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I have a 57 mic and was thinking of getting a MD421 to but on outside of cone to get best of both workd straight on and off center. Still though. do they compress the sh*t out of the tracks? how do they EQ them. I just can't get a clear up front sound.

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moonbaby Mon, 03/12/2007 - 11:19

2 mics that close together are probably going to make matters worse. Added to that is the fact that there are many other factors besides the make of the mic that contribute to the sound, most noticeably the amp and the room, not to mention the player. If you're using a bigass stack in a smaller room, good luck. You will have much better luck cranking the crap out of a smaller amp and letting the rig "breathe" in the room.

moonbaby Mon, 03/12/2007 - 14:24

You posted a comment on the guitar and bass forum here, indicating that you are using a Marshall JC800, an amp in my arsenal, though not my fave. Do you know if yours has 6550 power tubes or EL34's? Marshall changed these during that amps heydays. If you have EL34's, try dropping the channel gain a bit so that there is less "phizz", and then push the master. This will yield more harmonic distortion from the output tubes saturating the output transformer, always a smoother sound. If you have 6550's, diregard that, they're too clean until pushed to the max. They also tend to respond to the Presence control in a brighter manner, play with that. Have you made an "amp tent" out of blankets to contain the sound in the room? Once again , a raw 800 is too loud in and of itself in your typical house scenario, a tent can help. And finally, some JCM800's have a "series" effects loop on the rear panel that will let you use the "return" jack as a line input from a POD. This can also be an alternative for you....

Davedog Mon, 03/12/2007 - 16:58

I feel the need to step in here and reiterate an answer that has been used many times here.(Do a Search)... Compression of a severly distorted signal is not going to make it any better. Its already got the "shit compressed out of it"...You also mention a clear signal at the end. This has very much to do with the amount of distortion youre using. Its amazing how much you DONT need to make it sound distorted.

I've owned two of these amps and while one of them WAS and still is my favorite amp (why did I sell it then???? :roll: ) and theres one in the collection of my bands equipment, I wouldnt call these a GREAT amp for metal. Hard Rock....ABSOLUTELY! But theres that hi-gain input thing that goes with getting that serious metal noise happening, and a JCM800 just doesnt have that kind of gain stage.

Of course you may be talking some sub-genre of metal that needs exactly that sound so what I think would be a moot point...... :wink:

Heres a couple of things that may help.

1. Use a smaller amp.(already mentioned) Turn it up till it sounds full in the room and then back it off just a smidge.

2. Barring having another amp, try to get a single speaker enclosure to work. Especially if you are in a small room.

3. Barring having this option, isolate the head from the cabinet. Its unreal how much mechanical distortion you get from the head sitting on the cabinet and the vibrations from the cabinet causing the tubes to vibrate. If this sounds farfetched and 'davedog must be out-da-mind, try it....

4. Use less distortion than it seems like it should have.

5. Buy an Engl amp.

anonymous Tue, 03/13/2007 - 00:54

If you have EL34's, try dropping the channel gain a bit so that there is less "phizz", and then push the master. This will yield more harmonic distortion from the output tubes saturating the output transformer, always a smoother sound. If you have 6550's, diregard that, they're too clean until pushed to the max. They also tend to respond to the Presence control in a brighter manner,
play with that

They do have EL34 and I was thinking of placing 6550 in there funnily enough. So your saying for 6550 tubes to push the gain up and use presence for brightness?

I wouldnt call these a GREAT amp for metal. Hard Rock....ABSOLUTELY! But theres that hi-gain input thing that goes with getting that serious metal noise happening, and a JCM800 just doesnt have that kind of gain stage.

Davedog I hear you! But with a OD in front Keeley modded SD-1 it sounds pure metal to me. I also play mid gain stuff ACDC on stewroids stuff. Zakk is a good example of 800 doing metal. Your suggestions are great though. I use a 4X12 an a hot plate. Amp sounds thicker on HP -8 and MV on 4. Never used a blanket and room could be a problem. Do I just throw a blanket over cab?

I also have a TSL100 maybe I sould use this in 25watt mode but when I do clips it sounds a bit thinner and metallic.

Maybe I should up load some clips to a link? Sometimes I hear these clips that just sound so much better. Upfront in face.
Upfront like these clips different amp but up front.

fromwithin Tue, 03/13/2007 - 02:05

i agree with a ton of the above =) i honestly feel the only way to record good guitar tone is to get good guitar tone from your setup first. my friends have various guitar heads (my fav. to record being a bogner ubershall) after that a 57 placed decently (or a 58 sometimes) on a smaller cab (we like to use a genz benz 2x12 for heavier stuff hehe) should produce a good guitar tone as long as you dial it in right. and yes, rule #1 one (especially for metalcore/death/etc.) should be start with less gain, its the only way you'll have clarity!

Davedog Tue, 03/13/2007 - 17:22

keano wrote: Single cab is a good idea too if that helps. Is it possible to get a single 1x12 that a marshall head can go into?

If I do this I won't lose any largness?

Not really. Think about the area a 57 in a close micing situation is picking up.

Now before anyone else thinks "Davedog, you've really lost it this time...." I realize that there are a LOT more factors involved than the half-dollar sized part of the speaker that the 57 is getting ALL of the frequencies from, and these do make a difference. Just not that much.

Size isnt one of them.

One thing a single speaker doesnt do is cause phase anomolies like a multi speaker'd cabinet can.

IF you are in a tight, well tuned room, these things dont come into play as much as in an acoutically challenged room.

anonymous Wed, 03/14/2007 - 21:28

keano wrote: ...Never used a blanket and room could be a problem. Do I just throw a blanket over cab?...

Be careful. When I was 15 yrs old I caught a blanket on fire by covering an amp. I didn't notice the smoke cause there was already too much smoke in the room. :wink: Hey, what can I say, it was the 70's.

Anyway, I realize you said "over cab" and not the head, so it would probably be fine.

I suspect the earlier post refered to a tent because you want to give the cab a little room to breath.


moonbaby Thu, 03/15/2007 - 06:40

Exactly. And KT88's and 6550's are both more "hi-fi" sounding tubes, with more headroom and wider frequency response. I wouldn't really look at changing them out unless you have a tech who knows how to bias them correctly. Many players out there feel that when Marshall (actually, it was Unicord, their distributor in the States) changed the output tubes from EL34s to 6550s, they screwed up the sound. They did this in an attempt to make the amps "more reliable". Anyway, some metal players favored the extended low end and power from the 6550s, but over time, I believe that attitude has faded. I'd suggest that you start off with what DD mentioned. And, yes, there are many 1x12 cabs out there. Weber, Avatar, and others offer them.

BobRogers Thu, 03/15/2007 - 06:52

Remember, what you perceive as "thickness" is not necessarily what a 57 is going to pick up as thickness. You may like the way a Marshall stack makes your pants flutter, but a 57 doesn't have any pants. You are sensing vibrations with your whole body not just picking up with your ears. That's why I partially disagree with the comment above about "start with good guitar tone from your setup." For me, getting a good live rock tone from an amp means the right "whole body" experience. A recorded tone (or the signal you send to the PA for sound reinforcement) is a one dimensional sample of that experience. Getting the whole experience right (which usually means a lot of volume and multi directional vibrations) can interfere with getting the best one-dimensional sample. Note how all the advice above suggests focusing the sound down to the point of the mic - fewer speakers, less distortion, lower volume, less interaction with the room. The goal is to put the best sound possible in a 1 inch mic capsule, not to create the best human experience. (That comes later when the mixed sound comes out of the stereo speakers.)

anonymous Sat, 05/17/2008 - 00:19

getting a big metal guitar sound

There are a few components to getting a big guitar sound in Metal of any genre:
-Doubles, they must be dead on, scrutinize them! Most likely you will have to record your songs in sections to get it tight. Doesn't matter how good your artist is.
-tracking with a di signal helps for editing later on
-for tone I like to stick with close miking. 57's work most of the time. If you want to get creative try senn 409's or 421's...this is standard.
- I've been using a Krank Revolution 100W with a Mesa 4/12 cab. I mic both the Revolution and the Mesa and blend these two tones together, with lots of gain, but not too much so things dont get cloudy and undefinable.
-You could also try routing a POD into the mix and blend it into whatever amp your using...
-Listen for fat low end and definable mids...

anonymous Sun, 05/18/2008 - 11:52

One thing that hasn't been mentioned...

If you're recording to digital, you can copy the track, pan one hard L, the other, hard R and delay one by a few milleseconds. Play the amount of time until you get a big fat tone. It has to do with the 2 waveforms being in or out of phase with one another. If they're way out of phase the tone will get thinner.

DRDLKS Thu, 05/22/2008 - 13:38

If you want clear crunchy guitars. You need to use as little gain as you can. All you will do is record a pissy "DISTORTED" sound that you wont be happy with.

Drop all the gain out of the amp. Crank it up. Get your tones set up real nice. Then let the speakers break up. This is what "distortion" is doing anyway. So let it happen natuaraly. Add in a little gain to beef it up but not too much. LESS IS MORE!


sammyg Fri, 06/06/2008 - 23:23

I found this on the net posted by Colin Richardson. May be handy, he knows how to get a gtr sound or 2!

I usually find when mixing that i nearly always put a stereo Massenberg GML 8200 EQ across the rhythm guitars, if the sound has been recorded cleanly ie no strange fizz or bottom end boom, then the same type of frequencies tend to be boosted on most of my mixes. Frequency wise it's usually around
8-10 khz for the air 4-6 khz for the bite area, usually 1.5 khz for the in your face effect, 400hz for the note of the guitar, and around 70-100 hz to pick out the weight of the cab.The boost amount just depends on what has been recorded, just turn it till it sounds good. This method has worked on many albums i have worked on including Heartwork Carcass, Burn my eyes Machine Head, Chimaira self titled, Bullet for my valentine, The Poison.

Davedog Sat, 06/07/2008 - 13:40

I really like the frequencies being to most of us having a George Massenburg mastering EQ just laying around.....well, at a shade over 5K its probably not going to happen. But the use of the frequencies with any good digital EQ program can be sweet .

Notice also the ' recorded cleanly with no strange fizz or bottom end boom' point.

Kinda says it all.


Earlier there was a post mentioning speaker breakup. This is why I reiterate a small amp with properly matched speaker(s)......Its amazing how much krank and drive you can get from a 5 or 10 watt tube head with a great gain stage.

BrianaW Sat, 06/07/2008 - 19:03

What a great thread! I'm learning a lot. :) Just more input...
A lot of times I use a tiny little 10" speaker in a small sealed cab close mic'd with an Audix i5. The i5 actually has what I perceive to be a pretty good sound for micing small amps. It has a bump in the low end that gives the guitar more body and the highs are tight and crisp. I do use 57's too, but I have been liking the i5 for guitars a lot lately, which is weird because it's mostly marketed as a snare mic, and I like the 57's on the snare better. Just another suggestion in the pile. :)

I also read somewhere that Smashing Pumpkins got their guitar sound by layering chords. For example, do the low strings, double them, and then record high string doubles over that... kinda like a Barre Chord. This probably wouldn't be the route for Metal, but it's another idea to toy around with.

As far as I know, less gain more tracks seems to get that larger sound... like an army of shredding guitars. As someone already mentioned, just make sure all layers are meticulously timed to perfection.

anonymous Sat, 06/07/2008 - 20:37

If I might give some suggestions... I find that it doesn't really matter how much distortion you have, the important thing there is EQ. I hope you own a good analog 10 band or something along those lines. If you really listen to the metal tracks, you'll find that the guitars really have minimal low end, and no subs. If you want your guitar to sound up front, the first step is cleaning out any mud in the sound, so that means: take out the sub frequencies, run your lows so you can barely hear them, carefully adjust the mids; I'd say lower 300-450, and carefully start boosting 500-900, and turn up 1,000-3,000 until you can really hear a difference. 4,000-7,000 are pretty nasal frequencies, but can be useful with beefy humbuckers and a fuzzy amp, and boosting 8,000+ tends to add sparkle and sizzle, so adjust that to taste, although the guitars on metal records seem to not boost the really high frequencies very much if any at all. That's where you should start.

I'd say toss the SM57; Shure's are quite dark sounding, and unless you want to sound like James what's-his-name during Metallica's mid scoop phase, I'd suggest picking up a more commonly used metal mic. like a Sennheiser e609. When micing, keep the mics right up against your cab, heck, tape 'em there if you can, and aim so the mic face is about halfway across the cone. The further you back the mic away from the cab, the more distant your guitar will sound. Instead of using two mics, I'd suggest doing two separate takes of the exact same thing, one through the bridge pu and one through the neck pu, and then panning them hard left and right, maybe R93 L87 or something like that.

And I agree with everyone else that trying to record with a 4x12 is bad idea. I'd say invest in a Rocktron velocity cabinet: those things really sound fantastic and let you crank your power tubes and really drive the speaker.

I hope some of these suggestions are helpful; they're just what I've learned form my DIY experience so far. Good luck.


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