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Thread: Recording live or separately?

  1. #1

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    Default Recording live or separately?

    Firstly id just like to say that this was a very good idea for a drum topic, often ive looked for post etc about recording and its good to have 1 place for everything.

    Anyway, i just wanted to inquire as to how people prefer to record a band, separately or all together live. Im looking to record in the near future and have already learnt its a frustrating process. We tryed recording separately but audacity seemed to make everything out of sync, tried live but it was nigh impossible getting all the levels right for all the instruments. I have a behringer xenyx which, although annoying doesnt record diferent channels onto different tracks, i am quite fond of. For my uses it should be fine.

    So recording tips and advice would be appreciated, thanks

  2. #2

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    a live track with the the whole band to get the drums

    then record the guitars bass ect ...over the top in separate tracks

    im using ableton and pro tools ....seems to work fine

  3. #3

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    Stan, I too have experienced the frustration of setting levels, recording onto a 4track and playing it back only to realize that the vocals were extremely high or the snare just clipped the whole time. Ugh. Then I bought a Firepod, had the ability to record on separate tracks and voila, I was happy.

    Suggestion #1: Try recording live with one or two room mics. If you have a good sounding room and make sure your amps and PA are set properly, chances are you will get a good sound.

    Suggestion #spend money: Look into a Firepod, or self contained digital recorder. Check out RMandelbaum's on the other thread. It's a pretty cool Tascam that will for sure get you recording well.
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  4. #4

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    Sounds like you are having latency issues. I agree with the Firepod suggestion. They are going rather cheaply on ebay. I see them for $250.00 8 pre amps. Get two and you can daisy chain for 18.

    I am happy with my set up but a DM24 goes for about 1000.00 and you still need the interface hardware.

    Presonus has a cool new mixer / pre amp out

    http://presonus.com/products/Detail.aspx?ProductId=52

    I am not sure if it has motorized faders though. For me this was a must. I prefer to mix on the mixer not "in the box" This is just my personal preference.
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  5. #5

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    Me and my mate are looking at getting the presonis firewire (I think).

    He has a really powerful computer that could take it all at 96khz.

    As for how to record there are different techniques. First is to just record everything in the room as has been said. More different mics in the room the better, and find good positions where everything is good mixed as recorded. This is generally done for the backing track or for demos.

    Then when doing the band, bleed is band. So isolation of every single little thing makes production alot easier. Even getting it down to stopping bleed between every drum and cymbal.... Its hard but there are a few small techniques that can help. Which can be further discussed on later.

    What gear do you have atm?
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo42w View Post
    Me and my mate are looking at getting the presonis firewire (I think).

    He has a really powerful computer that could take it all at 96khz.

    As for how to record there are different techniques. First is to just record everything in the room as has been said. More different mics in the room the better, and find good positions where everything is good mixed as recorded. This is generally done for the backing track or for demos.

    Then when doing the band, bleed is band. So isolation of every single little thing makes production alot easier. Even getting it down to stopping bleed between every drum and cymbal.... Its hard but there are a few small techniques that can help. Which can be further discussed on later.

    What gear do you have atm?

    i.e gating......There are some decent free vst plugins that help correct bleed
    As of 1/7/09: Tama Starclassic Bubinga/Birch. 12", 14" 16" 20" DW Brass snare. Pearl Eliminator double bass pedal. DW 5000 hi hat stand.

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  7. #7

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    gating still doesnt do much for your sound. Because you gate it. Then when the gate is open you still get the low volumes (Unless thats just cheap ones) And with drums so loud ........

    And for compressors.... They kill your dinamics too much. Best bet is correct microphone selection and position then using these two lightly.
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  8. #8

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    I have 7 drum mics and a behringer mixer which has 8 mic inputs. I was considering a firepod but couldn't find one for less than 500 and my budget was about 200-300. I think i can get a good sound quality but it will just be a slow progress. What computer programs are recommended. I use audacity at the moment but it is pretty bad. I was thinking of cubase. The dilemma is we try recording together live and the levels arnt right (this is with 2 guitars, vocals and a bss) so we have to keep trying for ages. Bu when we try separately it goes out of sync and stuff for no reason. Grrr its so aggravating
    Last edited by Mysterious Stan; 01-16-2009 at 05:33 PM.

  9. #9

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    You should be able find a firepod for easily under 500GBP. Used ones are selling for $250-$300 USD on ebay.

    As far as software goes, cubase is a pretty user friendly program. As well as the home versions of Sonar. Definitely better than Audacity, and they accept VST plugins, which are virtual effects (i.e. compressors, reverbs, eq's, etc.) there are some pretty great free VST plugins out there too.
    As of 1/7/09: Tama Starclassic Bubinga/Birch. 12", 14" 16" 20" DW Brass snare. Pearl Eliminator double bass pedal. DW 5000 hi hat stand.

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  10. #10

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    I've found recording drums and rhythm guitar together works great. Than going back and adding bass and lead guitar.

  11. #11

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    I've done both. Together is easier to get the groove of the song going IMHO. Separately gives you much more control of the tracks.
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  12. #12

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    Me and my bassist have been recording a few things together in college, as we take a Music Tech course, which is handy for our recording needs. Our two guitarists/vocalists go elsewhere, so its difficult finding time to record together. But the guy who's engineering for us tried to get us to record separately, so we tried...and it just didn't go right. So he got us both in the booths with headphones, etc, and got us to record together, and it worked so much better. We gelled together instantly and the whole recording process was so much quicker. So after that, I'd say record as a band.
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  13. #13

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    I think the obvious answer all comes down to what sound you want. I've made recordings of live performances and they are less clear but they sound more energetic. The studio recordings were much clearer recordings but lacked the same energy. (thats what makes a good producer/engineer a good producer/engineer). So I would say if you want better quality sound in your recordings and have more skill as a musician, record seperately with all the focus on the recording itself. If you want to capture the essence of the performance, together as a band cannot be matched (like Neil Young does).

    By the way, I disagree with a previous post and I always use gate/compressors for each individual mic on my drum set. This creates isolation between them and each instrument can be dialed in (limited) to just the sound you want (with a little reverb). I've had people comment on how much better the drums sound with my little rig.......
    We all have our dreams......mine is to be able to play like this ....... http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/Jojomayernerve.html

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    a live track with the the whole band to get the drums

    then record the guitars bass ect ...over the top in separate tracks

    im using ableton and pro tools ....seems to work fine
    I agree with this, but keep the bass guitar track if there are no mistakes. It's hard to lock that in later.
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  15. #15

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    Technically in studios they record the rhythm, so drums and bass then add in the Melodie over the top. But whatever works. Just coz thats the way doesnt mean it has to happen that way
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo42w View Post
    Technically in studios they record the rhythm, so drums and bass then add in the Melodie over the top. But whatever works. Just coz thats the way doesnt mean it has to happen that way
    that's how professional recordings are always done as far as i am aware.
    I have experimented with different ways, being it isn't a professional recording, i am not worried about 100% perfection.

    although right now i have to play bass on my keyboard, one of my tuning gears on my bass guitar stripped out the other day

  17. #17

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    NOOOOOOOO.... :( Thats worse than snapping a bass string... no ones ever got spares. well generally lol i keep spares. :P only coz i was given them though.
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  18. #18

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    I have had 3 good experiences with recording with my band. each way was done differently
    - the first one i did with my whole band playing all at once. the drums were in a separate room and i could hear the rest of my group through microphones. there was no bleeding but we were all playing at the same time (i sucked at the time, i still do). the recording was good (other than the foolish recording engineer). if you wanna hear it, you can hear the sample off of itunes if you search "metrophish". (or you could buy it, i'd love you :3)
    - the next recording was the outtakes of the first album which we are currently making. we did that in my friends basement the bass, drums, and rhythm guitar playing all at once. after, we dubbed the rest in. it was surprisingly a good outcome for the cheapness of the equiptment we used. some of the songs i learned 15 minutes before we recorded it. if you wanna hear that one, just go here http://metrophish.com/metro/Download_the_Circus.html you can download it for free
    - the last one is the one we're doing currently and will be our best recording and is done with the drums in a soundproof room while the bass and guitar is playing, we will dub the rest in later... you can't hear that one... yet

    anyway, this post is just so you can listen to them and hear the differences between them if ya want to.

  19. #19

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    wow that's..... alot of typing O.O

  20. #20

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    Hey guys new to the forum, thought I would chime in. I record separately with a stem track which has the bass and guitar and a click track. That runs into an Digidesign 002 rack unit ( Black Lion mod) tide into a ADA8000 ADAT (Black Lion mod) using a light pipe giving me 16 digital inputs /channels. When I am done I fire my tracks back my brother for final mixing and masering.

  21. #21

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    Never tried this but it might work for you...

    1.Play the song with the band making sure every bodies on time correctly.
    2.Repeat #1 but don't worry about the audio, just make sure you get the snare and some of the guitar.
    3.Mic up your kit as well as possible, wear some headphones that allow you to hear #2. Then record the drum part by playing along. If you have fills that need to sound perfect, then step record.
    4.Now just get everybody else individually, using #3 as a backing track for them.

  22. #22

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    YEa you are essentially describing a stem track. The rhythm guitar and Bass guitar are recorded using a click track or as you described a band/ song track. This is then mixed and bumped down to a single track (also known as a stem tack). This track is then used to lay the drums down with. Once that is done the lead guitar and vocals are layed down in a similar fashion. There is a ton of ways people do this.

  23. #23

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    As for recording, I have limited experience, but I have done all my recording live. First time was with the whole band; get a signal splitter (you can rent this) send one to the PA, and then another to the digital recorder. You can scratch and add tracts as needed. The other way that I am recording now is live with the band, then going back and re-doing sections with the drums, and after all the drums are done then start on the guitars and vocals.

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