Mic'n guitar cab?

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amiller
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2012/04/25 11:55:14 (permalink)

Mic'n guitar cab?

I'm a guitar tone chaser by nature.  I've been searching for my "holy grail" guitar tone for many years.  My live tone is now very close to what I hear in my "minds ear."  I'm happy with my live tone.  Now, the trick is to get that tone recorded.
 
I've got a half way decent collection of mics that I can use to record my tone.
 
Mics:  2 SM57's
Senn e609
Senn e906
Senn 421
Heil PR30
Royer 121 ribbon
Senn 421.
 
I've tried every imaginable combination of the above mics.  I've gotten the best results by using a Senn 421 on one speaker of my 4x12 cab and a SM57 on another speaker in the same cab.  The mics are positioned identically about an inch and a half away from the grill and aimed directly at the point where the dust cap meets the speaker cone.
 
I generally like the recorded tone I'm getting, however, I struggle to get a good thick mid-mid tone.  There's plenty of bass (I use a hi-pass at 85) and there's plenty of highs.  There just doesn't seem to be enough of the mid "vocal" frequencies.  It's almost as if I've scooped out the mids at the amp, but, that's not the case.  I have plenty of mids coming from the live rig...it sounds great in the room.  I just can't seem to get that great sound on "tape."
 
Of course, I've moved the mics all around and have tried countless different positions...close, but no cigar.
 
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

RAWK!!!

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#1

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    Bristol_Jonesey
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 12:01:30 (permalink)
    This months SOS contains an interview with the guy who recorded the latest Van Halen album - check it out, there's some good tips in there.

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    #2
    batsbrew
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 13:42:33 (permalink)
    i use a palmer pdi-09.

    i've posted a bunch about it in the past, a quick search should work....

    i've been micing tube amps and cabinets since about 1978

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    #3
    Guitarhacker
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 14:26:47 (permalink)
    amiller


    I'm a guitar tone chaser by nature.  I've been searching for my "holy grail" guitar tone for many years.  My live tone is now very close to what I hear in my "minds ear."  I'm happy with my live tone.  Now, the trick is to get that tone recorded.
           
    That sums it up nicely. It took you years to nail down that tone..... now it will take you some time experimenting with mics, positions, distances, and all sorts of neat things to get that sound into the DAW like you hear it in your minds ear. 




    I don't think anyone is every really happy with their recorded sound....I know I'm not..... but we can get pretty good results with some effort. 

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    #4
    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 15:02:27 (permalink)
    batsbrew


    i use a palmer pdi-09.

    i've posted a bunch about it in the past, a quick search should work....

    i've been micing tube amps and cabinets since about 1978

    First...thanks so much for your input.
     
    My current recorded tone is just "OK," but it sounds much better than the attempts I've made with my pdi-09.  The thing is, I've come along way toward getting "my" tone and getting it recorded...BUT...it just isn't there yet.  For me, the pdi-09 is a step in the wrong direction.
     
    Again, thanks for the input.

    RAWK!!!

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    #5
    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 15:05:47 (permalink)
    Bristol_Jonesey


    This months SOS contains an interview with the guy who recorded the latest Van Halen album - check it out, there's some good tips in there.


    Cool...I'll check it out, although, I've heard Ed sound better in the past.  Of course, the tone on the new CD could be exactly what he wanted.  If that's the case then the recordist/engineer did his job.  Either way, I'm always open for new ideas and I'll give it a read.

    RAWK!!!

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    #6
    batsbrew
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 15:19:04 (permalink)
    amiller-

    what is your rig?

    and

    what kind of tone are you looking for?

    examples?
    clips?

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    #7
    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 16:12:03 (permalink)
    batsbrew


    amiller-

    what is your rig?

    and

    what kind of tone are you looking for?

    examples?
    clips?
     
    My current recording rig and recording signal path is as follows: LP -> Suhr Koko Boost ->  MESA Lonestar -> Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with two Greenbacks and two Alnico Golds -> SM57 and Senn 421 on the Golds (of course) -> MOTU MKII -> Sonar.
     
    BUT...let's not get side tracked here.  I really like the live sound that I'm getting.  My rig sounds great to me live.  It's the recorded tone that's lacking a bit.

    RAWK!!!

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    #8
    batsbrew
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 16:59:10 (permalink)
    yep.
    my guess is, you base your 'sound' on how it arrives in your ear in a good sounding room.

    question:

    if you get down on your knees, right in front of your cabinet, and put your ear about a foot away from the speaker, is that your sound?

    because that's what the mic is hearing.



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    #9
    Jeff Evans
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 17:16:01 (permalink)
    Putting a close microphone near the centre of the speaker ie dust cap meeting cone will always produce a different sound compared to putting mic right near edge of speaker cone ie where cone and surrounding edge suspension meet. Also try angling the mic looking down the slope of the cone as well.

    The sound is always a little harder (mids) and more brittle dead centre as compared to the edge sound which can be a bit warmer and fatter. Try it and see. Also the tip of the flame for a guitar sound is not necessarily right at the speaker at all but some distance out front of the cab. If it's the only part you are recording at the time you have the luxury of experimenting with that and the best sound may be out front. Try different distances from cab to see what you get also.

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    #10
    batsbrew
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 18:22:04 (permalink)
    yea, what jeff said.



    i mic at the edge of the cone, almost never in the center.

    i also rotate the mic off axis, about .75" away from the edge of the cone, at about a 30 degree angle, with the element towards the center of the speaker..
    then, slowly, i shift the mic, locked into it's angle, a little bit closer to the center of the speaker.

    i may do this 10 times or more, before i find the sweet spot.
    the EQ i want, for that particular track.


    making miniscule changes in the location of the mic, is all you should ever need to dial in your tone.

    the trick is, to have the patience, and be able to shift that sucker as many times as it takes.

    it really helps, and in fact, is absolutely necessary, to have someone else shift the mic for you, and to be in a completely different room/location than the cabinet (ultimatly, a real studio with a sound-treated control room, and you are hearing what the mic is hearing thru your monitors.

    anything less than that, is a compromise, and you are just guessing at what you are getting.


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    #11
    maximumpower
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 19:32:54 (permalink)

    Since you are using a Koko Boost (BTW I want one) and a Mesa and 4x12 cab, I assume you are going for heavier tones?

    I thought this video was interesting (and long) http://video.google.com/v...id=3176975091479283638

    Good luck!

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    #12
    mattplaysguitar
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 20:28:52 (permalink)
    Try blending with a room mix too. That room mic might capture the full sound better, then blend with your close mic. Also consider multiple close mics and blend to taste. A few different mics can capture different parts of the sound you want and when you combine, they total the complete sound.

    Further more, try backing off the distortion. For recording, you almost always require less distortion for it to sound distorted.

    Consider layering multiple takes.

    Understand this takes TIME and lots of TIME to nail it.

    Finally, read this:

    http://www.badmuckingfastard.com/sound/slipperman.html

    Highly popular thread on getting the perfect recorded guitar sound. It's long, but it's good.


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    #13
    marcos69
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/25 20:45:00 (permalink)
    I position the mic close to the cone edge, rotated perpendicular to the cone angle.  I've also achieved better results switching from an SM57 to a 58.
    #14
    MakeShift
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 00:07:49 (permalink)
    What Jeff and Batbrew have described are pretty dead on to what I do while possitioning the mic on my 4-10 cabinet.  I have settled into a particular speaker and about mid way between the center and edge of the cone, at a slight angle, 30 degrees sounds about right.  I almost always revert back to the SM57,  I guess it is just what I am used to hearing for a mic.

    It took a lot of trial and error to find the sweet spot and is really hard to do while tracking in the same room with the amp.  The loudness of the amp can over power what you are hearing in the headphones.  I spent a hole day one time tracking each speaker until I found the speaker that sounded the best to me.  I would track each speaker and make notes as to which one it was.  Take a break and come back later to listen to them with fresh ears.  From the notes and the soloed track, I would determine which speaker gave me more the sound I was looking for.  Once settled in on that, I went throught the same exercise with mic position.  It is funny how the littlest movement from side to side, front to back, and angle can actually make a lot of difference.  Once you find it, you can get there again relatively quickly knowing about where to start from. 

    Mike

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    Rimshot
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 04:24:57 (permalink)
    I agree with using a 57 but I go just outside the edge of the cone about an inch and about 4 inches away from the grill.  I do not use a second mic but instead would use digital reverb for spacial enhancement if needed. 

    Rimshot

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    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 15:44:04 (permalink)
    maximumpower


    Since you are using a Koko Boost (BTW I want one) and a Mesa and 4x12 cab, I assume you are going for heavier tones?

    I thought this video was interesting (and long) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3176975091479283638

    Good luck!
    No, not really going for heavier tones actually.  The MESA Lonestar is a pretty low gain amp...that's why I got the Koko Boost (I love it).  I'm more into Andy Timmons and Stephen Schackinger tones.
     
    Yep, I have seen that video before as well as read the artile your second link points to.

    RAWK!!!

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    #17
    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 15:53:49 (permalink)
    Just for the record, I'm not new to this.  I've been trying to get a great recorded guitar tone for years.  My recorded tones are not too bad but I always think I can do better.
     
    Having read some of the replies here has reminded me of some of the techniques I've tried in the past.  I've since changed mics, amps, rooms, guitars ... etc.  It's time to go back and revisit some of the techniques I left behind...they may work now.
     
    In fact, I tried aiming an SM57 directly at the cone, 1" off the grill and about 1/4 of the way from the center of the speaker to the edge.  I've also placed the Senn 421 at the same position, however, I'm angling it toward the center of the speaker to pick up some of the highs.  The combination of the 57 and the angled 421 sounds ... not too bad.
     
    Thanks for reminding me that trial and error over and over again will pay off.  I will continue my life long pursuit of great tone.
    post edited by amiller - 2012/04/26 15:56:09

    RAWK!!!

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    #18
    Karyn
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 17:53:40 (permalink)
    amiller


    My current recording rig and recording signal path is as follows: LP -> Suhr Koko Boost ->  MESA Lonestar -> Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with two Greenbacks and two Alnico Golds -> SM57 and Senn 421 on the Golds (of course) -> MOTU MKII -> Sonar. 
     
    Why "of course"?  When you're playing live you hear both the golds AND the greenbacks, so why only record the golds?
     
    There are cheap speakers and expensive speakers, but there is no such thing as a good or bad speaker (excluding broken speakers...). Different speakers have different uses and have different sounds.  If your live sound uses both, then you need to record both.

    You may find the mids you're missing from the recorded sound are being produced by the greenbacks...

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    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/26 19:54:56 (permalink)
    Karyn


    amiller


    My current recording rig and recording signal path is as follows: LP -> Suhr Koko Boost ->  MESA Lonestar -> Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with two Greenbacks and two Alnico Golds -> SM57 and Senn 421 on the Golds (of course) -> MOTU MKII -> Sonar. 
     
    Why "of course"?  When you're playing live you hear both the golds AND the greenbacks, so why only record the golds?....

    Yes, you're right, I should not have used the pharse "of course."  I have tried mic combinations that also included the Greenbacks as well as other cabs.  I have a Legacy cab with v30s and a Bogner with v30s.  But, of all the combinations, the recorded sound of the Golds sound the best to my ears.

    RAWK!!!

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    krizrox
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/27 11:41:07 (permalink)
    Just curious - have you tried using multiple mics on a single speaker as opposed to a single mic on multiple speakers? And the comment(s) about the room sound has merit too. check this out http://royerlabs.com/devildriver.html

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    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/27 12:19:33 (permalink)
    krizrox


    Just curious - have you tried using multiple mics on a single speaker as opposed to a single mic on multiple speakers? And the comment(s) about the room sound has merit too. check this out http://royerlabs.com/devildriver.html


    Yes, I have tried putting the mics on a single speaker.  In fact, that's what I've been doing the last few days and it doesn't sound too bad.  I'll check out the link you provided, altlhough, I probably have already looked at it ... when I bought my Royer 121 I did extensive reading and looked for tips on how to place that mic.

    RAWK!!!

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    #22
    amiller
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/27 14:41:53 (permalink)
    http://royerlabs.com/devildriver.html

     
    Wow, I stand corrected...I haven't seen those pics.  I have those mics and will give that a try.  I'm very curious to hear how that setup sounds...thanks.  http://royerlabs.com/devildriver.html
     

    RAWK!!!

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    #23
    kgarello
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/27 21:29:20 (permalink)
    This may have been said before, but I found for my tones, I got the best sound about a foot away from the grill with a 58.   I don't have any really good Condensors, though.
     
    Its funny that so many people say that the 57 and 58 are equal, but I found my 58 to be a bit more mellow (less "brittle") than my 57

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    #24
    batsbrew
    Max Output Level: -15 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 6042
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    • Location: SL, UT
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/04/30 11:34:12 (permalink)
    take the windscreen off of the 58, and then compare them.

    Sonar 6 PE--Win XP--Maudio Audiophile 192 card--Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH--GeForce 8400--2GB DDR2 SDRAM
    We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon
    Batsbrew at CDBaby 
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    #25
    IK Obi
    Max Output Level: -60 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 1532
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    • Location: Salt Lake City, UT
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    Re:Mic'n guitar cab? 2012/05/01 19:54:16 (permalink)
    I usually use AmpliTube, but if I have to mic an amp I like an Audix i5.
    #26
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