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Old 17-05-2017, 22:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
Any tips on how to mic up a guitar amp?
Ffabbia Ffabbia is offline 17-05-2017, 22:51 PM

Basically, I've just bought a new amp, nothing fancy, just a nice, compact cheap 10 watt job for practice purposes - because I got sick of constantly hook up to my PC just to play the damned thing.

Frankly it's been a long time since I used a guitar amp. I've grown used to just plugging the guitar and effects pedals into a pre-amp, and then that goes straight into my sound card. I then post-produce using use various amp simulations and software tools.

So for actual miking up I have a boom stand a condenser and the amp. I may as well have a stab at recording guitar that way - capture some nice room ambience.

So anyone have any tips? Dos and don'ts?
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Old 18-05-2017, 13:26 PM
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I am no expert, but from what I have seen when I was in a band, they usually mic it close to the amp pointing at the center of the cone. Not too sure what else beyond that as I do all mine via line in from guitar pedals.
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Old 18-05-2017, 22:59 PM
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Depends on various factors, including the type of mic. A dynamic mic (like an SM57) can be put an inch or two from the cone and give good results. You'll get virtually no room ambience close-micing like that though, especially if the amp is cranked up. Condenser mics are far more sensitive than dynamic mics in terms of ability to handle high spl, so you need to factor that in. Up to a couple of feet away can produce results - Just experiment with placement. If the mic has a 10dB pad you might want to active it if you're getting distortion (I mean unwanted clipping of the mic signal). I'd be wary of room ambience unless the room has a particular sound you like. Otherwise you'll be printing a guitar sound that'll be very difficult to sit well in the mix. And don't overlook the importance of a good pre-amp. Good mic + crap pre-am = crap sound. Good luck.
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Old 19-05-2017, 15:59 PM

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Excellent reply, and exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

I'm very pleased with my pre-amp. It's an analogue tube device, with a nice warm sound, so no problems there.

As for the room ambience, I'll have to think it through. I don't want the guitar to get lost in the mix in the way you described, however what I'm planning is very, very minimal indeed, featuring just the guitar some ultra-low key muffled-sounding drums and the vocals, nothing else, not even any bass - thus I was thinking about how I could make the room ambiance a factor within the song.
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Old 20-05-2017, 17:06 PM
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Nice to see David joining in and adding experienced advice to Ffabbia's query. I'm all for experimenting after I have all the advice I can get. Working with your room acoustics as part of your quest for a sound to fit your purposes seems to be an idea worth pursuing. Looking forward to your results, Ffabbia. That last tune of yours was superb. You certainly have your own style and thought processes
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Old 20-05-2017, 17:49 PM

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Thanks a lot.

My last tune bombed completely, given that you were the only one who heard it But I have nobody but myself to blame for that, given that I basically just 'dropped and ran', doing nothing to promote it.

Still, glad you liked it. That one was also a big experiment for me, because it was the first digital production I've ever done that used 'live', freehand drums, rather than sequenced.
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Old 22-05-2017, 20:03 PM
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pretty simple really but it can get complicated...most engineers prefer a dry close micced tone...usually 1/2 inch to 1 inch off the speaker cabinet...the more the mic points toward the cone the more treble you will get...closer to the edge of the speaker will give more bass...i use a sennheiser e609 than hangs off the top of the amp near the edge of the speaker itself (its a larger diaphragm mic that can get overly bright and harsh if right over the cone)...also take into consideration the mic itself...a sm57 is a small diaphragm and results in a very midrange heavy tone (think automatic hi and lo pass filters) whereas a condenser mic will have a much larger and more sensitive diaphragm giving you "more" of the overall sound...whether thats good or bad is entirely up to you...each mic will have its own "voice"...

while its possible (and fun) to play with room reverbs, it will limit your options in the mix...but if you are composing around that particular reverb then you shouldnt run into problems...

in the end (and i've said this to many) let your ears guide you as only you know what you want to hear...many great tones have come from people using non standard guitars, amps, and mics micced up in ways that totally "break the rules"...take time, experiment, and have a sound in mind...above all have fun (i refuse to record direct as there's something just a bit different about micced versus direct...miniscule but i can hear it)...you got this now get to (fun) work lol...d.m.
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Old 25-05-2017, 15:28 PM

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Initially I was thinking about the intro to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (the song of that title, not the entire album).

If you're familiar with it, you'll notice that the intro guitar sounds very, very 'distant' lo-fi and brittle, almost as if it's being recorded from another room. When Gilmore's second guitar comes in over the top, which plays a counter-melody at full fidelity. The contrast is pretty striking.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPL_SV3n7IU


I've revised the idea somewhat since then. I'm not after anything as extreme as that - but I am hoping to get a sense of 'distance' to the sound. I'll see what I can do when I get the time. Work and family commitments keep on getting in the way of music at the moment.
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Old 25-05-2017, 18:08 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffabbia View Post
Initially I was thinking about the intro to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (the song of that title, not the entire album).

If you're familiar with it, you'll notice that the intro guitar sounds very, very 'distant' lo-fi and brittle, almost as if it's being recorded from another room. When Gilmore's second guitar comes in over the top, which plays a counter-melody at full fidelity. The contrast is pretty striking.

That effect can easily be achieved with EQ. Record the guitar as normal,then just add a high pass filter to the guitar channel. Shelve off the lower frequencies until you get the desired effect. If you use a DAW and have a decent parametric EQ,it may a have a preset called "telephone" or "radio". That would do the job. Simples
The "static" lo-fi effect is added separately,but possibly through the same EQ. At least,that's how I'd do it.

Last edited by Toshaq; 25-05-2017 at 19:14 PM..
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Old 26-05-2017, 02:10 AM
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toshaq is completely correct...the eq curve will be using both a hipass and lowpass filter resulting in an eq with a hump in the midrange...

the hiss can be found courtesy of the free vst found at the link below...d.m.

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...ign/vinyl.html
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