How to properly record a miced guitar?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Dwin, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Dwin

    Dwin Senior Member

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    How do I properly record a miced cab? It seems like all my recording come out with either way different sounds recorded than the live sound, or the mics pick up say a vibrating pipe in the wall from the bass freq's vibrating the room..


    How do I set my amp to record? I know I shouldn't use my live setting the way the mics react with the speakers, but rolling bass off, and pushing mids a bit then makes it so that to EQ POST, those bass freq's aren't REALLY there, so I can't push them!? Its so frustrating my band never even gets to record because I'm always pissed off with the outcome!
     
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  2. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    You may have noticed that lots of cabs are mic'ed really close to the speaker...like right on the grill. That will give you the ultimate "slap in the face" attack and presence which can be useful to cut through in a mix but when you listen to it alone (soloed track) it sounds un-natural. When is the last time you stuck your ear 1" away from your speaker? No, when you listen to your amp you are hearing the amp and the room. So pros will often mic the cab real close for the attack and presence and also place a mic 3 or more feet back from the cab to capture the room and the bloom of the cab.
     
  3. Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful Banned

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    I have seen mics dead center of the cone. I always thought that was "Icepick" territory.
     
  4. alexb17

    alexb17 MLP Vendor

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    when i'm micing a 212 i like to slap an sm57 on the edge of the cone angled into the center. but that's just a pref. once you get an eq you like on the amp. have someone else play, and you move the mic around until you find a sound that you like. i like to use 2 mics as freddy G said. i put my sterling st69 condenser about six feet away and blend it in with the 57 to taste. just remember its all about the mix. so the solo'd guitar parts mixed correctly may sound trebley, lack bass, and have more mids than you would have in a live setting. but add the bass, drums synths, vocals or whatever it'll sound FAT! at least that's what i've found.

    Alex
     
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  5. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    Every speaker has a sweet spot usually unless they are junky ones. Try and find the sweet spot on yours. If you do a search online you can find different ways of achieving this.

    For me its usually just to the right or left of the cone center. I also usually use another mic like a 421 or a 609 on the outside of the cone of the same speaker to get the lower frequencies and then blend them to taste.

    Freddy is correct though usually the guitar in a recorded situation does sound harsh or thin solo'd out but it needs to be that way to sit in the mix properly with the rest of the instruments. Everything has a frequency range and each instrument should sit in their range to be audible in the mix.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Dwin

    Dwin Senior Member

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    Should have elaborated. I use a 57 on the cone a few inches away, angles to the center, and an audix i5 about 3 feet away aimed at the center of the cone. Sometimes I add a 2nd 57 micing the (let me fill you in, I'm playing a vert 212 that only has one speaker in it... the bottom is open, similar in my opinion to the idea of an open back cab?) and mic that for some air...


    Its just mainly amp setting im looking for, or mic preamps, im looking for advise on...
     
  7. lank81

    lank81 Senior Member

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  8. Thundergod

    Thundergod Senior Member

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    Dude if your guitar is miced you might wanna call this guy to play with it a little

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Thundergod

    Thundergod Senior Member

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    Dude if your guitar is miced you might wanna call this guy to play with it a little

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    hahaha....is that a Rat pedal i see? :lol:
     
  11. solidwalnut

    solidwalnut Junior Member

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    I get that you already understand about multiple mic's. I really find that important.

    One suggestion made to me a while back is to record two different types of guitar and stack them. But you can also do multiple recordings of the same guitar and stack them in the stereo field.

    The technique I like the best is the same basic one that you and others here are using as far as multiple mics. But I like to use 4 mics: Close and off-axis, center cone and back a foot or two, off-center and back three to four feet and then a room mic however far back or off to the side. I don't roll off any freq's except in the mix. This gives me a wide pallette of tones from which to choose, and to carve up. And it really captures the essence of the amp and the room.

    My favorite thing using the above is to pan each mic in a mirror image L&R

    Take 1 Mic 1 pan 7
    Take 1 Mic 2 pan 9
    Take 1 Mic 3 pan 10
    Take 1 Mic 4 pan 11

    Take 2 Mic 1 pan 5
    Take 2 Mic 2 pan 3
    Take 2 Mic 3 pan 2
    Take 2 Mic 4 pan 1

    That leaves a center hole for the voc, bass and kick.

    It depends on your pre-production planning for the tune, also. Maybe a certain song is served better by consciously recording the amp in mono. Or come mix time, maybe the song is better served by separate takes panned hard L&R.

    You mention that you roll off freq's for the takes. Just my opinion, but I don't do that because it limits what you can roll off or accentuate in the mix.

    Another trick, but I haven't had any luck with it yet, is to record a 5th line through a DI box and mic pre totally clean. I've been told this helps the clarity when you send this up the center.

    One thing to consider is that almost always, there is too much distortion. You can get away with much less when recording.
     
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  12. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    interesesting thread!
     
  13. Ed Zeppeli

    Ed Zeppeli Senior Member

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    If you're using multiple mics you have to be careful of phase issues. Zoom in on the multiple waveforms and make sure that the peaks and dips line up by dragging the file or delaying the lagging one from the mic that's 3' away. This may really open up the guitar tracks and is crucial IMO.

    Also, don't record with too much overdrive/distortion if possible. Multiple guitars with slight breakup sound much more powerful than a really overdriven guitar. I find lots of distortion makes the track sound thin and sizzly.

    Good luck,

    Warren
     
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  14. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    :laugh2: That was good. I thought the same thing...but you gave it the right image. Thanks. I needed the laugh.
     
  15. toneguy86

    toneguy86 V.I.P. Member

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    Great suggestions. I have experimented with a ton of things over the years. I mostly just use my ears to tweak what I can. I used to use the same mic's and mic placement as on stage, but have changed a ton of what I do. I also used to put my amp in different kinds of rooms, etc. Now I am just using a fairly dead room and setting up mic's at different places, running a test and seeing what comes out and changing it if I don't like it.

    Lately I have started using an SM58 in a stand angled down towards the amp and about 2 or 3 feet away. For some reason this just gives a really cool fat sound that close mic'ing does not give. I also started doubling my tracks to fatten the sound and trying different ways of panning the tracks in the mix. In the programs I'm using (and I would imagine it is pretty much the same for others) I copy the track and paste it into another track and synch em (or not...one time I fell on a really cool effect by moving one track ever so slightly forward so you had this strange echo effect. If I panned each track hard right and hard left you got this odd pinging effect. It was interesting). Anyway, it seems to work.
     
  16. Sweeper5

    Sweeper5 Senior Member

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    I so totally agree with this philosophy! :) Using 4 mic's to record one guitar track really lends itself to phase cancellation problems. And don't forget, if you don't have a "good sounding room" that you are recording in, then all of this room ambient mic'ing is for naught. In other words, if you have your amp in your spare bedroom, it won't do much to slap a mic on the grille, and another one across the room. I also much agree with the "too much overdrive" philosophy. And I like heavy guitar tracks, but totally saturating your signal and mic'ing it like that isn't going to record the results you were hoping for. At least in my limited experience that's the case.
     
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  17. solidwalnut

    solidwalnut Junior Member

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    Phase cancellation is an important concern. However, mutlitple micing (if you have a decent room to capitalize on that) at different distances mitigates some of this concern. Not only do you capture different textures of the amp/room, but the inherent delay caused by the differing distances mitigates some of the cancellation.
     
  18. Ed Zeppeli

    Ed Zeppeli Senior Member

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    It mitigates it OR causes it. You can usually quick-test this by muting one (of two) mics to see if it improves or reduces the sound quality. This doesn't mean you can't use two mics. It just means you have to be careful doing it.


    Good luck,

    Warren
     
  19. pmonk

    pmonk Senior Member

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    Also depends on what equipment you plan on using.
     
  20. gilmourjunkie

    gilmourjunkie Senior Member

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    yeah, its gotta fit in the mix. I was watching the making of Dark Side of the Moon and David's guitar by itself sounded kinda lousy by itself compared to when its mixed in the track. The raw sound really cut through and worked in songs like Time but alone it sounds...., well like a Big Muff. It really just depends on what you are after.
     

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