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Getting the Most Out of An Amp In A Bad Recording Space

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    My room is about 11x12 and untreated. I'm looking for rules of thumb or something of the sort. Like amp placement, should it face a corner or wall or something. Should I have the amp shoot into the closet? Right now I have it facing the center of the room and I feel that this is not the way to go about things. My tracks don't sound horrible, but they don't sound how I want them to either. I can't really experiment with miking at distance right now because I don't really have powerful enough pres.

  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    1. Close mic the amp. Get the room involved as little as possible.

    2. The rule of thumb for the sweet spot uses the golden ratio. Short version is put the mic a 61.8% of each of the three dimensions. The idea is that the golden ratio gives the place where nodes and antinodes of room modes in that direction are least dense.
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member


    So if my room is 11x12x8

    Then I would put the mic at 6.78" from the far wall, 7.41" from the side wall and 3.06" off the ground?
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You got it.
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    SWEET! Now that I have the mic set, how would I position the amp around it? I am guessing i will have to raise it up somehow. Should I point the amp towards the meat of the room or towards a wall or corner.
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I point mine away from the walls and get it off the floor as you said. This video from Audix on close mic placement seemed very good to me.

    Just for the record, the golden ratio bit is a widely (universally?) used rule of thumb, but I have yet to see a real proof that it is really the sweetest spot in the room. Definitely not a bad spot. Just remember, always know where your wallet is when people start talking about golden ratios or Fibonacci numbers.
  7. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Guitarfreak wrote
    "I can't really experiment with miking at distance right now because I don't really have powerful enough pres."

    Huh? You can't record an electric guitar amp in a 11x12 room because you don't have enough gain in your pres? I doubt that. Maybe you are using the wrong mic! Cardoid mics are not good at distances, but almost any condenser should be picking up such a powerful source no sweat. Your Firebox is more than capable of capturing this, I undersatand you might not want to because of the tone but gain should not be an issue.
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Yeah man, idk maybe I'm doing something very wrong. But right now I have an SM57 in front of my amp with the clean channel turned up about halfway (at least the volume, not the gain). On my firebox I have the gain at about 25 of 30dB and attain peaks of about -8 in my DAW. When I move it 6 inches to a foot away I really need to crank the thing up just to be heard and then it starts hissing and complaining like I need to buy it a dozen roses or something...

    IDK though, joking aside something doesn't smell right here. I know the 57 isn't exactly a high output mic but...
  9. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Just crank that gain right up man, don't worry about it if it's just a guitar.
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the help!
  11. gussy12

    gussy12 Guest

    A SM57 is better for close miking, you really need a condenser of some description if you want to capture some of the room ambience. It sounds as if you are better off close miking and adding some effects later on though.

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