Recording with small amplifier?? PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by DRIVENBYHOSTILITY12, Feb 22, 2011.



    Feb 22, 2011
    Ok, well I was recording guitar tracks today for over 6 hours with a Shure SM57 mic, placed right between the center of the speaker, and the outside edge. I was miking my Line 6 Spider IV 150W Halfstack, and recording into a Tascam DP-004. The guitar I was using was a Gibson Les Paul Studio. I wondering though...could I get a better sound out of my smaller Line 6 Spider III 75W 1X12 Amp?? Should I record at a lower volume?? And I've also heard things about putting blankets over the amp to improve the sound..what should I do here? I really could use some help, I'm doing a demo for my band, and I need to get the best guitar tone possible with the gear I have.

    (I'm recording metal music, and I'm in Drop B Tuning)
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You could certainly try using the other amp.

    You gave a lot of information except what the sound you're getting is like and what you are striving for and unable to attain.

    One secret.....(nothings a REAL secret on the internet) to getting good distorted guitar sounds is backing off the distortion on the amp. Sometimes turning it down can help especially if you're really distorting the mic diaphram. While I dont think thats possible with a 57 you never know.

    You have to pay strict attention to the input on the recorder. If its getting a lot of red peaks then you're too loud for it. Getting a great sound isnt as easy as it might seem.

    Perhaps you let us know just how your sound is being affected and there can be more discussion on this.


    Feb 22, 2011
    Well the tone I'm getting is a little muddy, and I did back off on the distortion, and added a little more bass (and I scooped the mids) It is death metal I'm recording, so I'm looking for a pretty heavy, and rich sound.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Boosting the bass= muddy tone in MANY instances.
    You should be striving to get a good sound that mixes well with the rest of the band. Too much low end can and will build up
    with the rest of the band and will result in MUSH. What can sound good by itself can be crap in the mix. And what can sound thin by itself may very well fit in the mix MUCH better.
    Blankets are good to keep a loud amp under some control, volume-wise. This can aid in preventing the amp from "bleeding into" the other mics (drums and vocals, for instance). Personally, I avoid mic'ing the center of a speaker simply because it sounds harsh and brittle to my ears, but that's just me. Also, as Dave alluded to, a smaller single-speaker amp can actually sound better in your situation. The sound can be more focused, and there will probably be less sound bouncing around the room to create undesireable "standing waves". Just a thought or two...


    Feb 22, 2011
    Okay, I recorded with the small amp, three separate guitar tracks (one panned left, right, center..) It sounds great. But I'm now presented with a new problem. My drummer's snare sounds pretty annoying. Is there anything I can do in Cakewalk Music Editor to fix the drum sound? What effects other than reverb would make the drums sound better? I miked the drums with one Shure SM57, about 4 feet from the snare, and it was in line with the bass drum. So I guess I'm looking for some good drum effects I could use while editing. Any responses right now are really appreciated.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    You close mic snares. If you choose to use a pair of overheads to mic the whole kit that can work. A M/S stereo pair works better out front for a minimal approach.

    What specifically is "annoying" about the snare? Washed out? Not crisp? In need of drum tuning?
  7. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Birkenhead, UK
    I hope you're not trying to mic a whole kit with just one SM57... that's not going to work out well for you.
  8. Carlson

    Carlson Active Member

    Mar 16, 2011

    I'm sure you figured out your problems by now, but I figured I would offer some info to help you avoid these problems again in the future.

    Using a smaller amp to get a good metal sounding guitar can work wonders on your tone. A smaller amp isn't going to shove so much energy into your mic. Rather it's going to give just enough of the sound you want. As Moonbaby said before, using a blanket is more for keeping the amp your recording from going into other mics, and to sort of isolate the mic from picking up room reflection, which would be a bigger problem with a bigger amp. If you have the amp on the floor, this may also be accounting for some muddiness being introduced. The low end freqs are spilling out and building up around the bottom of the amp where it meets the floor. So if your amp is small, try to keep the mic closer to the top where the highs are.

    Your snare issue:
    If it's not a problem with the level you're getting, and it's more like a ring that is making it annoying, then some eq work might be in order. Of course theres always tuning, mic placement and dampening that can be done to avoid excessive eq. A good tip I received was to use an X/Y overhead set up, focussed mainly over the snare. Remember, the snare, kick and hi-hat are the three most important parts to any drum sound, and sometimes the ride. Cymbals are mainly for accenting. Anyways, so you get your pickup from the snare mic, but with the overhead picking up the snare also, you can mix that into it and have some more control over the sound.

    If it's still annoying, experiment with gaffer's tape, dampening rings or eq work. With the eq, you would take the recorded snare and "sweep" the eq frequencies until the annoying part of it is more present. Usually it's a ring. Once you find that frequency, you can eliminate it or mask it.
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