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chrisj

Gold Finger

Posts: 986 Member Since:22/02/2011

#21 [url]

Apr 28 17 4:01 PM

And if guitar tones sounded good if you just took a DI off the output of the power amp, the most hi-fi mic placed dead center would be the ideal miking. In some cases, sure that'll be true.

Start overdriving the amp (or pick a really spiky amp) and that's when you might pick something with a color of its own, or close-mic the edge of the cone that flaps with bell mode resonances and strongly colors the output, or point away from the center axis, or all of the above at once. Also, don't get mixed up between 'sounds fine no matter what you do' (plenty of mics with a wider polar pattern and better off-axis response) and optimal. Like I said (I'm arguing the 'Slipperman' fatwa on this), in the event that you need to zero in on a TINY SPOT somewhere on the speaker cone, it's fairly difficult to do that better than the SM57 that you already have. This is in part because the off-axis response is so lousy, etc.

This is not to say it's literally the only way to do it: if you used some kind of hypercardioid, something that had a really tight polar pattern, you could get a glossier brighter fizzier version of the same thing, but such close miking also accentuates highs and lows and you'll only have to deal with that later. Much like the bidirectional ribbon mic option gives you a much broader sound picture that still cancels out direct side input: you can't focus on one tiny bit of the cone but you're getting the same type of isolation from the room and immediately adjacent surfaces.

Use an omni or some LDCs and you are guaranteed to get a diffuse, unfocussed guitar sound unless you do other things like perhaps sitting the amp on a stand so it's not near the floor or any walls. I suspect folks like William who love 'good' mics for guitar amps are used to doing some of these things to keep the acoustic environment nice. With a 57 you kind of don't need to do that so much, it's a microscope.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#22 [url]

Apr 28 17 4:06 PM

"And if guitar tones sounded good if you just took a DI off the output of the power amp, the most hi-fi mic placed dead center would be the ideal miking. In some cases, sure that'll be true."

That is a total straw man argument.

You are still clearly running through speakers.

Correct? It is clearly NOT the same as "a DI off of the power amp". It IS tone of the amp, as an entire system with speakers, with as minimal reflections as possible, and as on axis as possible.

I'm not saying that one might not want to ultimately angle it for some reason, place it further from the amp. All of that is fine of course.

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Apr 28 17 4:12 PM. Edited 1 time.

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

#23 [url]

Apr 28 17 5:02 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:

The dearly departed forum member Loudist / Steve Gursky asked me to mic up a guitar on a session, I think just to F with me a bit.

After watching me do whatever crap I did, he broke out a lighter, found the center cap of the speaker through the grill cloth, jammed the mic so that it was touching the grill and then sort of "bounced" off of the grill a bit, maybe a millimeter away.

His explanation on this to me at the time (best as I can remember), was that it was closest to getting a direct injection of the guitar amp. It was the LOUDEST position (hahah), which would sound most present, not have an unreasonable amount of bass (like the edges of the speaker) or an ambient quality that might not be needed.
 

A direct injection of the guitar amp is usually exactly what I do NOT want. I'm not certain that it's the "loudest", either, although since it's the brightest it certainly can seem that way. And it certainly IS tyhe most present, which isn't always desirable - it depends on the music, the arrangement, and the type of speaker, among other things.

I usually try to start with a position that sounds most balanced, which is to say most like the speaker sounds in the room and them alter to taste. Sometimes it'll be bright, sometimes mellow, sometimes somewhaere in between.

Weedy, I'm not going for "The most bass". Although the mic is at the edge it's angled, so that the bassy part of the cone is off-axis and the dome is on axis. If there's too much low end you can always roll it off, but you can't bring back what ain't there.

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digitmus

Gold Finger

Posts: 393 Member Since:01/02/2011

#24 [url]

Apr 28 17 5:16 PM

My "default-just-get-a-good-sound-quick" is a Fostex M11RP(printed ribbon) 2-3" from the grill, aimed halfway between the dome and the cone edge, perpendicular the the angle of the cone. It is usually more than just good.

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,957 Member Since:20/01/2011

#25 [url]

Apr 28 17 5:43 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
... found the center cap of the speaker through the grill cloth, jammed the mic so that it was touching the grill and then sort of "bounced" off of the grill a bit, maybe a millimeter away.

that's basically where I almost always start.

with a 67 or 87. or UM70

move it if I need to; usually I don't.

OR... I could wirte a long rambling treatise on how to make guitar recording needlessly compicated. image

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#26 [url]

Apr 28 17 6:08 PM

Yep!

I really like my UM17s or an Archut M49 clone on guitars best, out of what I have. I know 67, 87, UM70 (especially the one w transformer) would rock too if I had either available.

I would probably be quicker to turn the tone knobs on the amp a bit, before moving the mic, if it was really close but just needed a bit more bass or less treble. I usually have plenty of low end left on tap with what I find to be typical amp settings though.

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#27 [url]

Apr 28 17 6:16 PM

John Eppstein wrote:

gtoledo3 wrote:

The dearly departed forum member Loudist / Steve Gursky asked me to mic up a guitar on a session, I think just to F with me a bit.

After watching me do whatever crap I did, he broke out a lighter, found the center cap of the speaker through the grill cloth, jammed the mic so that it was touching the grill and then sort of "bounced" off of the grill a bit, maybe a millimeter away.

His explanation on this to me at the time (best as I can remember), was that it was closest to getting a direct injection of the guitar amp. It was the LOUDEST position (hahah), which would sound most present, not have an unreasonable amount of bass (like the edges of the speaker) or an ambient quality that might not be needed.



 

A direct injection of the guitar amp is usually exactly what I do NOT want. I'm not certain that it's the "loudest", either, although since it's the brightest it certainly can seem that way. And it certainly IS tyhe most present, which isn't always desirable - it depends on the music, the arrangement, and the type of speaker, among other things.

I usually try to start with a position that sounds most balanced, which is to say most like the speaker sounds in the room and them alter to taste. Sometimes it'll be bright, sometimes mellow, sometimes somewhaere in between.

Weedy, I'm not going for "The most bass". Although the mic is at the edge it's angled, so that the bassy part of the cone is off-axis and the dome is on axis. If there's too much low end you can always roll it off, but you can't bring back what ain't there.

Maybe this was a bad way of expressing it, but I do think it's true.

Look at it this way - if you could imagine the guitar on an axis, near to far, the nearest you can have the guitar seem to you, is usually achieved via this method. The treble accentuation is part of that. 

For sure, sometimes you need to shave a little edge off... you might need to move it out a bit, angle it or move it towards the edge, etc. 

However, alot of times it sure seems like that little extra presence ends up helping the guitar in the context of a whole mix. Sometimes a little compression winds up tucking any edge in, which helps it turn out just right in the end.

So much depends on context. 

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Apr 29 17 11:17 AM. Edited 2 times.

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,542 Member Since:24/03/2013

#28 [url]

Apr 28 17 11:15 PM

Here's a story/confession:

One of the first times I was ever recorded on guitar as an adult, the engineer put a 57 right on the grill of my amp, on axis, and ran it through a Mackie board and into an ADAT machine. The sound I heard through the monitors on playback was so friggin awful that, to this day, it requires conscious effort for me not to be prejudiced against everything about that signal chain and setup.

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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

#29 [url]

Apr 29 17 12:38 AM

weedywet wrote:
OR... I could wirte a long rambling treatise on how to make guitar recording needlessly compicated. image
 

But how funny would it be?

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Iggick

Silverado

Posts: 217 Member Since:24/11/2014

#30 [url]

Apr 29 17 5:38 AM

Soapfoot mentioned a 421. That is my default rather than a 57. Usually in combination with a ribbon.
If you don't have any you should get a couple and try them on different things.

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,775 Member Since:26/01/2011

#31 [url]

Apr 29 17 6:50 AM

Funny the UM70 is my first choice as well. Followed by a 409, sometimes a combo of the two. Then the 409 would be a few inches from the grill and the UM70 two to three feet back.

My old 57's from the 70's sound great. The tone was smooth on those old ones. The edge on the modern ones hurt me. Night and day difference... it's not just for U47's you know. lol

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,634 Member Since:26/01/2011

#32 [url]

Apr 29 17 7:08 AM

When I'm using an unfamiliar amp and/or working with a new guitar player I've been using a Dynamount lately to help me dial in the sound I want. I have a two-axis model for side to side and up and down, or side to side and in or out, though a single-axis model would give a lot of variation. I control the position from an iPhone app, so I can hear in real time how the sound changes as the mic moves. In my studio I can't see the amp from the control room, so I'm forced to listen, and I'm often surprised when I actually see where the mic is.

BTW, I have no affiliation with the company.

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,323 Member Since:29/01/2011

#33 [url]

Apr 29 17 8:34 AM

jesse decarlo wrote:
Here's a story/confession:

One of the first times I was ever recorded on guitar as an adult, the engineer put a 57 right on the grill of my amp, on axis, and ran it through a Mackie board and into an ADAT machine. The sound I heard through the monitors on playback was so friggin awful that, to this day, it requires conscious effort for me not to be prejudiced against everything about that signal chain and setup.


it hurts my ears just reading that.

my story/confession: aside from recording a friend's band last summer, i haven't mic'd an amp in years. for my workflow, amp sims are 1000x easier. i use the scuffham. for the speaker section, it has a choice of a 57, a 160, and a 121. there's a grid in front of the speaker so you can move the mic anywhere from dead center to 6" off center, and from 1" to 6" away. 

i will sometimes fiddle with the mic choices and placement, but 99% of the time i end up with it on the 160, 5 or 6" back, dead center or 1" off center. just like real life.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,145 Member Since:23/01/2011

#34 [url]

Apr 29 17 9:42 AM

jesse decarlo wrote:
Here's a story/confession:

One of the first times I was ever recorded on guitar as an adult, the engineer put a 57 right on the grill of my amp, on axis, and ran it through a Mackie board and into an ADAT machine. The sound I heard through the monitors on playback was so friggin awful that, to this day, it requires conscious effort for me not to be prejudiced against everything about that signal chain and setup.

 
Or, like me, maybe you didn't know how to get a good sound at that age.  My first regular (weekly), paying studio work as a guitarist was after I had already had at least a dozen years of playing in bands and had been exclusively supporting myself as a player for 5 years.  When I began, I 'swore' I had a good sound but--a couple of years later (after listening to control room playbacks and taking steps to improve what I clearly heard was wrong)--I had actually learned enough that I did have a good sound and routinely had tracks that made it to final mix without needing eq.  Prior to spending regular time in a studio, my sound was too bright and obnoxious but 'the fog of youth' had deluded me into thinking otherwise.  

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,542 Member Since:24/03/2013

#36 [url]

Apr 29 17 10:58 AM

maarvold wrote:

jesse decarlo wrote:
Here's a story/confession:

One of the first times I was ever recorded on guitar as an adult, the engineer put a 57 right on the grill of my amp, on axis, and ran it through a Mackie board and into an ADAT machine. The sound I heard through the monitors on playback was so friggin awful that, to this day, it requires conscious effort for me not to be prejudiced against everything about that signal chain and setup.

 
Or, like me, maybe you didn't know how to get a good sound at that age.  My first regular (weekly), paying studio work as a guitarist was after I had already had at least a dozen years of playing in bands and had been exclusively supporting myself as a player for 5 years.  When I began, I 'swore' I had a good sound but--a couple of years later (after listening to control room playbacks and taking steps to improve what I clearly heard was wrong)--I had actually learned enough that I did have a good sound and routinely had tracks that made it to final mix without needing eq.  Prior to spending regular time in a studio, my sound was too bright and obnoxious but 'the fog of youth' had deluded me into thinking otherwise.  

I'm sure there was a little bit of that going on as well. On the other hand, now that I work as an engineer too, if a kid came to a session with bright, spiky guitar tone, I wouldn't mic him up in such a way as to make it brighter and spikier. I'm still friends with that engineer, btw. 

Last Edited By: jesse decarlo Apr 29 17 11:05 AM. Edited 1 time.

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chrisj

Gold Finger

Posts: 986 Member Since:22/02/2011

#37 [url]

Apr 29 17 1:06 PM

John Eppstein wrote:

Weedy, I'm not going for "The most bass". Although the mic is at the edge it's angled, so that the bassy part of the cone is off-axis and the dome is on axis. If there's too much low end you can always roll it off, but you can't bring back what ain't there.


Huh, that's interesting. That's the opposite of how I do it (of course obviously my opinion is only one report of experimentation).

What I'm shooting for is this: I know I'm going to be able to get enough edge, the speakers I work with are always really bright. Weber Blue (very low wattage), antique GE 12" (current). So I always point away from the center towards the edge. If I need darker, I slide the mic position closer to the edge. It gets the maximum 'papery speakery added texture' sound while suppressing the laser-like beams from the center.

That also means the mic angling is controlling the 'brightness versus texture of the vibrating cone balance': point it more straight in, and there's less emphasis on paper cone artifacts, point it away from the center and those textures become more apparent (direct radiation becomes off axis, but close up to the cone edge is close and on axis)

You're picking up the bassy edge of the speaker using the off-axis which helps it be dark, and aiming the on-axis bright part at the center of the cone where it's brighter? I imagine you must be able to get wild variations that way. Mine is more 'move the mic as much as two inches to get a big variation in tone', it tries to be somewhat insensitive to positioning so it'll be predictable.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

Last Edited By: chrisj Apr 29 17 1:09 PM. Edited 1 time.

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