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  #1  
Old 12-01-2005, 04:56 PM
Erik Braund Erik Braund is offline
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Default LIVE rock band tips

Hi,
Last summer I got the gig to record a 10-band event live. I got splits from the stage and multitracked it with an 001/adat ad combo. Everything went great, except I had more bleed then I would have liked from the SM58 Vocal mics. They were run through Neve 1272 pre's and FMR Really Nice Compressors.

The problem is cymbals and high freq info just bleeds through like mad, even on a big stage. At mixdown I wound up automating all of the vocals because a gate just wasn't cutting it. They still sounded worse then I would have liked.

Can anyone offer any tips for this kind of thing? What techniques / gear can you reccomend? I have good pres and mics at my disposal, but unfortunately at this even the sound crew wasn't into that....

Thanks alot
Erik B
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2005, 06:48 PM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

Have you ever tried to go line-level from the board via insert jacks or direct outs, using the board's pres? Some sound guys are cool about this, and some aren't.

Compressing the vocal mics on the way in is about the last thing I'd want to do here. You're basically making the SM58s bleed more (low-level cymbals and such are brought up, loud vocals are brought down). If anything, you should be able to get good results with a gate/expander at mixdown. You'll most certainly want to ride the vocal fader a bit after that.

Cymbal bleed can be tempered in a live setting somewhat by using a drum riser (the higher the better), and a heavy curtain behind the stage.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2005, 12:22 AM
Andre Knecht Andre Knecht is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

I concur with Naagzh’s recommendations—except for the first one. Tapping things from a FOH console isn’t going to give you better results than your high-quality preamps, especially when (as you described) you’re being fed a properly split signal.

The typical vocal mics on a live stage are always going to be problematic because of their placement and orientation. And yes, live vocal tracks typically do require a lot of work. I do a lot of live recording and mixing (from small acoustic ensembles, to full-blown orchestras, and anything found between). When part of an act, vocals invariably tend to take 60–80% of the overall time spent mixing. Alas, It’s the nature of the beast. Care to guess what’s keeping me busy tonight?
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2005, 04:47 AM
Erik Braund Erik Braund is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

Thanks for your replies....
Im going to have to concur that I'd rather take a Neve or API pre (mine) over whatever they are doing at the board anyday. I bought 16 channels of splitters just for that reason. I could understand not compressing the vox before they hit PT, but it seems like even if i do that, Im going to have to smooth them out a bit in the box, which will yield similar results as far as cymbal bleed etc... are concerned, won't it?

I guess it's all part of the game! On Death Cab For Cutie's new live DVD, you can definately hear when the vox have been automated up volume wise, then shut back off - all of the sudden those hihats and crashes get a bit louder and more harsh!

Erik B
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Old 12-02-2005, 05:10 AM
thin ice thin ice is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

Bleed and the phasing you get through vocal mics is the major problem with live recordings. I have done quite a few DVD concert soundtracks in last year or two. I must admit that I cheat on backing vocals wherever I can and get them re-recorded, but not the lead. For every extra vocal mic you add more trouble. Also a useful technique is to try and get the clean sound from guitars from a DI splitter before it hits the amp. Then re-amp the signal later in the studio. It can be easier to tune really offensive guitar solos then without the bleed and delays. Be careful when you tune a lead vocal or guitar though. If you using ambient mics you might want to pitch those channels as well for that note.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2005, 07:51 AM
Erik Braund Erik Braund is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

Interesting - I always wondered how much of my live DVDs i've bought are actually "live". I rented marilyn manson and NIN dvds awhile ago - both were so horribly un-live it kind of ruined it for me. There was super obvious guitar doubling (from one guitarist), the vocals were definately pumped through a lD condenser / great pre.. and so on... Then between track's itd cut to the '58 for commentary and sound awful!
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2005, 10:11 PM
john1192 john1192 is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

i once automated all the vocal mics in a very well known rap act for an entire 90 min show .... yes, rap .... the stage sounded so bad there was nothing else to do ... and the wireless they were using were taking hits so the mutes on the mics helped that "pop" from RF's quite a bit ...

had to build new ambience back in and that was not easy ... and make sure you do not miss one syllable when done to picture .....

gates have to work very well or you are all correct that the cymbals are going to kill you ...

just did a show recorded in a small club with a small stage and lead vox and 2 bvox singers and 3 other open vox mics from the band ....

very hard indeed ...

guess what i am doing right now ..... not vocals thank the heavens ....

peace john
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2005, 02:45 PM
Andre Knecht Andre Knecht is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

Quote:
[…] I could understand not compressing the vox before they hit PT, but it seems like even if i do that, Im going to have to smooth them out a bit in the box, which will yield similar results as far as cymbal bleed etc... are concerned, won't it?
True, but at least you’ll have total control over things. If you print tracks with compression, there’s no going back.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2005, 02:13 PM
Iain Graham Iain Graham is offline
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Default Re: LIVE rock band tips

I've had success using the inverse of the "subs on an aux" live mixing technique. i.e. I bus everything that doesn't have sub content that I want in it through a high pass filter inserted on an aux track to remove the sub boom from all the open mics. It's really helped clean things up when I've used it.

Kick, bass, etc go direct to my master fader, and the buss aux then feeds the master as well.

HTH,

Iain
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