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Guitar Mic'ing...Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jakula, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. jakula

    jakula Guest

    I am planning to upgrade my signal chain for recording electric guitar. Couple of questions...and yes, I too am awaiting the RMMP...

    What is the best mike for mic'ing a cabinet? I have using SM57's for awhile. They sound ok, but I guess I want something different. My preamp does need to be upgraded and I am currently using the RNC.

    Ribbon Mikes? Should I try to score a 414 off Ebay, or would something in between be better?
    Maybe a C1000 / C 3000...NT3, or 2 Nt3's..

    I'm open to suggestions..


    Due to my present studio layout, I am also considering an isolation cabinet ( Randall ) for
    miking guitar....This seems like it would really suit me and my recording late at night. If any of you have tried these and think they suck pls inform....it seems cool, but I have not found much web feed back on the thing.


    Thx, Jakula
     
  2. Justyn

    Justyn Guest

    I've been using the 57 as well, but I also use a D112 and a U87. Each mic has its own tonal characteristics so you end up with more options. Just shape it to taste. Of course always use the 3:1 ratio if you decide to back any of the mics off the grill of the speakers. Good luck!
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Royer 121 is the 'new kid on the block' ribbon mic that has many fans for electric gtr.

    I belive ribbon mic's help get a good sound onto digital sysyems.

    :)
     
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    What do you want to be different about the sound? Rounder/smoother? Try a ribbon mic or a Sennheiser MD-409. More clarity/accuracy? Condensors can be nice; I understand the Eric Johnson clean sound is a 414 on a blackface Fener amp; a U87 is popular if you can afford it; some good results have even been obtained with the Oktava MC-012. Less woofiness/muddiness? EV-635a (PL-5 is the same or close) is a bass-shy omni that'll help you cut out the flab for close mic'ing.

    The Iso-cabinets are practical, but sometimes the mic will pick up on the claustrophobicly small space. You might be able to get a Fender Champ for the same or less money, and be able to get a cranked sound at more moderate spl. Or a good reactive-load type power attenuator can get the volume down in an existing rig.

    Bear
     
  5. ldawg713

    ldawg713 Guest

    If you're low budget, like myself, I can recommend both the Oktava and the C1000. I've used both on the exact same cabinet (Mesa Boogie) recently for doubled rhythm tracks. The tone was a crunchy metal/hardcore one, and both complimented it nicely enough. The Oktava had a bit more bottom end, both had nice midrange without being too bitey.
    Then I recently got to try a 4038 ribbon for the frist time when working at a fancier studio than my own, and I liked that alot. Wish I could afford one...
     
  6. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    These are my guitar staples/preferences whenever possible:

    Condensers:
    U-47 (or a Soundelux U95s or BLUE Cactus)

    Ribbons:
    Coles or Beyerdynamic Ribbon (160, 130)

    Dynamics:
    Sennheiser 441 or 421, SM-57

    If you have the resources, track each type to a discrete channel, and check the mono compatibility. Once that's good to go you can shape the tone really easily by the different characteristics of the mics. A time delay between mics can really thicken things up in the stereo field (again check the phase).

    ...I don't like the D112 or U87's on guitar BTW. YOMV.
     
  7. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    SM-57 into a 1073 is my choice for guitar amps, probly 99% of the time!

    If it ain't broke, etc. I do want to try out a ribbon mic one of these days though.
     
  8. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    SM-57 into a 1073 is my choice for guitar amps, probly 99% of the time!

    If it ain't broke, etc. I do want to try out a ribbon mic one of these days though.
    [/QUOTE]

    -good choice...I'd concur alot of the time with this also.....BUT

    What I think you need to do to improve your E-GTR sounds, if they need improving is to learn to improve the source. If your working with a good guitarist on a good song in a good room...etc. then a 57 into a good pre, properly placed, really will do the job 80% of the time. The other 20%, going to differrnt mic's, pre's & placements so that you can have separation amonst your overdubs.
    I also believe that the majority of people asking these questions are not having the luxury of being able to work on big budget, or with the highest caliber of studio gtr'ists, artist's, etc.
    This is where it pays to be able to teach yourself the skills of fixing the source. Crank those knobs and throw those switches on the GTR and AMP. Move the cabinet aroun the room. Experiment with chains of stomp boxes and pedals. In short really get the true sound coming out of the instrument,that you need , relative to it's place in that particular song/arrangement/mix...and this may mean comprimise. there is no one way that anything hast to or should sound. If you can only get so much distortion find another way to get it, maybe re-amp the alrealdy tracked gtr back through the amp for another layer of distortion. My point, in a nutshell, is to think outside the envelope. Mic's and pre's are designed,on average, to reproduce what they get...so by definition the sound you give them is fundamentally whatyuo'll be getting. That said learn those skills I've mentioned. Borrow some gear if you don't have it and learn to do this, so that on your next session with some gtr'st with a crappy sound (who has an inverse proportionally sensitive ego), you can go out and get the sound you need in a very few minutes. You have to be able to do this quick, and improve it to the point that is obvoiuys to all in the room. Once you do you'll get the freedom to work on all the instruments this way. Then you can slide your cans on and quickly move your mic(s) around for that sweetspot(capturing the correct frequency and Direct-to-Ambient relationship for that sound, in context to what has already, and will possibly be, recorded with).

    This can be extrapolated to all instruments. If for instance, a drummer comes in with horrible sounding kit with lots resonances, old heads, pedal squeeks, etc...don't get mic's any closer than you have to. Distance will impart room and will blend the kit into a whole...keeping the microscope of close micing from magifiing the aforementioned flaws. It will also be fast. And speed can be a VERY goo thing. Great sounds fast gets confidence from the client. If it takes too long to get sounds, they might start to think you don't know where your going amnd then they'll start to second guess your choices. Conversely once you prove yourself you also get the reverse...,more time...which, because your already fast, means more because you do more with it. They'll be playing sooner and you can get them in the comfort zone that will get the best possible performance from them.

    So a good performance, out of parts/sounds that are tweaked at the source...will in most situations positively affect the sonic outcome significantly more than which choice between any two $2k pre's,mic's, etc. Give me a '57 into a Mackie and I'll get a better sound than some one who doesn't know this using any othe mic into a 1073....

    ...my $1 of opinion
     
  9. Cloud 9

    Cloud 9 Guest

    Well said, RecorderMan!
     
  10. sign

    sign Guest

    You guys should try a Beyer M69 or M88 for a guitar amp. Very good sound and almost no spill.

    The Beyer mics are very underestimated IMHO.

    I tried them all, Sennh 421, very hot but too much spill, Sennh 441, nice low end but not hot enough, 57, not bad/not good, C1000, not bad, C3000, nah.

    Last year I've only used Beyers on guitar amp, try them! (and try a Beyer 201 on snare)

    Peace.
     
  11. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Keep it simple.

    With a good player, guitar, amp and tone happening, a 57 with a 1073 or other nice pre to 2" analog tape works for me 90% of the time.

    The other 10% is when I need something different, in which case anything goes...though it's usually a 47 or 421 for me, or sometimes an MK219 or RE20.

    FWIW I really like the organic quality that 2" tape brings to guitar and bass (and drums, too).

    Jon
     
  12. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by Han:
    Last year I've only used Beyers on guitar amp, try them! (and try a Beyer 201 on snare)


    Beyer truly is a great company with great products. It's too bad that marketing hype (marketing doesn't just involve glossy ads) influences opinion so much. The upper end Beyer ribbons & dymanics (the 160, 130, 201...I haven't tried their condensers I'm sure they are great though) are just fine for any pro recording situation and are only around $600 street. Anyone considering a Royer should really look at these also.
     
  13. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    Another vote for Beyer here.
    I'm currently looking for any of the ribbon mics Nathan mentioned including the 260. The TGX50 just smokes IMHO. The 422 is a nice snare mic and the MCE83 is just plain useful. Usually supporting another mic.

    C1000, not bad, C3000, nah

    I like both these mics for guitar. IMHO :)


    Dan-O
     
  14. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    The TGX50 just smokes IMHO. The 422 is a nice snare mic and the MCE83 is just plain useful. Usually supporting another mic.

    um...not for guitar though. Sorry about that. Off topic I guess.
    I have used the TGX50 along with a 57 on guitar cab with good success.

    Dan-O
     
  15. droog

    droog Active Member

    not so much to do with miking, but a neat trick, used by many gtrists (myself inc), is to bi- or tri-amp the guitar, ie send the signal to a number of amps and mike them all
     
  16. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    not so much to do with miking, but a neat trick, used by many gtrists (myself inc), is to bi- or tri-amp the guitar, ie send the signal to a number of amps and mike them all

    I often use this technique with MESA Boogie rigs when doing o-dubs "in the big room". Different mics capture the different characteristics of different amps/cabs.

    Confucious say: When to record electric guitar, one must experiment and most of all have fun!! :D
     

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