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I'm not having any luck micing up my cab

PEImatrix

Member
Messages
402
I've tried both an SM57 and e609, and I'm having no luck. Best way to describe the group is a cross between Soundgarden and the RHCP

EPM12 mixer (preamps)
Delata 1010 rack

I've tried using close micing and then gradually moving it back.
I've also tried moving the mic from side to side (from the center then twords the edge of the speaker.

LP --> SB Eternity --> 71 Pro Reverb --> Avatar 2x12 with V30's

This shouldn't be so hard.

Any ideas? I'd ask over at gearsluts, but they'd just tell me to by a $1500 preamp, and $2000 mic. ;)
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,200
I've tried both an SM57 and e609, and I'm having no luck. Best way to describe the group is a cross between Soundgarden and the RHCP

EPM12 mixer (preamps)
Delata 1010 rack

I've tried using close micing and then gradually moving it back.
I've also tried moving the mic from side to side (from the center then twords the edge of the speaker.

LP --> SB Eternity --> 71 Pro Reverb --> Avatar 2x12 with V30's

This shouldn't be so hard.

Any ideas? I'd ask over at gearsluts, but they'd just tell me to by a $1500 preamp, and $2000 mic. ;)
Placement, placement, placement.

I had a super reverb - which is a 4x10 and it sounded drastically different up close versus at a distance where the speakers "blended" (which I actually liked better).

But the real question is what are you trying to achieve.

You have to remember that a lot of times, what you hear on "commercial" recordings is not what the amp actually sounded like in the room at the time. Many people assume these "giant sounding" guitar tracks are stacks, and it turns out they're a little princeton or something.

Distance and position are good to experiment with, but don't forget angle. Also, amp position (and your position in relation to the amp) can have a lot to do with what you hear versus what the mic hears.

So you could be running into the "I want it to sound good on disk and in the room" conundrum. It doesn't always have to be that way - good on disk is what you want.



Best,
Steve
 

PEImatrix

Member
Messages
402
Placement, placement, placement.

I had a super reverb - which is a 4x10 and it sounded drastically different up close versus at a distance where the speakers "blended" (which I actually liked better).

But the real question is what are you trying to achieve.

You have to remember that a lot of times, what you hear on "commercial" recordings is not what the amp actually sounded like in the room at the time. Many people assume these "giant sounding" guitar tracks are stacks, and it turns out they're a little princeton or something.

Distance and position are good to experiment with, but don't forget angle. Also, amp position (and your position in relation to the amp) can have a lot to do with what you hear versus what the mic hears.

So you could be running into the "I want it to sound good on disk and in the room" conundrum. It doesn't always have to be that way - good on disk is what you want.



Best,
Steve
Thanks for your post. Man I'm so trying to find the spot. My guitar sounds awsome in the room. In the room I hear "Crunch, crunch, crunch", but in playback I ear "do, do do," LOL
 
Messages
3,383
I usually get the amp sounding good in the room and then tweak according to how it sounds in the monitors and/or through my headphones. Sometimes, I end up loving the way it sounds through the monitors but hate how it sounds in the room.

If you can, listen through headphones while moving the mic around. Play with position in relation to the cab and the different speakers, try different speakers, and find the sweet spot. Also, try not to scoop the amp EQ -- guitars are middy and need to be to fit in their proper spot in the mix.

Another thing I learned very quickly is that one guitar track is not going to sound like a wall of guitars, no matter how well you mic the amp. Do yourself a favor:

(1) Get the mic positioned as well as possible, and record one guitar track
(2) Duplicate the track and copy what you just recorded onto that new track
(3) Pan the two tracks, one right and one the same amount left
(4) Relisten
(5) Add reverb and/or delay, and play around with those two guitar tracks some

One track may sound thin and wimpy, but doubling and panning can yield some big ass tones. Also, please remember that your guitars will sound much bigger and better in the context of a mix than they will by themselves. Same goes for just about anything else.
 

sysexguy

Member
Messages
1,254
You may want to search some more on gearslutz, there are several threads, some 20+ pages with some killer ideas that don't involve spending megabucks....but you WILL have to go through all the $$$ solution posts. search "Wagener"....the best and a very helpful gentleman

The first thing to try is to get the cab off the floor so you aren't getting the comb filtering of the reflection off the floor. You should also try and avoid the influence of the second speaker at least to start. ie record one 12" by trying from the cone center out to the edge, angle and position are both important.

The other speaker should be playing also as otherwise it will act (perhaps) as a passive resonator but don't stick the mic in between the 2 12's

If you can invest in some gear, there are several chinese ribbon mics that are popular for getting guitar tones on a budget, there are also some pre's that get the bass response of the slightly saturated tranny for a great deal (think GoldenAge pre73 and others) and there are hotrod mods for 57's just like we hotrod guitars over here.

Andy
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,254
one of my condenser mics actually sounds better on TOP of my pro reverb cab, with the sensitive "cone" of the mic pointing down into the solid pine. funny i know but it works. like in this vid:

 
Messages
25
if your looking for a massive tone dont just double track the same guitar part quad track it and pan one hard right one hard left and the other two slightly more centrally probably about 50% i use this when i record the metal/punk bands that come into my studio and it works really well
 

gcc345

Member
Messages
45
sounds like the wrong amps for soundgarden type sound I believe they used mesa rectifiers with closed back cabs. I agree with record the track left & right, not too gainy, then do the same thing again with a different guitar or amp head. that 4 tracks, I have added two direct tracks to those four, usually from my Adrenalinn, guitar rig or amplitube. the total gain of all the tracks together should add up to the gain you're hearing.
so, the more tracks, the less gain per track. I use a 609 about 2" away from the cone just off the dust cover.
 

Mr_You

Member
Messages
625
Compared to the SM57 and e609, I found the e906 to be MUCH more representative of the tone coming from the speaker over those two.
 

MBT74

Member
Messages
2,687
Aiming the mic straight at the cab will give a brighter sound. For a darker sound, shift the position of the mic to off centre, aim it maybe at a 45 degree angle to the side with the front of the mic pointing towards the centre of the speaker.

Your amp will have a sweet spot. Think of the sound as if it was a flame. The louder you turn it up, the larger the flame and the further back the sweet spot will be.

Start with your amp turned to a lower volume and use closed headphones to drown out the amp sound as much as possible so that you're hearing more of the mic tone instead of the amp tone. Turn the sound up in the phones and down on the amp. This will help you to hear the actual sound being recorded.

Position the mic either off centre or straight at the cab depending on the tone you want and find the spot where you like the sound of the tone coming through the phones. This gives you your mic angle. Shift the position of the mic stand back and forword (along the same line. Keep the direction that the mic is facing the same, just slowly shift the distance of the stand from the front of the cab.) Do this until you find the sweet spot. This gives you a rough idea of "the flame". Now you can slowly turn up the volume of the amp. As you do so, shift the distance of the mic stand backwards to maintain the positioning of the sweet spot. Having heard the tone you want while the amp was softer, you'll be able to hear when the mic shifts back into the sweet spot as you turn the volume back up.

There are variations on this technique. Point one mic straight at the cab and a 2nd mic on an off centre placement. Blend the two tracks in your mix to get a different tone. You can also use one mic to record the sweet spot and a 2nd mic placed in a good location further back in the room to capture the bounce back.
 

pickaguitar

2011 TGP Silver Medalist
Messages
22,187
listen for it...turn on the amp but don't plug it into the guitar...move mic around until you hear the best strong signal
 
Messages
489
Your ears aren't mics and mics aren't your ears. Typically, they are in very different places in the room as well. Also, your recorded tone and settings do not equal your live tone and settings. All else being true, you aren't used to hearing your guitar from an inch away from the grill.

The SM57 has a natural character to it that makes a guitar track sit well in the mix.

If it were me (and I'm just throwing it out there) I'd snag a cheap ribbon of decent quality (read that as "Cascade Fathead") and try that on your cab.

Ribbons tend to sound "like the guitar in the room."

Stick with a single 57 until you can make that sound good. That may mean moving the mic, twiddling knobs on your amp etc. It'll sound a bit dry as you'll be taking all the natural reverb from the room out but don't sweat that. Get a great sounding dry track and see what you can do with it. Try recording multiple tracks and blending them. Once you get a 57 to sound right, you'll be okay. Beau Burchell of saosin posted a clip on gearslutz of a vht mic'd with a 57 thru an API 512c pre and it sounded incredible. It can be done.

How are you listening to these tracks? Headphones? Studio Monitors? I like using good reference headphones and strumming a little then moving the mic and repeat until it's about right. Don't listen to it too loud though, or you won't hear the difference after a while.

Good luck!
 

scredly

Member
Messages
230
Some very good pointers here.

Stick with a single mic you own for now-the SM57 -a fine mic for recording a guitar amp. Make sure you have proper gain structure down the line into the Delta. Keep the EQ on the mixer flat. Get familiar with the sound of everything flat. Move the mic and/or twiddle amp knobs to get your sound. The mic may need to be 12, 18, 24" away from the amp to get the sound you're looking for. Keep moving it around until you hear what you're looking for. Record with the mic in the different positions mentioned earlier to get acquainted with how they sound.

If you are using monitors, your listening environment could be affecting how playback sounds. Use decent headphones to take the room out of the equation. Make CD's and go listen on a boombox, in your vehicle, the living room stereo to establish a mix reference so you can relate what you hear in your studio to how it sounds elsewhere.

I'd like to reinforce the idea of getting away from a stage/rehearsal sound for recording. Generally, the more distorted the sound the more compressed it will be. Back off on the distortion and you'll probably find that your tracks sound fatter and heavier.

Guitarists (and I am one) usually point their amps/cabs at their ankles or their arses. They add a bunch of high-end to compensate for listening off- axis. When I suggest they tilt their amps toward their head/ears, they say they don't like how it sounds that way. Kinda funny because that's what the mic and audience hear. But I digress...

Double track rhythm parts with at least a different guitar if not a different amp. Don't just copy a guitar track to a new track and pan and/or add delay to it. Take the time and play the part again. It's the little differences in the doubled part that make it sound cool all panned out.

Let us know how you make out.


Greg
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,142
Lots of good advice so far. Read the mixerman guitar rant. The guys an asshole but he's definitely a top notch professional engineer with many useful, profanity laced insights.

The first thing to investigate is your chain and gain staging. That soundcraft is a decent piece of gear. Make sure there's no clipping at the preamp or in your daw and also make sure you are using pre EQ DIRECT OUTS to the Delta for the best signal quality. If the board has a hi pass filter (75-80hz) use that to kill unwanted low frequencies below the guitars range.

For mic placement I would start with a single mic at least 4-6 inches away from the center of one of the speakers. Multiple mics can easily introduce phase issues which can just ruin your tone. Move the mic toward the edge of the cone cone for a darker tone. This is advisable with the always harsh and nasal SM57 (not a fan). Move closer for more thump and further away for less. Keep in mind that less thump tends to sit better in a final mix with you know... a bass track. The guitar is a midrange instrument and I think alot of folks tend to forget that and try for these unnaturally bass heavy guitar sounds.

You can record a second take with a different mic, amp, pickup or guitar to thicken the tone. You can also record a clean track and layer that under the distorted track to add some jangle and definition. Dean Dileo of STP was a big proponent of this technique and you can hear it clearly on interstate love song during the big riff.

Also if your room is less than ideal you may want to surround your cab with some gobos (heavy blankets will work) to keep unwanted reflections or room noise out of the mic.
 

Boxnix

Member
Messages
202
Even if you're not into heavy metal, this video really spoke to me re. mic placement.

http://www.imperialmastering.com/guitartonevid/

Give it time. The first 20 minutes may not apply. The latter part of the vid is invaluable.
Thank you for posting this. I had been using one 57 and moving it around till it sounded ok. Hearing the different positions and combinations was amazing. I put it to use tonight using garage band. My bad guitar tracks are now very mediocre.

Very good vid. Thank you!

This is my first test tonight. It's all thrown together and improv but the tone is greatly improved over what I had been getting. Rhythm is a LP, lead is a partscaster tele.

Mic Amp Test.mp3
 
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the_Chris

It's All Been Done Before
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,802
listen for it...turn on the amp but don't plug it into the guitar...move mic around until you hear the best strong signal
This is the quickest way I've gotten results. Ever since I read about it from one of the Q&As with one of the recording engineers on Gearslutz I've used it. Just by holding the tip of the guitar plug with your hand and hearing where the hum is the loudest, that will very often give you a really great starting place to work the mic (if for some weird reason you don't love it spot on). This is a method I think a lot of folks overlook, but it's probably one of the very best tips I've ever come across. If you don't care about aesthetics, mark that loudest hum spot with some tape. When you gig and a sound guy wants to mic you up, I think you'll find it'll make a big difference. The few minutes it takes to figure out where that spot is on your speaker will make your life a lot easier.

There have been some good posts in here, to elaborate I'd like to add that with Vintage 30s, you're going to naturally get a really bright sound dead center on that cone (they don't call Vintage 30's "laser beams" for nothing....haha), so moving it to the side will get it darker and smoother. You'll also notice a proximity effect with your SM-57 where you're going to get a more focused tone with a low end boost by micing it straight up against the grill verses several inches back. My preference is to give it 6'' or so to let the mic breathe and get more balanced frequencies in there. The SM-57 works well for so many folks, but I've always liked the Sennheiser MD-421 myself. I can get a lot of that bite from the SM-57, but the high end isn't quite as aggressive or strident so it comes across a bit smoother (I'm sure with EQ you could do something similar, it would just require more effort). I haven't tried your E-609, but it seems to get some really solid reviews. Ribbon mics are much warmer and smoother than dynamics and if you really like the sound of your room, you may want to consider a large diaphragm condenser mic. One thing I do like about good condenser microphones is that if you like what you're hearing in the room, you can set the microphone where your ears are and pretty much nail it with little effort.

You can get great results with what you have though, so don't get tricked into buying something you really don't need at this point. Experimentation is key and it sounds like you're on the right track!
 




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