#1
Hi all -
Ive been grappling with room acoustic issues for some time now, most noticably during mixing and production. But now, Im starting to wonder if my room acoustics are wrecking havoc during tracking. Let me give you some background:
My amp is an engl powerball thru a mesa4x12 v30, no pedals or effects, and CLOSE micd with an sm57. My amp settings are bass at 5/10, mids at 4.5/10, treble at 3/10 (the treble sounds really harsh past 4), the presence and depth punch are 5/10, gain is 4/10, the 'bottom' switch is off, and my contour switch is off. My interface is an rme babyface and im running reaper as my daw. My speakers are JBL Lsr308s. You should also note that I recently started using Room EQ Wizard to get some corrective eq for my room; i have an eq vst in my master that i switch on and off for the corrected sound.

So here is the issue that I noticed - I was micing up my guitar amp to test some recorded tones. Before micing, i put my ear next to the speaker where I planned to place my mic and looked for a nice beefy overdriven tone- it didnt take long to find that. So I recorded it. When I played the track back (without my room correction), it sounded pretty accurate/similar to what I heard with my head near the speaker (beefy, maybe more low end than I expected, well rounded). But when I switch on my room corrective Eq, it lost like all of its power. It sounds like it is just tons of midrange with not enough beef. It doesnt sound bad on its own, but when you compare it to a guitar amp demo (i listened to Ola playing through an Engl Fireball 100, with practically the same exact setup) or some production with heavy guitars, it just sounds really weak in a one-on-one guitar comparison. So I thought, maybe I screwed up my room Eq correction.

So then I listen to the solo guitar track in my car. While it didnt sound exactly like either of the two (room eq on or off), it sounded more like playback with the room eq enabled (weak, lacking bass ect, a lot of midrange).

So my question is this - where am I going wrong? Is the sound that I hear when I put my ear really close to my guitar speaker still wrong? Even though im right next to the source, I am still hearing nulls, ect? And / or, is the sound that my mic picks up being affected by the room nulls? I thought if you close mic, it largely eliminates the issues from your room.

Here's a link to the quick .wav that I recorded too. Hopefully you guys can access it on dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j1vdw9bw93j1bde/untitled.wav?dl=0
(Note that about half way through this recording, i stopped it and changed my mic position to see if there would be a drastic positive or negative difference; thats why the tone changes).

Any help would be great! My guess is that because my room is small, I think I am hearing way more bass that is actually not there. But it is so complicated, because everything sounds different everywhere I go
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Last edited by Watterboy at Jul 27, 2016,
#3
Quote by Will Lane
How exactly did you set up the program to do its thing/how does it do its thing?

I used room eq wizard with a sine sweep to figure out what my dips and peaks were in my room, but the eq correction has nothing to do with my recorded guitar tone
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#4
Quote by Watterboy
I used room eq wizard with a sine sweep to figure out what my dips and peaks were in my room, but the eq correction has nothing to do with my recorded guitar tone
Hmm, okay. REW then gives/applies a correctional master EQ to make the spectrum as flat as possible? Maybe you are so used to hearing exaggerated responses from your system. Do fully mastered professional tracks sound proper through your system?
#5
Quote by Will Lane
Hmm, okay. REW then gives/applies a correctional master EQ to make the spectrum as flat as possible? Maybe you are so used to hearing exaggerated responses from your system. Do fully mastered professional tracks sound proper through your system?


Yea, actually professional stuff sounds amazing in my setup.

This was a great reply I got from somebody on Gearslutz forum - i think my volume is too low, and also it sounds better in the room because the amp is coupled to the room and rocking it essentially; but when you close mic, you are basically hearing just a raw directional sound from the speaker and not getting the whole rocking of the room
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Watterboy, I love you.

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

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#6
If your favorite tracks sound great on your monitors, but your recorded guitar doesn't, experiment with your recording technique. Your playback system and listening room are not the problem. Move the amp around, move the mic around, double track.
"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
#7
Quote by Watterboy
Yea, actually professional stuff sounds amazing in my setup.

This was a great reply I got from somebody on Gearslutz forum - i think my volume is too low, and also it sounds better in the room because the amp is coupled to the room and rocking it essentially; but when you close mic, you are basically hearing just a raw directional sound from the speaker and not getting the whole rocking of the room
That is curious too. I wonder if the sine sweep was so loud that the REW drastically cut on some frequencies that were resonating really bad, but now that you are playing back a single track at a lower volume those frequencies are not resonating as much making the REW inaccurate.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jul 28, 2016,
#8
Quote by Will Lane
That is curious too. I wonder if the sine sweep was so loud that the REW drastically cut on some frequencies that were resonating really bad, but now that you are playing back a single track at a lower volume those frequencies are not resonating as much making the REW inaccurate.


Sorry, I meant to share this in my previous post. Great reply from somebody on gearslutz that makes a lot of sense and may help some people here-
Lots of stuff here...

"Does the room impact the sound of a close mic'd guitar cab? Yeah...It does. Try it yourself. Record the cabinet in one room, and then another with the same mic placement. Depending on the room sizes and cabinet placement in the room, the results may be better or worse. It's never a bad idea to have a decently "flat" room. It could be live or dead as long as it's "flat" from a spectral perspective. While not essential, it sure makes your job easier.

So you've got a 4x12 cab and you're micing one speaker with a 57. (Nothing wrong with that) The cab will acoustically couple to the floor, the walls, and give a "bigger" sound in the room than will be picked up by the 57 up close on a single speaker in the cab. Listening to a recorded 4x12 cab through a pair of 8" speakers will seem "small" in comparison to the live cab as well.

The guitar sound you're getting isn't that bad really. If you go back earlier in this post I mentioned the 4x12 cab will couple with the floor and walls that's it's near. If you're micing the bottom speaker(s) of the 4x12 and getting too much boom, try the top speakers. Not that you'll probably find one speaker that is "better" than the others in the cab. You could try to move that speaker to a different position in the cab (better sounding speaker is in the bottom, but the bottom is too boomy? Move the speaker to the top of the cab). I didn't catch if your cab was a slant or a straight. Slant cabs will always be more "midrangey" while straight cabs will be "brighter."

For "brighter" guitars use a straight cab and mic the top speaker. For brighter yet bassier guitars, try a straight cab mic'd on the bottom speakers. Want to change the "whump" in the guitar sound? Move the cab closer/further away from a wall or corner.

Don't be afraid to twist knobs either. Just because person A got a killer sound with XYZ amp with these settings doesn't mean you'll get the same tones. Tubes vary by +-20% or more, pots are typically 10-20% tolerance as well. Get the room/cabinet/mic thing sounding as good as you can and then tweak those knobs.

Oh...One more thing...On many amps the "tone" of the amp changes with volume. Not all amps sound great "cranked" (*cough* recto *cough*)."
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