how to get a big, full 4x12 gtr sound?

bolero

Member
Messages
492
allright, what am I doing wrong here?


bought an sm57, stuck it about 6 feet in front of the cab ( I've read that gives you a fuller sound than right on the grill?)


had the amp in the laundry room, figured the hanging clothes would damp the sound a bit :p


the amp sounded full & huge in person, but on the recording it came out thin, buzzy, and wimpy sounding:


test.mp3



(amp was a 50w Hiwatt turned up pretty loud, gtr was a strat)


do I need to get a big room, and use a secondary ambient mic, mixed/panned in?

thx for any advice...
 

GaryNattrass

Member
Messages
738
6ft is a bit too far away and what is happeningis that the proximity effect is coming into play.

The frequency resonse of a cardioid mic will start to roll off in the bass end the further it is away from the source.

Try micing it at around 1-2 feet away and it will improve things.
 

Scott Peterson

Administrator and Co-Founder of TGP
Staff member
Messages
37,437
In addition to what Gary says, spend a day just moving the mic all over the place; right up on the grill, all around the speaker. Get a feel for how it changes the tone.

Pay attention to your gain staging also; make sure your levels are good coming in and on every peice of equipment in your signal path after the mic into your computer.
 

GaryNattrass

Member
Messages
738
BTW theres nothing wrong with micing a 4x12 from 6ft it's just that you will be better using a capacitor mic or even better an omni directional capacitor that doesn't suffer from proximity effect as much.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
If using a single mic, SM57 no further than 4 inches off the grill. That's been my experience.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Choose the best-sounding of the four speakers and mic that one only, close up like they said.

I do it about four inches from the grill, aimed dead straight at the seam where the dust cap meets the cone.
 

Greggy

Member
Messages
13,440
Originally posted by MichaelK
Choose the best-sounding of the four speakers and mic that one only, close up like they said.

I do it about four inches from the grill, aimed dead straight at the seam where the dust cap meets the cone.
Yep. In addition, if your tracks are too harsh or thin on the high end, you may want to angle the mic from the position that MichaelK recommends towards the opposite side of the cone so that the mic is pointing at a spot approx. halfway or so up the cone towards the speaker rim. That way, the treble frequencies emanating from the center of the speaker are slightly attenuated as they are off axis vis-a-vis the mic (you need to understand the polar pattern of your mic, the sm57 has a cardiod pattern). This seems to work best for me after experimenting with 100s of mic positions.
 

KungFuLio

Senior Member
Messages
696
sm 57 on the grill move it around a lot 'til you find the magic (it will require moving). when happy, add a large diaphram condenser about 5-10 ft away for some ambience. blend and enjoy!

mics that also work

sennhieser 421
beyer 201
audix i5
sm7
 

G'OlPeachPhan

Member
Messages
1,185
For the ambient mic in addition to the 57 on the grill, I like an Audio Technica AT3035 or a Oktava MK-012. The AT is $199, the MK is $99 at Guitar Centers. Both mics are worth twice the price, especially the Oktavas. I almost always use an ambient mic in addition to the 57 on the grill.
 

Boogs

Member
Messages
1,324
Originally posted by G'OlPeachPhan
Audio Technica AT3035
very nice for cabs in my humble opinion and not-extensive experience. i actually can't find a BAD place for the 3035, with the possible exception of a silverware drawer 20 ft away...

... and even that had a certain charm. :p
 

G'OlPeachPhan

Member
Messages
1,185
Originally posted by Boogs
very nice for cabs in my humble opinion and not-extensive experience. i actually can't find a BAD place for the 3035, with the possible exception of a silverware drawer 20 ft away...

... and even that had a certain charm. :p
I agree. I don't know why more people don't use them for mic'ing amps. Maybe the $199 price tag deters some people when you can get an SM57 for less than half of that, but it's SO much easier to find the sweet spot when you're in a hurry, and I to my ears it captures more detail than a 57. :AOK
 

wilder

Member
Messages
764
I had good luck with this one as well. It actually works well to just put it where my head was when I liked the tone I heard from the cab. Pretty simple.

Chris
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,435
Here's another technique:

Get your drummer to stick his head directly in front of the cab, about a foot away. Tape an Oktava 012 to each of his ears. Have him hold an Audix D3 in his mouth, and a tube condenser in each hand. Have him sit there for 52 takes holding his position steady.

You may not get a good recording, but paybacks are hell, and won't it be fun? ;)
 

GaryMcT

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,462
I just started looking into getting a AT3035 for clean/chimey tones. How close can you get to the grill and still sound good with these?
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,065
What is your preamp? I've found 57s in general to be rather picky about the impedance of the preamp to which they're attached. Lower=less fizzy, IME at least. My stuff is cheap-O and I'm faaaar from an expert at this, but I bought an ART TPS-II and it has continuously variable input impedance...makes a lot of difference.

Also...are you *sure* it sounds the way you think it does? Put in some earplugs and put your head where the mic is - then play. The plugs will reduce the F-M effect and you'll hear it more like the mic hears it. The first time I did this I was AMAZED at the difference.
 

E-Rock

Member
Messages
699
Check out "Mixing with your mind" Great book. Lot's of great tips on recording guitar.
One cool trick....
Instead of moving your head around to listen for the spot, which can make you deaf, try this...

Grab you mic in one hand, and the cable for your guitar in the other. When you hold the cable in your hand, your amp will buzz. It will be much quieter than actually playing. Listen through headphones while you do this. You will hear lots of different tones as you move the mic around. Look for the spot that gives you the best full range sound.
A mic acts more like an eye-dropper, and less like a camera lens. Hunt for that perfect little piece of air. Remember, angle plays a big roll as well.
You could also record 2 tracks and pan them stereo for a really big sound.

Also, try less gain. Lot's of distortion tends to sound great in the room, but kinda fizzy on recordings.

Good luck!
 

chrisgraff

Member
Messages
2,648
a very famous engineer hipped me to this little trick:

in addition to your standard guitar mic, take a NS-10 monitor, disconnect the tweeter, the wire a mic cable to it. The speaker will work as a microphone, picking up all the low-end girth you'd ever want.

Blend to taste.
 




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