#1
I want to start recording our band's rehearsals so I can play them back to see how we sound. It is difficult to pick out subtle issues while you are playing.

Our rehearsals normally last about 3-4 hours and we play through a powered mixer/PA system. The mixer has an out that I can somehow interface to the soundcard in my PC. My question is what software would work best to record this? I don't think I will need Cubase or ProTools since I am recording the entire mix instead of the individual tracks.

Would Audacity work well enough for my needs? Also, I am wondering how much harddrive space this would take up for a 3 hour session? It would be a pain in the butt to have to start and stop the recording every time because sometimes someone will just start going into a song and we follow along.
Gear:
Fender Strat
Epi Joe Pass Signature
Epi LP Plus Top
Jackson Dinky
Fender Hot Rod Deville 212
#2
Regardless of recording software you'll probably be recording in .WAV format or some other lossless format. At CD quality that's about 10MB to the minute, so for only one track you're already looking at 1.8GB for a three-hour session. If you're recording four tracks that's 7.2GB in total. You'll need some mean-ass memory for that, I think.
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#3
Quote by Sewe Dae
Regardless of recording software you'll probably be recording in .WAV format or some other lossless format. At CD quality that's about 10MB to the minute, so for only one track you're already looking at 1.8GB for a three-hour session. If you're recording four tracks that's 7.2GB in total. You'll need some mean-ass memory for that, I think.


That seems an odd way to do it. First Why bother recording your practices in a lossless format?

Second, you'll probably only record one mono track of the overall mix. You're not going to be mixing this down later and how well everyone fits with each other is part of what you're paying attention to so you want the unaltered single channel anyway.

Quote by Rio38

It would be a pain in the butt to have to start and stop the recording every time because sometimes someone will just start going into a song and we follow along.



Third, I don't know how other people do it, but any group I've ever recorded practices with has not recorded the entire rehearsal. We work through things without recording, and then record only what we hope will be a solid work-through of each song. This still identifies the problems without forcing someone to sift through 4 hours of garbage later only to find the few songs that we wanted to listen to. It's fine to get some great takes of a song without recording them--you're recording to identify what needs to be worked on. And it's really not a pain in the butt, you just click the record and stop buttons, I've never seen it "slow down" the natural process of rehearsal.

TS, it may seem neat to capture the whole evening now, but it's just not practical. After a few practices you'll stop bothering recording more than a few takes of each song.

With these things in mind, audacity should work just fine. As long as it doesn't crash regularly on your pc as some versions of it are known to do with some versions of windows and certain hardware. I've used it for this very purpose in the past and it met our needs perfectly.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Nov 11, 2009,
#4
With these things in mind, audacity should work just fine. As long as it doesn't crash regularly on your pc as some versions of it are known to do with some versions of windows and certain hardware. I've used it for this very purpose in the past and it met our needs perfectly.


I have this problem now. I just downloaded and installed it and it won't even load. I get nothing. I am running XP.

Anyway, you are right. I will not record the entire rehearsal, but possibly just go through the songs to record at the end and see how they go.

Thanks.
Gear:
Fender Strat
Epi Joe Pass Signature
Epi LP Plus Top
Jackson Dinky
Fender Hot Rod Deville 212
#5
Quote by Rio38
I have this problem now. I just downloaded and installed it and it won't even load. I get nothing. I am running XP.

Anyway, you are right. I will not record the entire rehearsal, but possibly just go through the songs to record at the end and see how they go.

Thanks.


try both versions of audacity, the official 1.2.6 one and the 1.3.9 one that's supposedly been in beta for as long as I can remember. I've always had one work if the other one wouldn't on a given computer.
#6
Have you got the entire band mic'd through the PA system? If so, the mixer line out is ideal, and any software capable of recording a stereo signal (eg Audacity) will work perfectly.

I record 3hr sessions all the time and tend to expect about 500MB or so. My advice is to stop and start recording every so often though - it can reduce the strain on your RAM and hard disk, and also the risk of any errors.


If you're not using the PA for absolutely every instrument, make sure you invest in a room mic. A USB large-diaphragm condenser like the Samson C01U will work great and can be picked up for under $80 or so.
#7
Geez.... so many potential problems here.

1. Board mixes suck @ss unless you *really* do it right. The reason is, board mixes tend to leave a lot of stuff out, or at least put not much of some stuff through. If it sounds great in the room, (a small rehearsal kind of room), then guaranteed your board mix will sound like crap.

2. I have a recording rig. I've made a good live recording. It's a huge pain in the neck and it is a LOT of work. And a LOT of expense. And complicated.

3. Yeah, at 10MB a minute (any decent interface that I know of doesn't record anything but waves), you're going to use up a lot of space.

3. Despite having my own recording rig, I don't use *any* of it to record our rehearsals. We use a little Zoom H2 recorder. For evaluation purposes, they sound way better than anything I could do with my Cubase rig, my Delta1010 and a basket full of mics without really screwing around a lot - and it's portable as anything. It records directly to mp3 and is dead easy to use. It's less expensive than most half-way usable interfaces. What more could you want?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
Geez.... so many potential problems here.

3. Despite having my own recording rig, I don't use *any* of it to record our rehearsals. We use a little Zoom H2 recorder. For evaluation purposes, they sound way better than anything I could do with my Cubase rig, my Delta1010 and a basket full of mics without really screwing around a lot - and it's portable as anything. It records directly to mp3 and is dead easy to use. It's less expensive than most half-way usable interfaces. What more could you want?

CT

Hey! We use a zoom H2 for rehersal too. I and the songwriter I work with both own one. I love that little guy. Really does capture everything beautifully.

I never did have a problem just running an omni directional condenser mono into a board and that into audacity for an group I used to play in though. It was simple, quick and captured everything just fine.
#9
Excellent. I ran out at luch today and bought the Zoom H2. Seems like exactly what I will need. I will have to get a bigger SD card for it though.

How do you set yours up to record the session? We are going to have 5 people playing/singing with two speakers from the PA system on either sides of the room. Would it be best to use 2-channel mode and stick the Zoom in the middle of the room or use mono and stick it on one side of the room?

Alos, should I set it to record straight to MP3 or WAV to conserve space?

I am not worried about being CD quality at this point or stereo. I just want to get a feel for how we sound a s a group.

Thanks again.
Gear:
Fender Strat
Epi Joe Pass Signature
Epi LP Plus Top
Jackson Dinky
Fender Hot Rod Deville 212
#10
We set ours on a camera tripod, approximately ear level, centered between the PA speakers. Every room will have a "sweet spot", try it a few different places.

We just set it for mp3, that way you don't have to convert for e-mail, iPods, etc. The quality is good enough.

I think stereo is the best. We stick it on the tripod, push the record button, and it's in standby, then push it again when we want it to record. Almost too easy.

A larger SD card is good to have, and we do, but we clear it after we download what we want, and the smaller card is fine for that. If you want to record a gig, then yes, the larger SD card is better.

BTW, it creates a new file when you stop and restart it, but not if you leave it running. We record one song at a time, so when we download, there are individual files for each song. If you have a bad take, you can eliminate it. You can name the files in iTunes very easily, to keep organized.
Last edited by chokmool at Nov 13, 2009,