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Author Topic: Portable live recording for bluegrass band  (Read 2963 times)

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Offline msteudel

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 05:02:21 PM »

I didnt know a lifetime of beer was a possible payment plan!?!?.
Ive helped out mark a few times, but like his enthusiasm to do it himself.
Heres my first time seeing his band
Colonels of Truth Live at Nectar Lounge on 2015-08-11 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
https://archive.org/details/ColonelsOfTruth2015-08-11.akg483.flac24

Haha ...

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 05:51:41 PM »
Group playing around a single mic is a difficult skill.  It's a complex dance between all the performers.  I once saw a guest mandolin player get hip-checked and land on his ass when he didn't get out of the way fast enough.  The audience loved it! Hardly any bluegrass bands actually use only a single mic.  Even the minimally mic'd ones use at least two or three or four main mics and a dedicated mic on the bass.   Typically one or two vocal (& fiddle) mics, often a large diaphragm mic, which looks cool, up at head level and a couple shared instrument mics on either side down closer to waist height guitar level.   

The Chat.Co.Line setup is somewhat of an halfway compromise between those things with all three main mics mounted on a single stand, which should make for an easier guerrilla location setup.  It still takes some dancing, though not as much as trying to use a single mic for both vocals and instruments.  The guitar needs to get in close, the banjo can hang back further than anyone else, 'cept  the close-mic'd bass.

Might be worth a try to use a 4 ch recorder with decent built in directional mics, with the recorder attached to the same stand below the large diaphragm vocal mic.  That would be similar to the Ch.Co.Line setup.  Run the bass mic into the other XLR channel opposite the vocal mic.  That's sort of the stage lip + vocal mic + bass mic thing.

..It is out of your price range but DPA offers a really nice clip on instrument mic for upright bass.  IMO that is the best approach to that instrument.  A lot of professionals use this and if they can get a DI for the bass in larger settings will ask that be used. 

That's the DPA 4099 (B for bass version I think) which is excellent for that and pretty standard these days.  The 4099 is a go to mic for live "clamp on to the instrument" acoustic instrument mic'ing.  Same mic is used on fiddles, mandos, banjos, horns, etc.  The only difference is the clamp specific to each instrument type, although the horn version may be less sensitive.

You'll want some kind of mic mounted on the bass itself like that.  You may be able to get away with the classic technique of simply wrapping a regular mic in a towel or bit of foam and stuffing it behind the tailpiece pointing up at the bridge.



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Offline msteudel

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 12:20:43 AM »
Thanks! I was looking at the Tascom 70D which has built in mics, but it seems like the Zooms get better reviews for the onboard mics. I haven't seen anyone tout the quality of the 70d ... any thoughts about that? I think the Zoom 6 can do both onboards and xlrs so it seems like sorta a toss up between tascam 70d and the zoom 6 ... though the tascam has the benefit of only being 200 right now ....

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2016, 12:09:19 PM »

If guerrilla style you'll need microphones, mic stand(s) cables and a recorder.  If recording stage performances where you're already mic'd up for the PA you might get away with only the recorder with built-in mics, also recording a mix from the soundboard.

Not really...  The secret to this is to get a camera that has a minijack mic input and allows you to manually set the record level (Sony used to have that but dropped the mic input on everything but theor most expensive ones so I use a Canon now).  Then just use a decent mic (the one I lived with this way for years hasn't been made in that many years or more but you could just use a pair of SP's or Churchs clipped to a mount or the tripod).  As long as you're not waving the camera around it's fine.  Far simpler and more practical (especially if the band is running it themselves, which I take to be a set it and forget it sort of thing). 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2016, 12:12:14 PM »
Thanks! I was looking at the Tascom 70D which has built in mics, but it seems like the Zooms get better reviews for the onboard mics. I haven't seen anyone tout the quality of the 70d ... any thoughts about that? I think the Zoom 6 can do both onboards and xlrs so it seems like sorta a toss up between tascam 70d and the zoom 6 ... though the tascam has the benefit of only being 200 right now ....

If you think you may do SBD inputs at some point check to make sure whatever it is supports line level inputs.  One of my soundperson friends was saying his Zoom has XLR inputs but they're mic inputs so he has to put attenuators in line and use the internal pad to get the feed down to a suitable level.  YMMV? 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2016, 04:42:16 PM »
Another thought is to use a board that has built in USB recording.  The Behringer XR12 ($249) has 4 XLR mic inputs and will record a 2 channel mix onto a USB drive.  The Soundcraft UI12 ($299) has 8 XLR mic inputs and will record a 2 channel mix onto a USB drive; however, I do not recommend the ui in its present form because I have experienced noise in quiet settings with low output condenser mics on phantom power on my ui12.  I also do not like the ui's stage box design or having an external power supply.     However, Soundcraft is working on an updated mixer that very well should be worth the wait because the software used to control the UI is very, very good.  But if you can't wait, the XR is a pretty cool mixer that is in the OP's price range.   


Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 07:21:28 PM »
Have really enjoyed this discussion as I'll be in this situation in a few weeks.
Thinking of a single omni flanked by ORTF cards. (maybe a mono feed from the board as fourth channel)

Does that seem like a good approach?

Last time I recorded at this club I was ~12 feet back and the recording is VERY chatty.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2016, 10:16:26 AM »
Worth a shot.  Be flexible. If you leave the omni on the stand in the middle between the ORTF pair, it may make sense to either space the cardioids  a bit further apart or angle them wider than ORTF, depending on how you work the mix.  If you need more prominent bass, have enough mic cable already coiled and ready at the base of the stand to move the omni over to it and stick it behind the tailpiece using some foam or wrapped in a towel or something. 
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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2017, 11:17:41 AM »
I used the method above and am happy with the results of the band, but the recording is still pretty chatty.

I went back last week and recorded another bluegrass band. I used the same config but swapped ORTF for DIN-A.
Still pretty chatty
Not sure what my next options should be:
swap cards for hypers?
decrease angle of cards?
accept this is part of "the sound of the room" at this bar?



Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Portable live recording for bluegrass band
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2017, 03:00:39 PM »
All of the above.

Try using the most directional mics you have available to you.
Point them away from chattiness as much as possible.
Get the mics a closer to the instruments and voices and further from the sources of noise.
Accept that the output level from acoustic instruments can't compete with a room full of folks more interested in talking about other stuff than listening to the music.

All that can only go so far.  The only way to significantly cut pickup of the audience further is to put individual mics on the instruments and vocals and make a mix of those sources.  Best to record the sources separately and do that mix later (probably sweetening the dry close-mic'd sound with some reverb) and not try to record a stereo mix of all that live, unless you don't change the band setup from gig to gig and learn to dial in a decent 2-ch live mix which always works pretty well. Even then, getting there will be easier if you can record everything separately a few times and figure out an optimal mix later, which you can then use as a target to try and emulate with your live 2-channel mix.
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