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For those of you that record your guitar amp, what's your set up and room / amp treatment like?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by FortyEight, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I used to like using a Beyer M88 and a Sennheiser 421, plus an odd sony branded small diaphragm condenser that required an even more odd maybe 24v battery and sounded really nice.
    Now I have a variety of import large & small condensers and sm57/58 plus an AKG 330BT.
    Pretty much I go by sounds good vs sounds bad or needs fixing.
    When I get into internet perfection chasing it never works as well for me as the smarter engineers seem to suggest.

    One thing I find amusing is the trends of internet love for a new cheap import condenser, then read up on that great mic five years later and nobody cares about it any more. Or some get cult status and lots of hobby modding.
    Many of those are very good and after the hype dies down you can stock your mic cabinet with good stuff for like $50 each, and choose the mic that suits the source.
    For LDC's I got two from ADK and one from the original GT for quite low prices in the post trendy markets.
    They all got buyers excited for a few years then lost their status.
    Similarly the AKG D330BT seems to have been considered a throw away some years ago ($50) and now has some value again.

    There are years of home recording where I have no idea what mics I used, just affordable used USA dynamics from the post Elvis era.
    If it sounded a lot like the source I used it.
    And mid priced cassette decks with dual input levels and decent meters.
    Often four pieces recorded with two room mics, moving them and us around as best we could to get a reasonably mix.
    IOW not much technique...
     
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    This morning
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  3. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    This afternoon

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  4. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Until a year or two ago I'd always used a Shure SM57 about six inches from the speaker and slightly off centre. This would go through a rack- mounted analog preamp or complete channel strip into the recorder -- either an Alesis Adat or Tascam 38 open reel tape machine (we're as old skool as it gets around here).

    However, more recently I've sidelined my amps altogether and dug out an old Hughes and Kettner Crunchmaster. Not much bigger than a chunky paperback book, this little all valve amp/preamp gizmo does just about anything -- hitched up to a speaker cab it's a 3W valve amp, plugged straight into a recorder (using the quaintly named Kabinetulator output) it's an excellent guitar/tape interface, it can be your valve front end to a power amp for gigging. And it's built like a tank -- it's been used by my brother-in-law on two long UK theatre tours to give his Hammond an extra push into a Leslie. It's just about visible in the gloom on the left hand side of my steam driven recording setup in the basement man cave.

    The tv is for when I pack the guitars away, open a beer and sit in the old ròcking chair to watch a musìc video, pushing the sound out through the studio monitors.
    20200725_110742.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  5. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele Tele-Holic

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    Over the years I have done everything from building sand filled boxes on calculated isolation mounts with pre cast concrete slabs on top, to chucking a bit of foam under a paving slabs to isolate speakers from structure - this one was a throw together and works just fine for what it needs to do for now - pay attention to the source is the key (and much cheaper than treating the entire room)


    Oh and buy an SM57
     
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  6. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    Maybe I should set it on my bed. It's a tempurpedic....

    Out of the several youtube vids I watched, you guys are the first to talk about what it's actually sitting on. Except for Bruce at sweetwater. He said to get it on a chair. Not sure why but I've done that twice now. Anyways, these suggestions give me something to experiment with. My bass amp (fender bassman made I think somewhere just pre 2000 or around that time), is on casters. I wonder what that does for sound. LOL.

    I do think I may have to try my bed and bedroom next time. There is so much more stuff to soak up room noise in here and putting it on the bed could work like foam thingies. Possibly....

    I really appreciate all the input and tips. Keep em coming if you want.

    I feel like I want to just stick with the SM58 and trying different placements with it before moving on to a condensor mic. Just to figure out what's what. But then again maybe I'd like the MXL990... LOL. I guess having options is nice. Both those mics are borrowed from a friend right now and if he ever needs his stuff back I will need to spring for some. I'm still not convinced that a 58 isn't better than a 57 for ME. Plus if I need one for playing live, I will have it.

    But then again I'm not a kool aid drinker or gear snob. Too broke to be a gear snob. I just try and use whatever I have that I can afford. Which is not much. Super limited budget. I have been fighting lyme disease for the last 15 years and a lot of money goes to doctors. Boooooooo.... I do realize a lot of times you get what you pay for. But I do think sometimes one doesn't have to spend thousands of dollars on this or that to get stuff that works decently. Like guitars for example. My favorite guitar in the years I've played was a mexican tele I bought for 400 bucks.

    I just bought a first act drum set for 50 bucks on facebook. The drum sound is not that bad. The cymbals suck and are beat to heck but as I'm tuning the toms and bass drum they really don't sound too bad. They are wood at least.
     
  7. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    I had recorded with a 57 until I borrowed a really good ribbon mic. What a difference! (The "really good" ribbon has moved away. I've got a Cascade Fat Head that, while not as good, is still better than the 57.)

    However, we had one song* where the Deluxe had to be cranked to 11. We put the amp in our isolation booth.

    *Work in progress, scratch vocal and not mastered.
    Deluxe Amp and mic  2.JPG
     
  8. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    Katana head, Audio Technica AT2035 mic, M-Track 2X2 interface, Reaper and or Audacity DAW. I find the software and presets to be a bottomless rabbit hole so I use the Katana panel controls to dial in and store my sounds. All I have to do is push a button to retrieve the one I want and I'm good to go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I close mike so room doesn't really play any role.

    In any case I am on the few lucky guys that have a totally soundproofed,but not treated, room in my appartment so volume ain't an issue but both of my amps ,a tweed Deluxe and a Marshall 1974x are set for a super clean moderate volume.

    20200730_120027.jpg 20200730_120020.jpg

    I mostly use either a Sennheiser E906 or a Rhode NT1 these days straight into my Audient interface that has terrific preamps ,but sometimes I also use an ancient tube TL Audio PA1 preamp.

    After decades of trying to combine mics,using fancy techniques and any mic under the sun I have concluded that using ONE mic , whatever decent mic around I really don't care, placed in the sweet spot of the speaker , between the dust cup and the cone,right on the grill for dynamics and 2-3 inches away for condensers is the way to go for the sound I like.
    No muss no fuss.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
  10. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those of us in small flats with neighbours can't worry too much about the fine details, but we're really thankful for small amps that sound good at low volume.

    The trick is a good mic, I think. I use a Rode NT1 a few inches out, and usually a Yamaha THR 5. Sounds good to me.
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just close mic in various spots just off centre with a 57 or a 58. I add room ambience with IR or some fx. Put a switch in the boogie’s fan to silence it.

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  12. pugnax

    pugnax Tele-Meister

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    If you’re in a room with complex reflections, an easy technique that I’ve had some luck with is to close mic it (I used to use a 57a but whatever works), grab a couple of mic stands and a few heavy blankets, and make a little tent fort for the amp. Deadens the heck out of it, which can sound pretty nice for some applications. Like everything audio engineering, the techniques need to fit the music being made.

    I’m a big fan of multiple mics on open back cabs. My old studio had brick walls in the live room and a pretty nice sound in general. For one session I did an off-axis SM57a right up close, an AT4040 about 6” away, a SM52a in the back of the cabinet, and a Rode NT4 for room ambience. I’d also put some heavy gobos to the left and right of the amp just to focus the sound a bit and keep any snare rattle out of the condenser. That was a ridiculous set up though. If I were to record in my living room I’d probably just do a draped 609 right on the edge of the center and a 2035 set a bit back, and if it sounded to “open” I’d try the blanket trick.

    But today I use the Royer-121 output from the Tone Master Twin Reverb and am pretty dang happy with it. I’ve started doing a signal split to record the pedalboard output direct in parallel with the thought of doing some ITB IR work to see if I can mimic some of the fancypants studio tricks, but haven’t actually done it yet.
     
  13. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Carpet on the floor.
    In the top pic you can see a blanket. It's covering a metal cabinet and also a collapsed cardboard box behind the amp flattening out a corner.
    You don't need anything fancy.

    2mics_quad.jpg

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    Sometimes I'll put another collapsed cardboard box between these two if I'm recording them at the same time.

    quad_princeton.jpg

    *Always be mindful of phase issues when using two mics and/or two amps.
     
  14. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

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    If I remember right an SM58 has the same capsule as an SM57, just with a wind screen. One thing I will add is you shouldn't record with effects especially reverb. You need to eq reverb with a heavy hand to keep it from being muddy, high pass filter set at least at 250 to 350 hz minimum. I had a client several years ago send me a lead guitar track recorded with reverb against my recommendations, when asked why he said it was the sound they were looking for. Two months later he was complaining that it sounded muddy in the mix. If you don't want to because you believe in analog equipment that's fine also but it does come with certain limitations and when recorded together you can't remove the mud from the reverb without destroying the sound of the guitar.
     
  15. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Experiment, there really is not single optimal solution as amps, mics and rooms vary.

    I generally want options for guitars and will go with a Shure 57 front and a 57 at the back for a combo amp also a Royer R10 ribbon mic next to the 57 in front. A Shure 57 provides the flattest image with a bit of crisp, R10 a bit darker and fuller. I will also put up room mic, condenser, any will do. In my case a Neumann M149 or a Telefunken U47. I may use a DI as well.

    That's 5 tracks and I throw away some of the options depending on the song. I phase check the two 57s but sometimes, I may keep an out of phase distant mic. The reason for all this effort is that when the playing is working, I don't want to have to replay something that was good just because a mic/preamp or wrong mic combination doesn't work. I always find some one or combination of tracks that work.

    Room-wise, I do have a treated room but get just as good a results when placing the amp in the garage. I use the bathroom for recording as well because it's different and a small space.

    Overtime, some of the best tones I have captured are with small amps like a Princeton Reverb. Small amps just bring the sound. Also the VoxAC15C1 tracks really well. For something that just blends into the song a Fender Deluxe works too. I've also tried the large amp, loud source approach and many times the tone is just flat when the mic diaphragm is buried in a wall of sound.

    Just some ideas.
     
  16. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I like the small amps. For lots of reasons but I do think they tend to sound better without too much volume.

    I have two mics but I'm a bit concerned of trying two for phase issues. Plus I only have 1 dynamic (58) and (1) condensor. I think it's the AKG100. Now I forget the name of it. (It's borrowed, I haven't used that one yet so I forget the name of it. LOL)

    I've never tried the mic right on the face. That's an interesting thought.
     
  17. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    had to go back to my original post to remind myself what I had. An MXL990. I could try that one in front and the 58 in the back sometime. I kind of like that idea. I'm working on a a space in my basement for my drumset that is in my garage right now. LOL. I was saying it in another thread but the sound in there (garage) is not too bad when recording with my phone for getting ideas down. Strangely enough. But I've only done the drums and acoustic guitar with singing.

    I think it's probably the higher ceilings with no drywall. The rafters are exposed in my garage.

    I may have to try the guitar in there one time.

    So many options.
     
  18. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    I just realized something this morning. My laptop is not recognizing the interface I'm using. I'm pretty sure the solo I did on my last song was done with the internal laptop mic. LOL.

    Ugh, live and learn.
     
  19. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's what I have set up at the moment - ceiling is about 8 ft up.

    D.H.

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  20. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    @Dave Hicks. Love the double cut!!!! Nice set up. What board are you using there? Does it have USB input directly into your computer?
     
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