Not exactly to scale here but....
We have jam sessions 1 - 3 times a week at my house. Being that there are no houses nearby, we can crank it any hour of the day.
I would like to record some of these sessions. Sometimes some really good stuff comes out.
Mics I have are : 2 - SM57; 1 - SM58
The areas marked by the big "X"'s can't be moved. Couch, TV, stereo and other crap on the left, kitchen on the right.
I'm just wondering if someone can give me some advice on ideal mic placement for this setup.
The guitar on the left, we might be able to move to the area near the bass. I know its current placement is not ideal.
The guitar on the right is me, speaker cabinet is about 2.5 - 3 feet off the floor on top of an isolation cabinet I built. The bass is about 2 feet up on a board set on top of a chair (The comfy kind that leans back, has the vibrating and heating options).
Currently the guitar on the right is on the ground.
I know current placement of all the amps isn't ideal, but space is a bit limited and while some things can be moved around, we don't have a lot of options there.
The blank area between the 2 "X" sections is where my front door is so moving stuff there isn't an option.

So I am looking for placement option for the mics to record and maybe some suggestions on amp placement if you see any issues regarding their current placement.
High sound quality isn't a big issue, just would like to be able to review the stuff we come up with.
I'll be recording on my laptop most likely using a program I wrote a few years ago that allows me to record audio and save to file for a specified amount of time, automatically.

The item marked "Bongos" are similar to these. Can't remember what they are called.

Last edited by CodeMonk at Apr 11, 2011,
I have a few cheap 4 channel mixers.

I also have a Tascam Portastudio, but often times, the only bass amp in use is the little 15w Samick bass amp I have. I use the line out on the bass amp, into the Portastudio, then the line out on the Portastudio into my stereo's CD/Aux input so we can get enough bass volume.
Yeah I know, get a better bass amp. Not really an option at the moment.
No line out on the guitar amps (Vox AC30 and Fender Deville).
Maybe for the bass amp, I could just use a mixer into the stereo.

Thought I would run the mics through one of the mixers, maybe add a boost in there if need be (I'm a GB&C regular so I could just build another mixer).
Last edited by CodeMonk at Apr 11, 2011,
That a limited set up mic wise, enough to record the guitars and bass but its not ideal for drums. If you can I'd look at lending or getting access to a pair of condensers to put on your drums so at least you've got a reasonable representation of them.

Failing that I'd put a 58 on the kick and a 57 on the snare (this should pick up most of the kit though it won't sound great) and do line in recordings of everything else possible from amps.

If line recordings an option place the guitar amps close together and mic a bit further back with the input gain set higher. You won't get perfect recordings but you'll get enough quality to analyse the groups performance with reasonable quality

I've mic'd up practices where there's been 3 amps and a drum kit with 4 sm58's Placed one on the guitar amp, kick and snare then put the keyboard amp on top of the bass amp with a 58 placed further back placed aimed at the top of the bass amp/bottom of the keyboard amp, turned out as enough to draw ideas from but not professional quality
I basically want to do this to see if anything comes out that we may want to develop further.
Quality is not a concern. Just well enough to hear what each instrument is doing.
The guitars and bongos are the only real constants as far as the musicians go.
We get a drummer maybe once a week. But the bongo player is awesome and regular.
I'm several (15 - 20) miles of BAD, BAD traffic from the "city" area so getting a drummer willing to come way out here is not always possible
Too bad, the last one we had was pretty good, and LOUD!

I could probably swing another SM57 or SM58.
I also have 3 dirt cheap crap mics. The type you would probably find at Radioshack or Target or some crap electronics store/aisle.
As for another mixer, I will probably just build another one.

If I just mic'ed the amps, would there be enough bleed over to pick up the drums?

Any recommendations for a low priced mic? I'm sure there is a thread here somewhere with that info. I'll take a look in a minute.
If your looking to just get down your jams and line ins are limited and few, I would place a mic on either side of the drums between the guitar and bass respectively and I would place the third over by the Djembe (bongo) and second guitar.

As long as you can get your drummer to keep his playing volume reasonable you should be able to hopefully get a mix that at least you can hear what everyone is doing. You may also have to experiment with moving the mics closer to the guitar, bass, djembe so they are not getting overpowered by the drums, second guitar.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I would set them all up at about a waist level placement. This should hopefully catch everything properly.
Satan. Grant this man the gift of revenge against his foes at the Food Network.



we used 1 Behringer C1 and a DI bass in a room for these recordings of improv jam session. Pretty good mic for room sound, we just put it between the guitar amp and drums, distance between guitar and the mic being 1/3rd that of the drums and the mic.

(weird sound on disco inferno is because we forgot to turn off the playback monitors we had to listen to the recordings, so we ended up with lots of phase by recording the sound twice)