Good mic for recording amps, cabs or in the room?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by effectsman, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    I have a Shure SM57 which I was going to use to record some guitar from my 2x12 cab.

    I am going to purchase an Apogee duet which has two channels and would allow me to run a second mic simultaneously. I was wondering if it's worth recording with a second mic to the SM57 to get a bigger sound? If so can you please recommend a mic?

    Are you better to mic the cab using a different mic to the 57 or use the second mic to record a bit further back in the room? What mics are good for room ambience?

    I guess it is worth noting that the "recording room" is the spare bedroom in my 3 bedroom unit. It's an old unit with neighbors above and beside us so I won't be able to turn the amp up very loud. I would also be interested to hear from those with experience if you can get a good mic sound even if you speakers aren't pushing much air?
     
  2. benxiwf

    benxiwf Member

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    I like to use an sm57 close and a condenser further away. I doubt that you are going to see much improvement with a second mic given your room. However, using a condenser would be safe in most cases and might add some warmth...if that is something youd like. You can definitely make some nice recordings with a limited set up in a crappy room though.
     
  3. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    You can do great recordings with only 57. Get good at recording with just one mic first.
     
  4. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    Could you suggest a condenser mic? Brand and model name?
     
  5. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    If you can't really turn the amp up to the point where it "excites" the room and the room is crappy anyway (assuming carpet & parallel walls in an apartment) then its really not even worth messing around with any sorta distance room mic. It'll never sound great... better to try two close mics, or semi-close... within a foot or so of the speaker.
     
  6. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    Thanks J. Yeah it's parallel walls and cork tile floor, so probably not the best for recording but I want to get my musical ideas recorded, so I have to do the best I can.

    Can you recommend a mic to compliment the SM57?
     
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Just to add to your versatility options, I'd look at an AT4050 condenser
    for tracking acoustic and vocals on a budget, or a Shure SM7 dynamic.

    I just purchased a beefed up, SM57 from Mercenary Audio
    with the Tab Funkenwerk transformer mod.

    This mod gives the 57 a clearer top end, like the SM7
    http://www.mercenary.com/smmiwitatr.html
     
  8. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    Cascade fathead is a good mic to play around with, thats a cheaper ribbon, it's not a royer, but it doesn't come with the royer price tag either.
     
  9. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    you could get yourself an Audio Technica AE2500 Dual Element mic. It looks like a regular mic, but inside, it houses two diaphrams, a condenser and a dynamic. It's usually used on bass instruments (kick, bass amp), but it sounds nice on a guitar amp too. It breaks down from a 5 pin connection (into the mic) to two 3 pin XLR's. it takes up less space and gives you two distinctly different sounds of whatever you put it in front of. Nice mic...I should use mine more often.

    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/4359efa46266c7e9/index.html
     
  10. antbosca

    antbosca Member

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    What I was going to say. They're about $175. Great room mic, but you do need to turn up to make the room worth recording, otherwise just stay on the speaker.
     
  11. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    Amen!

    PS This is the SM57 to have. Shure 544 Unidyne III
     
  12. Nick Sorenson

    Nick Sorenson Rocketfire Guitars

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    I'm sure there are definitely plenty of great electric guitar recordings done with just one SM57.

    I'd bet you could get away the room mic being even a cheap PC mic as far as catching a little ambiance. If you listen to the ambiance track (i.e. drum room mic) in most recordings, it usually doesn't sound great by itself. It's more just an added effect to bring a live feel to the quality close miced audio used as a base.

    All of the Tyler Grund recordings I have on my website are using only a 57 as far as I know. Also he's JubileeMan 2555 on TGP, he's got a TON of great sounding bluesy (nails SRV's style and tone) all the way to rock (Van Halen and many others) recordings in posts here.

    Pre-s are part of it too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  13. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently picked up an MXL R144 for $99. Cheapo ribbon, but really sounds good and natural. The SM57 blended with it give the presence boost and some grain.

    Pete
     
  14. Melodic Dreamer

    Melodic Dreamer Member

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    I've heard great things about the Fathead.
     
  15. fcarpio

    fcarpio Member

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    If you get two mics you are going to run into phasing issues, just making you aware of it. Getting them in phase is not too difficult if you know what you are doing. But if you have no clue it will prove to be a challenge and your recordings will sound "thin" at best.

    I run an SM57 and an e609 and sometimes I get awesome results, but I also get awful results. But then, I have no idea what I am doing. One thing is for sure , I did manage to get them in phase and the guitars do sound bigger. I have them both against and perpendicular to the speaker cloth. I have also marked the spots with masking tape in case they move. The e609 is just draped over the cab and the SM57 is on a stand that is part of the cab stand (I have a combo amp).
     
  16. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

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    I typically always prefer 2 mics to one. Even if it's 2 57s. One more on axis and one more for grill. Either blend in mono or pan out a little. Usually sounds much better to me. But as mentioned you will have to spend time getting them in phase and playing with positions to get the best sound. Fathead 2 is a nice compliment. I have one with lundhal transformers
     
  17. shredtheater

    shredtheater Member

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    Surprised there has been no mention of the MD421. Surely the ideal partner for an SM57?
     
  18. Blix

    Blix Member

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    On of my faves is a Beyer M160. A fat sounding ribbon microphone.
     
  19. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    beyer 160's are great mics!
    i have never been a fan of the fathead. had 2, sold them both. meh.
     
  20. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    Yeh, it really depends on the amp I've found with the fathead. Not the best match for my orange amp cause the sound comes out a bit dark, condenser is usually a better 2nd mic for that. It works well with my fender amps though, so I guess it's just one of those things...I actually use them most as overheads and room mic's for the drums cause they pick up my drummers toms very well.
     

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