Recording a full band with one SM-57
Posted on Feb 09, 2006 08:22 am
Member Since: Oct 18, 2005
My band used to use a small cassette player to tape down ideas for songs and then we'd just throw that onto the computer with the line-in on the soundcard but the quality was horrible with eaverything at once and it took too much mixing to get a clear picture of what was goin on but our bassplayer picked up an SM-57 the other day for 40 bucks and ive used these before recording drums with a friend of mine but do you think if we just put the 57 on a mic stand while practicing in a pretty acousticlly sound room would we get at least a decent recording of a jam or two?
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Feb 09, 2006 08:24 am It will likely sound just like your other recordings...I hate to say it, but it's probably true.
Feb 09, 2006 08:33 am well my logic is that the 57 should at least sound better than a half inch microphone on an old cassete player haha
Feb 09, 2006 08:33 am Dynamic microphones SUCK for whole room recordings. It'll turn out tinny, muffled, with no guitar tone in there except the nasally sharp parts which drive most dogs and rodents insane.
Yes, it's a good microphone, but a SM57 is designed for close proximity recording of loud sources.
If you guys really need better recording quality, go snoop around Guitar Center or Sam Ash and see what you can find for a bottom-end condenser microphone. It will need phantom power, so try to find one that has a built-in microphone. Example: Shure PG81. It's got a AA inside, and we've used it for room recording in my band, with very acceptable results for test recordings and quick demos. It is also great for vocals and open air acoustic guitar recordings, and low-volume guitar amps. Keep it away from devastating full-stack amps on 11, cuz it'll quickly ruin the mic with high SPL's and make the microphone's frequency response take a very biased curve instead of staying flat and natural. It's a bit pricey, around $120 unless you've got connections at the store. But it's a very useful mic and w'll be using it for years to come.
Make an investment. It will pay off in the long run.
Feb 09, 2006 08:36 am You logic is flawed in the sense that all the sound will still be being recorded by a single microphone that is designed to be close to the sound course...
That said, it may be marginally better, but not much.
Feb 09, 2006 08:42 am Yeah i figured it wouldnt turn out too well but we've been wanting one for micing his bass amp for recording anyway and i figured hey this might work but that shure PG81 looks nice, thanks
Feb 09, 2006 08:44 am Record bass direct, easiest and best signal for the low tones generally...
Feb 09, 2006 08:45 am No.
Not all condenser mics are designed for up-close recordings only.
A condenser microphone is much more sensitive than a dynamic mic. Dyn mics need to be up close to their sources to get a good strong clean signal, especially for capturing low-frequency sources. Condensers can get good signals even when they're a fair distance away. Marginally better, yes. Perfect, no, cuz you're still dealing with room acoustics, directions of amplifiers and speaker cabs, echoing reverberation from walls and ceilings... you'll never get a perfect sound.
From my experience, our condenser mic was leaps and bounds over our previous recording attempts. The guitars sounded separate from each other so we could tell who was playing what. The bass drum sounded like a bass drum instead of a mallet hitting a cardboard box. The vocals were understandable.
Feb 09, 2006 08:50 am I meant it would be nice for the full room recording not the for the bass amp, im not that much of a newbie hah
Feb 09, 2006 08:58 am I've had crap experience direct-outing my bass amp, cuz it doesn't have a ground lift. Nothing but 60-cycle hum. I need a D.I. box with a ground lift. Does your bass player's bass amp give you any hum problems?
And the 57 isn't too bad for recording bass if you're doing some funk or slap bass, or old-style classic rock. If you're really deep with your tone or have a 5-string bass, then the 57 won't cut it.
Feb 09, 2006 08:59 am Bass PODxt, baby! :-)
Feb 09, 2006 09:01 am They have an XT version of the bass pod now? Now I might be interested....
Feb 09, 2006 09:22 am Hmm. Interesting.
We've already got a Tascam 788 Portastudio, so we're set for recording, but I need to get a DI box with a ground lift. I'll most likely need it live as well, as the last gig we did the soundguy miced me and it sounded like *** with my deep deep tone. and he couldn't Direct Out from my amp cuz of the hum. I'll most likely get the little Behringer DI and velcro it in place in my rack.
Actually... I think I'll start a new thread for this...
Feb 09, 2006 09:23 am I used a simple Rapco DI for years live and it worked great. Cost like $25 or something...
Feb 09, 2006 09:47 am Rapco?
Nevah hoid of it.
Feb 09, 2006 10:29 am I think your recording wouldn't be that bad. I've recorded jam sessions with 2 dynamic (cheap samson) mics and it didn't turn out that bad. The placement and room was certainly off, but the actual recording wasn't that bad. I'd say you'll be pleasantly suprised with the difference between RS cheap mic and a 57 in your project.
Since: Apr 08, 2004
I'll agree with the above posters, saying it won't sound anywhere near as good as it could sound, but it should be much better than the cheapo-mic.
Also, if you're in a good acoustic sounding room, then your chances just improved on getting a (somewhat) decent recording.
lucky13Your mom's favorite sonMember
Feb 09, 2006 10:41 am I heard a recording by a bluegrass band, I wish I could remember their name, but they used one condenser in a room and basically mixed themselves while tracking by moving around the room while they played. When the banjo player was soloing he'd move towards the mic and everyone else would back off. It actually sounded really good. I thought it was a novel idea. They did use an acoustically treated studio proper, and a high quality condenser, but the concept was the same.
Since: Feb 07, 2006
I'd say give it a shot, you've got nothing to lose. You can pick up an AT-2020 or an AKG Precision Series condenser for around a hundred bucks.
Feb 09, 2006 10:43 am that's the way country and other bands used to do it all the time. Just move up and 'work' the mic when they needed to. They never had multitracking stuff, just one mic, and a recorder of some sort. Really got your chops in order, I'd guess.
Since: Apr 08, 2004
heh, mic placement would be a bear, but mixing would be a breeze =).
Feb 09, 2006 11:01 am Oh yeah, placement.
Okay, guitar cabs are well known to be VERY directional. And recording with one mic in the room is proof positive. We had a helluva time. Yes, the two amps sounded the same volume, but we had to do a bunch of tests to get their cab placements to record at the same volume. Especially to get them to compete with the room's shape, cuz we found a sweet spot for the drums so the kick drum and hihat sounded right. So what you should do, is move that drumset around and move the mic around, and get those first. Then place the rest of the stuff, cuz they're easier to tweak than a whole drumset.
You'll no doubt be able to use the room to your advantage. First, try to put the drums in a corner to let the walls reflect the sound forward. Then, try the drums against a flat wall right in the middle. then, drums in the middle of the room. Our room was a furnished carpeted and heated attic, and all the walls were sheetrocked and painted. Lotsa reverb and lotsa deflection. The roof's angles cut away at the ceiling space, and this bounced the cymbals straight forward wonderfully.
So take some common-sense and study the room, place the drums, and test for a few afternoons. And listen to your samples a few times over a few days. Your ears will play tricks on you after a few hours with headphones on.
Feb 09, 2006 12:25 pm i gotta say, me and Hue recorded a 3 person jam with two cheap-o dynamic mics in an xy pattern gooin' to a tape deck....everything came out good except the kick drum....so on that, i'd say if you can get another mic, and you place them well (any good stereo technique) then it is possible to get a good 'picture' of the sound. all be it, demo quality...but for songwriting purposes, it's accually pretty good.....we'll post the music up here soon..i'm converting it today.
Feb 13, 2006 12:44 am It is totally possible to get a good recording using one microphone.
Since: Jan 22, 2006
Noize2uCzar of MidiAdministrator
Feb 14, 2006 07:48 pm Well it is possible to get a recording. Good depends on what exactly you are recording, and in what type of room/environment you are recording in.
Since: Apr 04, 2002
A lot of old school jazz recordings were done that way, one mic, fairly tight room with very good acoustics and musicians who knew exactly when and where to to play and move closer and away from the mic.
If you are talking about recording more of the acoustic type of music were nothing is running through an amplifier, then it is very possible to do it with one mic. Again the room and its acoustics play a very important part in the sound quality you will get.
So what type of music are you talking about exactly, if I may ask?
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