Live Recording

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.

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