Thread: advice on live recording, bluegrass

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  1. #1
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    doing a live (at gig) recording of a bluegrass band. This is a little out of genre for me, and due to the short booking (it's next friday, the 6th) i wont be able to see the band ahead of the gig because i just don't have the time.

    They're websight is currently down (theyre supposed to have a video up) but hopefully i'll get to see something before i show up....
    anyway...

    5 members
    so, there are 5 vocals, a female lead and 4 backups.
    the 4 backups also play instruments (sometimes the lead does too, probably not this time, but i need to prepare for that possibility)

    1 vox plus changes out a bunch of instruments.
    guitar, doboro, mando etc...

    2 is vocals and bass (was thinking of using foam and putting and earthworks omni up in the bridge here)

    3 lead vox, female. possible guitar and aux perc. i've been told that she'll just be singing, but i want a plan for that anyway.

    4 vox, mando/guitar

    5 vox, doboro/guitar

    mics i'll have available:
    beyer m88 (probably for lead vox)
    beyer m69 (if i can find it)
    2X sm58
    2X sm57 (optional wind screens, the good ones that ssure makes for the 57)
    ev 868 (kick mic)
    shure sm7b
    2X beyer dynamic m201
    2X earthworks SRO (exactly a tc20k, but black)
    4X oktava mk012 (hyper and cardi caps) will probably use the cardi pair of these for room capture.
    oktava ml-19 (actually a bad ass vocal mic) i'm considering taking this because it usually pairs well with female vox. but maybe it's a bad idea. Probably none of you have used it, but it's a really good mic.

    the rest of my mics i'll probably leave at home.

    the only ideas i have are pretty basic. hypercardi 012's and beyer201's on instruments. maybe do the "omni in the bass bridge thing" (he has a pickup too, and i'll take that as well.
    the m88 is probably the main contender for lead vox.
    pair of oktavas for stereo capture.
    i don't have any ideas more specific then that.

    thanks!!

    p.s. he's getting the websight back up so maybe i can get a look at a video of the band....


    edit: so he got me a link to a live performance. looks like they own a small army of sm58's, at least that's what it looks like the video is pretty grainy.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  2. #2
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Well, nada huh?
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  3. #3
    Former burger flipper turned Alshi expert Granfaloon
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Was there a question?
    I would go so far as to say that pop art is the ultimate reflection of society.

    Donít think about that too much. Itís too painful.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Was there a question?
    And there it is.
  5. #5
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Are you asking for opinions on how to mike the band?

    First of, I would ask them, if they usually perform in the "traditional" bluegrass manner, where they use very few mics and move in and out in order to balance themselves (The Steeldrivers come to mind..) Cause then it won't do no good placing spotmics on on Vox and instruments.

    If they are used to micing everything like a rock band, well - use the best mics you have for the specific duty.

    I would put up some different OH /ambient mics, since that is how I hear Bluegrass music. The spotmics would only be used as a mean to control the balance and enhance things when needed.
    In a live situation, I would also try and capture the sound from the audience perspective and their reactions...

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  6. #6
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Was there a question?
    I figured it was implied in the context, or maybe the title.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  7. #7
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Are you asking for opinions on how to mike the band?

    First of, I would ask them, if they usually perform in the "traditional" bluegrass manner, where they use very few mics and move in and out in order to balance themselves (The Steeldrivers come to mind..) Cause then it won't do no good placing spotmics on on Vox and instruments.

    If they are used to micing everything like a rock band, well - use the best mics you have for the specific duty.

    I would put up some different OH /ambient mics, since that is how I hear Bluegrass music. The spotmics would only be used as a mean to control the balance and enhance things when needed.
    In a live situation, I would also try and capture the sound from the audience perspective and their reactions...

    www.lydsalonen.dk
    I've seen a video, and they don't do traditional, though that would be my preference frankly. It might even sound better, but they are paying for and expect a multi track, hopefully with the ability to fix/add if necessary. (We'll see, you know how that can go with the bleed and such.)
    Was just hoping that someone might have had some experience with this particular thing, and maybe had some ideas about process or warnings about problems that are not obvious and I might over look being new to this specific thing.

    Side bar: has any one ever done the "omni right in the bridge of a bass" thing? I've always wanted to try it, but never have.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  8. #8
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    The omni on upright bass works great. Especially in a live setting where the player might be moving around more than in a recording session.

    That is going to be a challenge also with the all the other string isntruments, since their pickups probably suck as main source. If they are used to stand up in front of a mic, that would be great.

    Position of the players in relation to each other can also influence the result eg in terms of bleed. Especially the mandolin can influence your possible eq moves on the vocals...

    www.lydsalonen.dk
  9. #9
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    If they are singing while playing acoustic instruments without pickups odds are very slim they would be able to fix things later.
  10. #10
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    If the instruments have pickups, I'll take those too. Though i probably won't use them much unless we're going to tear the entire thing down. I doubt that is their intension though.

    I'm curious about the mandolin comment. Should I strive to have the mandolin player as far from the lead vocals as possible? Or is this just in reference to the vocal mic of the mandolin player?
    Thanks.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  11. #11
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    A bunch of dpa 4099's would be nice. That's not going to happen though.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  12. #12
    Former burger flipper turned Alshi expert Granfaloon
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    OK, then I'll start with a question for you, tall guy... Are you just recording, or are you doing FOH and monitors for the show, too?
    I would go so far as to say that pop art is the ultimate reflection of society.

    Donít think about that too much. Itís too painful.

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  13. #13
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    Default advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Just recording, taking splits.
    Probably adding to what the foh is putting up, maybe trading out some choices. I'm told foh will be pretty easy going.
    Last edited by giraffe; May 3rd, 2016 at 01:25 AM.
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  14. #14
    Frustrated Chick Rock singer...now doing jazz standards poorly! Fletcher's prison bitch
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    Just recording, taking splits.
    How is the split accomplished?
  15. #15
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    It's like I just wrote about this...

    I'll chime in, since recording live shows is becoming more of my bread and butter work these days.

    According to the budget and eventual plan for the recording, I offer 3 tiers of service. The lowest (cheapest) tier is the straight from the desk over USB/Ethernet to my laptop. Normally on these gigs I'm also doing FOH, so I would supplement the house microphone collection with some (better) mics from my collection and set them as I like to have them (Including some stage and audience mics). I don't worry much about bleed, you have to embrace it in this situation (In fact, it's saved my bacon on occasion).

    At the second tier, I bring out the splits and track from backstage. I have four of the Art S8s, and they're actually quite decent. That said, I always take the direct signal and FOH gets the isolated. This requires coordination with the FOH engineer regarding phantom, but as the microphones on stage are largely provided by me, that's not really an issue. Cooperation with the FOH engineer regarding mic positioning and sound checking is of course critical. Arrive early, have a plan, and coordinate everything with the person out front. Making them feel invested in the recording process helps.

    Third tier is a separate snake, and separate mics (Except vocals which go through a split). I treat this as any live off the floor studio recording, and plan accordingly. Coordinate with the band and venue in advance. Record the rehearsals in the band room, and in the venue before the show to work out any issues and have some material for edits.
    Anything specific you want to know about? You've got some good mics, and you've been around long enough, you should know how to use them. The rest is just organization and diplomacy. It's like any recording gig, only you've got one shot. Sometimes it's shit, and other times it's amazing. Just be prepared to capture amazing.
    I would go so far as to say that pop art is the ultimate reflection of society.

    Donít think about that too much. Itís too painful.

    -Mixerman
  16. #16
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    How is the split accomplished?
    Pro co transformer isolated splitters.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  17. #17
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    It's like I just wrote about this...



    Anything specific you want to know about? You've got some good mics, and you've been around long enough, you should know how to use them. The rest is just organization and diplomacy. It's like any recording gig, only you've got one shot. Sometimes it's shit, and other times it's amazing. Just be prepared to capture amazing.
    No, there's nothing specific, except maybe the viability of the "omni in the bass bridge" technique.

    Mostly just worried about bleed, which is nothing you guys can really help me with any way, and also just to start a thread, you never know who will pop up and hit me with something I need to know.

    Here's a specific question:
    Being that I'm taking direct, how much room should I be trying to get in my stereo pair?
    There's sort of 2 approaches I'm thinking about.

    1: try to get a clean capture with the stereo pair, and support it with the spots.

    2: try to make the spot mics into a good mix, while using a further room pair for ambiance.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  18. #18
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    That choice is really a matter of which type of sonic picture the PRODUCER prefers
  19. #19
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    That choice is really a matter of which type of sonic picture the PRODUCER prefers
    Yea, that's basically me in this instance.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  20. #20
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    Default Re: advice on live recording, bluegrass

    About the mandolin: I was only talking about it as an example of an instrument that can be played loud and have a lot of presence in the same range as the vocals. So, if there's a lot of bleed from eg a mandolin in the lead vocal mic, and you get a dark sm58-like recording of the lead vocals. Then you risk, when wanting to add top end to the lead vocal track (if) , you might end up with a lot of mandolin in that track and that scenario will strongly interfere with what you can do with mandolin volume and eq balance...

    Same thing of course applies to other instruments...


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