DA-P1 Recording Revisited

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by ryanm, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    Well, I did a trial recording with the DA-P1 to see how it sounded, and
    the results were promising even if it didn't turn out great this time.
    Considering I get to try again every weekend, I should be able to get this
    down to an art in a month or so. ; )

    First, let me preface this with the usual disclaimers, the whole band
    was too drunk (I trimmed all the "What's this, *another* shot!" comments off
    the beginning of the songs), and this was probably the worst venue for me to
    start with, because it has hardwood and tile floors, painted cement walls,
    and a metal ceiling, so it's basically an echo chamber. Add to that the fact
    that this was our 2nd gig with a new bass player, and it poured last night
    so the turnout was small for the club (usually ~150 bikers, got ~50 hardcore
    bikers) so there weren't enough bodies in the place to absorb all the
    reflected sound. IOW, a recipe for an ugly recording, but I did it anyway to
    start figuring out how to get the best results with what I have. At any
    rate, here are a few of the songs:

    http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/2-6.mp3 (7.11 megs)
    http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/1-3.mp3 (7.60 megs)
    http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/1-1.mp3 (6.55 megs)

    I didn't do anything to them at all, it was recorded, I dumped them to
    my computer, trimmed the noise at the beginning and end, and compressed them
    to mp3 at 192k to try to balance between artifacts and file size. The most I
    did was fade in or out. If you would like to get the uncompressed wav file
    to be able to hear it without mp3 compression artifacts or would like them
    compressed down to 128k for smaller file sizes just let me know. The files
    will stream to you, so you don't have to download the whole thing to start
    listening to it.

    What I'm looking for are suggestion about mic placement, eq
    recommendations, etc, anything that will help me capture the performance
    better. The "get a new singer/harp player/conga player" comments are a waste
    of breath because I'm the singer/harp player/conga player, and you know how
    singers are about taking subtle hints. ; )

    I'm not looking for perfection (or I *would* get a new singer), I just
    want to capture it as accurately as possible with the gear I have. I'm
    looking for advice on both how to record it better and how to treat the
    files after I've recorded them to make them sound better. Any input is
    greatly appreciated.

    ryanm
  2. The worst ingrediant for an ugly recording is a drunk band. I'd have a talk
    with them or tell them I wouldn't want to continue. No matter how good YOU
    get at recording them, you'll still be recording a drunk band (ah, I see,
    you are PART of the drunk band!). Don't get me wrong, I love to have a
    couple of beers while I'm playing or at least on breaks, but shots are as
    bad for playing as they are for driving, although people won't die due to
    bad playing. Besides, I still have memories of having to hold up the second
    guitar player with my back while trying to play bass. Finally I just moved
    and let him fall. And this is a guy who's been like a brother over the last
    45 years, but you can't make a person do something they don't want to do.
    Every time that mofo would play in public he'd get drunk and screw with the
    band because of it. I don't even want to imagine a whole band doing the
    same thing. It's one thing to be loose as a goose, it's another to simply
    be a goose!

    Other than my personal foibles on being drunk and playing music (parties are
    definitely different <g>), overall it sounds about like one would expect
    from a bar band with an unattended recording. It's pretty hard to suggest
    anything about mic placement for room recording without knowing about the
    room. Could be that the best place to put the mics is right in the lap of
    some big biker! <g>

    I would suspect that you're using condensers and a point you may want to
    check is whether the DA-P1 is putting enough phantom out to actually give
    the mics some decent headroom. If not, then maybe a couple of standalone
    phantom units so that you can have good phantom. Not saying that I'm
    hearing anything due to a problem, it's just something I've noticed on the
    few times I've run the DA-P1, and although it's mostly on the battery I
    found problems, even on AC power I only measured 22 volts. Better than a
    battery in a mic, but not as much headroom as the mic pres would like to
    see.

    I'd like to see the bass up a little, but it's totally a placement thing to
    do so, although I suppose one could run the bass through the PA (assuming
    that your vocals and such are coming from the PA).

    As you can see, I'm doing a lot of guessing because you're last post in
    regards to this gig/situation was a couple of months ago or so and you
    didn't list what mics you're using, how you're using them, etc. I will say
    this. I don't know how much better you expect to get in a recording since
    it's rock. Rock isn't really very conducive to stereo miking due to the
    rooms one is expected to play in.

    --


    Roger W. Norman
    SirMusic Studio
    Purchase your copy of the Fifth of RAP CD set at www.recaudiopro.net.
    See how far $20 really goes.




    "ryanm" <ryanm@fatchicksinpartyhats.com> wrote in message
    news:vl56vur3c89f34@corp.supernews.com...
    > Well, I did a trial recording with the DA-P1 to see how it sounded,

    and
    > the results were promising even if it didn't turn out great this time.
    > Considering I get to try again every weekend, I should be able to get this
    > down to an art in a month or so. ; )
    >
    > First, let me preface this with the usual disclaimers, the whole band
    > was too drunk (I trimmed all the "What's this, *another* shot!" comments

    off
    > the beginning of the songs), and this was probably the worst venue for me

    to
    > start with, because it has hardwood and tile floors, painted cement walls,
    > and a metal ceiling, so it's basically an echo chamber. Add to that the

    fact
    > that this was our 2nd gig with a new bass player, and it poured last night
    > so the turnout was small for the club (usually ~150 bikers, got ~50

    hardcore
    > bikers) so there weren't enough bodies in the place to absorb all the
    > reflected sound. IOW, a recipe for an ugly recording, but I did it anyway

    to
    > start figuring out how to get the best results with what I have. At any
    > rate, here are a few of the songs:
    >
    > http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/2-6.mp3 (7.11 megs)
    > http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/1-3.mp3 (7.60 megs)
    > http://www.southerncomfortband.com/newsongs/1-1.mp3 (6.55 megs)
    >
    > I didn't do anything to them at all, it was recorded, I dumped them to
    > my computer, trimmed the noise at the beginning and end, and compressed

    them
    > to mp3 at 192k to try to balance between artifacts and file size. The most

    I
    > did was fade in or out. If you would like to get the uncompressed wav file
    > to be able to hear it without mp3 compression artifacts or would like them
    > compressed down to 128k for smaller file sizes just let me know. The files
    > will stream to you, so you don't have to download the whole thing to start
    > listening to it.
    >
    > What I'm looking for are suggestion about mic placement, eq
    > recommendations, etc, anything that will help me capture the performance
    > better. The "get a new singer/harp player/conga player" comments are a

    waste
    > of breath because I'm the singer/harp player/conga player, and you know

    how
    > singers are about taking subtle hints. ; )
    >
    > I'm not looking for perfection (or I *would* get a new singer), I just
    > want to capture it as accurately as possible with the gear I have. I'm
    > looking for advice on both how to record it better and how to treat the
    > files after I've recorded them to make them sound better. Any input is
    > greatly appreciated.
    >
    > ryanm
    >
    >
  3. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "Roger W. Norman" <rnorman@starpower.net> wrote in message
    news:bj217h$a67$1@bob.news.rcn.net...
    > The worst ingrediant for an ugly recording is a drunk band.
    >

    Believe me, we know. It doesn't happen often, but certain clubs have a
    tendency to buy us a lot of drinks, and those clubs tend to get drunken
    performances. I was recording mostly to get the hang of it and not to really
    capture the performance.

    > bad playing. Besides, I still have memories of having to hold up the

    second
    > guitar player with my back while trying to play bass. Finally I just

    moved
    > and let him fall. And this is a guy who's been like a brother over the

    last
    > 45 years, but you can't make a person do something they don't want to do.
    > Every time that mofo would play in public he'd get drunk and screw with

    the
    > band because of it. I don't even want to imagine a whole band doing the
    > same thing. It's one thing to be loose as a goose, it's another to simply
    > be a goose!
    >

    We're actually more controlled 95% of the time. The other 5% is a
    handful of biker bars where the more Molly Hatchet we play, the more shots
    they send us, and at those places we have a tendency to drink more than we
    should. But aside from the 3 tracks I posted links to, none of the other
    stuff I recorded will ever see the light of day, except one particularly bad
    song that I will play at our next practice as an example of why we should
    stop drinking so much at those clubs. Trust me, I know how bad the
    performances were, but I'm just trying to get an idea of how to record it
    better.

    > Other than my personal foibles on being drunk and playing music (parties

    are
    > definitely different <g>), overall it sounds about like one would expect
    > from a bar band with an unattended recording. It's pretty hard to suggest
    > anything about mic placement for room recording without knowing about the
    > room. Could be that the best place to put the mics is right in the lap of
    > some big biker! <g>
    >

    Only if I never want to see them again. : )

    I got the feeling from the recording that I should've been closer to the
    stage to reduce some of the room verb, because that room was particularly
    bad about reflections. The hardest part is finding a good spot for the mics
    where there isn't a lot of traffic to kick them around. A lot of the clubs
    we play have open cielings, so I was thinking about rigging up some kind of
    thing to hang from a girder with the mics on it to get them about 7 feet in
    the air right in the sweet spot. The thing I worry about then is being too
    close to the cieling and getting weird reflections.

    > I would suspect that you're using condensers and a point you may want to
    > check is whether the DA-P1 is putting enough phantom out to actually give
    > the mics some decent headroom. If not, then maybe a couple of standalone
    > phantom units so that you can have good phantom. Not saying that I'm
    > hearing anything due to a problem, it's just something I've noticed on the
    > few times I've run the DA-P1, and although it's mostly on the battery I
    > found problems, even on AC power I only measured 22 volts. Better than a
    > battery in a mic, but not as much headroom as the mic pres would like to
    > see.
    >

    I ran it from AC power, and will continue to do so unless I notice it
    getting noisy or something. I'm using a pair of AT3528s standing right next
    to each other at about a 45 degree angle, pointing just inside each of the
    mains. I'm running them with the -10db pad on and the rolloff switch off.

    Mic specs:
    http://www.audio-technica.com/prodpro/profiles/AT3528.html

    I'm using these mics because I have them and they seem to work pretty
    well. They were bought with the DA-P1 by a company I worked for and were
    used to record VO, interviews, and track/pit sounds on race tracks (game
    company making a racing game), but they bought it all before I started
    working there so I didn't have any say in what was bought. The company
    closed it's doors and declared bankrupcy and I had the unit and mics at home
    at the time, so they're mine now (they still owe me a month's salary, and
    the recorder doesn't cover it). I've had these laying around for over a year
    and just never really thought about trying to use them for the band before.

    > I'd like to see the bass up a little, but it's totally a placement thing

    to
    > do so, although I suppose one could run the bass through the PA (assuming
    > that your vocals and such are coming from the PA).
    >

    The bass is direct into the PA, which has a pair of Yamaha 18" subs and
    a QSC RMX2450 powering them (bridged, series). But, the bass player is new
    and we're working on getting him to change his gear and tone to fit into the
    mix better. I think he needs a 2x8 or 2x10 cab in addition to his low-end
    cab so that you can hear more of the mids. His low end is kind of boomy and
    gets lost among the kick and the low end of the guitars. I figured I needed
    to be closer to get less room and more mains/stage sound, and I'm guessing
    that would make the bass a bit more present also. You really can't hear the
    kick in these tracks very well either, but it sounds great in the room, so
    would getting more in the middle or getting closer to the mains/subs help to
    pick them up better?

    > this. I don't know how much better you expect to get in a recording since
    > it's rock. Rock isn't really very conducive to stereo miking due to the
    > rooms one is expected to play in.
    >

    Yeah, the pa is run in mono because the clubs are all irregular shapes
    and a stereo mix would require a lot more work than we have time for during
    setup. Would I do better recording it in mono? Aside from moving the mics
    closer to the stage and more towards the center, what else can I do to
    improve the results? Is there anything I can do with an eq to improve the
    recordings after the fact? I know you can't polish a turd, but sometimes you
    can brush the dirt off at least. ; )

    Thanks for the reply. Any input is helpful. I'll have better
    performances captured by the end of the month (we're booked 8 times this
    month), I just want to do what I can with mic placement to ensure that I
    capture them well.

    ryanm
  4. I have a tape from the 80s that shows why we shouldn't do any white
    substances before a performance too.



    --


    Roger W. Norman
    SirMusic Studio
    Purchase your copy of the Fifth of RAP CD set at www.recaudiopro.net.
    See how far $20 really goes.




    "ryanm" <ryanm@fatchicksinpartyhats.com> wrote in message
    news:vla1tbcc0d1p27@corp.supernews.com...
    > "Roger W. Norman" <rnorman@starpower.net> wrote in message
    > news:bj217h$a67$1@bob.news.rcn.net...
    > > The worst ingrediant for an ugly recording is a drunk band.
    > >

    > Believe me, we know. It doesn't happen often, but certain clubs have a
    > tendency to buy us a lot of drinks, and those clubs tend to get drunken
    > performances. I was recording mostly to get the hang of it and not to

    really
    > capture the performance.
    >
    > > bad playing. Besides, I still have memories of having to hold up the

    > second
    > > guitar player with my back while trying to play bass. Finally I just

    > moved
    > > and let him fall. And this is a guy who's been like a brother over the

    > last
    > > 45 years, but you can't make a person do something they don't want to

    do.
    > > Every time that mofo would play in public he'd get drunk and screw with

    > the
    > > band because of it. I don't even want to imagine a whole band doing the
    > > same thing. It's one thing to be loose as a goose, it's another to

    simply
    > > be a goose!
    > >

    > We're actually more controlled 95% of the time. The other 5% is a
    > handful of biker bars where the more Molly Hatchet we play, the more shots
    > they send us, and at those places we have a tendency to drink more than we
    > should. But aside from the 3 tracks I posted links to, none of the other
    > stuff I recorded will ever see the light of day, except one particularly

    bad
    > song that I will play at our next practice as an example of why we should
    > stop drinking so much at those clubs. Trust me, I know how bad the
    > performances were, but I'm just trying to get an idea of how to record it
    > better.
    >
    > > Other than my personal foibles on being drunk and playing music (parties

    > are
    > > definitely different <g>), overall it sounds about like one would expect
    > > from a bar band with an unattended recording. It's pretty hard to

    suggest
    > > anything about mic placement for room recording without knowing about

    the
    > > room. Could be that the best place to put the mics is right in the lap

    of
    > > some big biker! <g>
    > >

    > Only if I never want to see them again. : )
    >
    > I got the feeling from the recording that I should've been closer to

    the
    > stage to reduce some of the room verb, because that room was particularly
    > bad about reflections. The hardest part is finding a good spot for the

    mics
    > where there isn't a lot of traffic to kick them around. A lot of the clubs
    > we play have open cielings, so I was thinking about rigging up some kind

    of
    > thing to hang from a girder with the mics on it to get them about 7 feet

    in
    > the air right in the sweet spot. The thing I worry about then is being too
    > close to the cieling and getting weird reflections.
    >
    > > I would suspect that you're using condensers and a point you may want to
    > > check is whether the DA-P1 is putting enough phantom out to actually

    give
    > > the mics some decent headroom. If not, then maybe a couple of

    standalone
    > > phantom units so that you can have good phantom. Not saying that I'm
    > > hearing anything due to a problem, it's just something I've noticed on

    the
    > > few times I've run the DA-P1, and although it's mostly on the battery I
    > > found problems, even on AC power I only measured 22 volts. Better than

    a
    > > battery in a mic, but not as much headroom as the mic pres would like to
    > > see.
    > >

    > I ran it from AC power, and will continue to do so unless I notice it
    > getting noisy or something. I'm using a pair of AT3528s standing right

    next
    > to each other at about a 45 degree angle, pointing just inside each of the
    > mains. I'm running them with the -10db pad on and the rolloff switch off.
    >
    > Mic specs:
    > http://www.audio-technica.com/prodpro/profiles/AT3528.html
    >
    > I'm using these mics because I have them and they seem to work pretty
    > well. They were bought with the DA-P1 by a company I worked for and were
    > used to record VO, interviews, and track/pit sounds on race tracks (game
    > company making a racing game), but they bought it all before I started
    > working there so I didn't have any say in what was bought. The company
    > closed it's doors and declared bankrupcy and I had the unit and mics at

    home
    > at the time, so they're mine now (they still owe me a month's salary, and
    > the recorder doesn't cover it). I've had these laying around for over a

    year
    > and just never really thought about trying to use them for the band

    before.
    >
    > > I'd like to see the bass up a little, but it's totally a placement thing

    > to
    > > do so, although I suppose one could run the bass through the PA

    (assuming
    > > that your vocals and such are coming from the PA).
    > >

    > The bass is direct into the PA, which has a pair of Yamaha 18" subs

    and
    > a QSC RMX2450 powering them (bridged, series). But, the bass player is new
    > and we're working on getting him to change his gear and tone to fit into

    the
    > mix better. I think he needs a 2x8 or 2x10 cab in addition to his low-end
    > cab so that you can hear more of the mids. His low end is kind of boomy

    and
    > gets lost among the kick and the low end of the guitars. I figured I

    needed
    > to be closer to get less room and more mains/stage sound, and I'm guessing
    > that would make the bass a bit more present also. You really can't hear

    the
    > kick in these tracks very well either, but it sounds great in the room, so
    > would getting more in the middle or getting closer to the mains/subs help

    to
    > pick them up better?
    >
    > > this. I don't know how much better you expect to get in a recording

    since
    > > it's rock. Rock isn't really very conducive to stereo miking due to the
    > > rooms one is expected to play in.
    > >

    > Yeah, the pa is run in mono because the clubs are all irregular shapes
    > and a stereo mix would require a lot more work than we have time for

    during
    > setup. Would I do better recording it in mono? Aside from moving the mics
    > closer to the stage and more towards the center, what else can I do to
    > improve the results? Is there anything I can do with an eq to improve the
    > recordings after the fact? I know you can't polish a turd, but sometimes

    you
    > can brush the dirt off at least. ; )
    >
    > Thanks for the reply. Any input is helpful. I'll have better
    > performances captured by the end of the month (we're booked 8 times this
    > month), I just want to do what I can with mic placement to ensure that I
    > capture them well.
    >
    > ryanm
    >
    >
  5. Burt Jones

    Burt Jones Guest

    Man,

    When I hear this recording I can just smell the cigarette smoke and
    the scent of party gravy flowing through the air. :)

    It actually isn't a bad recording at all. I agree about trying to get
    a bit closer. I think it would help you even to get a few feet closer
    to the mains.

    Cheers,
    Burt Jones
    Mediastar Productions
  6. ryanm

    ryanm Guest

    "Roger W. Norman" <rnorman@starpower.net> wrote in message
    news:bj3db0$hc3$1@bob.news.rcn.net...
    > I have a tape from the 80s that shows why we shouldn't do any white
    > substances before a performance too.
    >

    Fired a drummer with that problem. Funny thing, the songs kept getting
    faster and faster... can't imagine why, he assured us it didn't affect his
    playing.

    No other suggestions?

    ryanm

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