Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 09:36:07 -0500 From: Dave Morris Subject: Re:recording tips wanted
I saw a reply to your post on harp-l, and I thought I'd add my two cents. I have a bit of studio recording experience, though almost all of it with amplified harp, so that's all I feel qualified to offer my opions about.
I think it's important to figure out what kind of sound you're looking for, and not just from the harmonica, but from the whole band. One thing that will really help the engineer give you what you're looking for, both during the recording and the mixing processes, would be for your band to come up with a few recordings that you like the sound of and would like to emulate. A Chess-sounding recording would require a very different setup than would, say, a recording that sounded more like a Sugar Blue record. If you're looking for a drier, more compressed sound from your harp, and for more options with effects during the mix, I'd say an isolation booth would be a good idea. If you want a roomier sound, I'd advise against it. Digital reverb and delay sound great, but they don't quite equal the ambiance of a real room. If you're recording live, you may be limited to whatever is required to isolate the various band instruments from each other, and that may necessitat putting your amp in another room. If you'll be overdubbing, I'd suggest playing around with various amp, room and mic'ing combinations. Be creative. Try putting your amp in the hall, in the bathroom, in the studio office, etc, and see how it sounds. I've had the best success with both close mic'ing and room micing my amp. If you have enough tracks to devote two to the harp, that might be a good way to go, since the close mic will pick up more of the full amp tone, while the room mic(s), depending upon placement, can give you a variety of options for room sound during mixing. If you're going for that room sound, though, I'd probably suggest using an amp that would give you a little more "oomph" than a champ, like a bassman or vibroverb. If you're close mic'ing your amp in an isolated room, even the smallest of amps can sound great - and big - in the mixdown. Best of luck to you, and have fun!