recording guitar cabs

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by stratotone, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    So I have one of these newfangled Kemper profiling amps. You have to mic your amp to get it into the Kemper. I'm finding that GIGO applies here - garbage in, garbage out - so I'd like to improve my amp miking chops.

    I have an SM57 and an E609 Silver. Last night went to GC and told the guy what I wanted to do - he recommended trying an RTA-M mic from dbx. It's a reference mic and has really flat response. I tried it last night and it was ok.

    I'm wondering about a ribbon - maybe something cheaper like a fathead, I don't want to spend the $ for a 121 Royer. I'm thinking Fathead + Sm57 would be a nice blend.

    Comments/ideas/links to anything/brickbats? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    that dbx mic is SUPPOSED to be ruler flat, but i can tell you, it's not.
    the fathead mics with the transformers aren't bad for the price, but you need a royer in addition to your 57. they make a mid level one now...i can't recall the model number, but i'm sure it sounds nice.
     
  3. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    you know what might be a good idea for you? since you don't need to own the mic, you just need to use it to record sounds into your profiling amp, you might want to check around for a local sound company that will rent you some nice mics for a few days while you record into the unit. i might be totally wrong and you need to use this mic all the time, but if it's just to get sounds in one time, renting some mics would be ideal, imo.
     
  4. Teleking

    Teleking Supporting Member

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    I had a Royer 121. I didn't love it. I prefered a 906 with a large condenser to the Royer 121 and 906 or 57. Just a personal opinion.
     
  5. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I would say that, if you aren't able to get good sounds with an SM57 (we were), something is wrong and it's not the choice of mic.

    Today, TGP'er suckamc and I spent about three hours with a Kemper, two amps, and four mics. We have a bunch of questions, such as:

    • Is there a 'best' mic for the Kemper? Or...
    • Will we like a 57 with some amps but an MD421 with others?
    • How does the KPA respond to different mics?
    We profiled both amps with four mics - SM57, MD421, MD409, and SM7B. I didn't get to hear every profile we did (yet) but the SM57 kicked #$%.

    So it's not the mic - that's a classic mic. Sure, sophisticated recording engineers may prefer other mics but it's a good mic and you can get great tones with it.

    That means that, if it's not the mic, then it can only be one of three things:

    1. The mic technique/placement
    2. The monitors or headphones you are using to play/hear the profile
    3. If you are playing it through monitors, then it's highly likely that the room is coming into serious play
    Tell us more about how you are listening/playing back the profiles.
     
  6. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Scott,

    I actually posted several of my SM57 profiles. They are the PT Blues Bogner, PT Blue Bogner, PT Red Bogner on the Kemper exchange. I also did one with the 'flat' reference mic - PT FenderTwin. The EVH kemper clip I did of panama was done with a SM57 too.

    The SM57s always had a 'nasal' sound to me - upper mids predominate, and I just couldn't get them to sound like the amp did in the room. I know it's impossible to get it exact because you're jamming a microphone a few inches from the cone, but I was just wanting more I guess. Even blending a warmer mic to get a wider frequency response seems like a good idea to me.

    Where were you guys putting the mic and how far? I was going about 2" back, 1" outside edge of dustcap centered with speaker up and down. Mic was straight on.

    Monitoring - I had the amp in another room, Mics going into a Mackie Onyx 1640i and then the Kemper. Was using two different types of monitor setups - KRK Rokit8s and the 10" matching sub, or a QSC HPR122i in mono. Using the QSC more since it's what I'm likely going to use as a stage monitor.

    Pete
     
  7. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I would think you would want the flattest, most accurate representation possible, wouldn't you?

    That would lead me to think a SDC, thru a pre like a Hardy or something.
     
  8. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I can understand that on one hand, but on the other hand my purpose with this is "capture a tube amp in such a way that I can use it in a mix". If this tube amp would sound best with an SM57, for example, in this song then I think that's what the Kemper should profile it with. The profiles we tracked today sounded like a mic'ed up amp with that mic. That's what I want - I want to say, "I'd like to have an AC30 with an MD421 on this track."

    Yeah, the SM57 is definitely not my favorite dynamic but I still believe that you can get great, usable profiles with it (especially after hearing it today). Can you get better profiles with other mics you like better? That's sort of what our experiments today were trying to help us understand. I still haven't heard all the profiles yet so I can't really say how much difference changing from one dynamic mic to another dynamic mic will actually make.

    I was placing my 57 straight on but I was right on the grill with it (not touching but almost). I was centered on the outside of the where the dustcap meets the cone.

    One thing Mark (suckamc) and I did beforehand was to do some mini-measurements of his room. We wanted to see just how good/bad/flat his room response was. He's got a GREAT setup - killer room - with Adam A7 monitors and some OC703 panels and bass traps. We spent about an hour futzing with all of that and placing panels in places. It was amazing - literally we would see a +/- 9db swing using test tones just by moving forward/backward/left/right six inches! It really highlighted how important it is to make sure you are listening in a good room. In a room like that, what might sound woofy and thin to you in one position might sound full and boomy if you moved just six inches in any direction.

    The point is that it's tough - rooms are hard, monitors, headphones and such are not just "set it up and you're done".

    I maintain that a Kemper profile is only as good as:

    1) Your ability to mic an amp
    2) The quality of the amp
    3) Your ability to accurately hear the profile

    Studio headphones, for example, won't do it - headphones miss so much bass usually. Your KRK8s might be fine but how about your room treatment? Have you tested your room response? And you realize that the sub will never come into play with the Kemper, right? You aren't getting low enough for it to come into play. I don't know that QSC monitor but I think that's wise to test it on as well.

    To sum up a too-frigging-long post: I don't know.
     
  9. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    i use a palmer PDI-09 to great effect.

    another suggestion: Radial JDX.

    but getting GOOD..... at placing microphones, is a fine goal.
    if you are serious about becoming a good recordist, it's a requisite.
     
  10. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Not if you were trying to profile the way an amp mic'd with an SM57 sounded like. In that case you would want to mic it with an SM57 find the sweet spot that you like with the mic position and profile away.

    Profiling a mic'd amp is always going to put the mic and preamp into the equation. And Mic type/posistion/preamp etc... are all part of these tones we are trying to capture that we hear in recordings. Capturing an amp in a room sound is going to require a condenser across the room. I've not heard any good "amp in a room" samples yet...
     
  11. born_hard

    born_hard Member

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    Get The" Torpedo Pi101 WoS " and use your tube amps ! Forget the real cabs and mics, its just to much hassle.
    Get yourself a LineOut Box, a recording Box with a 12" Speaker inside (to drive your amp into saturation) and maybe an attenuator (for -8db attenuation) and a good micpre.
     
  12. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Is this amp designed to be used w/a FRFR speaker and then DI into the PA?

    If so, I can see why you'd do that.

    If not, I'd take the signal right out of the speaker jack on the amp you're modelling, attenuate it and send that to the input of the Kemper. Then plug that into a cab and mic it.
     
  13. jb2

    jb2 Member

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    getting good sound with mic on an amp eluded me. i just got a JDX Reactor Guitar Amp and Cabinet Direct Box and it has worked wonders so far.
     
  14. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    Update: Bought a MXL R144 ($99 ribbon mic) from guitar center. miked the cab with it and the SM57, blended to taste - BINGO. SM57 gives some 'grain' and presence, the ribbon gives a full range with nice mids. Check out my '72 Marshall 100 watt and Mesa Mark III Coliseum profiles on the kemper site. I'll have some soundclips soon too. I was very happy with my results.

    Pete
     
  15. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    yep, and like i previously mentioned, the Palmer PDI-09, sound just as good, about a hundred bucks cheaper.
     
  16. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I have to say - this Kemper idea is a new one for me - never heard of it.

    However let me ask you this - it seems the goal is to get great guitar sounds stored digitally - not just capture "your amp" so you only have to bring your lunch box.

    So - why not go to a recording studio with your kemper and use THEIR amps and mics to store profiles in your Kemper. Then you own every amp you ever wanted in a bunch of different mic combinations, cabinets, ambience, etc.

    But wait - that idea has already been done to death, it's called modeling.

    Oh well, another expensive gimmick to get people to spend more money in search of "the sound."

    Sorry to sound iconoclastic - but I guess I just start to think of new products like this as distractions more than improvements. You already own your guitar amp - so, why do you need to profile it?

    Furthermore my main concern is that the profile will never really sound the same as your amp - because it only captures what your amp sounds like close miked, while you are used to hearing your amp played loud and from a distance - yet another argument for going to a studio where you can crank up your amp, and use a combination of mics at various distances and really profile your amp,

    .... and a bunch of other good amps you may not own.

    But wait - isn't what amp modelers have already done....? Where does the madness end:crazyguy
    I definitely agree with the person who says you do not have to buy a mic to profile your own amp - rent a mic. You can rent a $10,000 Telefunken for a certain amount per day - or go to a studio that owns one and pay by the hour.
     
  17. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Cruisemates,

    You haven't heard the Kemper buzz around here? You must have been hiding from the 1,000,000 posts...

    the Kemper is somewhat different from a modeler, as you can profile whatever you want, and with an Axe or POD or Eleven or whatever you have to use what they provide.

    The Kemper is a seriously cool product, especially for someone who has amps they want to use live but not transport all the time.
     
  18. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    Here, allow me to educate you why I want to profile my guitar amps.

    1) Many are amps I just don't want to subject to wear and tear. My Kemper was $1850, my Bogner XTC half stack was right at $3300 used. My '72 Super Lead stack was more than that. I also am able to dial in the best miked tone I can get from my amps, and then produce them at will. I don't have to worry about the sound guy getting the mikes just right. I have him provide one or two XLR cables, I plug em in, I am done.

    2) Right now, my Kemper has (of my amps) profiles of my bogner, a rare mesa boogie (Mark III coliseum, one of less than a hundred) a 70 Superlead 100 watt, a 72 Superlead 100 watt, 74 50 watt JMP, a Marshall Jubilee, etc. I have several rare amps that I don't want to take to a gig. I might want to play with one though, the Kemper allows me that.

    3) There are my amps, with the settings and miked tone that *I* want. I've never heard two marshalls sound exactly the same. I want the tone of the amps that I own.

    Add to this you can take amps like the vintage Marshalls that lack fx loops and use them with fx loop items or delay with no issues when using the kemper.

    Pete
     
  19. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    i can get a killer tone out of a pignose battery powered amp.
    seriously.

    bottom line is...
    use what you like, and what gets the job done.
     

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