I’m contemplating a foray into recording a band live in the studio soon and there are so many variables I have to work out. For one, the “studio” is not intended for recording music on this level.
Specifically, it’s a small lobby with a mixing room attached. I’m hoping to get two guitarists, a bassist and a full drumset into that space and record three songs in an evening.
And the main room is about 15 feet by 15 feet.
How to go about getting a quality recording in that environment? I need to do some research, but I already know that all the players need to be in the same room. The amps might go in the control room during recording so the drum set can get some isolation. Or maybe not.
I first turned towards this article in Sound On Sound concerning recording loud bands. I’m most worried about spill between the mics, to which the article speaks at length:
There are various strategies that can really help reduce spill from guitar amplifiers, one of which is to point the guitar amplifiers (this is simpler with closed-back models) away from the drum kit and other vulnerable mics, and to place a thick sound-absorber a couple of feet in front of the amplifier to soak up some of the sound once it has gone past the microphone (which will usually be no more than six inches from the speaker grille cloth).We’ve tried mattresses, soft furnishing such as sofas, heavy folded blankets and, of course, folded duvets. They all help, but there’ll still be some spill.
There are definitely a few tool at my disposal in this quest, and I plan to use them all, including a few pieces of furniture that will be used for sound isolation.
Close mic’ing will be an essential part of the set up, as well as unusually low overheads to get the best sound from the cymbals. And we’ll cut vocals separately. Should I use DI’d bass and guitar? Not sure yet. It will be an adventure, and hopefully we’ll end with some good tracks. I’ll keep you posted.