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Old 12-09-2023, 12:04 PM
RichrdC RichrdC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
Posts: 666
Default Recording a Live Band With Pro Tools

Hello to all,

I'm trying to get my head around how I can record 8 separate inputs, instruments & vocals, live, into Pro Tools 2018.4 on a Laptop using a USB connection.

I've taken my Windows laptop, DAW Icon Qcon Pro X and my XBox3 down to a friend's place to record his guitar, but that's just one input. The MBOX3 worked fine for that. But, 8 separate inputs? (4 instruments,P.A., drums) That's a whole 'nother ballgame.

Do I even need the Qcon ProX control surface with me? I don't think so, but I'm a bit overwhelmed thinking about all this..

If I had an MBOX 8, ( I know there isn't one) where I could input all the instruments, I can control levels and everything in ProTools without the Control Surface.

I also want to figure out what I'd need to have 5 separate headphones and be able to run a monitor mix to all 5 headphones. I don't think I really need to have separate control of each headphone output. Just need one of the session as we're playing.

My goal is to mic everything, turn down the volumes, and have everyone hearing a mix through their headphones.

I'm hoping some of the Community have thoughts on what gear I'd need to accomplish all this. I'm excited to try. It's really all about keeping family members from having to go to the spa whenever we get together to play!! The spa gets expensive!!

Thank you so much for any ideas.. Take care
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Old 12-09-2023, 12:13 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 24,901
Default Re: Recording a Live Band With Pro Tools

You almost figured it out. What you need is interface and preamps with 8 separate channels each. Preamps and A/D conversion may come in a same box, but those can be (and usually are) separate.
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
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Old 12-09-2023, 03:35 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 19,643
Default Re: Recording a Live Band With Pro Tools

There are many tutorials that will cover multi-input/live band tracking using Pro Tools on YouTube or Groove3. Costs of microphones, stands, gobos etc. can add up quickly.

You may not need to turn down volumes and have everybody monitor though headphones. You might be OK just micing the live band, as long as you can handle instrument and PA bleed, may need use of gobos etc to isolate things. You however as the recording technician need headphones and a suitable headphone mix to make sure everything is OK.

Many lower-end interfaces might not have 8 mic preamps, or even 8 analog line inputs, in that case you might be looking for one with ADAT digital inputs and use an outboard ADAT mic preamp to add 8 more mic channels.
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Old 12-16-2023, 11:19 AM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
Posts: 39,326
Default Re: Recording a Live Band With Pro Tools

This will be a great learning experience(and experiment), but keep a few things in mind:
1-As Darryl said, the band may be just fine working with monitors(or in-ears) and you might also set them up with their usual live mixer.
2-You can(and maybe should) only track the instruments and then overdub vocals later so your vocal tracks have no bleed from drums and amps. This would allow you to get more out of minimal inputs(personally, I think 8 is not enough; 12-16 would be much better).
3-Depending on what mixer the band uses, you might get some or all signals directly from the mixer(direct channel outputs, insert sends, group outputs, etc). Of course, you can also run extra mics that only go to Pro Tools and not thru the band's mixer. I did this for a friend's band at a large club in Nashville and it worked out very nicely.
4-If the band has(or can borrow/rent) a digital mixer like a Behringer X32, you could use that mixer as the interface and record multi-track right from the mixer(bypassing your limited number of current inputs). Since you have a band in a room, consider putting up a pair(or more) of room mics and recording those to separate tracks(you may not use them in the end, but they might provide some feeling of reality and space when you mix).
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