I was interested in putting some mics up in my rehearsal space to capture the bands practices. I was thinking a couple boundary mics or an omni sort of set up. Anyone have experience with something like this?
I have the Zoom and it's very easy to use. I use the one with the video and just turn the video off. They're also great for recording gigs with the video. Sound that comes out is great. You likely can get a better sound by strategically placing mics, but the Zoom does a great job for a simple fix. I was surprised how good they sound.
I have a Zoom H2n, and I agree they are awesome for documenting practices & recording shows. Very easy to use. One band I'm in records everything we do with it.
OTOH, a different band I'm in uses an Audio Technica AT2020 to record our practices. The room we rehearse in is probably 12x14' with moving blankets hung on all walls. The recordings sound really good, especially the drums. These come out a good bit clearer than the Zoom recordings.
Get the Zoom H4n if you can, it has more options and you can blend the in built condenser mics with external input mics. This gives you options such as using two mics/inputs when singing - 1 going to the PA and the other to the zoom or recording an instrument thats lower in volume in the room like congas. The H4n also has complete manual gain control whereas some of the video zooms just have 3 settings. Use manual settings if you can and experiment what level works in the room. Usually it should be quite low, around 20-30 depending how loud you play, as the recorder is close to the sources.
Experiment with placement in height. A zoom type recorder sounds different down close to the ground versus higher up on a mic stand, particularly with what elements of the drum kit get picked up more.
If your rehearsal room has a decent mixer you could also bring a few extra mics and record directly from the mixing desk. My bands done that before: 2 house vocal mics, then I brought 2 shure 57's to put on guitar and bass amp (which could also go in direct as a line out if you wanted) then two overheads for drums. All the mics pick up drums via bleed but it gives a nice 3d sound with guitars and vox having far more close mic feel than a zoom by itself. All you need to bring are a few extra mics and cables and something to record a stereo track from the mixer. Again with a Zoom H4n you could use both its in built condensers and run a stereo signal out from the mixing desk via the 4 channel mode.
Ive done 'albums' for me and my old roommates joke black metal band with just a Rode NT-1 (the original not the NT-1A) covering the room/drum kit, and an SM-57 on my cab and got stuff that was actually releasable as far as indie metal stuff goes.
(And sounded a million times better then the old Mayhem and Immortal records)
We had an AT PZM up on the wall that my 'real' band used to record practices with but honestly, I got clearer results using the NT-1 and SM-57 into Logic, but then again we were never good about checking the battery in the PZM and most of the time we used it it was dying..
paulscape has it right - just experiment with placement and you can get away with decent recordings with a a couple of "cheap" 57s alone..