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Recording guitar amp / room mic question

 
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cyantologist
gettin' sounds


Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 135
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

Hey everyone. Question that I'm sure has already been talked about on here, although wasn't able to find it when searching.

I'm currently working on recording some guitar tracks using my Fender Twin. I've got an SM57 and a Senn. e906 a few inches away from the grille, which are aligned and sounding great together. I've also got my newer Fat Head II in the picture, which I am dying to get some use out of. I've got it set up about 4 feet away from the amp.

The basic question is: should I just place the Fat Head where it sounds good on its own, and then nudge the track later on so that it is phase aligned? Or, if I spend time getting the placement just right, will there be a "sweet spot" where it will add to the other two mics, and sound good although the sound is hitting it after it hits the close mics?

Any insight would be appreciated!
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vvv
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Joined: 13 May 2003
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Location: Chi

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

Set it to sound good with out "phase-aligning" it.
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Gregg Juke
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 12 Jun 2010
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Location: Buffalo, NY, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

If you're not under the gun, I'd try it both ways, and see which sounded best. If you do, it would be cool to post the results!

If you're in a hurry, I'd go with the ribbon as a distance mike (maybe farther than 4 feet), and then phase/time-align as necessary; although that technique works real well without any nudging if you are going for a more naturally delayed sound, especially on rhythm (I remember doing this on some Blues stuff years ago, with the distance mike back about 15 feet! It was cool).

We just picked-up an EV609 for a little additional flavor to the SM57. Some results coming soon in an upcoming shoot-out...

GJ
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kslight
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

I don't think you'll find many people here that will tell you to not spend the time to get it right with the placement.

That said I'm not big on multiple mics for guitar amps...one relatively close and one room MAYBE, but any day of the week I'll prefer one well placed mic to three poorly placed mics.

Definitely you'll want to listen to how they combine before hitting record so you know what you're getting if you intend to have the mics combined in the mix.
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losthighway
george martin


Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

I have done a lot of records with a room mic on the guitar. It usually ends up getting muted the majority of the time. Every once in a while when there is a dramatic break or something the room mic can make magic. Compressed a little, panned away from the regular mic. Sounds cool, adds depth.

When there is a lot of other stuff going on it is usually hard to hear, and then when you turn it up it kind of clutters things. Not always though.

Natural reverb is neat, no reason to phase align that.
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Nick Sevilla
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Joined: 03 Mar 2008
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Location: Los Angeles California USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

"It Depends"

A.- You need a room sound to make the guitar sound that way, because the song and the mix demand it.

B.- You need a different texture for part of the song, so you need a different mic image to get this done quickly.

C.- You need X and you want to try the room mic thing, even if you have no idea what will happen.

In each ca, the room mic can be placed differently :

A.- please take the time to place the mic so it sounds great with the close mics, as this is how the guitar will sound throughout the song.

B.- place the mic without ANY regard as to how it sounds with the close mics. In this ase AVOID AT ALL COSTS listening to all mics together, as this will never be used as a mix option.

C.- Experiment with where the mic needs to be to accomplish your X sound.

Cheers
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eh91311
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 07 May 2003
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Location: NW Los Angeles

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

The "Guitar Amp Recording" Sound On Sound article from August 2007 shows a bunch of different yet effective guitar miking techniques. I personally like the application of Steve Albini's dark/bright mic technique, which basically is a more "full range" sound capture of the basic 1 mic on guitar amp technique.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug07/articles/guitaramprecording.htm

Also effective is an adaptation of the dark/bright mic application, using a ribbon mic as the 'dark' mic aligned closely with the condenser, or bright mic. TOMB member mikoo69's band Grandfather has example pics on their facebook page showing this technique used on a Fender Deluxe reverb.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=418979692887&set=a.418977302887.194802.11062527887&type=3&permPage=1
The resulting sound is balanced yet focused, a more accurate capture of the amp sound compared to the "57 1" from the grille" tactic used so often. In both examples, both mics are captured on separate tracks or combined onto 1 track.
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cyantologist
gettin' sounds


Joined: 30 Apr 2007
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

Thank you, everyone, for the replies. If anyone is curious to listen to what I'm working with, I uploaded just a little sample of what I worked on last night, with all 3 mics going. It's a little more exciting with the other guitar part, but again this is just some preliminary testing before I start doing guitars for 10 songs that we've already done bass and drums for.

This is for an old band of mine, and so I have all the time in the world to play with different configurations and ideas. Just want to get some halfway decent recordings of the songs while I still have the chance.

The ribbon neither seems to add much, or take away much from the sound, so I have a lot of different things to try out. Below is my little sample recording I worked on last night.

http://soundcloud.com/ioimike/song-7-guitar-testing
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cjogo
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 05 Nov 2004
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Location: Carmel

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

You need the room -- to capture that sound. We use a Royer for overall room -- 'bout 4 feet out and a 57 on the cab & a direct line from the amp :: mix the three to choice.
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roosteross
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Joined: 11 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

One more, and thanks for posting the SOS article, I hadn't seen that one.

Remember that the Twin is reverse polarity when you use the reverb channel, and positive polarity when you use the normal channel - true for all the black face amps and siblings.

OK, nobody mentioned this but I like to put a mic in the back of the cab, very close to the back of one of the speakers, 2", and then pretty much roll the highs off the recorder mixer channel. There's a lot of bass and a different kind of midrange on the back of a speaker that sounds good when blended with the front mic.

As to the ribbon I think what most people fail to mention is that the reason it's especially good with guitar amps is that it can't record the sizzle/fizz or other trebly content coming off the speaker when the treble frequencies are accented. As in 'turn the bright switch on' turn the amp treble up and turn the bass down. Or maybe when using a slightly noisy/hissy OD pedal. The ribbon won't hear this kind of thing and that can be a blessing. So, note to self: If the guitar is trebly in nature, use the ribbon.

As to the 4' from the cab, well, why so far? You can set it relatively close (one foot) and place it off axis to protect the element. I treat it like they used to use ribbons on kick drums back in the day, pulling it back a foot and pointing it at the outside edge of the resonant head, away from the air wave. I also use a super fine stainless steel mesh popper stopper, if there's a lot of air movement happening, and direct it at the cone for all the treble the amp has, and here I typically go 2' and off axis if things are crazy.

True, with a DAW, you can just add gain to a wimpy track, but there is a lot to be said about a ribbon track that has adequate signal at the start. And BTW, that Fathead is devoid of the internal screening that is found on a lot of Chinese imports - good choice on your part. When you look at your recorded track in a DAW, it should look rather dense, without any weird spikes. If you see the large spikes here, you have some cheapass internal screen in place - showing spike frequencies passing through the barrier and all else diminished. (Of course you can take these out if you have them.)
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rocksure
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Joined: 21 Mar 2011
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Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

I often add a room mic to my two close mics on a guitar amp. I never phase align them. I place the distant mic somehwere in the room where the amp sounds sweetest to my ears.
At mixdown I pan it to a different part of the mix, often adding extra effects and/or compression to it, and then mix it in, down lower in volume level compared to the other two mics. It can really make the whole thing sound bigger. I don't generally bother doing this with rhythm tracks, but I do it often for lead guitar tracks.
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iamthecosmos
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Joined: 21 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Recording guitar amp / room mic question Reply with quote

I've been using a condenser and a dynamic on each speaker in 2x12 cab panned left and right, with a room mic (out in the corridor a little) down the middle. Sounded good blended in mono too. Either way, needed a healthy amount of room mic to sound right.
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