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NEW MIC PREAMP or NEW GUITAR AMP???

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by edaub1, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    Curently i have a fender blues deville 4x10 from 1994. I record using a sm57, into a firestudio project to my software. My amp sounds pretty good when i play with it live in overdive..but when i record it..it just sounds weak and fuzzy. I have about 1500 to spend, Would i be better off with a great preamp like a groove tubes SuPRe, or would i be better off getting a mesa boogie amp.
     
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Definitely the new amp. Without question. If you can get the source right from the start it will save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of time down the road.
     
  3. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    You really think so? i Mean i do like the sound i get from my amp...i just want it to be better quality when recording.
     
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    What are you using to record now. You said SM57 and Firestudio project, which are pretty good pieces of equipment. The pres on your Firestudio should be plenty good to give you the sound you are looking for. Is it possible to post a clip so me or one of the other board members can give you custom tailored advice? It would help to know how you positioned that SM57 and what sound you are going for.

    Amps are funny. Your experience when you hear your amp being played is different than what is actually coming out of the amp. You have to realize that the sound bounces around the room and actually shakes the bones in your body and inner ears. This affects your perception of the sound. Your mic however, has a slightly different experience. The mic won't lie about your sound or introduce noise/tone that wasn't there to begin with.

    What gets recorded is an accurate picture of what your amp speaker is throwing, given you have equipment that's above Radio Shack/Nady level. A new preamp will not change the inherent sound of your amp or hide the things you don't like about it.

    You can always experiment with different miking positions and/or using different mics or blend more than one mic at a time. Tone blending is a good way to fool your ears into thinking that a tone is larger than it actually is.
     
  5. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    Great advice..thanks alot!
     
  6. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    That all depends on what you want to accomplish with your amp. Your amp is just great for anything from surf to rock. If you really want to do metal, then I would say change to a Mesa or something similar. I'm guessing you don't do metal, so in that case, I would recomment investing in other gear you would benefit more from. It also sounds like you might need to work on your recording techniques? Unless you are playing through a piece of junk guitar, I see no reason why you can't get good recorded guitar tracks.
     
  7. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    ok so here is a link to something i just recorded..i ended up making a full song out of it real quick..just to show the different guitar sounds i use in a song.

    Let me know if you still think the mesa would make a difference over getting a high end preamp.
     
  8. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    k so here is a link to something i just recorded..i ended up making a full song out of it real quick..just to show the different guitar sounds i use in a song.

    Let me know if you still think the mesa would make a difference over getting a high end preamp.

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandid=964217
     
  9. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The guitars sound just fine aside from what might be clipping? Not sure. Maybe overcompressed? Maybe it wasn't even the guitars that was making that odd sound early on. What guitar are you using? If you are using a cheap guitar then that is a big part of your problem. If not, then I'd say you need to work on your EQing and micing techniques. Of course, a good preamp will help, but is that addressing the real issue? How confident are you at mic placement and getting all the knobs set on your amp? If you already know how to work your amp and the mics properly for recording, then maybe you are just looking for a different tonal palette and new amp or guitar will give you a slightly different tone. But again, I think that if you don't have money to burn that you'll be better off learning to get the tones you want from your current amp and spending the money on something else. In fact, you may be less pleased with a Mesa Boogie, as Fenders do clean and pop a lot better than Mesa Boogie in my opinion.
     
  10. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    nice song and style tight sound

    Nice sound for the band. I hear some hi/mid definition problems, which could be your guitar, amp(eq), or the SM57 is not the perfect mic for this distortion. Although it sounds well played and still really good. I have that exact same amp too. It has 4 different speakers, so I use room mics and go light on reverb on mixing. I like the clean channel on that BLUES Deville 60 or 65 watts sounds like 100 watt amps and even louder. What I think you need is a tube screamer and some eq at amp/source. Use the clean channel and overdrive w/ tube screamer or something. Then use light EQ after the OVERDRIVE pedal and get that tightly controlled distortion. I never liked the dirty channel on most fender amps, but that's just cuz of my own style. People on this post say there is clipping, but I bet this guitarist recorded w/ headroom and it sounded good at the time. But BUTT lol The bad-clipping is coming from the amp's distortion channel. ANd to me (owns same amp) it's clipping the signal strangely and not like my Marshall JCM 2000 would. The fender blues Model dist. channel is not designed for perfect sounding dirty rhythm guitar. It's made to rip the leads even higher and feedback. I think you could try recording w/ a DI and some way to reamp the signal later. Also, the line out on that Fender amp sounds pretty decent when recording some parts and using A.S.S.(Amp Simulation Software). Go try an amp for a week and take the sucker back, unless u fall in love w/ it. In that case take the rig to Vegas and elope. Go get a fricking Bogner amp they are sweet.

    Look up Josh Kennedy (guitarist currently in Violet Wild) He's really good plays out of a Deville style amp w/ mods. He uses the clean channel only. He uses some EQ but very lil. He mostly was playing a cheaper guitar(Fender rip off of Les Pauls w/ chambers)... Great sounding inexpensive lil stage Gem. Anyway he only used one Tube Screamer(customized mod) and when he went to leads he would kick in a CLEAN boost(before the screamer). Sounds as smooth as ICE! It's cuz those Fender amps have so much Headroom or something. But when they clip too much(dirty channel), they need EQ Pedals/etc. to tame the channels natural sound. And I aint the greatest player... so it starts there on any amp or guitar.

    Currently I think the sound is pretty good here. I think you need other mics to try and experiment w/ different sounds of room mics. I tried the I5 on the Fender blues deville and compared w/ the 57 it was a little bit more tame. I also got decent results w/ the AT3035, that I use, as a room mic. Plus what mic position are you using on the 4 speakers? Did you try each speaker? Turn it down a bit even and don't fully clip as much. ACDC got it's rock sound w/ a rather clean tone distortion.
     
  11. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    try a different mic for a better sound.

    sm57 has nice meat, but lacks definition and clarity - in my opinion of course.

    try getting a MD421 and using it in conjunction with the sm57. 421 gets great detail, 57 gets body.
     
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I dont think theres anything wrong with the guitar sound other than mic selection and placement. This sound you're working is one that would be enhanced by another mic as well as your SM57. So two mics on the setup will be a better overall pallette to work from.

    The Heil mics would help you here. PR40 especially. It has the clarity and top-end of a lot of conensers but the meat and girth of the great dynamic that it is. Kinda like an SM7 with big balls.

    Look at your placement. The edge of the speaker gives you a different sound than the center. Angling the mic so it is still @ 90degrees to the cone will also help with the clarity.

    A condenser out in the room at least a couple of feet from the amp will give you some more depth. This wont work in a poor sounding room.

    Are you using baffles or gobos to isolate the amp at all? Sometimes this will give you a better low-end response and clear up any anomolies that are happening in the room.

    One thing I noticed, the tone you are getting is in a good spot for a mix. It does compete with the drums or the bass. This is a good thing so changing this will have some effect on other stuff in the songs.

    I also agree with DrGonz about the the distortion side of the Fender amps. Especially for recording. They're pretty good for lead work and a little too ratty for chimes and rhythm passages. There are mods for this and they do make a big difference.

    And I also agree that if you're set on trying other amps you're gonna have to try out a Bogner.

    Try another mic first. At the price of the Groove Tubes pre you can do a lot more things to improve the sound that the pre might or might not give you.
     
  13. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    By the way, nice song i like it. where are the vocals?
     
  14. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    Also i record in my basement which is all cement..so it has awful acoustics...Ive been researching building an isolation box for recording guitar, would that also help in the sound?
     
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Did you read my post????
     
  16. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Maybe he was baffle(d) about anomalies that are most likely happening in a concrete room, or maybe he just gobo'd right over that part of your answer.
    Gobo (definition) "2 : a device to shield a microphone from sound." Merriam Webster
    "Gobo
    Short for "Go-Between." A gobo basically forms a type of barrier: sometimes this can be between a light source and an area to be lighted where you want to keep the light off of part of it, or it can be to form a barrier for sound such that a particular sound source is shielded from a microphone during recording. Gobos are often used in recording studios for just this purpose. Say you have an acoustic guitar and a drum set in the same room. In order to help reduce the amount of drums bleeding into the acoustic guitar mic sound, absorbent panels, or gobos, are place between the drums and the guitar mic." Sweetwater.com
    or maybe he did not understand the term anomaly.
     
  17. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    thanks for all the replies..and Davedog, yes i did read it..A bogner is my dream amp, but im pretty sure its out of my price range, i have about 1500, which is why ive been looking at the mesa's

    I also didnt mention that i own an AKG perception 220, so i could use that with the sm57 in the future.

    So after playing around with mic placements, do you think the isolation box wold be a waste of time?
     
  18. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Definitely.
     
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Bogner is simply a suggestion. My point was all about your mic placement, sound control of the area and the use of a second mic to hopefully give you more clarity and size to the sound of the guitar.

    It was NOT about buying something expensive to improve a sound that only needs a bit of work.

    Controlling the sound in your main recording area will always buy you ten times the amount of quality as a preamp or new mic or new amp can possibly do.

    Reread my post and try and get around any of the gear related suggestions other than using your second mic as a room mic.

    Go down to your local used office furniture outlet and buy several office partitions. Check them to see if they absorb sound or reflect it. Yes, they all have a sones rating. If you dont know what this is then use google. You check them by simply sticking your head down in the middle of the panel and yelling or singing for a moment. It will all too obvious what the panel will do.

    For guitar, an absorptive unit will yield better results. Get several. Then go to a moving place and buy several packing blankets. The large heavy ones....drape these over the partitions and you will control the sound in your concrete room to a point that spending 1500 on a solution for your problem will become a thing of the past. This will all cost you less than $300 and probably less than $200. Duct-tape the corners together for rigidity and dont make 90degree corners. Experiment with the sound and the arrangement of the barriers.

    Got an open basement ceiling? Floor joists showing and no insulation? Cedar roofing shakes. Cut to fit and build a box pattern over an area where you sing or the drums are sitting. Space the cedar at 4 to 6 inch intervals down each run of floor joists. Dont make them all the same interval for a bit more control. If you're handy with a chop saw, you can do this in a few hours and spend a hundred bucks. Form fit all the cedar shakes. No need for nails if you're accurate or you can use carpenters glue on the edges when you slide the shakes in place.


    Look. Its really easy, due to the large amount of traffic about this stuff on the net, to think its all about the gear. Gear helps if its good gear and you know what it does and how to implement it into your recordings. But sound control, even the most basic as I have described to you here, is the MOST important element of getting pro sound out of ANY type of gear.

    Give me a Mackie board, 12 SM57's and some talent to record and a great room and we could make a great sounding record.

    Its all relative to the talent in the first place anyway.

    My opinion after hearing that track is you need to control your recording sound in a better way. You need to improve your placement skills and you need to know more about the recording process and your sound will flourish. When you get to a point after you have learned these things, is when spending big bucks on a small piece of gear will even be noticable.
     
  20. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I just thought I'd say, on the topic of mic position. One position that I've tried with my SM57 and had very good results with is this one...

    Place tip of mic at the very right edge of speaker but point the mic towards the center of the cone. The best part of this position is that you can experiment with different angles. The depth of the angle greatly affects the overall tonality. For instance, angle of zero (mic aimed dead on straight at the edge of the speaker will have dulled highs and 'scooped' mids sound. See first example below.

    Mic pointed at the center will have the lows of the edge position but the HF definition of the center of the cone. See example two below.

    And any angle in between results with a tone obviously somewhere in between. Definitely a versatile and sweet sounding tool.

    Such as...

    Mica.png

    Mic.png

    ...not everyone has maps?
     

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