#1
Since this deals with live sound rather than recording, I guess this fits best here.

You might have read about some of my sound issues recently. I complain a lot. Here is my experience with amp micing:

I ran through my pedals to Marshall MG stack (my gear at the time), to a SM58 mic (I think), into a direct box (Behringer GL100, no pads activated), into a mixing board to a PA system. I either had to crank the stack to unbearable levels, or I had to turn the gain up on the mixing board. It sounded bad, man.

It seemed as if the SM58 just wouldn't pick up that well. I tried it again recently with some other SM58-esque mics and I think a SM57 (esque- or the real deal, can't remember) with the MG stack, and I got the same results. Nothing until the amp is cranked or the board's gain is pushed.

The board seems to have a universal phantom power button, at 48V. I can't supply individual channels with phantom power. I'm fairly confident that the brand of the board is Soundcraft, but I don't know the model. I couldn't find out if the SM58 needed phantom power or not. I know the 57 doesn't need it. Also, I think the mic was pointed towards a single cone in the 4X12 stack.

So I have a few questions, but they ultimately ask this: How do I get my sound to be full and loud without cranking the amp/gain?

Individual questions:

Why do I have to crank the amp/gain on the mixing board to get a sound?

Is the SM58 garbage for micing amps?

Would the SM57 make a big difference?

Would the "universal phantom power" switch injure a SM57?

Did the board's universal phantom power button mess up the mics or cripple their performance?

Does going through a direct box cripple my sound?

Does the long length of cable from the mic to the board to the PA cripple my sound?

Was I micing the amp wrong?

Should I have to crank the amp for the mic to pick it up (58 or 57) as if they are meant for loud performances?

---

Thanks so much for your help recently, UG.
Last edited by Will Lane at Dec 26, 2014,
#2
Yes. Going through a direct box cripples your sound or your gear is broken. An SM57 or 58 in good working order will pick up the sound of a guitar amp at whisper volumes.
A mic should run from your amp to the board input without anything in between except proper 3 pin balanced cable. No stinking direct boxes.

We must assume you are using a good working (tested) mic, good balanced 3 pin cables, and a sound board of decent quality. If you have never been shown how to properly mic a guitar cab, find an experienced sound guy and ask him to show you. Learning how to use the tools helps prevent blowing up expensive amps and FOH consoles.

It's always one of these three things:
1. Broken gear
2. Not connected properly
3. User error.
Look hard at #3.

http://www.musicradar.com/us/tuition/guitars/how-to-record-great-guitar-sounds-now-404753
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 26, 2014,
#3
Quote by Cajundaddy
Yes. Going through a direct box cripples your sound or your gear is broken. An SM57 or 58 in good working order will pick up the sound of a guitar amp at whisper volumes.
A mic should run from your amp to the board input without anything in between except proper 3 pin balanced cable.

We must assume you are using a good working (tested) mic, good balanced 3 pin cables, and a sound board of decent quality. If you have never been shown how to properly mic a guitar cab, find an experienced sound guy and ask him to show you.

It's always one of these three things:
1. Broken gear
2. Not connected properly
3. User error.

http://www.musicradar.com/us/tuition/guitars/how-to-record-great-guitar-sounds-now-404753


Well, I did try the mics beforehand using a XLR to 1/4 hybrid cable, and an adapter, to the MG stack. I had to crank the amp as well.

I think I also did out the direct box and just connected the mic (micing the amp) to the cable snake on stage. Still was quiet.

So I guess it's the mics then?

And funnily enough, I don't know any experienced sound guys. I have to do most my sound work myself, aside from getting volume levels. :/

I did find one mic that was really hot when testing with the stack, 58-esque. It still was quiet.
Last edited by Will Lane at Dec 26, 2014,
#4
Step 1.
Mic> 3 pin cable > board input. Turn up the gain on the board to normal vocalist levels. Speak into the mic. Does it sound good?

Yes- Place it in front of your amp and readjust gain levels to unity. Done. Play worship.

No- Bad mic, bad cord, gain settings wrong, input channel muted, input channel not assigned, input channel fader down etc. Process of elimination. Stop here and get help from an experienced sound tech who understands this stuff before you fry the board.

No direct boxes, no hybrid adapter cords, no anything between mic and input except the cord that was designed to work with it. All this adapter stuff just screams "I really don't understand this and if I keep going, I will probably burn down my house of worship."
No experienced sound guys at your church? Time to visit another church with excellent sound and apprentice with them on Saturday or something to learn how to use the tools.... or just keep the fire dept on speed dial.

A poorly trained sound tech can kill $50k worth of sound gear fairly easily. This is a pretty good resource but in no way takes the place of hands-on with an experienced sound tech.
http://www.behindthemixer.com/
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 26, 2014,
#5
We don't have anyone professionally trained. We have 2 people that somewhat know what to do, but both of them couldn't tell me about how to mic my amp properly. They'd keep the system from frying, though.

Let's just presume that the mics I tried were dead. There must have been a reason why they were sitting in the back, right? And why they were so weak?

Let's also say I were to attain a surely properly working SM57 and I would run it to the stage XLR input to the mixer (the mixing board is quite a ways away from the stage). Considering how the SM57 ignores Phantom Power,

Would you, given the information you have on my situation, know that such an instance would work?
Last edited by Will Lane at Dec 26, 2014,
#6
Put the mic slightly off-center so you don't catch all high frequency's.

You need to go to the place on a time when you and one of the people that do sound can hash it out then write down the EQ settings so all they have to do is set the EQ to that and adjust the volume in the mix.

I almost only use SM57's live to mic guitar cabs (and drums) and I run sound professionally.

Yes mic's can go bad over time from use, I have an old 1970's SM57 that has finally died on me, but it is from the 70's so god only knows how much it was abused in its life before I bought it 7-8 years ago (and it worked fine then)

You can get used SM57's on GC used site for $40-$50 all the time. The same goes for SM58's (which are my go to vocal mic.
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#7
Quote by Will Lane
We don't have anyone professionally trained. We have 2 people that somewhat know what to do, but both of them couldn't tell me about how to mic my amp properly. They'd keep the system from frying, though.

Let's just presume that the mics I tried were dead. There must have been a reason why they were sitting in the back, right? And why they were so weak?

Let's also say I were to attain a surely properly working SM57 and I would run it to the stage XLR input to the mixer (the mixing board is quite a ways away from the stage). Considering how the SM57 ignores Phantom Power,

Would you, given the information you have on my situation, know that such an instance would work?


Yes but... always speak into the mic first to test it. A snake cable is just a long extension cord for your mics and assuming they are connected properly and assigned properly to a channel they will work fine. No phantom power or adapters needed. If your worship leader's vocal mic works, your mic should work. You can swap and test them. I am guessing something is muted, unassigned or assigned to the wrong input channel causing you guys to chase your tails.

Get some help in there. I am sure there are experienced techs at other churches nearby that would gladly volunteer to do a tech training session on a Saturday and get you guys up to speed. Until then your system is at risk of damage. While waiting for help, start by reading the manuals for your board, mics and speaker system. Know how to set unity gain quickly and how to assign channel inputs and outputs. This will go a long way towards bringing you up to speed.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
^ getting another church sound guy to help you out is a great idea.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#9
Quote by will lane
Is the SM58 garbage for micing amps?

Would the SM57 make a big difference?


the 57 and the 58 are essentially the same mic, just one has the grille around it.

The 57 is marketed more as an instrument mic as you can place it closed to the cab than you could with a 58; which is why the 58 is marketed towards vocals. the grille around the 58 is removeable so it is arguably the better mic out of the two.
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Last edited by boblittle at Dec 26, 2014,
#10
Dont use xlr to 1/4" and then adapter, or anything like that. Use xlr-xlr m-f. For awhile I used the xlr to 1/4" and it was hard for me to get a loud signal without being really noisy and just bad
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#11
Dont use xlr to 1/4" and then adapter, or anything like that. Use xlr-xlr m-f. For awhile I used the xlr to 1/4" and it was hard for me to get a loud signal without being really noisy and just bad
Quote by suckmahnuts
Watterboy, I love you.

Quote by davrossss
You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

Quote by wannabestoner69