[78-L] OT: Best way to make a simple live recording.

Joel Bresler joel.br at verizon.net
Sun Sep 16 03:36:23 PDT 2012

Dear friends:

Thanks SO much to the many people who contributed comments. Here's where I
came out. I bought a USB microphone from Samson called the Meteor, and it
seemed to have reasonable sound. I also downloaded Audacity, which looks
powerful. In the end, though, I elected to go with a professional recording
engineer. It was important to me to get the recording right. Just as
important, I wanted to be able to focus on the session itself without
fussing with the details of overseeing the recording. The recording engineer
brought three chorus mikes, another for the lead singer, and plugged
directly into the electronic keyboard. Post session, she mixed it all down
for me. I could not have been more pleased with the results. 

We made a political parody soundtrack. If you want to see the results,
kindly view http://youtu.be/bWs7TXCy7uI  and view the accompanying website:
www.muddleheadedcandidate.org I hope you enjoy it, whatever your political

Very best,


Joel Bresler
250 E. Emerson Road
Lexington, MA 02420
United States

1-781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
joel.br at verizon.net

-----Original Message-----
From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
[mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of Sammy Jones
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:05 AM
To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
Subject: Re: [78-L] OT: Best way to make a simple live recording.

You might consider a single point stereo microphone.  Place the chorus in a
semicircle, with the members facing inwards.  Place the stereo mic so it is
even with the ends of the semicircle and pointing towards the center. 
Experiment moving the microphone away from the chorus a bit if the sound is
too "present."  Place the keyboard between the mic and the chorus
(preferably closer to the chorus), but experient with moving the keyboard
around some if it overpowers the singers.

Monitor the setup with headphones, and have an assistant who can move the
mic and people around a bit while you listen.  Single point stereo mics are
a very simple and effective way to mic a simple ensemble like this.

It's important to remember that where you place a singer or instrument
directly affects where they will sound on the recording (from extreme left
to extreme right).

Stereo mics come in all sorts of varieties and might have mini plugs (that
will plug into the mic input of a computer) or XLR connectors (that will
plug into a mixer or recorder that accepts a mic level input).

Here's a couple of mics to consider (one is at the low end of the price
spectrum; the other in the middle):


Let us know how the recording turns out!

Even if you do go with a USB mic, the placement is still of paramount
importance.  Give the semicircle pattern described above a try!


> Hi, Mike, thanks for the comments. I'm doing the best I can! <G> Let 
> me give you the what for...
> "a simple live recording OF:
> Unamplified lead vocalist, unamplified chorus of 6 to 8 people, Yamaha 
> electric keyboard. In a vaulted ceiling living room with wood floors."
> Hope this straightens everything out. I am most probably going to buy 
> a USB microphone...looking at the Samson Go Mic, Portable Computer USB 
> Condenser Mic.
> Thanks to all who responded, and apologies to all who scratched their 
> heads at any of my descriptions.
> Best,
> Joel
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
> [mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of Michael Biel
> Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:31 AM
> To: 78-L Mail List
> Subject: Re: [78-L] OT: Best way to make a simple live recording.
> From: "Joel Bresler" <joel.br at verizon.net>
>> I am just looking for the best way to make a simple live audio recording.
>> I really appreciate the feedback and apologize if I've been less than 
>> clear about what I am trying to do here!
> Yes, you have been less than clear, and it is the reason why the 
> responses have been nearly useless.  All you needed to do was add one 
> more phrase after the word "of" as in "a simple live recording OF:"
> some examples would be:
> a singer with a guitar
> or a singer with a piano
> or a guitar
> or two guitars
> or a piano
> or a violin
> or a string quartette
> or a four piece rock band with 3 amplifiers, a drum kit, and two 
> singers or a narrator or two narrators or whatever it is you are 
> recording.  WHAT you are recording is more important than just that 
> you are recording.  The answers differ with the "WHAT".
> What is also amusing in the responses is that some people have been 
> suggesting hundreds of dollars of purchases for what you seem to be 
> hinting is a one time thing.  Hunting up some used Shure SM58s ranks 
> as the worst advice given here (they are stage mics for shouting into, 
> not recording mics), but buying some hundreds of dollars of mixers 
> without even asking if you need multiple mics ranks down there also.
> Tell us the "of what" and the real answers will flow.
> Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com

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