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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
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Cab micing ... how different is your playing eq versus your recording eq?

from the quick 15 minute recording i did too nights ago with my new SM57 ... it was muddy as hell. i'm thinking rolling off bass is the #1 place to start.

how much does your amp comfiguration change between live or jamming and recording?
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:26 PM   #2
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These days, not at all. I've simply gotten used to playing with a tone that sounds "right" through a microphone so that I'm cool with hearing it in the room too.

Muddy as hell, you say though? I suspect mic position may have a lot to do with this. Where are you placing it?

By the way, props for taking the plunge, there's nothing like a well-mic'd cab for capturing a guitar tone, and while the learning curve is a bit steep it pays off many times over.

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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:31 PM   #3
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drew, i'm at least relieved to here there's a learning curve. i was inspired by your pickup recording tests ... for something that sounded like a quick setup your sound was awesome. was your amp cranked? i was confused by this statement ...

"Extreme poweramp mode with the master at like maybe 1."

is extreme poweramp mode a feature of a nomad? what exactly is that/does that mean? are your powertubes being pushed or not ... with the vol being at 1 and all. i read over and over that the head has to be pushing some serious loud levels to get the best tone. and the drummer and bassist kept saying you need to turn it down to record it. back in the early 90's when we recorded in studios i remember the amp being cranked in the iso room ... but it was a crappy solidstate amp. back then, i could care less for the sound engineering stuff.

and i think i'm in the way of the bass guitar anyways ... plus i'm tuned to G which doesn't help. my baritone handles it well live though ... but i'm probably stomping all over the basses freq's (i bought a cab that can handle the lows)

oh ...

and i tried on-axis, slight off-axis and off-axis ... all with the amp master vol on like 7 and the mic almost touching the cloth.

Last edited by skattabrain; 10-20-2006 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:36 PM   #4
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Thanks dude! It was just a quick "put the mic slightly off center and rock" clip.

The Nomad-45 has two poweramp modes, "Normal" and "Extreme." I go back and forth over which I prefer, normal's a bit spongier, while extreme's bassier and edgier. Basicaly, it has something to do with the way negative feedback affects the poweramp, I think - Extreme strips away negative feedback and pushes the tubes a bit harder, I think.

The Master was in fact on one - the amp wasn't exactly dead quiet, but you wouldn't have to raise your voice too far to be heard over it. Most Mesas are pretty forgiving about output volume, however.

Mic positioning... Lot going on here. First off, there's the placement of the mic with respect to the coil. I'll post this then pop into MS Paint to do a quick cheesy graphic for you.

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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:38 PM   #5
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so volume being cranked is over-rated? good ... but overrated maybe?

starting tonight i'll do a pic/clip story and post it

Last edited by skattabrain; 10-20-2006 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:43 PM   #6
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Nah, for most tube amps, volume is crucial. You can get decent tones at lower volumes from a lot of them, but part of the reason I love Mesa so much is they do smooth, saturated lead sounds at bedroom volumes.

Ok, your speaker:



Basically, if your tone is too "muddy," my guess is you're micing the edge of the cone. As you move towards the center of the cone and towards the magnet, you get WAY more treble into your sound, and you get brighter and edgier, with less dominant bass. The clips I posted were recorded with a mic just off to the side of the speaker magnet - probably slightly too close, but I was working quickly.
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #7
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cool ... i had the mic along the seem between magnet and cone then. also tried it dead center of the magnet.

was the mic positioned liek this ... | or like this /
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:51 PM   #8
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Next, proximity effect:



Basically, for some reason that I can't explain off the top of my head, microphones produce a bit more bass when they're right up against the sound source than when they're back a bit. from an inch or two back up until you're pressing against the cloth, you get a noticeable low-end hump. The typical "close mic'd sound" is a mic basically right up on the grille, but if you're having trouble with too much low end in your sound, one thing certainly worth trying is to back it off a little bit. This will make your tone a little "rounder" which may or may not be advantageous.

I think the clip I posted was on-axis (i.e - | instead of \). I can't actually describe what micing off axis does off memory, which is kind of embarrassing. I'll experiment tonight.
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Unread 10-20-2006, 12:54 PM   #9
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sweet drew ... i'll try this tonight and report my findings. thanks for your time i making those pics!

oh ... 1 more question ... my cab has 2 different types of speakers (worn in v30's and Gt100's). would a mic in the middle a foot back work? or should i try 2 different recordings?

Last edited by skattabrain; 10-20-2006 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 10-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #10
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Hmm. You COULD do a multi-mic sort of thing, with a room mic capturing the sound fo the cab, mixed a bit behind a mic on the best sounding speaker, but a single mic won't give you a good picture of more than one speaker. Just start playing and move your head from speaker to speaker, and decide which one's the best sounding speaker. Then, mic that one.

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Unread 10-20-2006, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
Just start playing and move your head from speaker to speaker, and decide which one's the best sounding speaker. Then, mic that one.
i need an isolation closet for the cab now
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Unread 10-20-2006, 07:09 PM   #12
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Don't put it in a closet, please. I tried that for a while, and it's just WAY too small - you get all kind of weird reflections, the sound gets super phasey and retarded sounding.
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Unread 10-24-2006, 01:16 PM   #13
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ok, getting somewhere ... mic'd last night and i'm starting to get "it". started out crappy ... but as my amped warmed up it was getting better. so i need to remmeber to properly warm the bitch up before i toss a mic in front and mess around too much. will post clips later ... i need some opinions.
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Unread 10-27-2006, 07:36 PM   #14
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I find that using no EQ until post editing works best for me. As for micing, I use two condensor mics, a bright one and a dark one and record them directly facing the speakers, toward each other so that the field is slightly out of phase. I use no padding on the stereo preamp and have the gain at about 40%. I have the volume on the amp up only as loud as it needs to be (practice volume) for the wav to appear at about 50%. This is usually around 2.
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Unread 10-27-2006, 07:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Don't put it in a closet, please. I tried that for a while, and it's just WAY too small - you get all kind of weird reflections, the sound gets super phasey and retarded sounding.
I record my cab in a closet all the time with great results. Of course it's a walkin size closet and it's been acoustically treated as a "dead" room but a closet it is still.
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Unread 10-27-2006, 08:25 PM   #16
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I record my cab in a closet all the time with great results. Of course it's a walkin size closet and it's been acoustically treated as a "dead" room but a closet it is still.
Try moving it out into a bigger area - how big is your walkin? Mine's literally like 3 feet wide and four feet long - all kinds of crazy reflections going on, even with every wall covered in foam, and literally no echo to speak of.
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Unread 10-28-2006, 12:43 PM   #17
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After micing my cabs, I put a heavy foam blanket over the top.
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Unread 10-28-2006, 01:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
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After micing my cabs, I put a heavy foam blanket over the top.

This can work, but beware of close reflections - you might run into some problems with those.

Air/breathing space is a good thing, IMO, when it comes to micing guitar cabs. I prefer the sound of a 4x12 in a nice big room than in a closet, by far.
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Unread 10-29-2006, 01:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSS3
This can work, but beware of close reflections - you might run into some problems with those.

Air/breathing space is a good thing, IMO, when it comes to micing guitar cabs. I prefer the sound of a 4x12 in a nice big room than in a closet, by far.
You'd hate my isocab then. It may come down to personal taste. I like to close mic my cabs and I don't want any more of the room in it than necessary.
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Unread 10-29-2006, 01:41 PM   #20
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I close mic them, too - single 57 or an i5. I just like to let the cabinet breath a tiny bit, mostly because I find I get close reflections with it shoved in a tiny space.

If it's an anechoic iso cab, though - you're fine. \m/


Are you running the Randall one, or did you make it yourself?
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Unread 10-29-2006, 08:51 PM   #21
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No, I've got a Randall one but I don't use it anymore. It was cool for when I had tube rigs and wanted to crank them up but with the Vetta I don't crank as much.

I understand what you're saying out room size. I do the best I can with what I've got. I haven't measured my closet but I'd estimated it at about 6.5' tall and it's about 4' wide and about 5' deep. It's wall to wall auralex foam. I place my 4x12 just inside the opening pointed to the back of the closet with a 57 on one speaker and a E609 on another.

If I could I'd love to record in a bigger room but this way I can get fairly loud without pissing off the neighbors. I've set it up in my main recording room a few times but it my kids always seem to know when 'm doing it and come ask Daddy a few questions in the middle of a take.
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Unread 10-30-2006, 04:33 AM   #22
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I love the sound of a miked cab, but what I've found recently that works for me, is that the miked cab gives my sound immense clarity, cut, and power, but it still lacks a little bit of roundness to the sound. By adding in two tracks of direct-line-in rhythm guitar as well as the miked cab, I'm finding that it radically improves the overall perceived sound of the guitar part.

I'm also a big fan of close miking, and I love using a single solitary SM57 on a big 4x12 cab absolutely blasting loud. I run a pretty hard noise gate on the mic, so honestly I don't get very much "room" sound in the recording. The mic is only picking up when the amp is playing, and the amp is so loud when I record, the mic will barely pick up any room reflections.

I also like recording loud because when you hold out chords on a loud tube amp, you get a nice feedback effect after a few seconds, and I've always thought that sounded ....ing cool on a recording.

As for difference in sound, my miked cab recorded sound is my main rhythm guitar sound, with added presence/treble boosted, and a lot of the lows scooped out. I use a rounded sound live, but in the studio, I like to leave a lot of room for the bass guitar, so I cut a ton of bottom end, just about everything under 200 Hz out from the guitar.
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Unread 10-30-2006, 09:27 AM   #23
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I still don't understand why you cut so high, Vince. That's seriously chopping off the fundamental frequencies of your low strings.

If you need more room for bass, why not just compress with a multiband at around 120-260?
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Unread 10-30-2006, 12:18 PM   #24
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I think the bottom line is do whatever works. Experiment for awhile, find what works and then zero in on improving that sound. There are hundreds of ways of working with sound. I like using a foam blanket because it completely deadens the sound without any reflections. All I want going on the track is what comes straight out of the speakers -- no reverb, no delay, no chorus -- nothing but the tone. I do all processing post recording. That way I can route multiple tracks to a single stereo bus so that I can process them the same and still have room to use inserts if I need something different for a main or center track. I get Vince's point about isolating frequencies. It just depends on what frequencies the bass is at and how it fits in the mix. The more I work on mixing the more I've found that what's more important than volume are the spectrums of the instruments and where they fit in the field. I think too many people just slap on reverb without realizing that this puts the instrument farther away in the mix. Reverb is good, of course, but it needs to be controlled with damping and EQing. The way I work is to get the sounds as simply into the recording software as possible (providing, of course, that the sounds are good to begin with) and then dial everything together in the mixing and mastering processes. Sound gets altered so much when it is EQd and compressed that there is more flexibility the fewer effects you have on the raw track.


My 2 cents
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Unread 10-30-2006, 04:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I still don't understand why you cut so high, Vince. That's seriously chopping off the fundamental frequencies of your low strings.

If you need more room for bass, why not just compress with a multiband at around 120-260?
DSS3, it's obvious you're not going to like me or anything I do, however, most people on here seem to value my opinion. What I do is what I do, and there's no right or wrong way as long as you like the mixes you've created.

You seem to like to post in threads that I have, completely contradicting me for some reason. I don't know what I ever did to you, but you've been an ass to me for some time.

So hey man, go .... yourself
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