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Old 06-27-2015, 04:09 PM   #1
Frankieanime78
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How Do I Mic An Amp For Heavy Tones

Hey, so I've been playing guitar for 8 years now, but I have never mic'd an amp before. I use an M-Audio for digital recording, and Amplitube + many other VST's for too long now. Lately I've become unsatisfied with the tones I'm getting on there, and I'd really like to have my distrotion straight from my amp. I have a Jackson Kelly, and a Line 6 Spider II 75 watts. I can't afford a Peavey or anything crazy, but I got this with a channel switch pedal for 200$ a couple years ago, and I'm in love with it!
I don't bother with pedals, since the distortion tone I get using only the amp is chunky, and I absolutely love it!
So, how would I mic it?
I have an Apex 435 (I think) consdensor mic, was about 120$ a couple years ago, and a Shure C606 Dynamic. I know that's a cheap mic, but I got it for free, and I've used it to mic an acoustic before, and it actually sounds more than decent.
But whenever I look for videos on this, they always leave out imporant stuff I need to know.
How loud do I have to put the amp? And how should I set the gain on the mics?
They usually just say place it an inch from the speaker, and move it around until you like it.
Closer to the center is more treble right? And the outer edges give off more bass?
Anyways, sorry for the noob question, I know so much about recording digitally nowadays, I haven't even attempted to use real equipment.
Thanks
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:32 AM   #2
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Just a heads up, that shure mic is definitely not made for electric guitar recording. Might still work, haven't tried it.

You're using the spider so if it's too loud it'll probably clip in the ugliest way possible so keep it in reasonable volume levels. You should adjust the mic gain so that it doesn't clip. Audio interfaces and DAW's usually have a clipping indicator, if your interface gives you a red light lower the gain. If the audio level in the DAW goes all the way up to red, lower the gain. If the track has some nasty distortion that shouldn't be there, lower the gain.

An inch from the speaker is fine, and you should start from the middle and move the mic to your liking. I'm sure that someone else can give you a more in depth explanation though
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:06 AM   #3
Random3
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I'll try and give some general answers to be useful:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankieanime78
How loud do I have to put the amp?

The amp should be at whatever volume sounds best. This is different for basically every amp and you will need to experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankieanime78
And how should I set the gain on the mics?

Use the gain to compensate for volume on the amp. If you need to crank the amp to get the desired tone, then lower the input gain on the interface to avoid clipping. You want the source audio high enough to avoid the noise floor. In other words, if the amp is really quiet you will need to crank the input gain, which may result in unwanted background noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankieanime78
They usually just say place it an inch from the speaker, and move it around until you like it.

Again this is preference. I wouldn't put it any further than an inch from the speaker but if it sounds good, do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankieanime78
Closer to the center is more treble right? And the outer edges give off more bass?

You may find this useful as a starting point.
http://www.shure.co.uk/support_down...ied_instruments

It is probably worth experimenting and recording the same thing multiple times using slightly different microphone positions or amp settings. I did this a while back with my amp and now I know exactly how to set it up for whatever tone I want.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
Frankieanime78
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Alright, thanks guys. Really appreciate you taking the time to explain things for me
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
robertphillips2
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Well, certainly don't use a condenser mic on an amp haha, I believe you know that already though. Other than that, yeah, watch your meters, adjust your gain to your satisfaction and avoid the point of distortion. Having your tracks hitting low - mid yellow on your signal meters is a nice sweet spot. Everything else is self-explanatory. Another good thing that I like to do, is that I made small baffles for my fender front man to reduce background noise and artifacts. Best thing I ever did. The room I record in, in my house, is pretty much empty so it helps a lot with reverb and what not.

Last edited by robertphillips2 : 07-06-2015 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
diabolical
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Don't see why not to use condenser mic on amps, I actually mix my signals, when I worked in studios we pretty much mixed dynamic and ribbon, or dynamic and condenser mics for heavy guitar. I'm not familiar with OPs mics but I don't see why he shouldn't try them.
Some of the setups we used were condenser and dynamic at the same spot on the grille, then mix to taste. In your case you can try the two condensers together. Just make sure you don't overload them from the amp.
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Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertphillips2
Well, certainly don't use a condenser mic on an amp haha, I believe you know that already though.

Please don't go spreading misinformation like this.

Condenser mics are used on guitar amps all the time. The AKG C414 comes to mind, but I've seen lots of people use Neumann circuits and plenty of others. They're not really my cup of tea for heavier tones, but guys like Will Putney get great results out of them...
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