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Old 22-02-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
cheddatom
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General Recording Thread

I couldn't find one so I made one, merge if needs be.


When i'm recording, I generally use what's available and most convinient. I'm a lazy recording engineer basically. I won't get the tape measure out when placing mics, and I use slightly random mic choices sometimes. The other day we recorded a rehersal, DI bass, guitar cab mic, kick, snare, 2 overheads. I put an AKG guitar cab mic on the kick drum, and a really shit kareoke style mic on the guitar cab. Both of these slightly weird choices worked better than ever! I've never had such a punchy guitar tone before.

So, odd coincidences can give you new options.

But, do I need to get the tape measure out? I've been thinking of trying the "recorder man technique" on drums.

Do you follow a set of rules you know will work? Or do you just stick a mic in front of an instrument and press record? Or somewhere in between?
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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ive a vague recollection of there being ones on certain software, and things like DSP, but i think we could do with a general recording thredd.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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there's a "general mixing" but mixing =/= recording.
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheddatom View Post
I couldn't find one so I made one, merge if needs be.


When i'm recording, I generally use what's available and most convinient. I'm a lazy recording engineer basically. I won't get the tape measure out when placing mics, and I use slightly random mic choices sometimes. The other day we recorded a rehersal, DI bass, guitar cab mic, kick, snare, 2 overheads. I put an AKG guitar cab mic on the kick drum, and a really shit kareoke style mic on the guitar cab. Both of these slightly weird choices worked better than ever! I've never had such a punchy guitar tone before.

So, odd coincidences can give you new options.

But, do I need to get the tape measure out? I've been thinking of trying the "recorder man technique" on drums.

Do you follow a set of rules you know will work? Or do you just stick a mic in front of an instrument and press record? Or somewhere in between?
We tend to just bung mics wherever - we'll get the tape measure out if we're adding distance mics to a cab or something but I personally think at this level a good source is more important than anal mic selection/placement.

A shit snare is always going to sound like a shit snare, no matter how many thousands of pounds you throw at mics/outboard.
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Old 22-02-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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yeh, but I am going for a "proffessional" sound IE I don't want shit to sound like a cheap demo (although I don't think my stuff does atm)
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Old 22-02-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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I always wanted to ask this:

Is the tone what we can hear on the recording is actually comparable to the artists recording tone (the sound that came out of his/her amp while recording the final take) or the producers/mixers/whatever EQ the hell out of the things and add compression, reverb and stuff, or guitars are mostly raw? Is it considered as cheating to mess with the guitars sound or it is standard?
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Old 22-02-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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It depends entirely on who's producing/mixing the music. Generally you would want to get the sound right in the first place, but sometimes you might find you have to tweak it once other instruments get involved. Sometimes you just want to go wild to create a more interesting/weird tone. Sometimes the tone was shit but the guitarist's gone home/killed himself.
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Old 22-02-2010, 02:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Don'tPostThePear View Post
I always wanted to ask this:

Is the tone what we can hear on the recording is actually comparable to the artists recording tone (the sound that came out of his/her amp while recording the final take) or the producers/mixers/whatever EQ the hell out of the things and add compression, reverb and stuff, or guitars are mostly raw? Is it considered as cheating to mess with the guitars sound or it is standard?
EQ is basically colouring the sound, all mics colour the sound and how you place them affects that and it depends on the compressor and the settings.
If you're EQing the hell out of something, something has gone very badly wrong, or it's for creative purposes.
Nothing on a record sounds anything like how it did if you were actually there in the room unless you just recorded through a couple of ribbon mics in the middle of the room.


Chedda, personally I'd just stick the mic somewhere without the tape measure at first and then work from there, better to use your ears than go by what should be mathematically correct.
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Old 22-02-2010, 02:35 PM   #9
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what about cheap v expensive mics? This mic I put on the guitar cap is a serious POS but it sounds amazing. One of my favorite ever guitar sounds was apparently recorded with a headphone taped to a 6" practice combo. Recording experts all have mics that cost £1000s!!
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Old 22-02-2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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I think you can rely on expensive mics to sound good on a whole range of sources, whereas cheap ones are less useful generally and might only work well on type of source, or need a lot of work after to make it sound good.
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Old 22-02-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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that makes sense.
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Old 22-02-2010, 02:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheddatom View Post
yeh, but I am going for a "proffessional" sound IE I don't want shit to sound like a cheap demo (although I don't think my stuff does atm)
I think a lot of that 'professional sound' comes in the mixing stage tbh. Good mics/placement helps but as Haze says they're just colouring the source...
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Old 22-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #13
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I've usually taken the more "Trial and error" approach to recording things, especially with drums... Set up the mics to start with and just see how they sound, if the bottom snare mic sounds a bit shit, move it around a little, try again. Ofcourse this is a time consuming process (or at least can be) and requires a spair set of hands generally, but it makes more sense in my mind than going by some holy "rule" to get amazing toan...

Used a couple of Audio-Technica 4040 condensers placed underneath the bottom skins of two toms once, just to see how it would sound, and they turned out real nice and crisp, but really punchy too, as apose to using the more tom "specific" mics clipped to the top rim.

I almost always whack at least 1 room mic in the setup too, then compress it just so it starts to pump a little and the cymbal whoosh begins to creep in a little, then have it fairly laid back in the mix and it really glues the whole sound together.

As for Cheap VS. Expensive, if you have the money, spend it, if you dont, try with what gear you have, might turn out awesome, might turn out shit!

I Haz a question.


When micing drums up, has anyone taken XY overhead micing as apose to spaced pair overheads?
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Old 22-02-2010, 05:08 PM   #14
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When micing drums up, has anyone taken XY overhead micing as apose to spaced pair overheads?
Yeah, with a basic 4 mic setup, easier to deal with phase.
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Old 22-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheddatom View Post
do I need to get the tape measure out? I've been thinking of trying the "recorder man technique" on drums.

Do you follow a set of rules you know will work? Or do you just stick a mic in front of an instrument and press record? Or somewhere in between?
depends how much you've done in the past. i have my 'go to' drum mics setup and stuff for other uses, taking the room into consideration. then take a step into the control room, get your musician to play and get someone to fiddle the mics about a little to check the phase on them (say if you have 2 guitar cab mics, bringing one back and forward slightly will allow you to hear the phase sweep to get it into that sweet spot).

at the end of the day, i wouldnt get out the measuring tape, i'd get out my ears have a listen to the sound in the room, consider what it sounds like and what you want to capture of it, go to the control room and make sure you're doing that. if you're not, move a mic or change model.

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I Haz a question.


When micing drums up, has anyone taken XY overhead micing as apose to spaced pair overheads?
yeh have done xy's as overheads, fairly regularly. depends what polar response you want from your overheads i guess... as haze says, its easier to get them in phase if your capsules are coincident, you should get no problems with phase.
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