Recording small wind band

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Michael Willis
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Recording small wind band

Postby Michael Willis » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:14 pm

I have some friends that play brass instruments (trumpet, cornet, and hopefully a trombone). Between them and my clarinet I've been thinking it would be fun to arrange and record a small band jazz piece.

To start out, I'm considering arranging a backing track with virtual instruments to fill in the gaps. I think percussion and an acoustic bass would suffice, but I have no experience arranging virtual percussion. If I understand correctly, the two major options on Linux are hydrogen and drumgizmo. Can somebody recommend a good starting point? Any recommendations on a good kit for jazz/swing/blues would be helpful.

Then there's the matter of mics. I have a matched pair of narrow diaphragm condenser mics, and two dynamic vocal mics. Between two interfaces I have three mic inputs. Given that, I'm thinking of setting up the condensers as a pair in front of the brass players, treating the brass section as a single track with a stereo profile, and then capturing the clarinet on a separate track with a dynamic vocal mic. Does that seem like it would be a reasonable mic setup?

For now I'm trying to avoid being a gear head. As much as I would like to splurge on a Focusrite 18i8 and more/better mics, I first want to prove to myself that I will follow through and do it without spending more money.

Edit: Another question I have is whether it is a good idea to put headphones on everybody to monitor what we're recording, or to use studio speakers in the room. We at least need to hear the backing track, but I've found that when I'm recording myself playing a wind instrument I hear my own instrument loader than it is being picked up by the mic, regardless of whether I'm monitoring with headphones or speakers.

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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby tavasti » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:21 am

I would say that headphones would be good idea. Your mics would capture also your backing track, and getting proper mix that way might get tricky.
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finotti
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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby finotti » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:41 pm

Michael Willis wrote:To start out, I'm considering arranging a backing track with virtual instruments to fill in the gaps. I think percussion and an acoustic bass would suffice, but I have no experience arranging virtual percussion. If I understand correctly, the two major options on Linux are hydrogen and drumgizmo. Can somebody recommend a good starting point? Any recommendations on a good kit for jazz/swing/blues would be helpful.


I'm only familiar with DrumGizmo, but with it I think that for jazz the DRS Kit (https://www.drumgizmo.org/wiki/doku.php?id=kits:drskit) would be your best option. It even has whiskers.

I hear Hydrogen is simpler, if you just want to loop some drum parts, but I like to have changes all along, so I program drums with MIDI.

Let me know if I can help with anything.

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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby Michael Willis » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks tavasti and finotti.

tavasti wrote:I would say that headphones would be good idea.

Is there a way to equip headphones on three or four people from a single headphone output? I have a splitter that will do two, but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to add splitters to splitters. :? I may need to get a better interface in order to allow all musicians to wear headphones.

finotti wrote:I program drums with MIDI.

Do you program these tracks with Ardour, or do you use a different sequencer for the percussion tracks?

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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby finotti » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:46 pm

Michael Willis"
[quote="finotti wrote:
I program drums with MIDI.

Do you program these tracks with Ardour, or do you use a different sequencer for the percussion tracks?[/quote]

I've used Ardour in the past, and it seemed less problematic doing percussion with it than other instruments. But I usually use Muse for MIDI. I like their editor.

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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby tavasti » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Michael Willis wrote:
tavasti wrote:I would say that headphones would be good idea.

Is there a way to equip headphones on three or four people from a single headphone output? I have a splitter that will do two, but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to add splitters to splitters. :? I may need to get a better interface in order to allow all musicians to wear headphones.


Some headphone amp might be good idea if you are not on zero budget.
At its cheapest, something like this:

https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... e-Amp/1X5J
https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ha400.htm
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Shadow_7
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Re: Recording small wind band

Postby Shadow_7 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:08 am

A headphone preamp would suffice for multiple headphone outs from a single source. I have a presonus HP4 ($100-ish USD). 4x headphone outs and monitor pass-through. Although I mostly got it because it has a MUTE button for the monitor pass-through. And analog volume knobs, software volume control is for other people who are not me. I had a samson one (used from craigslist) before the HP4, which I almost liked better. 5x outs and it could power an old set of PC speakers louder than my 4' magnepans. And you could turn that one OFF without unplugging it from power.

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Depending on your drum experience, with midi you can just punch it in with any input device like a midi keyboard. Or other keyboard, vmpk, vkeybd, ...


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