I spent Saturday evening recording 4 bands live in the basement of Cafe Kino in Bristol. It was part of my former band-mate Henry Ireland’s residency there. Throughout the year he is putting on 3 gigs, each one featuring a stylistically different performance by Tiger and Panda, the band he is in with my other former band-mate Olly Watson. He has very nicely asked me to record these three performances as they happen, a chance which I jumped at.
He really wanted me to record using my Tascam 4 track cassette recorder, as that is what we have always used as Grizzly and the Bears, so that’s what I did. I used my Behringer double preamp (it’s crap but it is what I have) to power 2 Large Diaphragm condensers to form the main stereo picture. I used them in Mid-Side configuration, which I will have to use a computer to decode, as there is no way of flipping the phase of a track on the portastudio (that I know of). To add extra weight to this main image, I threw my Realistic PZM boundary mic up against a wall. The final track I had left I filled with a direct out from the sound desk, with an even mix of the vocal mics in it. Kino is such a small venue that they don’t really mic amps up, so direct from the board wasn’t an option for recording it all.
I haven’t yet had a chance to listen back or decode the stereo imaging yet, but the few listens I could grab on the night sounded pretty good -clean but loud, which is what I was after. My thinking is that so long as I’ve got a good, strong signal on tape, it should be easy enough to get a decent stereo picture when I mix down. I’m hoping to use my school’s recording studio to do this so that I can bounce all 4 tracks across to digital simultaneously. This way I will avoid any chance of differing tape speeds causing phase issues (which would be an issue if I bounced the tracks across one at a time as I’d have to do with my laptop).
With permission from the artists involved, I will post clips from the recordings on here once they are mixed down to digital. I have to say, this was one of the most stressful, but also most enjoyable recording experiences I’ve ever had and cannot wait for the next one.