Recording Distortion

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Desk941, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Desk941

    Desk941 Guest

    My band recently recorded an album. I used my fender deluxe 2-12 with a tonebone hot british distortion pedal. I really like this sound and to me, it sounds just like a marshall. Now, I spent a lot of time finding that right tone, however when it is recorded, the sound is very different. On certain tracks it sounds very boxy and at other times it does not have that crunchy gain. I used 4 SM57 mics to my amp and placed it in different locations around the amp. I do recall that the sound did sound good in those positions.

    My questions are: What mic do you suggest captures the best distortion and guitar sound? What room captures the best sound? How can I get rid of that BOXY sound the next time I record? How can I get that radio friendly recording sound? The overall sound that I like the most is one that is radio friendly.

    This topic is very broad. I know it can lead to other details. Thanks in advance.
  2. skinsincyn

    skinsincyn Guest

    did you check the phase of the different mics? 4 mics in "different locations" are almost certainly going to cause comb-filtering unless you were REALLY careful with your placement.

    if the mics were 3 feet or more apart, then this affect will be less destructive. But, if their distances vary by inches, you'll hear some serious degradation.

    Just flipping the phase button on your preamp, or in your software won't solve the problem either. The wave forms are rarely 180 degrees apart.

    you'll need to look at the waveforms and drag the later signals up so they begin at exactly the same moment. Or, reposition the mics until they sound right to your ears.
  3. Desk941

    Desk941 Guest

    thank you for your response.

    AS you can see, I am a total novice at recording. I had the mind set of the more mics, the more sounds can be caught, the better it will sound.

    Thanks. Do you know of any MICS that are good for recording distortion besides the Audix 15 and SM57?

  4. skinsincyn

    skinsincyn Guest

    I ALWAYS set up 2-5 mics when I record guitar amps. I NEVER use them all.

    Get the best sound that you can out of the 57 before you set up another mic. Start 1 inch from the center of the cone facing head-on. Move it out towards the edge of the speaker at 1/2 inch increments while maintaining the 1-inch/head-on distance.

    If you don't find the sound your looking for, repeat the entire process 3 inches from the speaker (you won't believe what a difference this 2 inch change in distance will make in the tone!).

    Keep moving the mic 1-3 inches further away until you get it. Also, you should repeat the WHOLE thing over with the mic at a 45 degree angle (or 15, 60, 90, 115 degrees - whatever it takes!).

    This is a tedious, but educational process. Once you go through it a few times, you'll be able to find the sound you need much easier.

    As far as other mics go, I really can't recommend anything without hearing your sound myself. But a 57 is a great place to start!

    I would avoid adding more mics until you've got the best sound you can from just one.

    Good luck!
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    That's definitely the way to start. Your statement about it being "boxy-sounding" does appear to be a phase issue. "Less is more" is definitely the rule in this situation. Also, what monitors are you using when you track and mix? I have noticed a great difference in how a crunched guitar sounds through different playback systems. It's very important that what you end up laying down translates well through other systems...And if you can't get a 57 to do it... :roll:

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