Recording band practice

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
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Feb 2, 2019
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Ohio (Nerk)
I'm hoping someone has had experience doing something similar to this, and had a few questions:

Tomorrow we're recording a few songs during practice. This is mostly because we need some sort of rough material as a reference point for getting booked.

The thing is, the drummer has PLENTY of live sound gear, but not much to record with. We normally mic guitar and bass so the drummer can hear both in the monitors, and get the vocals high enough. The drums are micd, we just don't have any issue hearing them and therefore never run them in the mix.

(I promise I'm getting to the questions)

Plan is to run the mixer->presonus AI->laptop with Reaper.

I'm guessing it's going to take 45minutes ish to get the levels just right, by using headphones and or running the sound back out the PA. I'm strictly talking about getting the levels right in the mix, as I don't plan on doing much editing afterwards, unless I have to.
Is this the most practical way to get things balanced right? Or should we run 2 mixers (my AI has 2 inputs...) to give more options if it's not balanced?

Obviously the vocals are incredibly important for timing, but would it be a good idea to separate the vocal mics out and either use or re-record later? I'd originally thought about this because I've been fighting post nasal drainage for a few days, but as a general rule, I'm rusty at consistent volume on vocals and typically adjust each song to a good loudness spot away from or closer to the mic.

Lastly, given the other hurdles to getting this right (I'm not very good at using any DAW, and haven't really messed with Reaper for 2ish years) should I bypass worrying about volume spikes/clipping on solos and just play straight rythm parts, adding what I need when I have the time and patience to figure out how?

We aren't after a perfectly mixed thing here, just something to get booked with. But I'd still like it to sound right from an audibility perspective.
 

loudboy

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May 21, 2003
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Sedona, Arizona
First off, a video of you playing live to a packed room is going to be what gets you work. Phone camera quality is good enough - they want to see asses in seats.

I don't think anyone is interested in hearing a "demo tape" of a band anymore, they want to see you in action.

If you're doing a band demo tape into an interface with 2 inputs, get a decent stereo mix of the whole band minus vocals and play the songs live. Expect to spend an hour or two getting this set up properly.

Then, overdub the vocals and mix it.
 

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
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Feb 2, 2019
Posts
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Location
Ohio (Nerk)
First off, a video of you playing live to a packed room is going to be what gets you work. Phone camera quality is good enough - they want to see asses in seats.

I don't think anyone is interested in hearing a "demo tape" of a band anymore, they want to see you in action.

If you're doing a band demo tape into an interface with 2 inputs, get a decent stereo mix of the whole band minus vocals and play the songs live. Expect to spend an hour or two getting this set up properly.

Then, overdub the vocals and mix it.
I'll have someone get video at a bar gig in August, that's a good idea, thank you!

I had a guy (who ghosted us) asking to hear material for an outdoor festival. He was actually the guy running the thing (I Googled stuff on it) but since he never answered, I'll probably try getting booked elsewhere the same weekend. Previously, we just had 1 band member do a bar run and write down contact info for each one on a Thursday night, and we'd pick the most high traffic one and reach out about playing the following weekend. But that was different bands and 10 years ago.
 

Esquire Jones

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Sep 22, 2020
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56
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Scottsdale
My cover band ran into the same situation basically. I say don't kill yourself doing this.

We ended up getting a Tascam dp-24sd (on sale for cheap). It can record 8 tracks simultaneously.

We use 1 track each for drums, vocals, two guitars, bass.

Then do a very simple mix, after recording, just to mix instrument and vocals levels.

It sounds pretty decent. Not looking for a studio quality recording; just to hear our performances.

Good luck.
 




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