Recording - August 2016 - 30

what is being played is correctly being captured within the DAW at optimal level with
ample headroom. Once the setup is done,
you need to focus on putting on a great
show, and performing, not about levels on
the console. If the venue has a PA engineer,
make sure he and the recording engineer
communicate rather than arguing.
Rich Mouser, studio owner and engineer
of Mouse House Studios, spoke with me
about his experiences with mixing live
shows for official album release. Some of
his live credits include Dream Theater's Dark
Side of the Moon (Live-Hammersmith
Apollo, London) and Flying Colors (Steve
Morse and Mike Portnoy) Second Flight-
Live at the Z7. The latter is interesting due to
Rich using two different mix perspectives for
the listener to choose from: Front Row or
Front of House/Soundboard, all in 5.1 surround sound.
Rich discussed several important issues
about tracking live recordings. He mentioned to be careful and not have the
bass and guitar volume too loud, or
have too much low end on stage. This
could cause problems due to those hot
signals bleeding into other mics and
could also potentially push the lead
singer to oversing and have pitch issues.
It's also a good idea to not skimp on
channels for the source tracks and most
definitely record at least a pair of audience mics, if not more. From there, keep
the live tracks honest and raw, without
any compression if possible. Last but not
least, keep modest tracking levels with a
good amount of headroom, so if and
when levels peak, they won't clip.
After the show
Once the show is done, the studio phase
begins. It is a well-known open secret that
the vast majority of "live" records have at
least some studio tracks and polishing work
done. Despite what some purists may say
about that alarming fact, it is a necessary
evil to fix what doesn't sound good and
isn't usable before release.
Bleed is a case in point. Usually it's a
problem with drum/cymbal bleed into
vocal mics. As you EQ and compress the
vocals, bleed becomes more prevalent,
especially for smaller venues/stages.
Drummer vocals very often need to recut
30

RECORDING AUGUST 2016

because of the tremendous drum bleed,
and other vocals will often need to be edited, recut, beefed up with extra sets of backing vocals, or tuned to sound more perfect.
If you must recut vocals, it's a good idea to
use the same microphone that was used
live, or at least a similar type. While I personally dislike tuning vocals, it is sometimes
absolutely necessary if the singer has an off
night, or an otherwise great take is ruined
by a mistake here or there.
During mixing, Rich Mouser usually has
gotten good drum tracks to work with,
where bleed is manageable. Typically
drum bleed into the bass track can be
managed by using a DI on the bass guitar
and amp head, in addition to the mic on
the cabinet. Guitars are almost always
from just a mic or two on the guitar cabinet, and bleed is less of an issue.
Rich feels that bleed, as long as it's
manageable, can be a good thing. It
can create a sense where instruments
aren't too clean and separated, so they
feel that they are in the same live setting. While excessive bleed is a problem, Rich doesn't worry as the vocals
can be adjusted, fixed or re-tracked.
Another interesting thing that Rich uses
is, ideally, three to four pairs of
room/audience mics placed strategically
near the stage facing the crowd, midroom, and lastly where the front of house
mixer is. These mic options give him control if he wants to pump more space into
the mix and create more of a live environment and feel. In addition to that natural ambience and crowd noise, Rich
uses up to three or four different reverbs
and delays in the mix. Subtle delays and
reverbs add to the overall natural room
ambience, which can help create the
impression of slap, size and space.
An example
A live record that I personally worked
on was by the Los Angeles-based band
Malaki. During the spring of 2015,
Malaki played a gig at the Troubadour
in LA, and recorded the show so they
could release the performance. During
the process, Malaki bandleader Josh
Buma, and I worked on fixing certain
elements of the recording to make it
more suitable for release. The live tracks


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - August 2016

 Contents
Recording - August 2016 - Intro
Recording - August 2016 - Cover1
Recording - August 2016 - Cover2
Recording - August 2016 - 1
Recording - August 2016 - 2
Recording - August 2016 - 3
Recording - August 2016 - 4
Recording - August 2016 - 5
Recording - August 2016 -  Contents
Recording - August 2016 - 7
Recording - August 2016 - 8
Recording - August 2016 - 9
Recording - August 2016 - 10
Recording - August 2016 - 11
Recording - August 2016 - 12
Recording - August 2016 - 13
Recording - August 2016 - 14
Recording - August 2016 - 15
Recording - August 2016 - 16
Recording - August 2016 - 17
Recording - August 2016 - 18
Recording - August 2016 - 19
Recording - August 2016 - 20
Recording - August 2016 - 21
Recording - August 2016 - 22
Recording - August 2016 - 23
Recording - August 2016 - 24
Recording - August 2016 - 25
Recording - August 2016 - 26
Recording - August 2016 - 27
Recording - August 2016 - 28
Recording - August 2016 - 29
Recording - August 2016 - 30
Recording - August 2016 - 31
Recording - August 2016 - 32
Recording - August 2016 - 33
Recording - August 2016 - 34
Recording - August 2016 - 35
Recording - August 2016 - 36
Recording - August 2016 - 37
Recording - August 2016 - 38
Recording - August 2016 - 39
Recording - August 2016 - 40
Recording - August 2016 - 41
Recording - August 2016 - 42
Recording - August 2016 - 43
Recording - August 2016 - 44
Recording - August 2016 - 45
Recording - August 2016 - 46
Recording - August 2016 - 47
Recording - August 2016 - 48
Recording - August 2016 - 49
Recording - August 2016 - 50
Recording - August 2016 - 51
Recording - August 2016 - 52
Recording - August 2016 - 53
Recording - August 2016 - 54
Recording - August 2016 - 55
Recording - August 2016 - 56
Recording - August 2016 - 57
Recording - August 2016 - 58
Recording - August 2016 - 59
Recording - August 2016 - 60
Recording - August 2016 - 61
Recording - August 2016 - 62
Recording - August 2016 - 63
Recording - August 2016 - 64
Recording - August 2016 - 65
Recording - August 2016 - 66
Recording - August 2016 - 67
Recording - August 2016 - 68
Recording - August 2016 - 69
Recording - August 2016 - 70
Recording - August 2016 - 71
Recording - August 2016 - 72
Recording - August 2016 - Cover3
Recording - August 2016 - Cover4
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