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Dreaded close mic on my amp...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Paulie13, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Paulie13

    Paulie13 Tele-Holic

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    I am having trouble with my amp being mic'ed into the house PA. I have always loved the sound of my amp, but hate it when it has to be mic'ed. At our gig last night, the guitar player from the other band heard me warming up pre-sound check and asked if he could come up and play my rig because it sounded so awesome. The sound guys throws and mic in front of my amp and instantly I hate my sound. No warmth, all treble and ice pick sounds. I try to compensate through EQ, but I still can't dial it in to sound like it does by itself.

    We never have our own sound guys, usually just a guy provided for us. The thing is, these are usually shows with a lot of bands where you have 5 mins to set up and sound check, so there is not a lot of time to adjust. Do you guys have any advice on quick fixes, or anything to try and get my natural tone to come through the PA?
     
  2. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    Ask the sound guy to set the eq flat and let you adjust your own tone. Some will, and some won't.
     
  3. Monster Mike Welch

    Monster Mike Welch Tele-Meister

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    With an SM57, bury that thing on the grille - it's counterintuitive, but proximity effect gives you a low end bump. Find the spot on the cone halfway between the center and edge, and move it around until you find the sweetest spot possible.

    Short of that, get a ribbon mic like a Royer or Beyer 160 and bring your own.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  4. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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  5. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Tele-Afflicted

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    Learn and use your own placement of the mic. You might get hardcore and buy your own, an SM57 is always in order, people talk about them as indestructible, but they do not sound the same after being dropped and abused. The most important thing is placement, close to the grill, somewhere between the dust cover and the edge and usually at a slight angle. Put it where it belongs yourself. Maybe even mark the spot with a bit of yarn stitched through the grill or tape outlining the sweet spot. If you look at concert footage you will see a lot of speaker cabs with a little square of tape right where the mic is supposed to go. Even the stars have the same problem.

    Done right mic'ing up will enhance the sound with some added compression and depth.
     
  6. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    ++++++++++100 Can't say enough about this. You must be responsible for your rig. Where it's placed on stage, settings, and mic placement.

    I have never heard put the mic directly centered on the cone to reduce treble? I do place the mic between the cone and speaker edge.
     
  7. Monster Mike Welch

    Monster Mike Welch Tele-Meister

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    That's not what I meant to say. I meant bury it on the grill, not in the cone. Sorry!
     
  8. scud133

    scud133 Tele-Holic

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    placement is HUGELY important. you've probably seen on big touring acts that they usually mark a little square on the grill cloth with tape where the mic is supposed to go. that way they always have the mic in exactly the right spot to get the tone they like.

    the tonal variation between the outside edge of the speaker and the center of the speaker is massive. spend some time to figure out where you like it.
     
  9. joeyvelour

    joeyvelour TDPRI Member

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  10. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    Let me guess, your in the band that's opening and the sound man works for the guys that are headlining... The opening acts get the **** treatment and aren't going to sound better than the headliners, i've seen this a lot!!!


    Get a Twin Reverb and reach down and turn the house mic off, have someone in the audience be your ears and signal you to turn up or down.
     
  11. mr.danny

    mr.danny Former Member

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    teleamp you are a soundman's nightmare haha.
     
  12. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

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    I am both a soundguy and a guitar player. I find soundguys sometime are in too much of a hurry and just stick the mic in front and don't aim it to the sweet spot. Festival and multi band shows complicate this matter. It is best to step out front during your sound check to hear what your rig sounds like. Do as stated above. Adjust your own sound out front and also find the spot where it sounds the best to you and tape a square. I have been using the Sennheiser 609 guitar cab mic,and have also found the EV N/D 478 to be a much improved sound than just any old SM57.
    Remember the soundperson works for you. If you use the same person alot, you might need to talk shop and and see what he is doing out front when mixing. boosting/cutting of the frequencies you are giving him. What does he see as a good guitar sound?
     
  13. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to tech for a band that opened a lot of shows, the lead guitarist was awesome (he used a small se amp that I built), at almost every show, by the second or third song someone from the headlining act walked to the sound booth and the FOH sound on my guys amp changed dramatically. The monitor sound guy kept the monitors the same so my guy never heard the difference, when I told him about it he laughed and said that it happens all of the time.


    Don't point the Twin at the singers mic!
     
  14. varakeef

    varakeef Tele-Afflicted

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    It's the guitarist job to get the sound that comes from his amp into his liking.

    It's the sound man's job to capture that and make it sound good to the audience, in context to everything else that is coming from the PA.

    The point is, when you're on the stage you don't know how it sounds from the audience perspective. Guitarist getting his own microphone, positioning it himself is not a guarantee of anything. The fix is to have own sound man for a band who knows the band, knows the material, knows how the band in question operates.

    If you tour without one, you'll encounter good and great ones and the ones not so great.
     
  15. Paulie13

    Paulie13 Tele-Holic

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    Good points guys. I would love to be able to move it around to get the sound I like, but often I dont get time. I really like the idea though of marking a sweet spot on the grill cloth. Might give that a try to at least have a good starting point when I show up to the gigs.
     
  16. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Tele-Afflicted

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    Does anybody remember the Legend amps? Came in nice oak cabinets with cane grills. One option was an SM57 mic capsule pre-mounted behind the grill. That was clever.
     
  17. Donnie55

    Donnie55 Tele-Afflicted

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    1.Its pretty hard to judge your guitar tone from stage.
    2. Dont be afraid to talk to the house engineer, tell him what your looking for
    3 Dont be overly concerned what someone in the audience says about your tone most of the time they dont have a clue what they are talking about.
    4 Even if you have your own mic the sound will change from venue to venue different stage different sound every time. So your gonna need to know how to get the tone your looking for . Trust me if the house guy cant get a guitar sound right yer screwed anyway way the rest of the mix is gonna be so bad no one is gonna notice how bad yer guitar sounds....
     
  18. mlove3

    mlove3 Tele-Afflicted

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    the soundman is not putting the mic in the right place to begin with. I'd let him put it where he wants and then you reset it to a predetermined position that you may want to mark with tape.
    How do you determine the sweet spot? Mic it yourself at home and listen through cans to any recording device to find what sounds best.
     
  19. varakeef

    varakeef Tele-Afflicted

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    There is no universal sweet spot in front of any given amp. It varies and depends most of the room, then everything that happens after the microphone.

    The position of the mic will affect how the sound man turns the knobs, the assumption should be he knows where he 's going to position the mic and how he's going to treat it thereafter.

    The most imortant thing is how the whole band sounds like. The guitar is just a part of it.
     
  20. tiktok

    tiktok Poster Extraordinaire

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    Once you've gotten the amp sounding good to you onstage, the soundguy's job is to make everything sound good in the room. Without standing out at the sound desk, while the band and you are playing (and preferably while the audience is in the room soaking up all those high frequencies), it's impossible to judge whether his mic/eq/mix technique is getting the job done.
     
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