Recording Rehearsals...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BrianT, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Can someone suggest an affordable, portable, high quality way of recording practices? Ideally I'd like something the size of a digital camera that I can just plonk behind the conductor and press [Record]. Don't want to lug a laptop, mains cables, one of those big 19U boxes or microphones and stands. I tried a cassette dictation type machine which was affordable and portable, but the quality was ropey. I've also seen really cheap MP3 players which have a built-in microphone, but I'm not sure what the recorded quality would be like.
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Depends what you mean by affordable, but I'd look at a Zoom H4.
  3. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

  4. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    We primarily use the Zoom as a line input machine to record the control room on sessions - it takes a feed from the recording room and the production team talk over the top of it (when we're not listening to the performance being recorded of course ;) )...

    We've stuck it in the recording room as well just to see what it was capable of and the results are fairly servicable - it's not going to be the same as pointing a couple of Neumanns at a Band but it should tell you what you want to know.
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Sorry to be a party pooper here, but you must ask people's permission before recording them. If any of your band are members of the musicians' union, they are well within their right to refuse.

    I'm sure you've already mentioned this to the band, and in an ideal world nobody would mind, but occasionally some people do question such things. Same goes for recording a concert: Without the consent of the performers, it is illegal.
  6. Mount Media

    Mount Media New Member

    Something which has become an invaluable tool is a set of mics for my ipod. Cost around £30. Its not amazing CD qualitybut loads of people have ipods. I have portable speakers which people can use to listen to straight away or i just plug it into the pc and burn to CD.
  7. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    Is there an issue of copyright to be considered also?
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's a grey area, but there is a potential for infringement of mechanicals ,yes, and also the Performer's rights as Duncan mentions above.
  9. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I think if you are recording a rehearsal simply as a tool to help identify problem areas and correct them, there could be little sustainable objection. Sure you may have band members who are in the MU - I am myself - but if there was an objection one would have to wonder why they are making life that difficult, and what are they doing in the band to start with?

    With mechanical rights I guess there is potential to a theoretical infringement. However, if the recording is going no further than the MDs iPod then 1. how would the MCPS know and 2. why would they go to the expense of pursuing the matter?!

    Please note I am not advocating wholesale infringements of any kind of copyright or performance rights legislation! Simply saying that in reality, a fifteen-minute bit of rehearsal for band training purposes is unlikely to cause any problems.
  10. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    That's why I said it's grey, and I'm in complete agreement with you - it's just technicalities really....but beware of the man who's after Esther Rantzen's golden hat :D
  11. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Looked at the specs and they both look really impressive. But £250 seems a bit steep to me. Isn't there anything cheaper? Like £50 tops? I don't need 24-bit, don't need four-track, don't need reverb, I just want really simple but decent recorded quality (Luddite that I am).
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine why anyone in a band would object, but I have known professional orchestral musicians get quite upset about this - Kent Nagano used to record Halle rehearsals without telling anyone (purely for his own use, to assess the rehearsal) , and it caused an almighty stink when the players found out.
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    If you change one of the vowels in his name, you come up with what orchestral musicians really think of him!

    As I said before, we just need to be aware of the possible infringements and liabilities before we just switch a minidisc recorder on. I don't doubt the good intentions of the original post.

    Another possibility, what about humble minidisc player? Don't think anyone's mentioned it yet, but I bought one a few years back and it has been brilliant. With newer technologies available now, they have come down to a reasonable price, too.
  14. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Because he said high quality? ;)
  15. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I was just about to post about Mini Disc. I've used it in the past, works fine.
  16. mjwarman

    mjwarman Member


    Mike Pegram uses a minidisk player to record at Halton, and it works very well. Reasonable prices too as have been mentioned above.
  17. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I've heard really good things about those and almost got one myself the other day.
  18. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Ha ha! Quite interesting. I'd never really considered this. It's funny that what I consider to be good quality, you don't, as I'm a novice and you're a professional in your field.

    The amount of times I've been accused of being scathing about some band players on here and nobody can see the difference, and now I've been put in my place on a subject I know little about! Makes you think, really. A good amateur is just that, and a professional is something quite different. It's worth having a look at the recent 'Band Bashing' thread to see how stroppy some people get about it (I include myself - guilty as charged).

    It wasn't that long ago when the minidisc was considered to be the best thing since sliced bread. Things change so quickly! I'm off now to put some more wood on the fire, crank up the Acorn RISC OS and play some LP's :biggrin:
  19. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Ah, vinyl....the good ol' days :)
  20. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    Well that's just plain rude to be honest. Forget performing rights and everything else for a second, it's basic courtesy not to record people without letting them know!

    I guess what counts as 'good quality' depends on what you want to learn from the recording. If you're trying to prove to a band that they are simply not playing together then to be honest a cassette recorder would show that up...Wax cylinder and a stylus, anyone?!