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guitar mic placement

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by xMannequiNx, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    If I have a 4x12 guitar cab in a small very dead vocal-booth type room, I know I will need the standard sm57 on the sweet-spot of the cab speaker, but would putting a condenser at a farther distance and getting the phase right make any difference to the sound?
  2. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Of course it will, whether good or bad.

    Try it. I've heard of placements with an LDC four feet from the cab facing the opposite direction (the wall, per se).
  3. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    ok ill have to play around with it a lot then
  4. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    It will add more more of an ambiance type of sound. This will "fill out" the overall sound more, but it will also make the tone less "in your face." I've found that I like using a distance (as in 1 foot or less away) mic in combination with a close mic (as in taped to the grill) for lead guitar. The rhythm guitar just seems to get a bit too distant for my tastes with distance micing, but that's just my opinion, so experiment until you find what you like. God bless.
  5. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    I find the best technique when recording in a new environment is obviously start with different mike placements, XY is my favourite.. and maybe mess around with a nice condenser mike moving it around the room until you find that 'sweet spot'.. if you keep trying different placements you will eventually find a sound you like - what a pointless post! oh well, practise makes perfect.

  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    XY doesn't really work for a guitar cabinet though. It doesn't really work for a single acoustic guitar either unless the room is large and the mics are distant. That's more for stereo recording for choral and the like.
  7. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    hmmm, i think i might have to disagree. XY on my orange cabinet is my favourite sound to go for, we all have our own preferences!
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    There are preferences and there is what works in a practical sense. Stereo micing techniques have little or no effect on mono source unless there is space enough to vary the sound. There just isn't enough variation between speakers unless you consider phase. You may like the sound but it's simply double micing when you're at the cone. Even at fairly distant, say 6 feet, it's hardly worth the effort unless the room is particularly good. It's physics. The whole reasom for XY(coincident) pair is that it is a virtually (phase) problem free way to stereo mic.

    (So many edits. I hate typos.)
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Getting to the topic. I think that a distant mic in a vocal booth will just make your amp sound more boxy. That isn't necessarily a bad thing but it may be. Just a thought. The distant mic is all about ambiance. If the room is dead, the sound of the distant mic will reflect that. Not necessarily a bad thing but it could be.
  10. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    A guitar cabinet in a small space, even if well treated tends to sound boxy. Try a larger space, especially if you want to do a distant microphone. To avoid phase problems with the distance microphone either align the phase with a delay (or nudge) or keep them at least 12dB apart in RMS level.

    An XY pair works very well for creating a stereo image from an acoustic guitar because the sound source is far from mono. One pointing at the 12th fret and one at the sound whole produces a nice stereo image. If you pan these hard left and right it sounds like the guitar is wrapped around your head. Very in your face and wide. Most of the time want something a little more believable and pan to 3 and 9 o'clock. As Hueseph mentioned, it is also phase problem free.

    If you want it to sound more like someone listening to the guitar from a distance, then use one microphone up close panned to one side, and the distant microphone panned to the other.

    How do you set up the pair on the cabinet? One at the center of the cone, the other at the lip?
  11. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    If I have the channels/inputs/time, I like to use multiple mics.

    Like 2 dynamics close getting different tones (2 of the same @ different parts of the speaker cone, or 2 diff. dynamics (57 + 421 I like), or a dynamic + ribbon about 6in (varies) away from the amp placed touching/together....

    and then I like to add an LDC and/or ribbon at a distance as a room mic.

    Start w/ the close mics, then add in the ambient mics to taste. Or leave them out all together. If you're doing digital, you have the advantage of taking multiple sources and taking or leaving them.

    Again, if you have the channels/inputs/TIME.

    I usually stick to 2 close mics (+DI), unless it's an overdub (no isolation issues), then I go wild. I like having flavors and choices.

    Lately I've been favoring the ribbon/dynamic combo, as (I think) ribbon mics add a little more beef and realism to the sound (some dynamics do as well). Just make sure that you consider the backside reflections coming into the ribbon (they're fig-8 pattern).
    I don't own Royers or other good ribbon mics, but I do own a pair of Nady RSM5s (-) and Cascade FATHEADS (+). Nady's cost me $80 a piece, and the Cascades come in some package nice deals.

    Bottom line - experiment if you have the time.
    I don't have tons of experience, so I'm still learning what mics do what where, and which of those I prefer/need for the song.
    EVERYTHING makes a difference in the sound - mic, placement, phasing, panning - even the song and the other instruments. When you start to find out what choices yield what results, you'll need to consider all of the above.
    Still, you can't go wrong with a single 57 placed well.
    Start there and try different things.
  12. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    As long as you're experimenting...I'll throw in my .02 and suggest that you also try a DI on the guitar and your 57 on the cabinet. The DI can give you some of that in your face thing, and then the cabinet giving you more of the color you want. Blend to taste.

    Shaken not stirred
    (how's that for a Remy tag line?)

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