Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

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Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by DanR »

Hi
I play keys in a 5 piece Jazz/funk band and we’re looking to record a few tunes.
We have a small single garage studio conversion and instruments are keys, bass, drums, guitar and sax/vocal.
We’d like to record drums, keys and bass simultaneously and then add guitar and sax separately later (using Reaper).
To avoid instrument overspill onto the drum mics, 3 headphone mixes would be needed but not sure what outputs to use on the 18i20.
Two mixes could be from the front panel jacks and then I assume a third
would be from one or two of the outputs on the rear going to a small mixer.

Have looked at online vids on the Focusrite Control software but am still a little confused on routing what to where.
Any help appreciated.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by DanR »

It’s ok.
I’ve figured it out.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by blinddrew »

I was going to ask if you needed three separate mixes but since you're sorted... ;)
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by DanR »

Thanks for the reply.
That’s a good point. Three sets of headphones are needed but could be all one mix just with a level control of each.
I think with the routing options of Focusrite Control and the twin headphone jacks, a separate mix for each should be easy to setup.
The third can run from a stereo pair of outputs to a small mixer.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by Sam Spoons »

Just a thought, if you are an experienced live band you may find you achieve better performances, and thus better recordings, by recording with all of you playing together. Sure there will be spill and the sax player and guitarist can't just go back and rerecord a part without everybody starting again but, for me at least, solos, and particularly improvised solos work better if everybody is 'feeding' off each others energy/groove.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by Wonks »

Or you simply don’t play solos when recording the whole band live.

The main issue then is hearing the vocals (assuming that at least some of the tunes have them), which normally needs some kind of headphone monitoring setup - which takes you back to the start again!
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by Wonks »

I'd suggest getting a relatively cheap headphone amp like a Behringer HA6000.

With that, you can simply send the basic stereo mix to everyone, or if some people need more, you can send one extra aux output send from the Focusrite per headphone channel to add more of that person's instrument (there is a mix control on the unit to adjust as necessary).

Of course for all apart from the singer, you can always get away with using open-backed headphones so they you hear what's going on in the room with just the vocals in the headphones. Not ideal, but after a bit of familiarisation, it could work.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by Dr Huge Longjohns »

I have an 18i20 and a Behringer headphone amp exactly as Mr W suggests.
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Re: Recording band with Focusrite 18i20 3rd gen

Post by DanR »

Sam Spoons wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:31 am Just a thought, if you are an experienced live band you may find you achieve better performances, and thus better recordings, by recording with all of you playing together. Sure there will be spill and the sax player and guitarist can't just go back and rerecord a part without everybody starting again but, for me at least, solos, and particularly improvised solos work better if everybody is 'feeding' off each others energy/groove.

Thanks. Yes that’s how we prefer to do it.
The last recording at a pro studio was like that. Just a bit of spill from the sax onto the drum mics but good result in general.
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