Jazz big band recording with great singing group [Music]

Hello all. Been awhile since I was last here (busy as heck I’m happy to say). Did a location recording a week or so ago with a jazz big band (piano, bass, guitar, drums, 5 sax’s, 5 bones, 4 trumpets and a percussionist (conga’s).

17 channels into my mobile rig (main stereo pair, 2 mic’s on piano, sm57 on guitar, direct in from string bass, drum O/H-kick-snare, 2mic’s each on sax/bone and trumpet sections.

Recorded the band first, did a quick headphone mix, then re-configured the room for an 11 voice singer group that overdubbed vocals on the jazz band track. I had built a very cool extended monitoring rack for multiple headphone mixes. I use an RME Digiface to attach 2 Focusrite Octopre II’s and a Steinberg MR816x to my mobile laptop. The extended monitoring rack is a 4 space shallow rack that contains a Bheringer ADA800 8 chan A/D/A converter, an ART 6 chan headamp pro, balanced patch bay and a Crown D75 power amp (so I can use nearfields if I have a green room available). It attaches to the main rack with a single ADAT lightpipe so it’s very quick to set up.

The ART will actually drive 12 headphones (2 out’s on each chan) and each chan has an alternate in that I can send a second mono or stereo feed to and individually mix the alternate in with a the main L/R in’s for the unit (effectively, I can create 6 individual headphone mixes if needed). Writeup on the system is on my website for the techies amongst you.

Here’s one of the tracks…


I think it came out pretty good but there’s a secret about it that I’ll pass on in a few days. I think you’ll be VERY surprised. Anyway, let me know what you think. This was done completely on location.

All the best,


Being a huge fan of jazz (esp. big band since I played in such a band in college) I will listen to this later when I’m on my studio PC.

Sounds great Karl. Great job :sunglasses:

Sounds good, Karl!
All the instruments and vocals are clearly audible.

Great to hear some big band music here! :sunglasses:

I agree with HFH nice to hear some real live recording here, very complicated to mix it properly with a huge setup like that. It sounds as a one take live recording so the vocals blend in great. I was just listening on my imac and it sounds balanced. The live feel is the ambience in the recording i think. So some detail is lost ( drums and hi-end)
But i think its a good job, what are you keeping from us? :unamused:

Buggered this reply last time (was thinking of a different recording session). This recording was done in two phases. Recorded the band first (this song and 3 others). Once we had all 4 songs done with the band, I reconfigured the mic’s for the singers.

I had already built a headphone mix of the band while recording them. Ran this out to the singers and they sang as an overdub.

Recorded them on both a stereo pair and 4 separate spot mics.

Mixed the whole thing in post. I’ve since decided that I’d like to bring up the drums a bit more (a touch more snare and more overhead) but haven’t had a chance yet.