More amp micing questions



I need some simple advice since I'm just recording in my basement.

1. Micing Noisy amps

2. Getting a full thick tone from a room (traps, materials, etc) and a solid state marshall w/ 4x12 cab

Don't take this like I'm asking you to tell me how to record. I know how to record, but I'm lacking some little tricks that some of you guys probably know.

I'm using samson c01 condensor mics (decent quality for a such a cheap mic), and sm57's.

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2002
77 Sunset Lane.
I always use noise gates on noisy amps. I am not sure what you mean by "getting full thick tone from a room", but I will assume that you are asking how to get a good room sound through the mics and my answer to that is you can't get a good sound from a bad sounding room. I also don't personally believe that small rooms with low ceilings can[/] be made to sound good. many will disagree with me and I have learned to accept that. But IMO small rooms sound like crap. For recording and listening. You can put up treatments that will help considerably, absorption and bass traps. A large diaphragm condenser would also probably help with your tone but once again if the room doesn’t sound very good I would stay on the amp with the 57 to minimize the room sound and employ a good eq (not Mackie or anything like that).


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2003
Breezes, if you use a gate while tracking, be careful to set the threshold as low as possible, and don't have the release set too quick. If you are having problems with the room sound in your mics, then you may consider gobos. Gobos are typically acoustic panels designed to absorb sound in order to decrease the reverberance of the room. In a budget situation, you can use blankets, or carpet, or curtains, or foam. Even fibreglass. I would place these on either side of the amp until the room tone subsided enough in your mic. If you have a vocal booth, you could even try it in there.
Once you have done this, you should solo the guitar and listen. Move the mic around, andor change mics until you get the sound you want.
If you want thick sounding tracks, leave all your settings the same and have the guitarist play two takes to play side by side, pan these l
to suit your taste.
Also, I have never been a fan of solid state amps, and if you want a rippin tone, you should consider borrowing something else. Soldano, mesa-boogie, hiwatt, or even marshalls, if it has tubes.
Finally if you still think you could have better tone, take a look at the pickups on the guitar and how they are set up. Also the guage of strings being used is crucial. Little changes can make big differences!


Usely it's not the amp that's noisy, but what you put into it.
What are you recording to, a tapemachine or a DAW?

In case it's the latter, you don't have to use any noise gate because you can edit the noise away.

I would never use a noise gate while tracking and if I would use it while tracking, then only in the monitor path.

You simply record the amp with all its noise and either you edit it away, or in case of the tape machine you use a noise gate when mixing.

When the room doesn't sound good, put your 57 close to the speaker and make your roomsound with a decent reverb. Even an inexpensive box like a Lexicon MPX 100 or 110 will make your sound better than a bad room (bathroom? :D )

Peace, Han