Recording Setup :: Headphones or not?

Anything recording, Mic / DI or PA related ... gear, techniques, studios, demos
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definite
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Recording Setup :: Headphones or not?

Post by definite » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:26 pm

The last studio recording we did the guitarist and I did without headphones for the 1st time and Ive got to say it was a much more pleasant experience!
Instead of isolating the amp and running headphones to everyone we had the amps in the room with the drums and used some baffling to minimise spill, then recorded all in the room together (for rhythm and main gat takes) and it was natural and comfortable to do so. More like a normal practice or jam and it was easy to reduce the stress that can creep in (to your playing) while recording.

Any one else tried it that way or have any process's they can share?

I think having the amp in the room and actually being able to feel the bass made a huge difference comfortwise.

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by foal30 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:03 pm

yes, we always record the rhythm section live.
the Drummer is the only one wearing cans, he's locked in his booth behind a wall o' glass so I can provide expletive laden cues :D
if any of the bass, keys, gat needs too punch in it's never a shake spill wise.
getting a good feel is the key to a quality recording for me, and that means the drums have to played and the easiest way to accomplish this is to have the band with them.

we do the horn section with cans but playing together.Good musicians can impose a new feel onto a recording that is still "in time" it's just their time.
only specific solo's are done in "Isolation".

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by timi » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:26 pm

I really like live recording, its much easier to capture the "feel" and if there's tempo changes it makes recording a lot easier.

I've done quite lot of recording with the whole band (minus singer) playing in the room together. I tend not to isolate things much at all, I just place things in the room in particular places so there is minimal bleed into the mic on another instrument. Probably the only things I will try to isolate a bit are the mics on the kick drum cab and bass cab (I generally don't DI). Everything else I can handle, a bit of bleed is just part of that live sound.

That said, I also like the control and the ability to make a "slicker" sounding recording by multitracking. Musicians who are experienced at multitracking can often still capture the feel playing in the multitrack environment, and if you have enough time you can arrange a click track to do tempo changes. It still doesn't suit everything, I wouldn't multitrack a jazz band.....

Another thing I like doing when multitracking is miking up the amp in a room, and then have the musician in a different room with another amp and a PA speaker cranked up rather than using headphones for the backing tracks.

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by foal30 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:50 pm

always we DI the Bass because if there's spill on the miced cab sometimes that signal can save an otherwise good part.

Had cans on today to solo over three tunes, hooray for the Jansen, all power to Timi and his valve amp cheerleading.
used a little DI but probably 85% mic. exciting times down here :)

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by Chip » Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:26 am

Generally have no prob with using phones. Being next to the drummer is the most important thing for me when recording. Usually I'll be DI so if I'm laying a take by myself then it volume up (with me minimal so my fingers work). If it's with drums, then I'll sit by the drummer and use the cans.

At the moment I am doing a recording for someone at Stebbings where we're recording pretty much live to tape with all the amps and keys/pianos/organs in the same room. Cans though so that we can hear our singer and accoustic gat when that's getting done, but blooy great studio to work in. In a sense we're getting the best of both worlds.

For me it has never been so much about whether cans are better/easier/worse etc. I don't find that using them limits a group from being able to move as needed (unless you're clicking) but it's usually whether the players let the difference in playing environment have an effect on the way they approach the mahi. I think we all get to a point where it's not the technicality but the philosophy, or approach to our given tasks at the time. So whether it headphones or not I don't these days find much difference as they are both parts of the same purpose.

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by Ara » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:37 am

Ive recorded a whole bunch of ways - next to drummer, in monitoring room, cans, no cans, etc...

The question of wether to wear cans or not didnt bother me at all. For me it was more about getting my headspace in the right frame of mind for recording and connecting. In fact a lot of the times in the studio I would just jam with half ass ideas and see what came out.

So to answer your question about wether to wear headphones or not in recording sessions, it depends on wether it was raining at the time. As long as I felt I was on my game, I just closed my eyes and did my Bass Thang.

Im not much of help there DJ Definate (Kia ora bro!!).

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Re: RECORDING SETUP / HEADPHONES OR NOT?

Post by definite » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:14 pm

I'm all for them now haha!
I think I just needed a positive experience using them which I have now had =)

Too many gangsta studios with kaka half-working half-not cans and short uncomfortable leads - never again lol!!!

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