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Questions about recording an acoustic Jazz Trio

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August 30, 2004 7:38:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi to all here,

I'm only a musician and not a sound engineer (if I was I would'nt ask all
these basic questions), but I'm quite interested by recording.
To help a friend of mine (she's a singer) who needs a demo CD, I'll to try
record her Trio (Female voice + Double bass + Upright piano) in a room which
is not fantastic but not awful. It's a rehearsal room in a music's school,
not too dead, not too reflective, aproximately 16 feets X 30 feets, ceiling
10 feets.
Their music is made of sung Jazz standards.The singer has a deep and loud
voice.They will play together in the same room, no headphones except perhaps
for the singer. I'll be in a little room close of them.
Here is all what I'm able to use for this session:
1X DAW VS 2400CD Roland , 1X Peamp DBX 386, 2X AKG C414 B-ULS,
2X Studio Projects C1, 2X Sennheiser MD441, 1X Sennheiser MD421,
1X EV RE20 1X AKG 535EB
Of course, I don't want to use all of these microphones.
My choice would have been :
2X C1 on the piano, 1X C414 for the voice,
1X RE20 + 1X C414 for the double bass (is it really interesting to use them
both, or will I have too much phase problems ?).

What would be your mic's choice and mic's placement ?

Should I "strip" the upright piano ? Would XY be a right choice for it ?

For which mic(s) the preamp could be really useful ? The voice ?

Thanks for your answers.

Regards,

Laurent.
Anonymous
August 30, 2004 7:38:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 15:38:17 +0200, lm <laurent.marc3enlever@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> Hi to all here,
>
> I'm only a musician and not a sound engineer (if I was I would'nt ask all
> these basic questions), but I'm quite interested by recording.
> To help a friend of mine (she's a singer) who needs a demo CD, I'll to try
> record her Trio (Female voice + Double bass + Upright piano) in a room which
> is not fantastic but not awful. It's a rehearsal room in a music's school,
> not too dead, not too reflective, aproximately 16 feets X 30 feets, ceiling
> 10 feets.

That's an AWFUL lot of complication for a jazz trio.

How do they sound just playing in the room together?

I suggest you start with a stereo pair of small condensors, plus a vocal
mic.

Start simple, then decide, "Hey, it might be worth my while to add a
bass track" or something.

Move the group around the room to see where the "sweet spot" is.

Stick to basics and you'll stand a better chance of success.
Anonymous
August 30, 2004 7:38:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <cgvak9$7cf$1@news-reader5.wanadoo.fr> laurent.marc3enlever@wanadoo.fr writes:

> To help a friend of mine (she's a singer) who needs a demo CD, I'll to try
> record her Trio (Female voice + Double bass + Upright piano) in a room which
> is not fantastic but not awful. It's a rehearsal room in a music's school,
> not too dead, not too reflective, aproximately 16 feets X 30 feets, ceiling
> 10 feets.
> Their music is made of sung Jazz standards.The singer has a deep and loud
> voice.They will play together in the same room

> 1X DAW VS 2400CD Roland , 1X Peamp DBX 386, 2X AKG C414 B-ULS,

> What would be your mic's choice and mic's placement ?

Since you don't have a pair of small diaphragm condenser mics, I'd go
for the C414s in an X-Y configuration. Place them so that you get a
good balance between the singer and the piano, then move the bass
player so he fits in right. Set the level so the loudest she can sing
when doing a check peaks around -6 dB on the Roland's meters, and just
let it roll. Do a couple or three takes of each song and edit the best
parts together if there isn't a perfect take.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Related resources
August 30, 2004 9:09:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles" <"Charles Krug"@cdksystems.com> a écrit dans le
message de news:2OGYc.10723$Tq.6717@trndny02...


Thanks for your answer


> That's an AWFUL lot of complication for a jazz trio.
>

Sorry, I have often a too much complicated mind and my unknowledge of
recording does the rest.


> How do they sound just playing in the room together?
>

I feel like they sound good. But in this room, when several people are
playing together the sound is not very accurate, that's why I thought about
close miking.

> I suggest you start with a stereo pair of small condensors, plus a vocal
> mic.
>

Unfortunately, I have no small condensers mics at this time. And as I'm
doing the recording for free, no money to rent anyone.
I ordered a pair of Schoeps CMC6 /MK4 a few days ago, but they will come
too late for this session.

> Start simple, then decide, "Hey, it might be worth my while to add a
> bass track" or something.
>

Following this way with the only mics I have, what would be your mic's
choice ?


> Move the group around the room to see where the "sweet spot" is.
>
> Stick to basics and you'll stand a better chance of success.
>

OK

Thanks again for your answer.

Laurent.
Anonymous
August 30, 2004 9:09:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 17:09:29 +0200, lm <laurent.marc3enlever@wanadoo.fr>
wrote:
>
>> How do they sound just playing in the room together?
>>
>
> I feel like they sound good. But in this room, when several people are
> playing together the sound is not very accurate, that's why I thought about
> close miking.

The best way to get a good sound on tape (or HD) is to start with a good
sound. Yes, I know that's a cliche, but it's also true.

Experiment with mic placement until you get the best blend.

>
>> I suggest you start with a stereo pair of small condensors, plus a vocal
>> mic.
>>
>
> Unfortunately, I have no small condensers mics at this time. And as I'm
> doing the recording for free, no money to rent anyone.
> I ordered a pair of Schoeps CMC6 /MK4 a few days ago, but they will come
> too late for this session.
>
>

If you have a pair that match well, use that. Otherwise, just record
the band mono. It's good enough for what you're doing.


> Following this way with the only mics I have, what would be your mic's
> choice ?
>
Anonymous
August 30, 2004 9:53:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Laurent wrote
<I'm only a musician and not a sound engineer (if I was I would'nt ask all
these basic questions), but I'm quite interested by recording.
To help a friend of mine (she's a singer) who needs a demo CD, I'll to try
record her Trio (Female voice + Double bass + Upright piano) in a room which
is not fantastic but not awful. It's a rehearsal room in a music's school,
not too dead, not too reflective, aproximately 16 feets X 30 feets, ceiling
10 feets.
Their music is made of sung Jazz standards.The singer has a deep and loud
voice.They will play together in the same room, no headphones except perhaps
for the singer. I'll be in a little room close of them.
Here is all what I'm able to use for this session:
1X DAW VS 2400CD Roland , 1X Peamp DBX 386, 2X AKG C414 B-ULS,
2X Studio Projects C1, 2X Sennheiser MD441, 1X Sennheiser MD421,
1X EV RE20 1X AKG 535EB
Of course, I don't want to use all of these microphones.
My choice would have been :
2X C1 on the piano, 1X C414 for the voice,
1X RE20 + 1X C414 for the double bass (is it really interesting to use them
both, or will I have too much phase problems ?).

What would be your mic's choice and mic's placement ?

Should I "strip" the upright piano ? Would XY be a right choice for it ?

For which mic(s) the preamp could be really useful ? The voice ?>



You have been given some good advice here to work with but, I'm afraid that
there's a bit more to the "Art" of recording than meets the eye.
I would ask the group, "Do you really want a good professional recording, or do
you want to take a chance on sending your Demo out with poor sound quality?"
There are lots of up and coming studios out there that will sell time dirt
cheap.
These studios may not have super high dollar, high end gear but the engineers
there know how to use there gear and how to get the best sound from the rooms
they have.
Before you chose a studio ask for some recordings they have done that are the
same type of music that your playing and check it on different systems, your
computer, your car, your home stereo, even your TV's 3" speakers (if you can).
August 31, 2004 1:37:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Raymond" <bruwhaha58097238@aol.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:20040830135305.22051.00000056@mb-m06.aol.com...
> You have been given some good advice here to work with but, I'm afraid
that
> there's a bit more to the "Art" of recording than meets the eye.
> I would ask the group, "Do you really want a good professional recording,
or do
> you want to take a chance on sending your Demo out with poor sound
quality?"
> There are lots of up and coming studios out there that will sell time dirt
> cheap.
> These studios may not have super high dollar, high end gear but the
engineers
> there know how to use there gear and how to get the best sound from the
rooms
> they have.
> Before you chose a studio ask for some recordings they have done that are
the
> same type of music that your playing and check it on different systems,
your
> computer, your car, your home stereo, even your TV's 3" speakers (if you
can).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
Raymond,
I understand your answer as: You're a musician, stay at your place, don't
try to do the engineer and let pay your friend the right price for the job.
OK.
After 28 years as a musician, I can only agree with you : a good engineer,
even without high end gear, would be the best way.
But here in Toulouse (South West of France), among a lot of studios in the
near, I only know 2 or 3 real good sound engineers who work in "out of
prices" places.
I can often hear bad results coming from studios of pretended audio
professionals in the near.
So, since 2 years I try to learn recording: composing, playing and recording
chidren's musics for CD ROM, doing my own bands demo (one of those became
commercial CD).
You certainly would judge them severely with a ton of newbie errors, but I
feel them often (fotunately some other people too...) more "musical" and
more realistic than some commercial prods.
The last demo I recorded for a Jazz Trio (in my home-studio) sounded fine to
their ears and allowed the band to find some gigs and a tour.
I don't even try to compare my results with reel good sound engineer's
results. I just feel my musician's ears are sometimes more opened than those
of some engineers that we should have to pay a lot.
But as I have not a great habit of live recording, I just wanted some
advices to do better the job and to learn a little more.
Thanks for your answer anyway.
Laurent.
August 31, 2004 2:17:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:znr1093877284k@trad...
> Since you don't have a pair of small diaphragm condenser mics, I'd go
> for the C414s in an X-Y configuration. Place them so that you get a
> good balance between the singer and the piano, then move the bass
> player so he fits in right. Set the level so the loudest she can sing
> when doing a check peaks around -6 dB on the Roland's meters, and just
> let it roll. Do a couple or three takes of each song and edit the best
> parts together if there isn't a perfect take.
>
----------------------------------------------------------
Thank you Mike, for these accurate and helpful infos.

Laurent.
Anonymous
August 31, 2004 7:26:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> -----
> Raymond,
> I understand your answer as: You're a musician, stay at your place, don't
> try to do the engineer and let pay your friend the right price for the job.
> OK.
> After 28 years as a musician, I can only agree with you : a good engineer,
> even without high end gear, would be the best way.
> But here in Toulouse (South West of France), among a lot of studios in the
> near, I only know 2 or 3 real good sound engineers who work in "out of
> prices" places.


Hi Laurent. I answer you in english because... but I live in Toulouse.
I record mostly classical concerts and sometimes jazz-bands with a
pair of good small capsules mics. If I can help you ... I am not a
professional and I record for nearly nothing.
A bientôt peut-être

Jean-Marie
Anonymous
August 31, 2004 11:08:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Laurent wrote
>I understand your answer as: You're a musician, stay at your place, don't
>try to do the engineer and let pay your friend the right price for the job.
>OK.
>After 28 years as a musician, I can only agree with you : a good engineer,
>even without high end gear, would be the best way.

OK, then you do understand that there is a best and a not so best way to do
anything.

>But here in Toulouse (South West of France), among a lot of studios in the
>near, I only know 2 or 3 real good sound engineers who work in "out of
>prices" places.
>I can often hear bad results coming from studios of pretended audio
>professionals in the near.

OK, then you keep looking, that's why you ask for demo's of what they have done
(relating to your music). Ask yourself, is there only these people doing this?
If you've checked out all that there is, then that's all there is so you still
find out if that's what the group want's. If they say yes we only want
something to that sounds acceptable that's all that we want. In that case just
throw up a pair of low cost SDC and track to whatever you have and do what you
can (but don't try and over do things!). Get the group sounding good in the one
spot of the room that sound best and put the mic's there.

>So, since 2 years I try to learn recording: composing, playing and recording
>chidren's musics for CD ROM, doing my own bands demo (one of those became
>commercial CD).
>You certainly would judge them severely with a ton of newbie errors, but I
>feel them often (fotunately some other people too...) more "musical" and
>more realistic than some commercial prods.

OK, sounds like you've been doing your homework, putting it to some practical
use but you've been doing all that at the same time. I started out as a
musician (in the late 70's) played in several types of bands, I did the sound
for our live gig's from the drum kit. Never got any help from the rest of the
group (unless I begged them) but I went on learning all I could. After about
5-10 years of that, I started writing songs and recording on an old (at that
time new) Fostex 4-track recorder, the next 10 years I stayed in the part time
bands and literally flatted the heads on that 4-track machine. I can't even
begin to count the hours I put on that machine, by the time I got rid of it,
tracks 1 and 4 no longer printed with quality.

>The last demo I recorded for a Jazz Trio (in my home-studio) sounded fine to
>their ears and allowed the band to find some gigs and a tour.

I've done some recording's for some people I know that I knew needed more care
and work but they just said..."WOW! That was the best sound I've ever heard!

>I don't even try to compare my results with reel good sound engineer's
>results. I just feel my musician's ears are sometimes more opened than those
>of some engineers that we should have to pay a lot.
>But as I have not a great habit of live recording, I just wanted some
>advices to do better the job and to learn a little more.
>Thanks for your answer anyway.

You do have an honest tone, but you can do with some more research and
experience.
But don't take my word's as criticism just keep punching and you may just show
all those Toulouseains that you've been learning while they have been losing.
August 31, 2004 5:36:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Raymond" wrote:
> I've done some recording's for some people I know that I knew needed more
care
> and work but they just said..."WOW! That was the best sound I've ever
heard!
>

The sound I made was certainly not the best they could have, but the the
best I could do for sounding the more close to their sound.
But I agree with you.

> You do have an honest tone, but you can do with some more research and
> experience.
> But don't take my word's as criticism just keep punching and you may just
show
> all those Toulouseains that you've been learning while they have been
losing.
>

Each comment is good to take and yours are interesting, I don't feel them
only negatives.
I don't want to show anything to anyone, nore in Toulouse neither anywhere.
I'd just like to learn gradually to record acoustic instruments with the
more respectful sound.
So, each trial is a good exercice for me. And if the band does'nt expect to
have that "great reel pro sound" (which is the case), it might be good for
them to have a free demo and for me to learn a little more about mics, their
placement, room's sound behaviour, etc.
It's like a service's exchange.I don't take the place of any pro studio in
this case, the singer is really in money troubles (so she can't spend even a
$300 for an afternoon in studio) and needs to send quickly some demos to get
job.
I don't want to become a sound engineer, I know it's a reel job which must
be longly learned.
But I think any musician should learn more and more about sound, which is
his raw material.
Thanks for your interesting comments.
Laurent.
August 31, 2004 5:58:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jean Marie MATHIEU" <jm.mathieu@wanadoo.fr> a écrit dans le message de
news:5b9b7d4d.0408310226.71c35e1a@posting.google.com...
> > -----
> Hi Laurent. I answer you in english because... but I live in Toulouse.
> I record mostly classical concerts and sometimes jazz-bands with a
> pair of good small capsules mics. If I can help you ... I am not a
> professional and I record for nearly nothing.
> A bientôt peut-être
>
> Jean-Marie
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Jean-Marie,
Happy to meet a Toulousain here.
For this session, it will be a little short, because we record tomorrow.
But it's a good purpose, thanks, I'll keep in mind.
Which Jazz bands did you record in Toulouse ?
Which kind of mics do you use ? Schoeps ?
My name is Laurent MARC, I play vibraphone. Perhaps we already met ourselves
in Toulouse ?

A bientôt, ici ou peut-ëtre à Toulouse...

Cordialement,

Laurent.
Anonymous
September 1, 2004 6:07:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>I would ask the group, "Do you really want a good professional recording, or
>do
>you want to take a chance on sending your Demo out with poor sound quality?"
>There are lots of up and coming studios out there that will sell time dirt
>cheap.
>These studios may not have super high dollar, high end gear but the engineers
>there know how to use there gear and how to get the best sound from the rooms
>they have.

I agree, I have done a bunch of quick Jazz recordings in the last few months
and the familiarity of being in the same room with the same monitor
setup..familiar mics and pres..etc..make it easy for me to get in the ballpark
very quickly. Did a session lst month.a soundtrack for a ballroom dance
theatrical production package..18 songs in 4 hours and everything was usuable
and the people in charge were very happy. If I had to wonder how everything
would sound we wouldn't have finished anything that day.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 12:58:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

lm wrote:

> I'm only a musician and not a sound engineer (if I was I would'nt
> ask all these basic questions), but I'm quite interested by
> recording. To help a friend of mine (she's a singer) who needs
> a demo CD, I'll to try record her Trio (Female voice + Double bass
> + Upright piano) in a room which is not fantastic but not awful.
> It's a rehearsal room in a music's school, not too dead, not too
> reflective, aproximately 16 feets X 30 feets, ceiling
> 10 feets.

Appears usable.

> Their music is made of sung Jazz standards.The singer has a
> deep and loud voice.

RE20, 40 centimeters away, no closer than 20 centimeters, lower or
higher than the mouth - try throat high aimed at mouth and forehead high
aimed at mouth, the latter is what I expect from hearsay to be best.

> They will play together in the same room, no headphones except perhaps
> for the singer.

Why does the singer need headphones?

I'll be in a little room close of them.
> Here is all what I'm able to use for this session:
> 1X DAW VS 2400CD Roland , 1X Peamp DBX 386, 2X AKG C414 B-ULS,
> 2X Studio Projects C1, 2X Sennheiser MD441,

441's or 414's on piano, not closemike style, stereo pair.

> 1X Sennheiser MD421,

On bass, 535 may also be usable, C1 if not used for ambience, but I
honestly believe that the 421 is the first choice to try if in good
shape.

> 1X EV RE20 1X AKG 535EB
> Of course, I don't want to use all of these microphones.
> My choice would have been :
> 2X C1 on the piano, 1X C414 for the voice,

No, the C1's or the 414's go on ambience duty as a stereo pair.

> 1X RE20 + 1X C414 for the double bass (is it really interesting to use them
> both, or will I have too much phase problems ?).
>
> What would be your mic's choice and mic's placement ?
>
> Should I "strip" the upright piano?

Depends.

> Would XY be a right choice for it ?

Yes, open lid and from above.

> For which mic(s) the preamp could be really useful ? The voice ?

All mics require mic pre's, what you call a DAW appears to be a harddisk
recorder and it appears that it has internal mic pres. It may well be
better to have identical mic pres on all channels than to have one
channel "extra shiny", it is an ensemble. Youi will be the first to know
what works best after trying it.

> Thanks for your answers.

Please understand that the above is sketchy.

> Laurent.


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
September 3, 2004 5:44:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thank you, Peter, for all these informations.
Regards,
Laurent.
Oh, the singer needs headphone in order to hear herself enough because the
piano is very loud in this room.
!