Did a quick guitar cab mic shootout

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by kfowler8, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    I did a little experimenting last night on micing a guitar cab. Sorry, no audio clips. I'll try and put together a sample.

    The cab I was micing was a Marshall 1960A 4x12. It's loaded with Greenbacks across the top and Vintage 30s on the bottom. Similar to the Freedman cabs. Sounds great. So micing it, I wanted to capture both speakers. So I set up the mic about 4' away point directly at the center of the cab. Amp head was a Ceriatone Son of Yeti. Fairly high gain.

    I tested five mics: Modded SM57 (transformerless), Audix i5, AKG 414XLS, SM7, and a modded MXL R40 ribbon mic with a Lundahl transformer.

    I was kind of surprised by the results. I thought the R40 sounded the best and was closest to what I was hearing with my ears. It warm but not muddy. Next was the SM7. A little harsh but would cut through the mix really well. The SM57 was solid. I usually hate this mic on guitar but it worked here. The i5 was too bright. Didn't like it in this position. I do like it off axis close to the speaker. Last was the 414. Sounded terrible. Like there was a blanket over the speaker. Thought this one would sound better.

    I want to go back and do it with adding a full mix in to see how each mic sounds with the rest of the band.
     
    TimC and Charlize like this.
  2. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Find yourself an old Sennheiser MD409U3, and it's all you'll ever need.
     
  3. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    What are your thoughts on the readily available e906 as an alternative? I like mine a lot.
     
  4. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    The 906 is actually OK. Somewhere, a long time ago, I posted shootout files. It doesn't have that magic 3k presence that makes 409s so great, but it's the next best thing.
     
  5. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    Cool thread. Normally, I just use a 57 on my cab. I just purchased a H&K Red Box 5 and I'm curious to see how it fares as a cab sim vs. the real thing.
     
  6. captainbraindamage

    captainbraindamage V.I.P. Member

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    I use one of the gray Sennheiser 421. Seems to work for me ok.
     
  7. Nicky

    Nicky On The Road Less Traveled Premium Member

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    I'm liking a Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon more and more on a cab.
     
  8. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    This mic is on my short list. Would love to get three for toms. I do like it on guitar cabs.
     
  9. Static

    Static Senior Member

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    Not surprised the ribbon mic topped the list. We've been using a combo of a Royer 121 and the SM57 (left/right into a separate tracks) for years. At mix time you use one or both depending on what works, but the Royer usually wins out. The Royer is also part of the acoustic guitar combo too. They tend to sound true to what your ears are hearing.
     
  10. RandyRhoadsLesPaul

    RandyRhoadsLesPaul Senior Member

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    Have you seen RedWirez' Marshall 1960 4x12 impulses? I just got them; they are free and sound very good. The cab was mic'd with various microphones at various distances.
     
  11. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    You don't want 421s for toms. While the tom may sound good, the off axis response of the cymbals sounds like crap. Nothing makes your cymbals sound like dog poo like 421s on toms.

    For the money, there's nothing better on toms than Beyer M88s.
     
  12. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Love your post because it is the most important thing that most folks do not even consider when choosing a mic.....what does the leakage/ off axis signals sound like? Having said that, there are just too many engineers who swear by the 421 on Toms to dismiss it outright. Does it live up to the hype? Maybe it comes down to the drummer and how he/she balances toms vs cymbals, many of today's drummers seem to subscribe to the idea that cymbals need to be bashed, unlike the greats of yesterday who played cymbals with a lighter touch. As you know many engineers put gates on their tom tracks during the mix , further knocking the leakage down when the tom is not being played.
    Just a thought.

    BTW, JJ, I just came across a little video on HearNebraska.org by Omaha singer Jocelyn, she's really good IMO. She mentioned your name in one of her videos and gave you guys in LA lot's of compliments. Looking forward to hear the results.
     

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