engineer. (Just listen to the SG comp tracks and you’ll hear how badly I need to learn how to mix and master!)

The situation you describe has a very simple solution, yet it is most likely impossible for anyone at home:

Separate rooms. One big room with drums and all people, cabs (or combos) in separate, sound proofed from the outside, but not dead inside. Everyone on headphones with their own monitor mix.

Yes you’re wearing headphones, but you can have everyone in the same room, crank your amps, slam your drums, get isolated room mics of all instruments (this is awesome), and finally - the ability to easily punch in and out, overdub, or just do whatever you want later.

Folks sell enclosure boxes to put amps in for this purpose, but a room designed for it would be best. Baffles you can move around to get the room mics sounding nice, room to stand while working, etc.

This also means you can mic the drums any way you want! Glyn Johns technique is pretty impossible with a loud band due to mic bleed. I often have fantasies about having the kit miced this way as well as close-miced with non-ribbon mics and of course my favorite, room mics.

I do not agree that mic bleed = more open, or “better” in general - that’s the job of room mics. I guarantee you will get a much better “openess” from room mics than any mic bleed. That’s my opinion: mic bleed sounds like a sound that a mic is not pointed at, AKA off-axis. Room mics are on-axis. I kind of hate mic bleed.

As far as your actual situation, and a way you can improv the bleed issue, is what Stratdancer said - put the amps in another room. I imagine a bathroom would sound awesome for guitar, but you’d wanna play with baffles and rugs or curtains to focus the reflections. The problem at home is you need monitors! So that may not really work.

I put big ass pieces foam in between the cymbals and the cab speakers to minimize those things bleeding into the guitar tracks. It’s not very precise but it’s okay for practice. I don’t deaden the practice room because it’s actually great how it is. It’s my garage and the ceiling is not flat (old school underneath-hardwood-floor style) and the floor is concrete. The room mic sounds great about fifteen feet away from the drums.

Dan Izen

Thanks, that is really interesting and useful!

However we are not home recording, at least now) We all live in small apartments in multi floor buildings, so even playing louder than TV sound is a problem.
We are searching for the right studio and so need some criteria for it and need to ask right questions)

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

I’ve almost completed the list of basic “how to do” things and some useful tips, thank you, guys, and just go on!

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

PolloGuitar wrote:

Here's a couple SG101 threads about recording drums--

Great, Ferenc! Thank you again.

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

One solution to separation of amps and drums maybe to use modeling and a headphone channel amps for all the band members and the overhead mikes for the acoustic drum kit.

Or you could go electronic drum pads and real amps, but I feel the electronic drums are not as good or reliable as the amp modeling is for guitars, so suggesting the first method in the last paragraph.

Or just use all modeling devices so the dog won't howl in the back yard and wake up the neighborhood. Shock

Live drums are the hardest to set up for recording though (tuning, mic placement etc.) That can take all day sometimes. That's why I use a drum machine and drum sound module instead. You just can't beat the recording studio sound they put out and I can record all by myself, very hard to do otherwise. Its recording studio samples for all the percussion sounds in them. Its much easier for me to do it this way, but it is hard to program the drum machine but I am getting better at using time saving methods composing drum backing tracks.

I will have to make a mp3 sometime, I keep threatening people I will do this sometime, just so bogged down in a bucket list right now to get anything done.

The biggest problem for home recording is not have a mixer man on the board in a band situation in most cases (I did that and played the drums in my old band.) The problem was I set up the levels while somebody else banged on the drums etc. , and before the band played in unison, so the levels would change when every one started playing together, it was always hard to get a decent studio sound that way. Most mixer boards overdrive on channels in that type situations and the more channels on the master the higher the voltage etc.

Ok I forgot to add: when recording drums whether live real drum kit or a drum machine, be sure to have mix of wet and dry signals in the mix. The drums lack punch without a dry recording track and reverb effects track in play/ The mix levels depend on the size of the room and drum sizes so you have to adjust for your taste and situation at hand. I keep forgetting to do this myself and many other times in the past, but it gives a nice sounding result. You can also record 4 dry tracks then use a reverb unit inserted in two of those tracts or use a effects plugin on a computer based program etc. Just a idea to help. Smile


Last edited: Jan 15, 2020 00:47:02

I hit the wrong button so took this opportunity to present the Rack Eleven modeler I use, I can get some serious surf tone and reverb with this thing.

Last edited: Jan 15, 2020 00:33:34

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