Bluegrass All Star Recording Session With Tony Rice

I don’t know how many of you have been in a recording studio before but, if you have, you will notice that this session is probably a little different than most these days.

First thing you will notice is there is no baffles or isolation booths- they’re all playing around in a circle.

Lots of people are going to think that this setup was done for the video, but that is not the case. Truth is, this is and will always be the best sounding method. Let me explain:

Without baffles or isolation, each instrument and vocals are bleeding into the other mics. This will definitely create a giant problem if the musicians are making mistakes and want to fix things. But the upside is, all the bleed is creating a much larger sound than just a one mic on an isolated set up. So as this example, Tony’s guitar also has some of his signal being picked up from all the other mics in the room, as well as his mic picking up all the other instruments and vocals. This not only adds more sound sources to the instruments, but defines and brings the room itself into the recording… an effect you can’t get with overdubs.

The downside as I said is mistakes, repairs etc. It ends up being a potential nightmare and sometimes it’s just better to have the band play a section over again instead of trying to get the soloist to play over the existing track.

But with this all star band, it’s a dream come true for the audio engineer, who just has to set up the mics in the right position properly, get some levels, make sure the phones are good and… hit the record button.





  1. What a great session…and lesson!
    Thanks, Bob!

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