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Thread: What am I Doing Wrong?

  1. #1
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    What am I Doing Wrong?

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am working on getting a nice sounding distorted guitar tone, but I keep running into issues with fizzy high end and loose low end. I am using a Peavey 5150 head with a Marshall 4x12 with two Celestion Vintage 30s and two G12t75s. I have tried using a Shure SM57 and an MXL CR30. I am playing a Gibson Explorer with a Tom Anderson H2 in the bridge position through a modded Boss SD-1 into the 5150. My amp settings on the rhythm channel are:

    Gain: 10 o'clock
    Bass: 1 o'clock
    Mids: 1 o'clock
    Treble: 2 o'clock
    Resonance: 1 o'clock
    Presence: 2 o'clock

    The settings on the SD-1 are:
    Level: 2 o'clock
    Drive: 9 o'clock
    Tone: 1 o'clock

    I have messed around quite a bit with settings on both the amp and pedal. I have tried plugging directly into the amp, different guitars, and many different mic positions. It sounds great while I am playing but I just can't seem to capture a good recorded sound.

    Here is a clip of both the SM57 and the CR30. The SM57 is first and is just off center about 1-2 inches from the grill of the cab. The CR30 is about 6-8 inches from the grill and just off center. For both clips I recorded two guitar tracks and panned them 55% to either side.


    Thanks!

    ---------- Update ----------

    It turns out I can't post links, but the clip is on vocaroo.com/i/s1LerLCR4knN

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by EX-351D View Post
    ...It sounds great while I am playing but I just can't seem to capture a good recorded sound...
    The microphone is capturing the sound you are making. At the time of recording (i.e. when we are actually playing) our hearing system naturally tends to block out the undesirable stuff. It's only on playback that our hearing finally relents and 'allows' us to hear the sound in its entirety. FWIW I don't hear anything untoward in your recordings - nothing that HP/LP filters and a touch of EQ wouldn't fix.

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    First thing to do is get a good sound from the set up - get your head down where the mics will be. IF you listen out in the room, its not the same.
    Next thing to try is moving the mics around. Suggest you work with one at a time. Towards the edge of a speaker cone, rather than to the center/voice coil position
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Mic's don't "hear" the same thing as our ears(Fletcher-Munson curve). Most of the time this means backing way down on the drive and the low end when recording to match what your ears are doing in the room. The best way to get the tone you want "on tape" is to monitor the signal after the mic(closed back headphones for most of us, monitoring the signal going to or from DAW/tape) while moving the mic/adjusting guitar and amp controls until you are getting the timbre you want instead of what you hear in the room itself. Sometimes you have to move the amp, change the mic etc to get where you are going.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2018 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    I'll say basically the same thing.. if what you're hearing while playing is straight through
    to your ears (no headphones) then you're getting "the sound" mixed with your room's
    acoustics. Listening through your phones cuts most of that out. Just for kicks, you can
    use the CR30 only up next to your head and record that - see the difference on
    playback. Might not be useable, but it will illustrate the point.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
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    I agree that our hearing is not the same as what a microphone hears....but in this case, the OP is not saying that he can't get the same sound as what he's hearing...he's saying that everything he's tried and listened to on playback, sounds fizzy and loose.

    My advice...find the tone that sounds great to your ears for distortion...then take out about 30-40% of that distortion...and then play around with mic position.
    With high-gain distortion, you always want less when recording compared to how it sounds in the room. Fizzy and loose low end is a clear sign that there is way too much gain/drive, and the mic is mostly picking up the fizz.
    Clean it up some, and the fizz will diminish and the low end will tighten up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    First thing to do is get a good sound from the set up - get your head down where the mics will be. IF you listen out in the room, its not the same.
    Next thing to try is moving the mics around. Suggest you work with one at a time. Towards the edge of a speaker cone, rather than to the center/voice coil position
    Good way to fry your ears. Besides your ear and mic never hears the same thing.

    Better to have your cab in an other room and have an assistant moving the mic around while you monitor from headphones or spkrs till you get the desired tone in the context of the mix.
    If by yourself, I guess you'll be walking back and forth.
    If you only have one room, just print some tracks and fiddle with things till you get the desired tone.
    It's always best to evaluate your tone in the context of the mix.
    But as previously mentioned, use less gain than you normally would think to use.

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    Read the responses, and I still think it's a mic position problem. I'm not fluent in mic positioning, but when you consider that millimeters one way or the other can alter the sound in big ways, I think that's where I'd start looking. Good luck
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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    Thanks for all the responses, everyone! I was honestly feeling pretty discouraged until I read through these and gave it another go. I think the issue was a combination of mic placement as well as relying too much on what I was hearing in the room. I got some help with moving the mic around while monitoring the sound and I think that helped quite a bit in improving my sound. Thanks again!

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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Good way to fry your ears.
    What?!?
    If your amp is that loud, you're recording too loud to start with! The point is that listening out in the room is different than where the mic is.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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