recording two guitar amps simultaneously (positions?)

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recording two guitar amps simultaneously (positions?)

Post by oceanblood » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:54 am

So, I'll be recording some heavy distorted guitars soon, and my plan is to split the signal so as to capture two different amp tones at the same time. I've got a pretty decent sounding room that both amps sound great in. Here's the question:
Assuming I've got both amps in the same room, how should they be positioned relative to one another? Side by side? Back to back? Corner to corner angled out? Far apart? Close to one another?
Or should I separate the two amps? (not have them in the same room)

Of course, I am super excited to get in there and experiment, and record them in different configurations, and see how it affects the sound, but I'd love to get some opinions / experiences from everyone here on this topic. Idk.. is it weird to put two amps in the same room?

Follow up question: These are half-open back combo amps. How high should they be sitting in the room? On the floor? On a crate? On a stool? Or should I be running them each through a bigger cab, like a 4x12 ? I'm quite fond of the speakers loaded in these amps, so I was just planning on micing them straight up. Is this a mistake? Will a sealed 4x12 be 3,000% better for a huge heavy guitar tone??

Thanks so much for the feedback!!!
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:10 am

If there are other instruments tracking at the same time (a beds type situation) I put both amps side by side facing away from the drums. Put a gobo between the two and another behind if they're open back cabs.
If the amps are the only thing in the room I've had good luck putting them back to back with a gobo in between. I've also done them side by side as described above with a common room mic for both. Panning amps L&R with the room in the middle works nicely depending on what else is happening.

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Post by vvv » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:23 am

Could stack e'm, also, azza option.

Then there is the The Smiths "How Soon Is Now" option, with the amps facing each other, mic'd in the middle.

Less practical might be the Zappa Pignose option, the amp on the floor, facing up.

Finally, to be even more obnoxious, I need to mention the option of mic'ing the back of the amps ... :twisted:

Good luck!
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:31 am


Since the amps will be amplifying the same signal, you do not need to worry too much about BLEED.

So, you can do the following:

Place them side by side, and have them be separated enough so that each microphone does not capture the sound of the other amplifier.

As a cool option, put a third mic in the room to capture the ambience of both amps at once.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by I'm Painting Again » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:14 am

Think of the amps as reverse microphones

usually open backs have a null at the sides (also top and bottom) they act almost like a reverse figure of 8 mic

you have to listen/measure to see what angles are loudest and quietest to be certain tough

you can reduce the the interaction and gain isolation / focus by positioning your amps in relation to their sound projection vertices then you couple that with the mics' pickup patterns

you put them in the room in this context where boundary reflections interfere the least at the mic capsules

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Post by JWL » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:13 pm

Depending on the room, I'd be tempted to set the amps up at a 90 degree angle, and set up a pair of ribbons in blumlein right at the focal point of the triangle. Supplement those with a pair of dynamics (some like 57s, I prefer Heil PR20s) close up, at an angle to the speaker. In all cases, each mic's null spot is pointing at the amp you don't want it to hear.

Then add gobos/absorption to taste to get even better clarity & separation from the tracks. First ones I'd use in a V shape behind the blumlein pair to quiet down the room tone. Then maybe more between the amps.

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Post by Drone » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:09 am

If you normally play with two amps, how do you normally have them setup?

Part of the equation would be it sounding right at the time of playing, so I'd set them up however you normally set them up, and mic to suit.

I play with a lead amp and a bass amp, I keep the lead amp up front with me, and close mic it. I keep the bass amp behind the playing space, in what would be my control room if I had two separate rooms, with a kick mic back about a foot, and I balance it so that it sounds right where I am playing. Then when I come to mix, I have two distinct tracks to play with (actually I have more as I take a couple of DI signals, one from the pedal chain and one from the bass amp)

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Post by drumsound » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:07 pm

I think almost anything might work. If the amps are pretty loud and you're using close mics, I doubt there will be much instance of bleed. I did 2 amps and 2 players once, where I put them amps in a V (with the speakers facing IN) with a little space, miced with a Blumlein pair for dueling solos and it worked great. For a split signalI'd probably consider the speakers facing out, so the amp is a little of a baffle to the other amp.

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