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I am having a hard time getting a good distortion recording out of my 4x12 cab. It seems like there is to much extra noise I cant get that nice warm,thick,defined distortion that you hear on pro recordings. I am using a sm57 with octopre preamps. Does anybody have any advice how to clean up my dist. problem. Can I clean it up with better eqin of compression.? Help :D


anonymous Thu, 08/11/2005 - 16:16

I also use a sennheiser e609 I have a few sm 57's and 58's.
I have been working with Crate Blue Voo Doo and a Marshall TSL100 Heads both have good sets of tubes in them. I am running a Ampeg 4x12 cab with 70 or 75 watt Celestions. Ive tried micing with both mics at the same time usally really close to the speakers.

anonymous Thu, 08/11/2005 - 19:28

This might be a "duh" comment, but for the sake of making sure...

Get your head down by the speaker. How does it sound? You might just need to roll off the treble a pinch. I get great rock guitar results with (in order of importance):

-A good guitar sound, listening where the mic is located, not standing up

-SM57 + decent mic pre, positioned flush with the speaker, about 2 inches off the cone, 2 inches back.

rock out


anonymous Thu, 08/11/2005 - 20:47

I mean about 2 inches off the left or right of the cone, and 2 inches off the front. It's only a rough guideline. Move it around though, mess with it, get YOUR sound, not mine.


p.s. if you're really hellbent on dialing in effects, a good way to put your guitar track on steroids is to apply a wide-bell EQ boost to the mid/upper-mid frequencies...possibly some low-ratio compression as well. Just my 2cents

anonymous Thu, 08/11/2005 - 22:15

I like the e609 (silver) over the 57's. It's a little brighter, great for distortion. (not the black though)

I notice a big difference between guitars too. You get what you pay for and you can hear the difference for sure. A cheap guitar will sound like crap on any amp.

Try adjusting your mids.. 8-)

Play the same thing twice and pan em opposite of each other. Makes a fuller sound, love that!

The Pod?

good luck! -matt

frob Fri, 08/12/2005 - 00:49

tune guitar, that sounds like a duh thing but if your after great distortion make sure its spot on and that your atonation is corect. if you dont know what im talking about take your guitar to a shop and have them set it up.

then play you amp in for about half an hour to an hour befor recording, turn it up so that it sound the way you want it to sound. then turn it down

grab one mic and move it slowly around the speaker untill you find the best spot hold it there and try to get it into a mic stand then turn it up and lay a track.

see how that sounds if it still sounds thin then take another mic the same distance from the speaker only a difrant speaker. if you have a good enuph room place a mic back farther. when adding the second or third mics make sure your whery of phasing. if your placing a mic back then make sure you nocloser then three times the distance away from the source then the other mic(s). take two and come see me in the morrning.

anonymous Fri, 08/12/2005 - 06:23

Sm57 up close like others have said and place a condenser further back in the room (watch for phase) and try to obey the 3:1 rule. Keep in mind 4x12 cabs are designed to PROJECT sound if you mic up close only you are missing a lot of the bigger picture of what that cab sounds like. If you have the chance get a 1x12 extension speaker or 2x12 cab and put your amp through that and mic it up close and you will see what I mean. A lot of the sound comes from "cabinet involvement" and resonance of that cabinet. A close mic alone isnt going to capture that at all. With a distance mic (you will have to play with the distance thing a bit cause you definitely dont want it to be so far away that it turns into a "room mic", only far away enough to let the sound develop more in the air before being captured) you get a fuller sound...the whole picture

anonymous Fri, 08/12/2005 - 09:01

I don't know if the same rules apply as in micing a 2x12... but I found that I like to use two different mics on the same speaker, pretty close together.

I use a mesa 2X12 with V30s, and mic with a beta 58, and also a Studio Projects B1 condensor. I am then able to mix in different levels of each track almost like an EQ, the low mids from the 58, and the higher end from the B1. I usually then double the track with the same mics, and pan left and right, keeping the two takes separated (like the 58 and B1 from take one on the left, and from take 2 on the right.)

I also tend to use a bit of limiting and bost the mids a bit when mixing. I've been pretty happy with my distorted guitar tones, and I think it'e because of using teh two mics.

anonymous Fri, 08/12/2005 - 15:10

jakep wrote: I am having a hard time getting a good distortion recording out of my 4x12 cab. It seems like there is to much extra noise I cant get that nice warm ,thick,defined distortion that you hear on pro recordings. I am using a sm57 with octopre preamps. Does anybody have any advice how to clean up my dist. problem. Can I clean it up with better eqin of compression.? Help :D

You might try turning the dist. down believe it or not. you have good mics and such, but to much noise is prolly to much dist. try it, you might be surprised.

anonymous Sat, 08/13/2005 - 09:50

always try one mic first. sure set up a few, but just do one at a time, then work with mixing multiples.

and yes, definitely make sure your guitars intonation is set correctly. you might have to change string guages, ive had problems with some guitars just not getting in tune with certain sets (my guitar uses a 52E, and its impossible to tune it because the saddle is all the way up). when you put on strings, stretch em, tune them all the way to standard tuning hten just do some medium pulls on them, retune, keep doing that until you can bend it a good 30 seconds and it doesnt go out of tune (use a tuner). with properly set strings and correct intonation (granted youve got tuners that hold and a good bridge) you should almost never go out of tune except for temperature changes and such. my guitar usually stays in tune after hours of playing.

for tone, the dead center of the cone is very sharp. capturing the wall of the speaker (on or off axis) will get a warmer tone. boost the mids more than you would normally sometimes helps. i usually keep my mid knob (on my supertramp) at 1 playing live, and crank it up to 10 when im recording, so i get a more full sound to work with.

you could also try plugging an EQ into the effects loop and gentally starting at 3k rolling it off to about -2dB@5k to -5dB@20k, or so, just to smooth the highs down. maybe less of a cut, but those should be enough for any EQing. post amp - pre cab eqing can do wonders at shaping the tone (wanting to get 2 boss EQs, 1 pre, 1 post, just for tone shaping).

use a warm compressor could work.

as someone said, turn the gain down. turn the extreme highs down (presence knob, or with an EQ) about 3/4 down or so. 5k-20k usually adds a lot of unnecessary overtones that just fuzz the signal up big time.

anonymous Sun, 08/14/2005 - 07:26

I once read an article about recording electrical guitar.
''If the guitarist isn't screaming for more distortion, your not going to capture that full broad sound''

Anyways, don't interpretate this into extreme levels.
Just put down the gain as low as you can stand it, leaving enough substain,etc for the song.

I usually record 4 takes:
1 take with normal distortion panned left
1 take with low distortion panned left
1 take with normal distortion panned right
1 take with low distortion panned right

I pan it very hard to the left and right and then I add ''Waves:Trueverb: Rock Guitar room'' to it.
I puts your guitar in a room and gives it a more natural sound.

Hope this tips will help...

anonymous Thu, 08/18/2005 - 14:02

i was never able to capture good sounding distortion until i got my 7th circle pre amps. but the last recording i did i used a sm57 and a d112 into my a12 pres and then mixed. i put a high pass at about 100hz and did some small eq cuts at about 3-400 hz and i had a bit too much 3.5khz so i cut a tad bit there. i also compressed it using the bombfactory bf76 compressor and hard panned 2 takes L & R.

The guitars were sounding huge. i'll post some samples up when were done mixing later this week.

oh btw. on the Left side we recorded using a mesa boogie triple rectifier and on the right we recorded using a marshall 2x12 combo amp. (not sure what model)

but the combo of those two amps sounded great.