Recording Orchestra Sessions
We thought it would be a good idea to have this handy reference page covering the ins and outs of recording the orchestra at our weekly sessions at the Cube.
When setting up vocal and instrument mics, try to ensure that they don't point towards the monitors or sit right over them. Feedback is our enemy.
Setting Up the Condenser Mics
Once the mixer has been connected to the amp and the monitor speakers, we need to ensure the two condenser mics are set up correctly for recording. Attach each condenser mic onto a stand and place either side of the monitors on the edge of the stage, at about 6' high. If you place them lower they tend to pick up roaming sax and similar instruments too clearly, overpowering the other instruments. There is a small ring on one side of the mic - THIS IS THE FRONT and should be positioned pointing towards the action on stage. Each mic needs to be connected to inputs 9/10 and 11/12 on the mixer.
Mic Settings on the Mixer
The two inputs used to record must be routed correctly. Usually this is simply a matter of inserting them into channels 9/10 and 11/12, as these should be set up exactly as they need to be from the previous session, but it's advisable to double-check them.
- XLR inserts from the condenser mics
- Mic trim set to +10 (Off), Low Cut up (Off)
- EQ all set to 0
- Aux 1 on left channel set to 2 o'clock and Aux 2 set to infinity, Aux 2 on right channel set to 2 o'clock and Aux 1 set to infinity. These may benefit from leveling later. Pre buttons down (On)
- FX all set to infinity (Off)
- Balance centred, Mute On
- Levels all the way down, all buttons up (Off)
Connecting the Recorder
Recording equipment is connected on the rear of the mixer, by inserting 1/4 inch jacks into Aux Sends 1 and 2.
If you're using Ramon's Roland R-09 digital recorder the audio cable plugs into the top-right input, labelled LINE IN (See 20 in photo 1 below). Switch the recorder on by pressing the small POWER button on the left-hand side of the device (See 13 in photo 2 below). A screen lights up on the front.
To start recording, press the central REC button once (See 12 in photo 3 below), the Red light will begin flashing (11) and check the levels first. The settings should be about right, but if you notice it's peaking or is way too low during loud sections, the input volume can be adjusted on the left-hand side (See 14 in photo 2 below). 20 seems to be a good general setting. Next REMEMBER TO press the REC button again (Red light remains on) to actually record. There's an 8Gb card, but be aware that this recorder only records in 2Gb bursts, about two hours, so don't set it going too early! To stop recording, press the stop button (10) under the REC button. Switch it off when finished.