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Old 01-30-2014, 08:43 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Location: Kent, United Kingdom
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Default Re: Recording & Live Performance - Glyn Johns Method

The Glyn Johns method works well in the studio but I'm not sure it would be the most effective situation live, for two reasons:

i) It can be quite perceptible to phase issues. If you're using Glyn Johns, you need to make sure that the distance between the snare and each mic is the same (or on a wavelength node - but let's not complicate the issue). Live, this can cause issues - particularly behind the kit. Sometimes, it's just not possible to put a mic behind the kit because of space issues. My preference for live would be a spaced (A/B) or X/Y pair. I would usually go with X/Y because if you buy a mounting bar, you can put both mics together in front of the kick and this saves on space. You will lose some of the stereo field but live this isn't an issue. Spaced is also popular and a perfectly good solution if you have enough stands.

ii) Having a mic facing forward may cause issues with monitoring, depending on whether you're using stage wedges. If the rear mic in a Glyn Johs is over your right side, it's common to put the wedge just left of the hi-hat. This would effectively put the monitor right in the pickup field of the microphone - potentially creating major feedback issues. With a conventional A/B or X/Y, the monitor would be more off-axis if the conventional monitor placement is adhered to. With in-ears, this is totally moot but in my experience, most venues would have a wedge to the left of the hi-hat. If the Glyn Johns rear mic is to your right, it's right next to the monitor, so even if it is off-axis, it'll still create feedback issues.

For those reasons, I wouldn't usually go with that method for live use. Although I'm sure it's possible.

I've used the AKG Perception mics extensively for recording. If that model has switchable polar patterns, I would be going with cardioid. LDCs can be used on stage but it's important to have sturdy stands, or to make sure the boom arms aren't at full extension. An LDC will typically pick up more of the toms than an SDC but I would engaging the low-cut filter immediately to make sure you're not picking up stage rumble. Usually, I would be going for a pair of SDCs for live overheads. For around half the price of the AKG Perceptions, a pair of Rode NT5s would be a solid live choice.

The Shure kit is more than acceptable. It's very decent. The D112 and SM57 are staples of any decent sound engineer's toolbox and will put up with the rigours of a hard life on the road.

If you want to record with a four-mic method to a reasonable degree, a pair of NT5s and those Shure mics would be fine. They're not high-end but if you get your placement and mixing right, you can get decent results. If you want a step up in quality, I'd be looking at AKG C214s or (definitely) C414s but they are quite a bit more expensive. The overheads are the most important mics in most recording sessions and the way I've recorded before relies about 80% on the overheads and bass drum, with the rest as 'flavour'. I've usually run a four/five-mic setup for basic recording but depending on what you want, those extra Shure mics could come in handy for individual tom micing. Usually I'd run two mics on the snare (up and under), two overheads and a bass drum but if you're recording something with a very modern sound, you'd want a mic on each tom as well. It depends on what you're after and how much post-processing you're doing.

I'd echo Jorn on the next point. On a small gig, you'd want a small PA rather than a single monitor. You could do it with just the monitor but I'd only be running the bass drum and (if mic'd, toms) through it anyway - the rest of the kit cuts through effectively enough.

This article: explains small PA systems better than I could.

If you're running a closed mic system, you'd want to at least be able to put the vocalist through as well and I'd argue that for balance, you'd want to put everything through it. I would be looking at something like this:

1. Left Overhead
2. Right Overhead
3. Snare
5. Kick
6. Snare Underside (potentially).
7. Bass DI
8. Bass Amplifier
9. Guitar Amplifier (unusual to DI a guitar unless it's an acoustic).
10. Guitar Amplifier (assuming you have two guitarists).
11. Keyboard
12. Vocalist
14. Reverb Channel Return (you can do this a lot of different ways but it's the way I prefer to do it).
15. Compression Channel Return (likewise - you can do this without using a channel).

Then you'd want:

Aux 1. Vocalist Monitor
Aux 2. Drum Monitor
Aux 3. Guitar Monitor
Aux 4. Keyboards Monitor (if you have them).
Aux 5. Reverb Buss Send (i.e. send channel Vocals to Aux 5, output effected signal from channel 14 into main mix).
Aux 6. Compression Buss Send.

This is a 'worst-case' scenario. At least 15 channels for the whole band and at least 6 Aux sends. There are other ways of doing it with fewer channels. For obvious reasons, I'd be looking at a 16 or 24-channel mixer. You could lose the bass DI, you might not have keyboards or a snare underside. The reverb and compression could be built into the desk with their own dedicated effects sends going directly to the main mix. Then you're talking about a 16-channel desk with 4 aux channels.

With all that, I'd start by looking here at these desks: (a very serious choice). (solid choice). (built-in compressor, a decent choice).

Of those, I've used the Yamaha and the Mackie. Allen&Heath are decent.
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