Band recordings.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Cornet Nev., Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    OK it may have been covered before, but the idea of producing a CD is being kicked around in our band room. We don't really fancy the idea of large studio fees, so we are looking for a slightly cheaper way forward such as hiring a hall, church, or large room. The question being how to get the best recording in those circumstances. I know a man with a van, woops sorry, portable recording gear, it is hard drive based and has the capabilities of a large number of tracks, but wonder if multi-tracking in those circumstances is going to be any better than one stereo mike for all the band, rather than a mike for each player or even just section. Any thoughts from those who may have been down that intricate and trip hazard path?
  2. WagTheStick

    WagTheStick Member

    With the right venue it can be just as good as a studio recording. I would worry less about the kit and more about securing a professional to help you put the thing together. Keith Farrington at Music House Productions is an expert (many years experience as producer for Doyen). He's been their and done it (just did the 'Top Brass' disc for the BABB and all the reviews have complemented his expertise). Even if you don't go forward with his company he is the type of bloke who will happily chat and advise you of the best way forward. Go to and drop him an email.
  3. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Take a look at THIS thread (which the moderators may well merge your query with when they notice......)
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    You make it sound as though we're meanies Ron! Just trying to keep things clean and tidy around the place, that's all.

    I shall leave this here for the time being.
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    And here was I thinking I'd been wasting keyboard strokes for 3 1/2 years :rolleyes:

    There are increasingly few studios left that have big enough live rooms to do this properly. Brass Band recordings are almost invariably done on location.

    You could always hire Abbey Road, though.

    Have you ever thought there may be a reason why people charge?

    And, to be blunt I'm afraid, having to ask questions like that is one of them.

    I'd also suggest you take a look at this thread, which is related to DIY.

    Absolutely....and, strangely enough, there are a few people that do this kind of thing.
  6. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Thanks for the input so far folks and especially to you Keith, and others for pointing me at the library thread. I knew not of its existence.
    I must though point out that as we are a still fairly new band, finances are limited, so a more DIY approach may be the way to go for now. We will just have to put up with a poorer quality of recording than what we could get using professional help. Done with a bit of care along with selection of decent venue, may still yield reasonable results.
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    PM me - we'll see what we can work out.

  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Can I ask why you want to produce a CD? I'll jump the gun and suggest a few possible reasons:

    1: To use it as a fundraising tool
    2: To give the band experience of recording
    3: To celebrate some sort of anniversary

    In all those cases, is it really desirable to get it done as cheaply as possible and risk a poor result? There are "one-man-bands" who would do everything (engineer, producer, gofer, etc.) but you just won't get as good a result as doing it properly. Either you'll end up not selling many, or the band/MD won't enjoy it, or will view a poor end result as a bit of a waste of 2 days hard work.

    I can't recommend highly enough that you try and do a bit of fundraising to get some extra dosh in, and do the job properly. That way you'll end up with a recording to be proud of; after all, bands at our level don't make that many!
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Andy makes some great points - the bottom line is what exactly do you want as an end product?

    Something else that's worth bearing in mind also relates to the original 'man in a van' phrase. I've been in a position a few times whereby people have gone down similar routes and what they've ended up with didn't meet expectations...this encompasses all things from the totally DIY route, through knowing someone with 'some microphones and a recorder', through using a PA company who they've worked with previously (sometimes this will work and sometimes it won't - sound reinforcement isn't the same thing as recording as they'll acknowledge - and it depends on their experience)....and they've invariably ended up having to redo the whole thing. Depending on who it was that did the original that means that you may have to pay twice - but at the very least it means you've got two sets of preparation and two weekends away from family / jobs etc and one can be hard enough to coordinate with 28 people, never mind two.

    However, this isn't necessarily about access to gear - and I've said as much in various threads here, on my website, presentations to the National Association of Brass Band Conductors, it may even be in the CD booklet for the CD I'm giving away in's about the procedure, how things work and knit other words it's more about the people than kit...good gear just makes the job easier.
  10. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Once again thanks for input to all, as it happens through contact with another of our committee, we now have two options for gear, and some, not a lot, experience of use. However, before any commitment can be made, the whole thing has to be run through with the band, our MD, plus full committee. This will obviously take time, but I now at least have some useful knowledge, thanks to all contributors to this thread. Once enlightened with the pitfalls, the band may adjourn the idea until sufficient funding is available. As I said at the start, the whole idea was in its early stages and knowledge was sought. Ta muchly for that, and we will just have to wait and see what happens next.

    ROBTHEDOG Member

    Hi Guys,

    We recently recorded our 3rd CD, this time with KMJ.
    (previously with Doyen and also with Chris Jeans - although I wasn't at Derwent then)

    As Keith (KMJ) pointed to the many and varied links and in my view it seems to me that it is NOT a DIY activity unless you want a DIY result.

    Up front let me say we had a great experience with KMJ and the attention to detail from the recording session product with Gareth right through to the CD production side was excelent. We were engaged with the edits and had solid input all through.

    As regards costs V's value - I work for a very large IT company and our guys go out for about what it cost us fro a days work. So to get three guys for two days, all the equipment and produce the product at less than £2 a CD I think it's great value.

    Having done recordings in the past with other bands this was as good as it gets. We just booked a suitable venue (again with advise from KMJ). We were lucky we had a purpose built mixing room and an acoustic we knew as a band - Although that threw a few technical problems which were again handled with minimum fuss by the "TEAM" of guys. They showed up and filled room mics and cables and away we went.

    OK advert over....

    Overall the WHY do record a CD is an interesting question. From my personal perspective (i.e not the words of Derwent Brass) it's:-

    To make money, cover production costs, continual financial input at concerts and sale via the web, for use as promotional materials to prosective booking agents, sponsors, etc.

    More important to me was the point to "bang a stake in the ground" at the time as to the history and development of the band or organisation. It's often as much for the players to say 'we did this' etc...

    Interesingly I was talking with Simon Lenton (Fine Arts Brass) and he asks the question if CD production will carry on with digital media so freely available for download. Different discussion !!!



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