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Hey everyone, I was just wondering, when you're recording electric guitar and you're pointing say a 57 and another mic straight at your amp, and turning it up for that nice tube breakup, does the room really matter? Are they really sensitive enough to pick up room noise or ambiance at that volume level? This has something that I have always wondered. I can definitely hear it for vocals, or acoustic, or something like that, but not so much for electric


audiokid Sat, 11/27/2010 - 18:17

If you were using a sm57 and a Royer 121 or 122v, which produces a really excellent electric sound, the Royer is a figure 8 so it obviously picks up the room. I'd say yes for that sound but I suppose it depends on what sound you are going for.

The mix isn't the best here but the guitar sounds pretty nice. This is a open room (hard to tell what they have for treatment though... = they are using a 57 and a royer together.

EricIndecisive Sun, 11/28/2010 - 10:01

Very cool, thanks for that! I was like oh nice, maybe I'll pick up one of those Royers, until I google the price, and realize it costs more than all of my equipment haha.

Hmm, since I don't have a ribbon mic, would you say using a dynamic + condenser would be the best bet? But now I see... I guess for a lot of stuff I listen to with overproduced guitars that are very loud and upfront (like in most modern rock you hear on the radio now) they are not going for the same sound as here.

audiokid Sun, 11/28/2010 - 10:34

Not sure what you budget is but the R-101 is under a grand. Would be one of the best investment you could ever make, but then you need a good pre to drive it home. If your budget is low, go direct and use processing to get it. I use low impedance pickup and plug direct for a lot of stuff, sound killer.

Maybe you will win the ADL 600 and 75% of you problems are solved. Well... then you'll be hooked even more :)

FWIW, an sm57 will do it for you. Save your pennies from this point on and invest is good stuff piece by piece. You are asking the right questions.

Good Luck.

EricIndecisive Sun, 11/28/2010 - 21:42

Thanks, well right now my budget is $0 since I am looking for work haha. I do also play around with the direct in, it is a great way to get quick ideas of what I want to do with a song in the middle of the night when you can't really crank the amp. For some reason i still haven't gotten it to sound as good as some of my old mic'd amp guitar sounds though. I feel when you mic the amp it somehow naturally has a better place for vocals to sit in the mix, but I probably just don't know how to process my guitar rig 3 sounds as well.

And man would that be nice to win the ADL! I had the song written the day I read about the contest, and started a rough recording of it tonight. It's around 1:15, I hope that's still ok. But yeah, it's a never ending cycle! I have finally gotten rid of my GAS for guitars and now I just want to get money to move out, get a house, make a little studio, and keep doing my thing.

Voiceofallanger Mon, 11/29/2010 - 02:05

Alright mate!

Here's a good gameplan.. In my experience (Im a lead guitarist/singer before I am anything else in music).. The room does matter because I've tried recording in big rooms before and usually if this is the case I have to narrow it down into a "dead spot".. Which is a massive drag.. THIS SAID.. I am a ROCK guitarist so I am of course after a particular sound!

It's being really picky because you don't get masses of upset but I think sound engineering is all about being very picky so... yeah :D What I got told by a friend of mine who is a big producer in liverpool was.. If you're on a budget or don't have the room right now.. Shove a load of Bed sheeting/blankets into the corner of your room and face the amp into it..

Surprising how well it works .. If you just use a big room with no treatment or anything it's not SO bad if you are just using a 57 but if you throw the condenser in too I find the sound gets cloudy... It could be that I'm doing something horribly wrong in the first place because I have a lot to learn but before I had my new studio room <3 But then I learnt this little trick off my friend and it worked pretty well. I just don't like electric guitars to have ANY natural reverb on them at all.. I prefer to do the tuning of the sound after.

I think it may have to do with the fact that.. Yeah.. the difference you hear is not actually massive (with an SM and a condenser) so.. such a budget treatment can work when you're only dealing with such a small problem. I know that's not a very technical and thoughtful thing to say but on the whole it makes sense to me! I've also been told that if you do get problems with this and you don't have a good room to record in then it can be fixed with layering and cross panning which is something I'm yet to experiment with. I've used it before but never really taken note of the difference in a big room (because I've only been doing this stuff for 3 years and I have a loooooooooong way to go and much to learn from people and the members of this forum!)

I don't know what facility you have etc but this can work if you're not mega kitted out at the moment :)!!

So in short... Yeah.. I think it does matter.. As a guitarist I can certainly hear a difference. I know that really the volume should cover that but as far as I hear.. It doesn't.. I much prefer things a bit more dead before they hit the mixer. But as usual.. I am sure personal preference has it's place in all this. I'll just take any excuse to try and give an opinion and help.

Good luck with your guitars! :)

And good luck with the competition!!! :D

Davedog Mon, 11/29/2010 - 09:20

The main thing to focus on when you're using a room mic as well as a close mic is to find the spot in the room that your amp sounds like you'd like it to sound. This means playing your guitar with the amp set the way you want it and moving around the area you're recording in until it sounds good, Where ever you are standing at that moment, thats where you put the room mic.

Your ears dont lie. Put the mic at your ear short where you HEARD what you liked.

The close mic can then be moved around the speaker till you find where you like it also. You need to have an assistant do this for you and you need to be either in a control booth listening to the monitors or you need to be under phones listening while youre plaing and the assistant is moving the mic to different spots on the speaker.

The 'sweet spot' will be very evident in both cases.

EricIndecisive Mon, 11/29/2010 - 20:11

audiokid - Well, you're right on the money, since I am exactly 30 years younger than you haha. I definitely pay attention to people here, though I haven't posted a whole lot of my music, I really should do a 'when I first started' and 'where I'm at now' which pretty much all of the knowledge came from this place. It's like night and day. I owe this place a LOT!

voiceofallanger - Well to give you an idea of my facility, it has a bed in it, as well as my instruments, computer, a couple of windows and a poster! I will have to try the bed sheets in the corner thing to see. I checked out your youtube channel and I will definitely want to get that modern rock, in your face guitar for some of my songs. I agree, it's definitely a bit easier when things have less room verb, I wish I never ripped up the gross carpet that was in here... Thanks for the advice and good luck to you too!

Davedog - Thanks a lot, I spent some time doing that today, moving the stuff all over to try and find the right spot. Never thought about putting it where I stand! I think that I definitely found something that worked, at least for what I was working on. Good luck to you in the contest as well!

Voiceofallanger Tue, 11/30/2010 - 06:38

The sound on clips on my youtube channel are all DI. I did go for a modern rock kind of tone but they were lazy lazy recordings that I do when I'm bored.. I don't think I ever posted anything serious on there. Hell.. I even have a rap I did about gardening on that thing. :)

If you check my lost prophets one that I posted in the songs critique forum I actually used a mic on that one.. And in fact, I did actually throw a few blankets in the corner and point the amp at them to do that. Sounds like you started out with the same kinda stuff as me.. Something to bear in mind though too.. Your bed.. If you think about it... a mattress isn't too far off a bass trap ;)

It can work man.. I think the fun of all this whether you're experienced or not, kitted out or not is.. playing about with what you have and making the most of it.

Should sound cool if you just fiddle about but what Dave said was important as HELL too. If you put your ear by the amp.. That's obviously what's going to go into the mic too at that point so.. Find a good spot on the cone with your ears and then mic it up. Golden advice. Golden.