Why is it so hard for me to get a good recorded sound of Les Paul + Germino?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by cg, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    When I recorded my Strat and the Germino, I found that my Zoom H4 captured the sound really well right away. I cannot get close to what I am hearing in the room when I try and record my Les Paul and Germino + pedals. In the room, I hear lots of dynamics and bite, but when I listen to what I am capturing on the H4, it sounds flat, compressed and lifeless. I have tried adjusting the input volume, but still haven't found the fix. Is it harder to capture tones with more gain?
     
  2. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Yes, high gain tone can be difficult to capture, even with the right mics in the right room. As a jumping off point I'd suggest using an external mic like an SM57 and record in mono (the Zoom is X/Y stereo I believe, which isn't helping you).

    Short of that, experiment with mic placement. Record a little with the mic placed in slightly different places in relation to the speaker and see if it's better. Move the mic, record a little more, see how it's different. Mic placement makes a HUGE difference and subtle changes can be drastic.
     
  3. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

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    Try using a SM57 on one speaker and Royer Ribbon mic on another speaker and adjust the mic placement accordingly to siute the sound you want with the phasing you will get at different offsets. You can enhance this even more with a room mic blended in for depth.
     
  4. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    I did try a SM57 and it sounded a little better, but it's still not close to what I want. I guess I just need to play with it some more.
     
  5. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Give it a shot - let us know what happens.
     
  6. tfunster

    tfunster Gold Supporting Member

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    I am by no means a recording expert (I'm actually a bit of a noob), however I can share one thing I learned with you. I have a couple of boutique amps and nice guitars, and yet I couldn't get a decent recorded sound out of them. Distortion sounded fizzy and compressed, the cleans were flat etc....

    I then started setting up my mics and listening to how the miked amp sounded through headphones. I would then play with the mic positions until I got a sound which resembled that which my own ears would hear.

    Another thing I stumbled upon was using two mics-- one mic up close, and the other a few feet back to pick up a bit of room and add a little "space."
    I used a SM57 up close and a Groove Tubes LDC further back, and I got a much better sound than just using the 57 or GT alone.
     
  7. bigredguy

    bigredguy Member

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    1.get a buddy and some hearing protection
    2. Set up so you can monitor what you are playing in real time (another room is best)
    3. Have buddy don hearing protection, grab the 57, and stick it in front of the amp whilst you play. Buddy slowly moves the mic around the area of the speaker
    4. When you hear the sound you are looking for, STOP PLAYING, this will indicate to said buddy that the mic is in the proper place.- you can mark w/ tape if needed.

    repeat at different distances, mics, speakers etc.


    No joke, you will find the spot and it will make a difference
     
  8. elambo

    elambo Member

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    The process is a great idea, but in my experience when you stop playing the assistant pops his head up to see what's wrong and the mic sometimes goes with it and you've lost the positioning. We've established a signature guitar lick instead. When he hears it, he knows to mark the cabinet.

    This is because in the past, when I heard the golden mic placement, my reaction was to play more to test it out, not to stop, so we'd always lose our place. The lick has become a joke now, but it works.
     
  9. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tipcs. This is just in my home office/studio, so I'll need to find the magig spot myself. I know it's there because the tone in the room is outstanding.
     
  10. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    As mentioned in a few other posts mic placement is crucial for getting a good recording. Ed DeGenaro posted a tip for mic placement of a SM57 that works really well and might resolve your tonal issues. Crank the gain on your amp so you can hear it hissing. Then put on a set of head phones and and move the mic in front of the speaker while listening to the hiss through your recording rig. Continue to move the mic until you find the place where the hiss is the loudest. That is the "sweet spot" where you should leave the mic when you record. To make life easier you can take some electrical tape and mark a square on the grill so you can always find the same spot for recording. Since I've been doing this my recordings have improved markedly.

    The other thing I picked up from one of Ed's posts is that what your rig sounds like to your ears in the room is irrelevant when recording. A huge recipe for disappointment is dialing your amp in for a great room sound, and then trying to capture it with your recording gear. Unless you have a acoustically treated room that sounds good, and you have great mic technique it is highly unlikely that you are going to capture what your ears are hearing in a room. What you should focus on is your recorded sound, and forget about the room sound. Ed gives the example of hating the sound of Vintage 30's except when he is recording. They don't sound good to his ears in the room, but they record beautifully when close miked with a SM57 for the kind of music he does. I've played around with various speakers until I found one that worked for me when I record, and again it has made a great deal of difference in my recorded tone. I'm using a Jensen Neo in a 1x12 Jenkins cab. I would never use this setup for a gig, but it works perfectly when I record.

    FVB
     
  11. nnick

    nnick Member

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    Are you trying to record leads or rhythm with high gain?

    If you are recording rhythm tracks try backing off the gain a bit and layering multiple tracks.
     
  12. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    :worthless

    Com on now.........
     
  13. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    place a piece of plywood a few feet in front of the amp at 45 degrees and mike the reflection in addition to the cone. it may have a lot of sound pressure so mike choice and placement may really come down to it. big amps dont sound big as small amps when miked generally!
     

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