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Thread: Help recording jazz session

  1. #1
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    Help recording jazz session

    I want to record jazz drums with four mic's maybe five.

    The rhythm section will be recorded first ie drums, e-bass or acoustic-bass and electric piano. Later solo horns, flute and guitar will be added.

    I have in pair's: 414, 441, 480, 451, c12vr and Oktava 219's.
    In single mic's I have: U87i, K2, 421, RE20, 3050, aea R84, 1050 & c535eb,

    Mic pre's: 2 Grace 101's, DBX 576, Soundcraft M12, Presonus bluetube & tube pre.

    Session will be be-bop, ballads, latin and fusion tunes like a modern Corea thing.I will be recording to a Korg D1600. 40G
    Suggestions on mic choices for each of the instrument's mentioned and drums, would be a God send.
    Thank You!!!
    Jiminy

  2. #2
    HG is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    What sort of jazz?? Makes alot of difference.

    I've recorded alot of jazz artists and the most I've ever used is 3 mics. Here's a basic never fail setup.

    2 overheads, the oktava 219 have a nice vintage sound, same electronics as the 012's which are very nice. Aim both at the snare at about 1m apart, or x-y if you have phase issues.

    1 condenser (414 would work)sitting 1 foot in front of the kit, 1 foot high, pointing vetically to the cieling. Captures some kik drum and the kit room sound. You can eq this for more thud if needed later.

    Jazz drummers are generally pro's so you should get plenty of nice even sound to play with.

    The Grace pre's should be fine, its not rock after all.

    I normally just slightly limit the entire kit on a sub for mixdown, jazz drummers like the dynamics preserved as much as possible. ie. They play loud and soft on purpose and 99% of engineers squash the daylights out of it and drummers hate it.

  3. #3
    HG is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    ps. If its jazz funk, record everything just as you would a rock band and compress etc.

  4. #4
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    Wireline is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '08, '09, '10
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    We do quite a bit of jazz here as well, and usually start with this...using your mics-

    Classic Jazz:

    2 414's on OHs...if you have the room for it, Omni mode, if not cardiod...depending on what you are needing, a simple XY could work, but I would REALLY try and get the "Glyn Johns" idea of OH, side, and Front.

    Front: if in classic mode, RE20 a bit back and up...or the 219...


    Of course, try anything...I did a thing with a soft touch, brushes on snare last week...and all I used was an omni in front of the entire kit, 5 feet back...sounded perfect for the song.
    Ken Morgan
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    "What sort of jazz?? Makes alot of difference".


    HG the session will be be-bop, ballads, latin and fusion tunes like a modern Corea thing.

    Thanks for your input. I just found this site yesterday. Its mind blowing how you guys (gals) network together.
    Very good feedback!!!

    What sort of jazz?? Makes alot of difference.
    Jiminy

  6. #6
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    Suggestions on mic choices for each of the instrument's mentioned and drums, would be a God send.
    There is no universal recipe. Nor should there be. I would have thought this would be your chance to experiment with your entire mic and preamp arsenal. Consider yourself one lucky dude with all that stuff.

    There is plenty on this site about recording guitar. You just need a good direct for electric the piano (hopefully good stereo patches) and electric bass. The solo horns might benefit from the ribbons in a nice space.

    That leaves drums and acoustic bass. SDo a search for acoustic bass on this site.

    IMO the lynchpin of your session is drums.

    If you are going for the Chick Corea-esque sound then you've listened to the drums of Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl?

    Rhetorical Q.: Then how much of that do you think is recording technique vs. drum tuning?

    A: It is both, with the emphasis on tuning; particularly toms.

    I would enjoy reading other comments on gettig the Gadd Weckl sound.

    Regards,
    Mark

    P.S. For acoustic chores, though you have some great mics, consider getting yourself a pair of miniature DPA 4061s to play with. I promise, you will not be dissapointed and you will be tempted to buy another 4.
    Mark Kramer
    www.thejazzmall.com


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  7. #7
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    I think Weckl and Gadd's sound are completely different: Gadd's sound is very dry and dead- sounding. Cymbals are dark, dry, and decay quickly. Same with drums- Evans hydraulic heads or pinstripes back in the day- now it's a little different, but that snare was always dead- no overtones.

    Weckl's cymbals are a little brighter and more open, snare is still a little dead but not as much as Gadd's. Toms are more open as well.

    These guys know how to tune and play- that's most of the sound.

    I hear a LOT of compression in their recordings. I can hear Gadd playing lightly with the tip of his stick for instance on the hi-hat and it's very loud regardless.

    Hope this helps?

    RE20 on kick, 414's on overheads for drums...you should only need 3 for jazz drums. Maybe one mic 6 feet in front of the set about 4 ft. off the ground facing the kit. Any mic...
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  8. #8
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    So most of you guys don't mic the snare I notice.

    Jazz drums sound best to me recorded with a single stereo pair of mics at a good distance, capturing the kit as a whole. Of course if you're in a drum booth, this is not an option.

    I am soon to be faced with this situation in an upcoming studio session. I guess I'll try that Glyn Johns thing. I'll probably mic the snare too, so 4 mics.

    Pair of modded 414's for the overheads, with an RE20 on kick and a modded AKG C 460 or a Neumann U64 or KM84 on snare. The large diaphragm condensers for overheads give you a nice big tom sound, but small diaphragm condensers are great if recording the whole kit from a distance.

  9. #9
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    People mic snares? What an interesting idea...nah...it'll never catch on.

    Ken Morgan
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  10. #10
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    Weckl and Gadd's sound are completely different
    Yes. But it is also relative. Gadd and Weckl are in the same ballpark compared with the ballpark that exisited in pre-Gadd era jazz recordings of drums! Also both drummers are alumni of the Chick Corea groups. Weckl was actually recorded in two different ways, depending upon the Cd master.

    As you may know Chick Corea is a master drummer himself, who back in the late 70s early 80s knew exactly what sound he wanted from the drums and the drummer. Drummers who refused to listen to him, were not jired. He is thus credtied with not only the early drum recordig techniques of that style but as contributing almost entirely to the drumming concept,style and recorded and live sound!!

    At least there is agreement on the importance of tuning.

    For most of the studio dates involving these kits, the drums were close miced with many many (great) mics, so very unfashionable today. An exception might be some of the more stand sound tracks in some of the acoustiK band dates.

    Regards,
    Mark
    Mark Kramer
    www.thejazzmall.com


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