Recording - August 2016 - 4

PUBLISHER: Thomas Hawley
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Brent Heintz

EDITORIAL

EDITOR: Mike Metlay
SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR: Lorenz Rychner
TECHNICAL EDITOR: Paul Vnuk Jr.
EDITOR AT LARGE: Beto Hale
COPY EDITOR: Diana Smethurst
MÚSICO PRO EDITOR: Fernando Curiel

Capture the magic
We've all been there... watching an amazing live show, where the band is
absolutely tearing it up on stage, and wishing that we could remember this
moment forever. The incredible creative rush of live performance is perhaps the
most visceral of musical reactions we can have; the aim of a live recording is to
transport us back to that moment, or to take us to a live show we never saw while
making us feel like we were there.
Wishing to preserve the power of a great live gig is a strong motivator for developing the tools and chops of live band recording, but it's not the only one. Here's
another scenario you're probably familiar with: you get to know a band through
seeing a few live shows, and decide that you're enough of a fan to go out and
buy a record... only to listen to it and be utterly underwhelmed. All the energy and
spontaneity of the live sound is gone, replaced by overdubs, phoned-in parts, massive timing and intonation control, and an overall slick, lifeless sheen.
"Man, that album didn't have any of their live mojo at all!" Imagine being the
artist, hearing that about your latest labor of love... or being the engineer that went
to all the trouble of piecing it together. Ouch!
So if the energy of live music is so important, whether it's on stage or in the studio, why don't more engineers and bands strive to play live and record live? There
are lots of reasons, some of which are discussed in depth in this issue. The simple
fact is, all the elements that make for a great live performance contribute to making
the recording process a real headache.
Band members are too amped on the crowd to worry about staying precisely on
mic (or about kicking over the mic you spent a half hour placing in the exact sweet
spot of the guitar amp). The drums may not be miked at all if the venue's too small,
which means the recorded balance is out of whack. The Front Of House console
will have a different mix than what belongs on the record, because the FOH engineer's job is to make things sound their best in the room... and isn't terribly interested in messing with his PA mix just so you can get a better board tape.
Add to that the fact that audiences these days have been conditioned to want
perfection, to want a listening experience that's "better than real." Put it all together and those lifeless, soulless overdubs at least seem like they could result in a finished record rather than a bleed-ridden, chaotic mess.
Fortunately, live recording in a venue, or capturing a band live in the studio, isn't
impossible. It's merely tricky, frustrating, and loaded with compromises. But if you
do the right preparation beforehand and go in knowing what to expect, you can
plan for those compromises and be prepared to make the most of them. In this
issue, we hear from Bill Stunt, Sven-Erik Seaholm, and Brian Marshak-seasoned
engineers all-discussing various facets of The Live Recording Problem. How do
you prepare, whether as an artist or as an engineer? What do you do when the
time comes to hit Record? What do you do to make things run smoothly throughout
the session, and more importantly, what do you do when things go sideways (and
they will)? These questions have answers, and you'll find a lot of them in this issue.
We all have live recording horror stories: the mixer that drops a channel (or an
entire bus) at the exact wrong moment, the intermittent crackle somewhere in the
tangle of cables running to a stage snake, the meter that tells you that your levels
are fine even though your audio is clipping elsewhere in the signal chain. The
moment may be lost without hope of recovery, although audio repair software is
getting better every year... but every disaster is a chance to learn how to do things
better the next time. Learn from your (and others') mistakes, keep smiling, and keep
trying to capture the magic.
Enjoy the issue!

CONTRIBUTORS
Paul Vnuk Jr., Bill Stunt,
Sven-Erik Seaholm, Brian Marshak,
Gary Eskow, Paul J. Stamler,
Marty Peters, Scott Dorsey
SOCIAL MEDIA
Brent Heintz, Paul Vnuk Jr.
ART & PRODUCTION

ART DIRECTOR: Scott Simmonds
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Colin Courtney
WEB GOALIE: Colin Courtney

PLAYBACK PLATINUM SERIES
Lorenz Rychner

EDITOR/PRODUCER:

CIRCULATION
Tiffany Sepe

CIRCULATION MANAGER:

ADVERTISING SALES AND MARKETING
DIRECTOR: Brent Heintz
CLASSIFIEDS MANAGER: Colin Courtney
ADMINISTRATION
Thomas Hawley

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE:

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

PRESIDENT: Thomas Hawley
VICE PRESIDENT: Brent Heintz

SUBSCRIPTIONS/ADDRESS CHANGES:
1-800-783-4903
ADVERTISING/CLASSIFIEDS/MAIN OFFICE:
(303) 516-9118
RECORDING MAGAZINE
(ISSN 1078-8352; USPS 002-298) is published
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© Copyright 2016 Music Maker
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4

RECORDING AUGUST 2016



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
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Recording - August 2016 - Cover3
Recording - August 2016 - Cover4
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