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Thread: Guitar cabinet recording. Please help!

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    Hi. I am having some really frustrating recording problems, and I would be really indebted to anyone who can help me out. I have a Marshall 4X12 (w/a JCM2000 head), and am attempting to record it to a Roland Digital Recorder (the VS-880). My band is kind of like REM, and I dont use a distorted guitar sound, just a loud, clean tone. However, I cannot recapture the sound that I hear when I play out of the amp, to the recording. I am using a shure 57 mic and I am definitely using the right placement. But every time I record it, the sound lacks punch and sounds incredibly amateurish. When I try to record it louder, it distorts. And each individual note is lacking clarity, like the whole recording is just white noise. I have really tried just about everything and considering the amount of money I have put in to my equipment, its a little frustrating. Is the answer some kind of compression/limiter? And why cant I create a professional sounding electric guitar recording? Thanks a ton, in advance. If you can help me out, my life would be infinitely less frustrating.

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    Talking

    Have you tried doubling the guitar tracks?

    dmc

    [This message has been edited by dmcsilva (edited 01-14-2000).]

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    Man, you just asked one of the biggest most vague questions around. "How do I make it sound good?" Nobody can answer that...and it's why we're all here!

    Micing a guitar amp is not a simple process. What do you mean that you know your placement is right? If that's true, why does it sound so bad? Proper placement is the key and is not easy on a 4x12 cabinet.

    Of course, you'll never get the EXACT sound that you're hearing, that doesn't make sense. You can use multiple microphones to capture both the bite of the sound as well as the ambient effects.

    Instead of listening to how well your amp sounds to your naked ear, try listening to how it sounds after it's in the mixer. Adjust your microphone and amp settings until you get an adequate sound. (one good tip that I haven't tried yet is to plug one ear and point the other ear at your source, then move your head around until it sounds good and stick your mic there)

    Once the raw sound you're getting is pretty good, you'll worry about processors and effects. I would say that your problem has nothing to do with needing this or that effect.

    Many effects such as compression can add or remove punch...as can EQ. But one of the greatest sins is to "fix it in the mix". You'll hear that around here a lot. If it sounds like crap initially, don't record it.

    Slackmaster 2000

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    Maybe my mic placement is off. I used to have an analog tascam and a princeton chorus amp and never had any real problems getting a good sound with a mic or going direct. But I'm now using my drummers digital machine and the marshall, and things just arent the same. I'll still mess around with the mics, I'm sure its just a matter of time.

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    Thumbs down

    I hate to be the one to say this, but the POD has a few GREAT clean channel sounds. Much better than anything you will get with a SM57.
    In fact, I'd rather record direct from the guitar into the board and then tweak it with FX later, then use a 57. People will disagree with me on that one but John Frusciante of the Peppers recorded all of the clean channel guitars on "Blood sugar sex magik" straight into the board... No amp or anything.
    "Under the bridge"... Straight into the mixing board. That is one sweet sounding album, too.

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    I've actually been experimenting today with going directly into the recorder and by hooking up an eq pedal, I can get a decent sound. Not a lot of power, though, but it sounds better than the cabinet does with a mic. However, I love the sound of my setup when its clicking on all cylinders, and the biggest part of that sound is the marshall. Since I have a ton of mics, I've been experimenting with 2 to 3 mics on the cabinet and then running that through a 4 track and sending the line output rca's to the digital. I've gotten a much fuller sound. So maybe thats an alternative. Its hard because the VS-880 that I am recording on can only record 4 tracks simulaneously, and if i take up two then my drummer only has two mics (assuming the bassist overdubs). Whatever. I'm just working on the sound at the moment, but it seems that more than one mic might be my answer. I'm putting two mics on each of the the top speakers, about 2 inches from the center of the cone and one mic about a foot away in the center. All together it gives me a boost. Now I just have to get that mix down to one track, and I'm in business. If anyone has any other recording ideas, I'd be happy to hear them. Thanks.

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    Lightbulb

    Fwiw try this: Put your microphones out at the edge of the speaker NOT at the middle OR at least add one at the edge to balance the hard sound of the middle mic. I know it will be better but using the two (center and middle) can be difficult. I always use the edge position and then a "room" mic at say 10-20 feet if i want it. For some real fun play around with compressing the room and speaker mics at different levels and the world will be a completely different place for you.

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    are you using a mixing console at all? if you use a mixing console you can master the sound that comes out of it, also try to avoid using rca cable, you loose alot of quality. try using a regular patch chord. i've done alot of home recordings and have only had to ever use one mic (sm57 or pencil condenser)

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    I would try two mics (as noted above). One for the grill and another to capture some room ambience. Also, doubling the tracks (also noted above) is a pretty popular method. And if all else fails, check out this thread for some good/bad advice (or at least for a laugh):

    http://www.recording.org/ftopic-3085...rderasc-0.html

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    Marshall amps are great for live gigs but they can be a difficult thing to deal with in the studio, the bigger they are, the harder they are to work with. This seems to hold true for almost any high wattage multi speaker set up. Big amps sound great but they are much harder to record, partly because they need cranked up to produce their killer tone and partly because the sound is comming from multiple sources (speakers), a 4X12 cab requires some really careful mic placement. I'm still trying to figure out how myself.
    The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. [url]http://www.soundclick.com/sixfeetover[/url]

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