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Metal Mic Positioning! HELP!

Hello all. This is my first official post. Yep, another newbie. Anyway, I know this a loaded question but I have to ask anyway. I've read a lot of professional advice on here so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm struggling with capturing my amps true character when I record. Just to let you know what my chain consists of,,,,ESP MII with Duncan SH6's in the bridge and PAF's in the neck position - 5150 ll - BBE 362 in the loop - into a Marshall 4X12 loaded with G12T-75's. I use an SM57 into a Behringer XENYX 1002FX Mixer/Pre into a MAudio Delta 44 sound card. I'm not even at the sound card yet in the chain though. I'm trying to get my tone down before it reaches that. I've tried pushing the mic right up to the grill cloth in the center of the cone, off center, between the cone and the speakers edge, etc. Anyone have any suggestions? I play metal and want to capture the grind and low end chug this amp is very capable of producing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/22/2006 - 02:22
To take a wild guess at it I'd say the behringer pre's are probably a very weak link in your chain.
You could benefit from a better preamp.

However, I'll try to cover your problem as simply as possible...

To begin with -
the problem you are experiencing is WHY Recording Engineers exist and still have jobs !!
If it was so easy to capture the "true essence" and tonal qualities of voices, instruments and amps
or desired sounds with just an sm57 and some tracking software, anyone could do it and RE's
would be unemployed!

to understand why your recording sounds different than it does to you listening to your
amp in a room, you have to understand that the inch diameter microphone diaphragm on that sm57 becomes
"your ear" in your recording. It is like just one of your ears up tight against that grill... so at that
diaphragm is where you have to dial in your desired sound. What your amp sounds like 10 feet away
is different than what it sounds like an inch away. What sounds good at 10 feet may sound shitty
at an inch from the cone and vice versa. Even your individual speakers in the cabinet will sound
different than the others in that cabinet. Just listening to your amp you're hearing the sound
with 2 ears, sinus cavities and bone vibrations and the mic is just a single "ear".

Want more air and room, move the mic back, less air and room, move the mic closer to the source.

Once you dial in that sound on your amp and hear it on your monitors, try mixing AT LEAST 4
of your guitar tracks together to fatten up the sound. Keep in mind that frequencies will have to
be cut to make room for other instruments and vocals. Also, what sounds good on its own may
not sound good in the final mix with the rest of the instruments and vocals.
I would also use a Waves C4 Compressor plugin and even some EQ in your tracking software to keep
control on your low end and other frequencies.

Other than that... EXPERIMENT! try and try again!
Listen, Re-Adjust your settings on the amp and software, Listen again, get Frustrated, then repeat
that sequence almost indefinitely until you have the sound you want coming out of your
monitors and appearing in your mix (and you'll Learn along the way)!

Write down ALL your settings and take a picture so you can set it up again in the future.

Kyro Studios

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/22/2006 - 11:42
I'll take all your advice to heart. Thanks for taking the time to offer your assistance. I've previously multitracked and stacked tracks for a fuller tone but until recently, I've recorded everything direct and as you know, that's a completely different world than miking. When I started miking, I started having problems with capturing my tone so I'll definately look into your suggestions. Any small 2 to 6 channel mixers you'd recomend? Thanks again.