SYOS

Recording our performances - possible pitfalls?

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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3,558
I hope I've put this in the right forum, if not, then I apologise.

Before I make the suggestion to our band, I want to get your feedback on possible pitfalls, or things I might have overlooked.

I play in a community band. We are about 40-45 strong, made up mainly of saxophones, clarinets, with flutes, a trumpet, a trombone, keyboard, bass guitar, drums and percussion.
We play for fun, and do about 3-6 performance over the summer at school fetes, residential homes etc.

We're not bad, none of us is professional, we all have "other lives".
Hopefully you get the picture.

I've often found that although I can play my part on my own at home, when it comes to playing in the band, then I make all sorts of little errors, mostly around not really knowing how my part fits into the rest of the band.

So I got to thinking how it would be useful to record the band and have those recordings available on our own web-site (we have a web-site already, with a members area, so access could be restricted), so we could practice along with ourselves at home.
I hope I'm making sense here.

Now, obviously, we'd want to do those recordings as cheaply as possible, preferably with no cost!
And we have a repertoire of around 100 pieces in total, although some get an airing far more than others (eg, this summer we'll be playing about 20-25 pieces) so we could prioritise.

So, am I being naive in thinking we could do this at all?
What sort of problems could we encounter?
Is there an issue with copyrights or performance rights? (as a band, we buy all our sheet music with copyright as necessary)
We're not looking for studio quality perfection, but a good recording of each piece we play.

Or are my ideas just pie in the sky?

As ever, awaiting your wonderfully constructive thoughts
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Everything you suggest is easy, but can be time consuming..I have been recording various bands I'm in for the last few years, weekly. Parts can make no sense on their own, so to have a 'practice' recording with the entire band helps enormously. I use a Zoom H4 recording in MP3, saving the recording in the break to make the file more manageable, listing each piece we play on a master sheet so I can always find it within the recording!! In the past they were dropped into Audacity, broken down & exported per track, then master discs distributed to any other member who could be bothered to practice.... But due to the workload (& a different band) they are loaded into Mixcraft, and played back by the master listing. If anyone wants a specific track I'll extract & email. (Additionally Audacity struggled to process the file....)

Any recorder will be fine, Zoom H2 being popular here..

Any specific questions feel free to ask!
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Zoom H2 (£139 at Amazon) would be perfect for the job. I use one for all of my recordings in clubs - excellent ;}

John.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,558
Thanks both,
just to clarify, I have a Zoom H2, and our conductor (my sax teacher, with whom I raised this question this morning) is also looking at buying a recorder for her teaching work in schools, so something else might be available too.

What sort of (pref free or very cheap) software is available for cutting sections out of a recording?
e.g if we just started the recording at the start of a session, and stopped it 1 hour later, we might have 3 or 4 good recordings of pieces, plus a lot of errors, re-tries, talking etc.
Obviously we'd only want to end up with extracting or cutting the wanted bits and keeping each as a separate file.

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to this sort of thing.

I figured it would be VERY time-consuming, but I think it would be hugely beneficial in the long run.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
As above; Load recording into Audacity, then extract individual pieces as needed - but Audacity is slow when handling such (relatively) large files; Mixcraft will do the same thing & is much faster. But there will be other programs that can do this..

If you keep a log, to upload edit say 3 pieces into seperate MP3s would probabaly only take 10 minutes when up to speed.... (Mixcraft, 20 minutes Audacity.)

I seem to recall taht a zoom will auto start, thus only recording when the band starts up, but I've not bothered with that+

Thanks both,
just to clarify, I have a Zoom H2, and our conductor (my sax teacher, with whom I raised this question this morning) is also looking at buying a recorder for her teaching work in schools, so something else might be available too.

What sort of (pref free or very cheap) software is available for cutting sections out of a recording?
e.g if we just started the recording at the start of a session, and stopped it 1 hour later, we might have 3 or 4 good recordings of pieces, plus a lot of errors, re-tries, talking etc.
Obviously we'd only want to end up with extracting or cutting the wanted bits and keeping each as a separate file.

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to this sort of thing.

I figured it would be VERY time-consuming, but I think it would be hugely beneficial in the long run.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Mixcraft will do the same thing & is much cheaper.

Cheaper than free?

I seem to recall taht a zoom will auto start, thus only recording when the band starts up, but I've not bothered with that+

Yes, but it's a pain. cuts in when it shouldn't or doesn't cut in when it should. Better to do it manually, or maybe someone else has had more luck than me and can give us some pointers.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Cheaper than free?

apologies should read "faster"



Yes, but it's a pain. cuts in when it shouldn't or doesn't cut in when it should. Better to do it manually, or maybe someone else has had more luck than me and can give us some pointers.

yep!

mixcraft has a trial period to save parts, thereafter needs to be purchased, but will still
function without saving indidual parts...
 
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