Hey guys --

I'm in a bit of a quandary here. I've got enough material to record about a 45 minute demo album, and have everything I need (Presonus Audiobox w/ Studio One, mic stand, laptop, and a *cheap but well-made* Peavey mic. The mic model is a PVI 100; paid ~$30 for it about 5 years ago.

I've done a little recording with this setup, but have had mediocre results. One track never sounds even close to what my 6505+ really sounds like, but after layering 2-3 tracks it starts to sound closer. I've done a lot of research on mic placement and believe I'm placing it in the ideal position after a lot of trial and error. suffice it to say, I at least halfway know what I'm doing.

I know that the standard mic people use is the SM-57. I've been planning on getting one, but new guitar GAS has gotten the better of me and now I must wait.

I'm hesitant to do a lot of recording until I get an SM-57, because I don't want to do all of that work only to find out it could have sounded WAY better if I'd just waited.

My question is, WILL an SM-57 really make that big of a difference over the PVI 100? I DO want to get going on this project, as a lot of these songs have been in development for years.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Dec 27, 2014,
I'm not sure of the PVI100 but the Sm57 is the most common guitar mic used in history. It's versatile (snare, toms, vocals, guitars, etc) and is a pretty good standard mic overall. The price is great so you even if it gets beat up you can replace. I'd go for it.

To improve your sound, the preamp (your interface) is the most important if that's what you wanted to hear. Similar to how if a guitarist wants a better sound, they get a better amp instead of changing strings.
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I have mic'd guitar amps with very simple mics and gotten good results live. I do prefer the SM57 for best results though. You have a lot of things in your signal chain so the problem could be one of a half dozen things. If any one gain stage is wrong it will sound like poo. Process of elimination.

Suggestion: Use your home recording stuff for quick demos and record the keepers at a pro studio with engineers who really know how to get great sound on your recording. As a simple experiment, record one song completely at home and then record one song completely at a reasonable pro studio with serious credits. Compare and contrast your results.
"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 27, 2014,
There was this mic Matrix talks about and he prefers to the SM57 even though the thing is $30 or similar.

I myself, I'd get a 57.
Workhorse mic on the cheap, can do anything decently, good build quality.

Also you want to record a guitar amp, not a guitar, and there a good mic is much less important 'cause there's lotsa ways you can tweak the sound afterwards.

Also double track your stuff and don't try to make the thing exactly the way it sounds in your room 'cause it sounds like that because of its position in your room and the room itself and mics that cheap won't have a life-like sound - tweak the amp to sound good in a recording.
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^^I think that mic is the GLS ES-57. I've heard a lot of people say they sound identical to the SM57 (or as good). But I've seen lots of used sm57s on GC's site for $50 -- so I thought I should just get the real thing.

Anyway, lots of good suggestions guys. I just don't want to spend money unless there's a pretty big impact. My rig sounds amazing in person -- I just never knew it was so difficult to capture that sound in a recording. I'll play around with the amp/eq pedal a little more to see if I can get a better recorded tone first.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood