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Recording everyone live, no click

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Revson, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Revson

    Revson Member

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    Well, I've been put into a bit of a tricky situation today. I'm recording a band next week and planned on having at least 5 days to knock out all the tracking. 5 very long days and doing it the way I normally do, which is each person at a time to a click track. I spoke to the band today and they say they can't afford 5 days, 4 is still pushing it, and 3 is possible but unlikely. So now I'm looking at 2 days to record 10-11 songs.

    My game plan now is to record the guitars, bass, and drums playing together and saying "fuck it" to using click track. Oh, and getting all that done in one day. Day 2 will be for vocals and any quick overdubs that I have to do.

    Luckily, the studio I'm using has iso booths to store a guitar cab so the drum mics shouldn't pick up much bleed whatsoever. Lucky part number 2 is that the band isn't precision metal and they just have a dirty, raw sound to them as it is.

    Is there any advice you guys could give me other than "don't do it"? How would you handle this aside from cancelling/rescheduling?

    Despite being a stressful situation, I'm also really excited about possibly recording this way. It's gonna be like how records were made in the 50s.
     
  2. C_F_H_13

    C_F_H_13 Protools Guru

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    Go for it. It's really not that bad at all, and the results are generally more lively (pun intended).

    Only thing I'd let them know is that it's all up to them. If they can't play the songs, and well, then it'll be a total waste. Generally speaking I do pre pro with the band and make sure they can play the set of songs 4-5 times each in a row before going into the studio.

    When tracking live off the floor, your biggest are headphones and endurance. If they can hear everything and can play for 8-10 hours straight...it'll be fine.
     
  3. Revson

    Revson Member

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    Alright, that's very refreshing to hear. I've worked with these guys before and they're generally on point when it comes to knocking out their parts. Editing really isn't going to be an option, though, since I'm not going to have the time to do any serious overdubs.

    Oh, and since there's only 1 guitar player, I was thinking about splitting his signal to a couple different amps/cabs (there's an iso cab in addition to the booth) to give a good stereo image and big tone. I do see a problem arising if the guitarist wants to get some feedback going. I guess that could just be part of the overdub session.
     
  4. arv_foh

    arv_foh Brian K

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    Why can't you do everyone live with a click?
     
  5. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    I've done live sessions before with overdubs. As CFH says, if the guys can play it's totally doable. Avioms (or similar) can help streamline things. Even with iso booths watch for bleed and it could work.
     
  6. Revson

    Revson Member

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    They don't want to use a click. They want the natural swing of the music to be present. It could work, it could be awful.

    I made sure to call them back and tell them if they fuck up it's all on them, hahaha. I might be able to piece together a full song from the various takes, but there isn't a whole lot of other editing I'll be able to do. I wish I had Avioms at the studio, but we'll make due.

    Bleed coming from the iso booths should be minimal and certainly nothing to stress over. The drums should mask any guitar sounds eeking out well enough.

    I'm really not going to do many guitar overdubs aside from getting feedback swells and maybe an extra lead or something.
     
  7. ArthurD

    ArthurD Member

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    Make the drummer play with a click!
     
  8. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I recorded a few bands doing live tracks without a click. It's good if the band are good and realise it's not gonna have that edited, punched in sound.

    You can get a great live energy and bleed shouldn't really be a huge issue. I recorded a few bands in a big old church, with no booths or any other rooms for isolation and it worked out pretty well so a proper studio with iso booths and other rooms will be great.

    Make sure you listen back to the songs thoroughly before moving on as it's easy to get caught up in the energy and miss a mistake, especially when you've been going for a few hours and starting to get mentally tired.
     
  9. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    I actually prefer to track bands live. I mostly do indie rock and reggae and crap like that, but at a super nice studio with iso booths and large custom gobos. did a 4-piece pop punk band the other day. They were amazing, REALLY good drummer, so they played with a click, but they tracked 10 songs in one day, all live. 5 on the first take.

    I should add they did vocals elsewhere at a cheaper studio, but it's probably the best quality tracks I've gotten in the last 6 months. God I love recording great musicians. They make it so easy.

    I say go for it. If they sound good with no click and they've practiced, it may just be one of the funnest sessions you've done.

    I frequently end up recording with a bass amp out in the room with the drummer, and the guitars in booths. I place a few gobos around the amp, stick a few guitar cases on top, and cover it with packing blankets. Makes an awesome little cave, you can feel it in the room, and there's barely any bleed. certainly nothing that would cause any concern at all.
     
  10. 006

    006 Member

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    Such bullshit. Usually what this means is they are scared of it because they think it's complicated. You can have just as much "natural swing" with a click. It is what you make it.
     
  11. Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Member

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    since you cannot do that separately then the best option is to record them live with a click.
    Do both(with/without) for 1 song and let them decide in order to move on.
    People should respect different opinion like that.
    But for me personally if i want a "live" feeling i would record a live album.
     
  12. Revson

    Revson Member

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    I've recorded these guys before so a click and they did fine, they just didn't like how several of the tempo changes felt. I think they're going for a Wormrot kind of vibe for this batch of songs, and it sounds like it was done in a similar manner.

    Yeah, I'll make sure we stop after a few songs, take a break, and then come back and listen to what we've done before really moving on.

    Damn, that's a great idea to bring the bass cab in the room. I might try to do something similar with a guitar cab so the guitarist can get his feedback going live.
     
  13. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    Careful, cuz the amount of isolation you get will depend on the size of the room and how well you can seal it off. If you don't get enough isolation, room mics for the drums will suck and your snare will be buzzing every time dude palm mutes.
     
  14. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    Live recording can be a LOT of fun, if the band can pull it off.
    Also, if the room isn't tiny then you'd be surprised how little bleed there can be, if you carefully put up all the mics and sound sources.


    here, liverecording I did with a partner. All in the same room, Bass = DI. Vocals overdubbed afterwards. No click here too
    http://www.reverbnation.com/elektri...tent=song&utm_medium=link&utm_source=facebook
    song is "Ti mi ležiš va želuci"
     
  15. Revson

    Revson Member

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    The room I'm in is a pretty good size. It's a warehouse unit that people would normally use for a car repair shop. I want to say it's in the neighborhood of 1200 square feet with 18ft ceilings.

    Mago, the recording sounds pretty killer. How many takes did you need to get it that tight?
     
  16. baalzebubba

    baalzebubba New Metal Member

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    It's all been said.

    I just affirm up-front that I will polish whichever turd/gem they choose to make it's sonic quality the best to my ability; and they get to own their performance.
     
  17. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    thanks man!
    iirc then it were 8 takes. 3 takes, break and re-listen, another 3, break and re-listen and the only 2, because I allready knew during the 8th take that this is the one. the first few seconds until after the drum fill are from another one, and the last 30 seconds are from the 7th if I'm not wrong, cause the beginning and the ending were better at other takes. But the rest is all from the same.
    The band themself helped a lot with picking takes, saying "nah, we can do that better and tighter", and so it was. They got better with every take and at the end the groove was also a lot more "there". It takes a while until you are fine with the situation, monitoring etc...
     
  18. Revson

    Revson Member

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    Update: The band cancelled. The drummer called me in the morning freaking out and said no one came to any of the practices he scheduled and it was probably going to be a waste of time. Instead the drummer and I did pre-production for his other band. No one even called him asking about the session. True professionals.
     
  19. XxSicRokerxX

    XxSicRokerxX Gabriel R.

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    This is all band performance, if they can't perform their songs live tightly without mistakes, it should be a smooth ride, but if they constantly make mistakes, it will be a nightmare.
     
  20. audiohousemusic

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    If you are going for a "live of the floor" approach, then have all amps and drums in the room but have em spread as far apart as possible(not in corners of the room!) an hit record and have them play for 15 seconds. .....

    When you listen back, go through each track in solo to find which instrument is bleeding though the other tracks the most.

    Level everything by amp master level till all bleed is just as balanced as the levels of the instrument in the room.

    This will give you a very nice ambient mix before even Fucking mixing!

    This will also give you a killer 3d image of the music if panned properly.

    Hint: use stereo room mics and have that be the only thing panned hard left and right. Nothing else should be hard panned. Every inch counts with pan and fader adjustment.
     

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