Guitar Sound v. Micing Technique

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by DandalphTheGreat, Jan 13, 2006.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. I'm trying to get a GREAT metal guitar sound with the equipment i've got. The problem i'm having is the sound i record is somewhat muddy and not "tight." I'm not sure if my problem is the guitar tone i have now(which sounds great in my basement where we're recording) or the mic placement.

    I'm using a Yamaha AW16G to record with and a SM57 on axis with the upper left cone of my Marshal cab.

    My equipment is:
    Marshall AVT 150 Head
    2 4x12 Cabs
    Stageworks 15-band EQ
    Digitech Metal Master Pedal
    Washburn Dime 333 with Dimebucker pick-ups

    Can anybody give me pointers on making my sound much more tight, crisp, and professional?
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    No mic placement will help a bad sound.

    One thing for sure - If you're looking for "tight" and "metal" in the same paragraph - 90% of "problem" metal sounds I encounter are *fuzzy* and loose - not *crunchy* and tight.

    First thing - See how LOW you can get your gain and turn the mids UP. You can always scoop a bit out later. Get a guitar sound that sounds good as a guitar sound - Not one that sounds like a guitar sound that's been mixed, mastered, smashed through radio compressors and heard through stereo speakers.

    And get your ear in there (safely, of course). Don't listen to the room - Listen to the speaker - Not even the speakerS - Just the one that the mix is going in front of. Hear what the mic is going to hear.

    If it doesn't sound "pleasant" (i.e. "not irritating" even after long periods at reasonable levels) to your ear, it certainly isn't going to sound good to a microphone.

    (EDIT) Holy cow - I didn't notice the equipment list - My suggestion assumes that you're using the head and the cabinet. I don't think a truly great tone would be attainable with the other stuff in the chain (the Digitech or the EQ's). Get back to basics and find the tone. (/EDIT)
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Common mistakes are: 1. too much bass 2. not enough mids (turn the scoop button off) 3. too much gain 4. using a solidstate Marshall :lol:
    Once you get a sound where you can hear the notes and the grind, not just the chuggachug and the fizz, then try messing with your micing technique. Often times I like to point the mic capsule parallel with the speaker cone. Seems to sound more defined without being harsh. Keep the end of the mic in front of the middle of the speaker, but just rotate it so that it points directly at the cone instead of that center dome. Use your ears to find the best spot here. Also try moving the mic farther vs. closer (too close will often have too much bass from proximity effect).
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Dont tell me you're using BOTH cabinets while micing only ONE speaker. This tells me your gain in the room itself is way up there and while you may not understand 'nodes' and flutter echoes at this point, believe me when I tell you that TOO MUCH VOLUME in a room adds to MUDDINESS.

    A lot of guys think if it aint loud it aint metal. Your recorder knows when its become 'oversaturated' and will let you know about it on playback. Most metal mistakes come in the form of too much bass in the amp, not enough midrange, too much volume, and too much overdrive. Its amazing how 'metally' things sound when they're backed off and cleared up. You'll notice the use of the word CLEAR as opposed to 'CLEAN'...

    And get that mic off axis...If you're pointing a 57 right at the center of the cone you'll never achieve punch and clarity. And get the rest of that junk out of the chain. It should look like this.....AMP-->MIC-->RECORDER.

    Unless you have a great room, incredible high-end compressors and outboard gear, years and years of experience and knowledge, you need to keep-it-simple-stupid.

    Do these things and try again.
  5. 8th_note

    8th_note Guest

    Here's a link to the best information that I've seen on recording distorted electric guitar. It's entertaining reading but the real lesson is how much work it takes to get a pro sound.

  6. mEnZI1

    mEnZI1 Guest

    I think if you heard the sounds great but micing is not,
    I have to tell you it's happens normally. mics is not
    ears, we must use some technique to make sounds
    just like what we heard form the amps, or surpass it!
    this is why some engineers use a lot of
    mics to recording only one or two amps.
    one mic aways make the sounds bad....

    If you have two mic, I think you can use this way :

    on with a earphone which is connect to a mic,
    tune on the amp, your amp will emit a sound like "hum",
    take the mic point to it and move your body,
    listen to the "hum" form your phone
    the position where your heard the "hum"sounds from the phone just like the "hum" form your amps, it is the position where the micing sounds
    most like the amps. you can root a mic there(the position normally near the amp and on axis), and then, take another mic to where distance the amp 0.5-1 meters.recording and mixing the two tracks to one (do some EQ or compress each one ), it's done!

    I'm sorry about my bad English!
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