Recording Band Practices

Discussion in 'Home Recording and Studios' started by Stophy, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:38 AM.

  1. Stophy

    Stophy Squier Talker

    Jan 18, 2016
    Darlington, England
    Can anyone recommend an app (preferably free or cheap) which is good for recording my band during our practice sessions? I currently use iRig VocaLive and an iRig Microphone. There doesn’t seem to be much to set up using this so some of the recordings are just bad (not down to the way we play :D).

  2. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    All my experience being way earlier I cannot help with a recommendation for an app. But I can say that making a good sounding recording of a band practice without using multiple mics is extremely difficult and rarely achieved. Typically the recordings come out unbalanced and tonally just mud.

    Multi mics with each isolated and then balanced in the mix is the only real answer apart from pure luck.

    IOW the app is not the thing. The problems are likely elsewhere.

    Stophy likes this.
  3. JazzMister

    JazzMister Squier Talker

    Oct 16, 2017
    Garageband. Crapple also has another multitrack ap. For single songs I’ve had great results with my iPhone just using the video on my phone as a recorder.
    Stophy likes this.
  4. surfrodguitar

    surfrodguitar Squier-holic

    Aug 4, 2016
    Laguna Niguel
    I don’t think any app will help you get great live band recordings with 2 mics. Patience, mic type and mic placement is your best friends. Try putting the room mic as far away from the drums as possible. Put the other mic closer to the guitars and vocals. It’s tough getting a good sound, your really just trying to a get a reference in how your instruments and performance sounds not a demo quality sound. Keep the record levels low, don’t go anywhere near overloading.
    Stophy likes this.
  5. ksandbergfl

    ksandbergfl Squier-Meister

    Sep 7, 2015
    You don't need an app, you need a mixer!

    You'll get better results using a mixer and a bunch of microphones. don't worry about the quality of the mics, it's just practice.

    You'll probably need at least an 8-channel mixer... 16-channels if you really care about the quality/control over how the drums get recorded.

    -- run a cable from the lead guitar preamp out (or mic it) into channel 1
    -- run a cable from the rhythm guitar preamp out (or mic it) into channel 2
    -- run a cable from the bass preamp out (or mic it) into channel 3
    you'll want at least 2 mics for the drums... 4 work better. I'll assume 2 for now...
    -- left-side drums into channel 4
    -- right-side drums into channel 5
    -- backup vocals 1 into channel 6
    -- backup vocals 2 into channel 7
    -- lead vocals into channel 8

    Have someone (ie your "sound guy") use headphones to mix everyone together into a balanced, nice-sounding 2-channel stereo mix. It works better if the mixer is in a different room than the band.

    Then run the mixer's stereo out into your recording device... could even be your iPhone or laptop computer. Don't need any app other than something that can record stereo from the Aux In jack
    surfrodguitar likes this.
  6. DaveDrums

    DaveDrums Squier-Nut

    Feb 2, 2017
    MA, USA
    Concur w/ advice above. Here's what I've used:

    Yamaha 16 channel mixer
    Shure sm57 (or sm58) mics for vox and guitar cab
    DI for bass
    7 mic kit (Shure or some other brand) for drums (one dynamic on snare top, bottom, rack tom, floor tom, bass drum in port hole, 2 condenser overheads)
    Run that into the mixer, try to get a good live mix and then out to a usb interface (firewire is better) into a desktop/laptop running recording software.

    I've used Sony Acid (~$70 cheap and ok), Audacity (free and can sound amazing in 24 bit but fried my laptop's motherboard twice)

    In the old days we used one condenser somewhere in the room (with a towel over it) and before that I used a tape recorder with a cheap radioshack dynamic hung over a rafter ( to just get drums ).

    Experiment but don't need to invest a ton to do it. When you're ready to really record hit a studio (but be uber prepared as not to waste time/money)

    Edit: mixing yourself/band live (dynamics) is easier/better in long run than trying to do so w/ mics, mixer, software.

    Good luck and have fun