Live recording inside home studio tips?

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Member Since: Feb 15, 2010

I like the playing on live recordings. I've done them in the past to click and gotten pretty good results. I know for the best results to put amps in different rooms and use a headphone set up for monitoring. I've just never done so in my own studio.

What is a decent headphone monitor system for the price to run with pro-tools?

Also if I'm not going for greatness and but would like a good quality recording with everything in the same mid sized room, how should I go about micing up the drums? I've got a set of d series audix mics for the kick and toms. I've got a choice of overheads between
2- AKG c1000,
2-Cheap CAD E1000s
3-mxl 603s
1- shure 16a (hi-hat)
I always end up getting too much hit in the snare!

Also what would be the recommended choice of vocal mic in the situation. There would be drums, bass, guitar, and one vocal...

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 17, 2010 07:03 pm

I would certainly lean towards the C1000 for overheads, as I've heard them used in a lot of forums for OH.

For a medium room, I would put as much dampening in the room as feasible. You'll have a fair amount of bounce and low end build up, so any mass / absorber you can add in will help keep the extra sound from getting in the mics. I hang packing blankets on my walls, but I don't do any acoustic drum recording.

I wouldn't record Vocals with the whole group. Just too much noise getting into the vocal mic. have the singer sing along with the band, but without a mic. The only live mics will be drums, and the singer WON'T sing over the amount of sound the drums make. Then, have the singer track the vocals to the playback. Even if there is a bit of vocals in a drum track, the real vocal track will be over top at the same location, so it should be OK. This way everyone gets to play along with the singer, but you can tweak the vocal track later.

Then you can adjust the vocals without having a ton of other content in the track.

I use a samson S-phone headphone amp. 4 channels, 12 outputs, each channel as it's own in, so 'more me' is always do-able.

But, we just had a thread about headphone amps and such, so look back a few days and see what's been posted already. I think it was Rockwood610 that was posting and looking for new stuff.

It would also help to know what type of preamp setup you're using, mixer? interface? etc. and what interface would help too.

Since: May 06, 2007

Feb 19, 2010 02:52 pm

Yup, that was me asking the questions. Good memory PJK. haha.

That post that I made is here:

I'm not using pro tools or anything like that. I went a cheaper route since most if not everyone tells me pro tools is really just a name you buy. But, I bought the line 6 UX8 and thats what I use.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Feb 19, 2010 03:00 pm

Musician's Friend just put this up for sale, looks like a good deal for a budget-minded setup:


Or if 6 pairs of cans is overkill, here's a little smaller setup:


Here's a little step up in quality for a 6-channel headphone amp:


Really not bad, $300 for 6 pairs of Sony cans and a 6-channel amp. That'd be enough for everybody in the band plus an engineer to listen in. Not sure of the quality of the cans on any of those setups, so their isolation may not be so good. But heck, for the price? Fugeddaboudit.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Feb 19, 2010 03:15 pm

As for drum overheads, the AKG C1000S will definitely, unquestionably be the best choice out of your current mics. Any pencil-style SDC will outshine most everything else, especially in a live-in-the-studio setup. It would be even better if you had the replacement capsules that turn them into hypercardioid pickup patterns, that way they'll reject a lot of the sound coming from the rest of the band.

I'd say not to mic the hi-hat. Plenty of it will come through in the overhead mics. I always have the trouble of getting WAY too much hi-hat in the mix, and I never put a mic on it. It's a very loud piece of the kit and there should be no problems with it coming through in the mix.

Or, if you want only 1 overhead, the MXL 603 supposedly excels at that. But it's a very wide pickup pattern, so it'll pick up everything in the room. Maybe that'd make a good mic to put in the middle of everybody, to use as a room ambience mic to tie the whole performance together. It's an idea at least...

The more I think about it, it might be a toss-up between the AKG and the MXL mics as far as drum overheads. But I think that the MXLs will let too much sound in from other sources in the room, so you'll end up with a ton of guitar and whatnot in your drum overhead mix. Maybe that's OK, maybe not.

With live drum recording, especially when using overhead mics, the main trick is to tell the drummer to take it easy on the cymbals/hats. Beating the hell out of the drums is fine, but you have to back off on the cymbals in order to maintain a good mix on the drums. It'll make the drums sound bigger in the end. Bonham used to use that technique as well, and he actually cited it as part of his trademark studio sound.

good luck, hope it all goes well!

Since: May 06, 2007

Feb 20, 2010 08:53 am

Tad, its crazy you found that Art unit with the 6 cans... thats the one I bought.

and I can clearly say the Sony headphones that come with it are NOT good for tracking in front of live mics. They are not isolated well at all. They are more along the lines of over done iPod/Zune type headphones. Pretty much every day phones with a semi-studio look to them. When I got them in with the ART amp, it says right on their package. 'Ideal for listening to music'.

Don't get me wrong, they have great volume to them, and do sound decent for general playback. And that is really all I needed them for so if I have a band in to record they all can get a closer listen to the play backs,

The ART amp is actualy a very nice unit. I sent the link to Noize2U before I bought it and he suggested to go for it and said ART units can ben very solid and under-rated. And it pumps out some hot signals for sure.

Now I just gotta get the gear needed to make multiple headphone mixes instead of all 6 channels being the main output.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Feb 22, 2010 12:59 pm

Hehe, those damn sony headphones :) Horrid for tracking.

Since: May 06, 2007

Feb 22, 2010 08:26 pm

Haha yes Tripps... indeed they are. But its always good to have extra phones around. Especialy when they come free with the unit.

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