It's me again :D. I have shot the pilot for the reality TV show. It has two main parts the first one is shot in studio (not really too much of a problem), the other part is documentary style. This includes recording sound of their performances, I had a particular issue when it came to the drums; the drown out most of the other sound you could barely hear the vocalist (the drums drown it out and the recording is very distorted).

We then shot the same band at their performance in a bar, here I used my cheese box (presence of mind) and brought my xenyx 802 mixer, it's a basic mixer but it was the only option I had to get as many recordings as possible. There were to camera and they used their onboard mics. I used the 2 XLR inputs on the mixer to jack into the guitar amp and the other into a microphone that was possitioned facing the band. N.B it was a VERY low budget production (pilot) so I did the best with what I had.

I got a clean recording of the lead guitar (jack to amp to mixer) and the other dynamic microphone picked up the rest (drums, bass and vocals). There was still distortion on the dynamic microphone but it was adequate enough to capture the feel and sound of the amateur rock band.

What I want to know is (with a set recorder: we can only get the zoom H4n) is there a way to cut down on the distortion on the drums? I imagine it would be a low cut filter, but that would be a condenser microphone (me66 most probably because all the sound gear hired would need to be multi-functional. I'm nervous of using a condeser like the me66 for this purpose (it's directional) whereas a dynamic microphone could pick up everything else.

It must be noted that the band is amateur so I don't have the luxury of having a p.a system and or mixer to record. Ni ether can I plug straight into the singer's microphone because they need it for playback.

Basically because it is a reality T.V show, the recording is pretty much guerrilla style. The crew need to be able to mve on their feet pretty quickly so during the performace I manned the mixer (hence the camera's recording interviews on the on boards).

Finished post production and my worrying/stressing about the sound turned out to be unnecessary. The quality of the performance recordings is acceptable considering it is reality TV, but I want to know if the recordings of the bands' performance can be perfect, take into consideration I will have access to 2 me66s, a lapel and a zoom H4n.

Does the zoom H4n haea low cut filter on it? I have never used one before but I will try go passed the place where we will rent it from to double check.

1 Answer 1


Lo Cut isnt the issue, dont use a low cut - you arent clipping the signal because of a low frequencies unless you have thrown the mic up against the kick.

I would position the stereo pair on the h4n in front of the band a ways back, but not too far to pick up too much room, and then place a sm57 closer to the singers speaker output (since you arent using a PA, im guessing he/she is using something to amplify the voice) and another sm57 or like an audix D6 at the bass amp. This will capture your drums and guitar naturally and give you control over the bass and vox levels. If you want to raise your guitar in the mix, just raise the mid-mid/highs using an EQ.

If I remember correctly you can 4 channel the h4 using both mic inputs and the onboard stereo pair at the same time.

Also look into using the onboard limiter and compressor as well. This will level out your dynamics making a live performance sound more even with this type of quick setup and low budget recording.


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