THIS applies to EVERYONE

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I never use a standard HPF filter, I use EQ and adjust till it sounds right. I never follow rules - you know, it's a bass, slap on a compressor, it's a girl singer, small condenser = breathy sound so roll the top off. Another thing I never do is use a mic off axis on purpose. We know what it sounds like, but it's dangerous on anything that moves because even if you like 17.5 degrees off axis as a 'sound' - you have trouble keeping it there. Fine on a bass cab or guitar cab, but for me - it's point the mic in the best direction, EQ to taste, move on. In fact, as long as I am sure I can EQ it, I'll record it flat anyway and sort the EQ later. I'm a firm believer in capture everything and sort later, I don't like using techniques that decide in advance that it doesn't need recording, in case later, it does. HPF those bass frequencies and they're gone for ever!

Proximity effect I don't consider as always a bad thing. The guys who do festivals have to mic everything in zero time. No time for anything other than a line check, and that gets scrapped if it worked ten minutes before. I've done stage crew sound work for festivals and you look at what the next band has, you look at the mic on the end of the cable, and you look to see if the amp has a DI. Then you think - hang on, that's the same amp as we had last week that buzzed through the DI, so you look at the 57, and decide it will do fine. Aim it at the cone the same way you did the last twenty cabs, and move on, job done. What that 57 captures the FOH guy can sort, no problem. Studio work means the same process, but if when you listen, it's not perfect, before EQ and processing you can go and move the mic, or swap it - if it's thin, you pick a less thin mic, if it's bright and that's wrong, you swap and again if it needs top, you dig out that old favourite from the mic box that is ALWAYS too bright.

I hate rules that are rigid and fixed. I quite like flexible guidelines, and I never press buttons in EQ sections unless I really have to.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
I mic my guitar amp with a 57 a few inches out from the grill, slight angle towards the speaker center, but nearer the speaker edge than center. Seems to record a consistent sound similar to what I hear in the room. Never noticed any proximity boominess.
For nylon string guitar, 16-24" back seems to give a consistent sound with LDCs. I did a quick recording yesterday that way, just left an LDC where I keep it for live Zoom open mics, and it worked well. For steel string acoustics, I usually get in closer to get some nice note clarity. Moving further out from a steel string loses some of the crispness, but that may be what a particular song requires.
Now I've got a brand new acoustic to figure out the best mic placement (Taylor 324ce Builders Edition).
 

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
The power section of the amp and the speakers react differently to mid and low heavy tones than to bright ones. Bright tones tend to being out that ice pick in your ear sound that always needs to be eq'd out.
By brightening up a darker tone, the high end is smoother in the mix.

And again, I adjust the amp to get the sound I want while listening through the mics and the control room monitors. I'm not trying to capture the sound of the amp in the room. Since i do mostly metal, the guitars are way up front and can't have any nastiness in the 3k-5k region, and don't need it to poke through the mix. I set the amp up so it has a balanced sound without harshness, then I add a high shelf around 7k-8k to brighten it up in the mix if necessary.
 
Last edited:

ecc83

Well-known member
The power section of the amp and the speakers react differently to mid and low heavy tones than to bright ones. Bright tones tend to being out that ice pick in your ear sound that always needs to be eq'd out.
By brightening up a darker tone, the high end is smoother in the mix.

And again, I adjust the amp to get the sound I want while listening through the mics and the control room monitors. I'm not trying to capture the sound of the amp in the room. Since i do mostly metal, the guitars are way up front and can't have any nastiness in the 3k-5k region, and don't need it to poke through the mix. I set the amp up so it has a balanced sound without harshness, then I add a high shelf around 7k-8k to brighten it up in the mix if necessary.
There was series about recording Heavy Metal in Sound on Sound a couple of years ago. I was surprised at how meticulous and "fussy" the recording engineer/producer was. Wrong of me perhaps but I think most folks would think you just put 'em in a corner and let 'em bash it out?

Dave.
 

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
There was series about recording Heavy Metal in Sound on Sound a couple of years ago. I was surprised at how meticulous and "fussy" the recording engineer/producer was. Wrong of me perhaps but I think most folks would think you just put 'em in a corner and let 'em bash it out?

Dave.
A lot of it is very technical musically and much of the time the idea is to create a wall of sound that bulldozes it's way out of the speakers. To do that, you have to make everything louder than everything else, so you need to really pay attention to how the sounds of the instruments fit together. You are working with a limited dynamic range, so you can't really use "space" to separate the instruments. Everything tends to be heavily compressed, so you have to watch out for any annoying artifacts, since they will be brought to to the front very quickly.
 
^ You need to ease back on the bass on your amp, I use less than I think I need because the proximity effect puts it back in again.
HPF is useless for cutting out boom, You'd need to HPF up way too high for that. Use a multiband compressor at 120-220, or if it's that palm mutey boom then a bit higher I think. or carve it with EQ if it is consistent.

Edit: ^ I didn't listen to audio examples by the way, I was talking generally if you get that boomy problem with close miking. I am not listening on anything decent at the moment.

The 57 goes as close to the grille of the cab as possible without touching when I record my amp (up front dry modern high gain sounds). Same goes for the 421. (I record both together more often than not)

What farview said above is exactly what I found to be the best way. Record duller, boost with nice EQ, this is definitely the best way IME. I pre-emptively De-ess with a high shelf cut set at 4.5k prior to that boost to make sure that nastiness stays in check and doesn't poke out. There are nice plugins now that are so simple to use. (Slate Digital - Fresh Air) for example that is free. you can add all the brightness in without any harsh frequencies so effortlessly. So yeah.... I aim for duller warmer everytime, it's so easy to brighten/excite, the opposite is a nightmare. (this is mainly due to the way I hear things when I cut harsh frequencies, I am never sure when to stop, but when ADDING those frequencies it is much, much easier. at least for me)

2khz always needs lots of attention on the first track you set the bar for that you balance everything else to. else you go around in circles.
(at least with my recordings) I generally don't have to correct any of the tracks I get that the pros record. But a lot of those tracks are already processed on the way in, and careful choices have already been made.
 
Last edited:

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
Here is something I did a while back. I ended up not using the 421 on the guitars. The guitar on the right is a Mesa Dual Rec with a 57 on the cabinet, the guitar on the left was a Laney with two 57's, one at the dust cap edge and one further up the cone. Same for the clean sounds.

There are two acoustic parts that double the clean guitars, both recorded about a foot away with an XY pair of SM81's

Bass is a DI and a 421 and a 4033 on the cabinet. It was a small Ampeg amp. There is no EQ on the bass, only compression and mixing the different signals

Acoustic violin was a ribbon mic a couple feet out and above the instrument

Electric violin was run through a Revolt amp and miced with a 57

 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
Could you do one with the amp EQ flat and then corrected? I want to hear the difference. Use the 57.

I see what yer sayin though.
 

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
Yes, but you get a smoother high end than you do when you record a bright guitar and then try to EQ that out.
 

Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
Would you accomplish this by simply turning down the presence for the room?
I don't get the sound in the room first and then darken it for recording. So I can't really answer your question directly. I'm never in the room with the cabinet, I'm always listening in the control room to what is being captured.

If you listen through the mics, you can dial in the amp sound that works the best for what you are doing.
 

wmalan

Member
Found this great little video from Sweetwater about mic placement in front of a guitar cab. Pretty demonstrative way to show the differences in distance.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
Ill make a deal with Sweetwater. ill buy everything in the video to recreate it. If it does not sound exactly like that straight in to the DAW....


....I get to kill everybody at Sweetwater.
 
Top