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Thread: Muddy and Fizzy Guitar Recordings

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog101 View Post
    The closer you get to the dust cap the more treble you'll get in the mic. Being "skeptical" of the 'less is more' mantra isn't going to get you anywhere. It is a MANTRA because it works and has for years. Placing the mic closer to the grill cloth gets more proximity effect 'bloom' especially with a Shure. Think about your own statement about how the "sound in the room" is pleasing. Ask yourself "WHY?"

    You can watch 100 videos of someone doing something and NEVER replicate their efforts simply because you're not them where they are......Those DSL Marshall , I have found in the studio, are very "fizzy" in general.

    The "pros" do not necessarily use a 4-12 cabinet to record with especially in a small untreated area. The difference in the sonic quality of Iron Maiden in whatever studio they are using and your modest surroundings is night and day. If you have ever stood in the middle of a great live room you would know immediately where that sound comes from. Your bedroom ain't that.

    So you take the limitations you have and learn to use them. Do you have a second mic? Perhaps a condenser of some sort? Do you have a vocal shield of some sort? Put the condenser out in the room...put the shield behind to cut down on the flutter echoes and the standing waves. Move the 57 away from the speaker grill and move it towards the speaker edge. Record both mics and time align the room mic.

    Turn down the distortion. It's already been said and by people who actually record stuff.

    If you have a piece of auralex put it behind the amp of if your extension cabinet is closed back just use that.

    The point is to get as much of your room out of the equation as possible.

    Perhaps you need a better grasp on 'gain-staging' ....... google that term and learn.
    Interesting points. To test what you said about the DSLs, I compared my DSL15C, DSL20CR, and 6100LM, all with EQ set to noon, run through the same 1x12 extension cab with a Vintage 30. I put the 6100LM in 50 Watt mode, with the low-volume compensation switch engaged. The DSL20CR is the fizziest and thinnest of all three of them, but not by much. The 6100LM has a ton of bass, but once I dialed it back, it sounded a bit better than the DSLs, but not by much; definitely not by $2000 and still kind of trebly when compared to a few pro reference tracks.

    Which would have to mean that the main issue isn't the gear, but rather something else, maybe poor room acoustics in my living room. Just as an aside, I have been at this for two years now, so I'm pretty familiar with the most standard recording techniques of raising the amp off the ground, away from walls, tilting it, etc. If room acoustics is as important as you say and is what is messing with my recordings, even with close-miking, then I really wish there was more straight-forward, comprehensive information out there for home recordists to make us aware of these standard issues and to provide guides on what to do to get the most out of our rooms and gear. I have no experience with professional studios, so I will have to take your word for when it comes to the importance of room acoustics. Given what we know now, is there anything else you recommend I do? What mic placement has worked best for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    Is the amp on the floor and/or right against a wall? Real quick first reflections from those kinds of surfaces can really mess up an otherwise decent tone. Lift it up or tilt it back and move it away from the walls.
    Usually I lift the speaker cab an put it on the kitchen counter, pointed at a slant toward the opposite living room wall, but yesterday when I did some more testing with distance from the grille, I was being lazy and had the closed-back cab on the carpeted floor, with the back near the counter wall. Are these reflections a big problem, and do they contribute to a muddy, fizzy tone?
    Last edited by Seventh Son; 06-28-2019 at 14:55.

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    Apologies if it's been asked already but how loud is this amp?
    I didn't see it mentioned and volume makes a huge difference!
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seventh Son View Post
    Interesting points. To test what you said about the DSLs, I compared my DSL15C, DSL20CR, and 6100LM, all with EQ set to noon, run through the same 1x12 extension cab with a Vintage 30. I put the 6100LM in 50 Watt mode, with the low-volume compensation switch engaged. The DSL20CR is the fizziest and thinnest of all three of them, but not by much. The 6100LM has a ton of bass, but once I dialed it back, it sounded a bit better than the DSLs, but not by much; definitely not by $2000 and still kind of trebly when compared to a few pro reference tracks.

    Which would have to mean that the main issue isn't the gear, but rather something else, maybe poor room acoustics in my living room. Just as an aside, I have been at this for two years now, so I'm pretty familiar with the most standard recording techniques of raising the amp off the ground, away from walls, tilting it, etc. If room acoustics is as important as you say and is what is messing with my recordings, even with close-miking, then I really wish there was more straight-forward, comprehensive information out there for home recordists to make us aware of these standard issues and to provide guides on what to do to get the most out of our rooms and gear. I have no experience with professional studios, so I will have to take your word for when it comes to the importance of room acoustics. Given what we know now, is there anything else you recommend I do? What mic placement has worked best for you?
    When you say "fizziest and thinnest of all three" you are telling me that all have the very thing in their sound that you are trying to eliminate. And there is a very old saying in this business from an engineers standpoint....MIC DON'T LIE......If YOU hear that kind of sound coming from your amp, the mic will 'hear' it too and since the mic doesn't have the built-in ear filter that peoples brains have, the parts of the sound you don't like will be present.

    There's a phenomenon that occurs in your brain in dealing with music. It's related to two parts of the brain and how it connects to your ears and your logic. There is 'subjective' and 'objective' listening. Subjective is when and what you hear when you are playing the music....objective is hearing back what was played from a listeners point of view. There are lots of things a person will hear when listening to a playback of something recorded that you won't necessarily hear when recording the passage.

    You asked in an earlier posts if reflections in a room contributes to problems in the sound.......Yes, especially if your amp is loud enough to excite these reflections. You would think that a close-mic'd cabinet would rule out these things but in certain frequencies is doesn't. A 57 has a good "null" area in it's pattern which is one of the main reasons it's been such a successful stage mic for so many years. But even in a close mic'd situation the leakage from the side when the amp is loud and exciting the flutter echoes and standing waves in a room is measurable. Combine that with an amp that is producing "fizzy" or "muddy" tone and it's a salad you can't fix. And then there's finding that sound that you hear on records and want to emulate without the means or the gear to replicate what you hear in your head.

    Long ago I quit trying to instruct about the signal chain. No matter how important it is. With the advance of technology, even the most modest set-up can get a "pro" sound if the physics of reproducing sound are adhered to. Just sticking a mic on a speaker that's located somewhere in an untreated room and then is not 'optimal' in it's sound quality isn't going to get what you are looking for. I have ZERO problem with Marshall gear but the newer stuff just doesn't get that big rich mid-range that the 'real' Marshalls get. These DSL's and multi-channel units are built to emulate a sound but to do it in an easy and quick manner mostly for stage performances when you need a versatile rig to play your variety stuff. "Oh man, it sounds great..." "I can really get that Marshall tone out of it...." etc etc...Then the proof becomes a reality in the studio.........

    What you will have to realize is getting a certain sound with what you have is going to require and open mind and lot's of work. Thinking that you are eliminating the problems when the problems lie in the exact same spot no matter the amp placement or the mic placement should be a clue.

    The reason that 'pros' get these sounds is the surroundings and the elimination of variables that cause the problems in the first place. And remember this and it IS a MANTRA.....Source ! Source ! Source!...... It's where it begins and ends if you think about it.

    Check out iso-box. Handy. Think about sound control. Necessary. There are lots of small wattage amps on the market now that do what you might like. Marshall makes the Class 5 head which is as early Marshall as it gets. When you are trying to achieve that clear and at the same time driven guitar sound you need to move a little air. 1 or 5 watts is plenty to record with. An Iso-box and small amp you can turn up will do the trick .
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    Apologies if it's been asked already but how loud is this amp?
    I didn't see it mentioned and volume makes a huge difference!
    The main amp I use to record is my DSL15C (see top of this thread for a complete list of my gear). I usually have the volume set to 3, sometimes 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seventh Son View Post
    The main amp I use to record is my DSL15C (see top of this thread for a complete list of my gear). I usually have the volume set to 3, sometimes 4.
    I don't know that amp so I'm not really sure what 3-4 sounds like, but I know a lot of people struggle to get meaty/full tones because they're trying not to annoy the neighbours too much.
    If you can talk over it, turn it up.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seventh Son View Post
    Usually I lift the speaker cab an put it on the kitchen counter, pointed at a slant toward the opposite living room wall, but yesterday when I did some more testing with distance from the grille, I was being lazy and had the closed-back cab on the carpeted floor, with the back near the counter wall. Are these reflections a big problem, and do they contribute to a muddy, fizzy tone?
    I second ashcat's sentiments. See what happens if you get the amp out into the middle of the room. And elevate or tilt it so it's pointed at your ears while you dial in your tones.

    Especially at lower volumes, the room will play a major role in how a microphone perceives a signal. If your mic is right up on the speaker grille, as you turn up the volume the direct signal from the amp overwhelms the reflected sounds from the room so it's less of an issue (still an issue, but less).

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    moving to a Palmer PDI-09 was just simple genius for me....

    i can still mic all i want,
    but this thing gives me clarity.
    mixes well.
    use it live.
    it's all good.

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    I did some of the things suggested on here, but my big breakthrough finally came when I came across a video by Lewin Berringer from GaragebandandBeyond and tried his recommended mic placement of placing the mic three quarters of the way between the center and edge of the cone, as many live and recording engineers do. Placing the mic like that finally helped me get the midrange right.

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    Just my 2 cents: If you already know, as I do and has already been mentioned, that with all of the limitations to recording ANYTHING in a typical home studio environment that you will have in comparison to professional studios, then is mic'ing an amp all that important? I understand that we all are trying to get the best sounds possible recorded. But to me, the mic'ing of an amplifier in a home studio setting and the time consumption of trying to find your sound does not meet the return and in fact invites the "law of diminishing returns" and frustrations that you are experiencing, and as I have experienced. Some home recordists are great at it. Not me. The amp simulation software available and the technology of it, ease of use, etc. is the way to go for me as a home recordist. I won't say what I use because some may think I'm promoting it - only if asked. I'm not trying to start the infinite arguments over software versus mic'ing. This is just my opinion and has saved me a lot of misery and it put the "fun" in home recording for me. Perhaps there are some, even yourself, who have fun micing the amp. That's fine of course. It just wasn't for me. I never got good it to my satisfaction either. Just my 2 cents.

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