#1
Recently started some basic recording in my garage and have been trying to mess around with mic placement based on youtube video advice plus other bits and pieces that i've read. One thing that i'm wondering is why does an amp not sound the same mic'd as it does to the ear in a room? From my very limited knowledge I know that there are going to be a million reasons so i'll try and narrow this down.

What seems logical to me is that to begin with i'm not putting a microphone where my ears are when i'm playing - worth a try?

I'm currently putting my amp in the middle of the room up on a chair (small tube amp), not directly facing any windows/away from corners. I'm then putting an SM58 in front of the speaker just under 1 foot away. I've then got a condenser mic (NTA1) that i move around the room to get some room sound. The room doesn't sound great so maybe i should scrap this part...but i guess it would be the one to hang at head height for my ear theory.

I don't know, i do quite like the sound i get straight from the amp but not so much mic'd, do you have any techniques for trying to match the two?

Thanks!
"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
#2
Quote by USCENDONE BENE
Recently started some basic recording in my garage and have been trying to mess around with mic placement based on youtube video advice plus other bits and pieces that i've read. One thing that i'm wondering is why does an amp not sound the same mic'd as it does to the ear in a room?


Because your ear is not directly in front of the speaker. You are hearing the sound from the speaker, plus the hundreds of reflections from the walls and ceiling etc...

Quote by USCENDONE BENE
What seems logical to me is that to begin with i'm not putting a microphone where my ears are when i'm playing - worth a try?


Usually you wouldn't do this. The idea of having a mic right up close to the speaker is to get the sound of the amp whilst eliminating as much background noise as possible. The further away from the speaker you put the mic, the harder this is to do.

Quote by USCENDONE BENE
I'm currently putting my amp in the middle of the room up on a chair (small tube amp), not directly facing any windows/away from corners. I'm then putting an SM58 in front of the speaker just under 1 foot away. I've then got a condenser mic (NTA1) that i move around the room to get some room sound. The room doesn't sound great so maybe i should scrap this part...but i guess it would be the one to hang at head height for my ear theory.

I don't know, i do quite like the sound i get straight from the amp but not so much mic'd, do you have any techniques for trying to match the two?

Thanks!


I would suggest put the SM58 closer to the speaker. Like almost touching the grill. If you are playing rock/metal then personally I wouldn't bother with the room mic because all it will do is reduce clarity. What I would suggest to get the tone you want is adjust the EQ on the amp differently when you are recording. Assuming you are doing no processing on your computer, that is really all you can do. If you are processing on your computer after recording then there are plenty of EQ tricks you can use to help, but nothing beats getting it right at the source.
#3
Thanks Random, i'll try putting the mic closer and working on the EQ some more. When i've done this previously it has added quite a noticeable boost in the low frequencies which I find confusing considering that i'm aiming the mic at the dust cap and also using a mic with a frequency response that drops under 200Hz.

Maybe this is because i'm using a 1w combo valve amp with a small enclosure, the bass in general needs attenuating (for my needs) as it's a bit unruly.

Also i get what you're saying about not putting the mic at a distance/head level as it introduces more background noise, it's just interesting that it seems to pick up more of this than my ear does from a similar position.
"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
#4
The ears hear differently than a mic as the mic is an electronic representation of your ear, is nowhere as sophisticated a system.
I;d say try both NT-1A and SM58 on the grille at the same location from the middle of the cone and mix them to taste. I find two or more mics get closer to what the ear will hear in a room.

Also - don't worry that you're not getting what you're hearing in the room, work on getting a good sound, that's what you should be after.
#5
Quote by USCENDONE BENE
Thanks Random, i'll try putting the mic closer and working on the EQ some more. When i've done this previously it has added quite a noticeable boost in the low frequencies which I find confusing considering that i'm aiming the mic at the dust cap and also using a mic with a frequency response that drops under 200Hz.

Maybe this is because i'm using a 1w combo valve amp with a small enclosure, the bass in general needs attenuating (for my needs) as it's a bit unruly.

Also i get what you're saying about not putting the mic at a distance/head level as it introduces more background noise, it's just interesting that it seems to pick up more of this than my ear does from a similar position.

That's totally normal. It's a phenomenon called Proximity Effect. Directional mics (that is, everything other than omni polar pattern mics) experience a low end boost when they get close to a source.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jul 1, 2016,
#6
Save yourself a lot of trouble and go direct with amp modelling, Unless you are an expert sound engineer and/or can crank the amp, you'll ALWAYS lose something of the original tone by mic-ing.

With modelling, yes, it doesn't sound as good as the amp either, but you will have ultimate flexibility, no setup, silent recording and save yourself a LOT of time and effort.
#7
Not entirely sure I agree with that.

You don't need to be a "expert sound engineer" to get a decent miked tone. And even if you do, how do you think people become "expert sound engineers?"

Depending on the amp you don't even need to crank it. This only really applies to tube amps, and TS hasn't clarified which he has.

I agree that using modellers can be more convenient in some cases but basically what you are suggesting is that TS sells his amp and buys something else rather than learn how to mic up a speaker.
#8
Quote by AdamHarkus
Save yourself a lot of trouble and go direct with amp modelling, Unless you are an expert sound engineer and/or can crank the amp, you'll ALWAYS lose something of the original tone by mic-ing.

With modelling, yes, it doesn't sound as good as the amp either, but you will have ultimate flexibility, no setup, silent recording and save yourself a LOT of time and effort.


Total newb bs. It is not a rocket science. Plenty of videos and articles, TS look on soundonsound.com and recordingmag.com.
#9
Thanks for those links. Yeah i'm happy using my amp rather than sims for now - they seem like something that would be useful to learn but for now i'd rather focus on the amp. I've been using tube amps below 10W so cranking isn't really an issue.
"If you want beef, then bring the ruckus." - Marilyn Monroe
#10
I just finished tracking guitars for an EP for a client. We double-tracked the guitars with three sources on each:
- an SM57 up to the grille
- a Sennheiser MD421 up to the grille
- a DI

What we wound up keeping was two of each guitar track.
Gtr 1:
SM 57
DI track reamped through JamUP Pro app "Randall Treadplate" model
Gtr 2:
MD421
DI track reamped through JamUP Pro app "Marshall JCM800" model.

I'll post a link tomorrow. They turned out really well.

My point is that models can be used to help get a great tone. Moving mics around, though, makes a big difference - towards the centre of the cone vs outside of the cone; on axis vs off-axis, etc. Choosing the right mics makes a big difference too. As does blending tones.

The models really held their own against the miked sounds and, honestly, could have been used simply on their own.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.