Just finished a tracking session with a singer who has a huge dynamic range. This musician is otherwise very professional, and is a joy to have in the studio, and I'm not in any way criticizing her. However, there are some variables I'd like to know how to handle should they recur (with either her or another musician):
The was musician playing guitar while singing live in the studio. By the end of the session, we got the takes we needed, and their quality was good. She never needed more than a few takes, but we had to do a few retakes on top of that because of a little clipping. (But hey, six songs in three hours...not bad.) But this is making me wonder:
The extreme dynamic range makes using the pad setting problematic, coupled with a slightly noisy environment. (Read: lotsa planes and trucks today in my normally quiet neighborhood.)
In general, what can one do to cope with a situation like this? Should the tracking engineer ride the trim pot in a situation like this, or would that make the recording choppy? Suck it up and use automation and light compression on the audio in post? Run a second mic for the vocal?
Here's my rig. (Today was the first non-test session with a new computer and interface, after a recent rig meltdown.)
- Macbook Pro with Garageband, wille export to Logic for mixdown
- MOTU Audio Express interface
- SM58 on her vocal and a Studio Projects C1 on her guitar, with a bit of bleed between the two (as anticipated)