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If I am recording at home and want to mic up my amp? Is it best to direct the mic to the center of the cone, close. Or to set it 3-4 feet away from the amp? Could also plug direct into the deck I guess? Any advise on that?
 

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Mic Placement

From my experience............you could spend hours on mike placement..........but for a quick beginning........set the eq flat on the mic channel on whatever board you are using. And just experiment moving in/around the cone...(hopefully you have an amp sound youre happy with).........the cone might not even be the best sounding to your ear........it could be off to one side somewhere. If its a 4x12 you are miking you are going to have to determine which of its 4 spkrs sounds the best. They wont be the same.
As for close/distance miking.................I usually put one close on the sweet spot of the speaker and another about 10 or 12 feet back to pick up some room ambience. Its really just a matter of experimenting. If you have(or can afford) a tube preamp for your mic/mics......it really adds a warmth that digital cant do........ Of course the quality of your mikes are going to be a major factor in all this.
hope this helps
Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Recording

Thanks Ray. I have both a 4x12 and a 1x12 combo, Marshall. Of course they sound different but I hear what you are saying regarding the placement. I guess it comes down to a lot of experimentation no matter what. I have good Shure mics so should be OK there. 8 track machine, not the greatest but has done well. Nothing going to be published here !!

Thanks again
 

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Experimentation is the key for sure. I have the mike facing the centre of the speaker cone, almost touching the grille. Also, don't assume that all the speakers in a cab sound the same. I can hear an obvious difference between the 4 Celestions in my Peavey Butcher cab, and I ended up using the bottom left speaker for miking, because it just sounds the best.
 

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Be aware that placing more than one mic on an amp introduces a whole new set of issues that can be challenging even for seasoned engineers let alone someone just starting out. You will introduce phasing issues caused by soundwaves reaching mics at different distances at conflicting positions of the wave cycle. There is no way to completely eliminate this (unless the mics are exactly the same distance and axis) because your guitar is not putting out just one frequency and all frequencies have different wavelengths. There will always be multiplying and canceling of certain frequency ranges using 2 mics, it's more a matter of finding a sweet spot that is actually a comprimise... or maybe you even intentionally want to enhance or cut a certain frequency area. The thing that I hear in a recording where the 2 mics didn't have a complimentary or flattering phase relationship is a sort of hollowness that I can't stand. Alot of pros will tell you that if you are new to micing an amp you'll probably get the best results with a single mic. You could spend literally hours trying to get a nice phase relationship between 2 mics, pull all your hair out over it, and still end up going to just one mic.

It's also really hard to listen for the sweet spot when moving the mics around unless you have another person to help you do that while you play your guitar and monitor live through a good set of headphones (ideally sound isolating headphones, not "open" ones)

[EDIT]
Something I've found invalueable for making this all less of a concern is phase correction plugins for my recording program. I can stick 2 mics on a guitar amp with complete disregard for the phase between them... record to a stereo track with one mic on the left and the other on the right... throw a phase correction plugin like NuGen Monofilter or Voxengo PHA-979 on the channel and tweak to taste while summing the track to mono. A true godsend!
 

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I like an SM 57 and for a 'starting point' I mic from the outside edge of the cone on an angle with the cone pointing towards the center. For live recording this works well for me, I also leave it back about 5 inches or so, but someone almost always chokes it straight up to the amp as they assume the mic has moved. Further out gives you a more open sound. Amps are usually pretty loud so I'm not to concerned about other instruments bleeding through.

From there you have to adjust it by ear.

Going straight on, I find harsh, and the higher frequencies eminate from the center of the cone, lower ones are further out towards the edge. Putting the mic really close to the amp (touching the grill) works, but the sound is really tight.

When recording I would mike the amp and the room seperately for starters. Record both mics to seperate tracks so you have options when you mix down.
 
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The best way to mic an amp is not to mic it at all. I used to mic slightly off-axis with a SM57 and then an AKG large diaphragm condenser in the room for ambiance. Ever since the Palmer unit I have stopped using mics altogether. Best $400 I ever spent on studio gear.
 

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iaresee said:
The best way to mic an amp is not to mic it at all. I used to mic slightly off-axis with a SM57 and then an AKG large diaphragm condenser in the room for ambiance. Ever since the Palmer unit I have stopped using mics altogether. Best $400 I ever spent on studio gear.
Hmmm, I've never heard any of these type of things that I found satisfactory but I'm pretty picky about guitar recordings. There's just not enough going on there compared to actual modeling which takes into account the relationship between certain mics, speakers and the air betwen them and the room... and even with that there are only 2 modelers that I feel have gotten it right. I've either tried myself or listened to clips of just about everything that's out there going back 3 or 4 years, both software and hardware. But, like I said, I'm super picky about this stuff and how authentic my guitar tracks sound. I came to the realization that nothing is the same as recording a good boutique amp through a 4x12 with a good mic and proper placement so I went and bought a Soldano etc. and proved myself right. That is, until Amplitube 2 and Revalver MKII recently came out. If they were available at the time I bought my amp I probably would have held off... my Soldano hasn't seen alot of action lately :wink:
 

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Rather than try to explain this process I thought you might be interested in how Michael Wagner does it. It's a good read. Just scroll down a few posts till you see Michael's explaination. I gotta get to work!:rockon:
 
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jroberts said:
Those Palmer things are a good tool if you absolutely can not mic an amp. They still don't hold a candle to a properly mic'ed amp, though. Better than a poorly mic'ed amp, I suppose.
I disagree. This unit is not a stand-in for when you cannot use a mic. The Palmer unit takes the guess work out of mic choice and placement and preamp choice. And plenty of artists record and perform with them exclusively rather than go through the pains of mic'ing (see this and this). Satriani is a big endorser and, except where he's looking for feedback from his amps, his albums are recorded guitar -> amp -> Palmer.

Royer R121. That's all you need to know (other than the fact that you need a really good mic pre to go along with it).
Fantastic mic if you've got $1400 for the mic. And another $1000 for a great preamp. And the room to turn your amp up loud. And the time to spend finding the sweet spot for the mic.
 

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Still, I guess these types of devices are just not for me and the types of music I record. I'm aware of the the big name artists that are using them and to be honest they're all guys whose sound I don't really salivate over in the first place... and in most cases there's usually a huge differenece between what an artist or band uses live and what was used in the studio. For most of the bands I listen to, the guitars and even amps belonged to the producer and some were rare and cherished house amps that belong to the studio. the reason I know this is that I'm fanatic when it comes to recording and I make it a point to contact the engineers/producers/guitars players to ask very detailed questions about the recordings I listen to when I hear something I like on an album I'm listening to... detailed questions regarding everything from guitars, pickups, amps, mics, preamps basses, compressors, settings and so on. I've been very fortunate in getting rather detailed feedback on my enquiries.

But I digress. I'm not saying something like this device doesn't have its uses for some people including those big names, but I guess it all depends on what your after in a guitar recording and for me these kinds of devices just don't cut it for what I'm doing here. There are certain subtleties and details that I won't bore anyone by trying to describe, but these characteristics have been lacking in even the best modelers until recently and I can guarantee there's alot more going on in digital modeling to try to achieve those things than what can be produced by a passive simulator. As far as I'm concerned there are even only 2 modelers out there right now that both happen to be software that actually get this stuff right... and I would give my left nut to anyone who would be able to tell in a blind test that certain recordings I've heard done with them with reference to particular genres and rythym styles weren't an actual miced amp. Again I could write an entire page about what those subtleties are to my ear, but they come down to things like a tightness and grunt in the bottom end especially when palm muting, and a quality to the high end that doesn't sound "direct" regardless of being filtered to a speaker's spectrum. I just don't hear the stuff I'm talking about coming out of these kinds of simulated passive hardware devices... but I tell ya what (as Hank Hill would say) if someone played me a recording of one these things that retained all the characteristics I'm refering to I'll be the first one to eat my words, sell my cabinet and buy one... I'd love to be able to put my Soldano to use while not getting kicked outa here! Until then I'm going to try a little experiment. I've been wanting to try a blend of my miced Soldano played simultaneously direct through Amplitube 2's Marshall or Revalver MKII's Rectifier with a convolution impulsed mic/cab. I bought a Radial Engineering Tonebone Switchbone for just such a splitting purpose and I think it's finally time to get off my ass and try it out. Sounds like a project for the weekend.

Anyway, I told you I was a fanatic about this stuff and am really hard to please... probably to a fault, but the results in the end are always worth it when I'm listening back to this stuff.
 
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jroberts said:
Yep. And if you don't have the tools or the time, you can use a compromise like the Palmer. Nothing wrong with that. Life is all about compromise.
The only thing that bugs me about your response is your use of the word "compromise". It very much isn't a compromise. It is an alternate, and equally valid, choice for capturing the sound of your amp.
 

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iaresee said:
The only thing that bugs me about your response is your use of the word "compromise". It very much isn't a compromise. It is an alternate, and equally valid, choice for capturing the sound of your amp.
Sorry to butt into your reply, but just wanted to say that's sort of what I was getting at too with the short novel I wrote... different people need or want different things out of their tone and this or other devices like it just can't give me what I want. They give some of the big name guys what they want and those guys probably don't care about the subtleties and nuances that I crave in a guitar recording. So I think you are right, it's an alternative for some and a valid one, but for myself it would be a compromise. (I realize your reply wasn't directed at me, but had to add that :wink: ).
 
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jroberts said:
In the same way a POD is. That's all I'm saying. To say that it's "the best" way to do it is rather misleading.
You have a point here: calling any one method "the best" is incredibly misleading. There is no one best method. The best method is whatever works for your situation.

Seaner is recording from home and asked about recording direct in his original post.

Seaner: there are alternatives to mics that work very well. You asked about recording direct and the Palmer is a great way to accomplish this.

In my considerable experience, since carrying the Palmer unit with me into sessions over the last year and a half, 9/10 times it's been the Palmer track that the producer has gone with.

I have a theory about why this is so: the Palmer unit I use all the time. I do work from home and all of the guitar tracks I print are laid down through the Palmer. I know exactly how my guitars and amps sound through the unit. And it doesn't change based on location or engineer. So in a session setting, in some random studio, I know how to go from what the producer is asking for to reality very quickly with the Palmer. I don't have to wonder if they're going to have the right mic on hand. Or if they've got a particular preamp for the mic. Or if they've got a live room that's tuned well. Or if they've even got a competent engineer for that matter. Palmer into a solid state preamp with lots of headroom and I know what it's going to sound like on tape and how to control it.

If direct through your amp is how you want to record check out the Palmer. Hell, try Guitar Rig or AmpliTube like SkunkWorks suggested. Don't feel like there's one "right" way to do it and if you're not doing it that way you're producing something that substandard. If it sounds like the music you intended to make than it's perfect and right and how you captured it is immaterial in the end.
 

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I have used direct line outs and cabinet simulators live and I have no problem with them. I'm sure that some are better than others, but I used to love Hughes and Kettner 'Red Boxes', especially for players with a tonne of rack effects and otherwise 'wishy washy' live sounds.
 

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Couldn't agree more with the last 3 posts :wink:
 

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I've spent hours on this for sure... mic sims are cool but not that great yet.

For my purposes and as a starting point a Sure SM57 placed on or very very near the speaker grill or cloth about one inch from the edge of the voice coil's dust cap and tilted about 20 - 25 degrees ( half of 45 degrees for a visual referance )... see this link for spkr anotomy illustration... http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/e/e6/330px-SpkFrontCutawayView.svg.png

SM57's need to be driven so don't be afraid to play loud but not painfully loud... LOL

As has been said before experiment.
 

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Agree with the last post. The cab sims to me still are a tad too gritty.Almost there, not quite there yet. I have heard some of the palmer demos and there is a fiz like quality that is constant to it as well as the other more expensive ones like the "motherload" unit. In fact, the best side by side comparison I heard was with that little Behringer Ultra G direct box with cab sim. I was quite surprised. If I saw one cheap in Canada I would pick it up. I still however prefer my mike placement like kingPin's (easier to remember this spelling without scrolling down lol) , off at an angle, edge of cone, 2-3 inches back. I would however like to work with both. Mic' the cab and use the cab sim, pan each left and right. That could be cool.

My only problem now, i need a tube preamp as i am going into PC.. recommendations?
 

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there is nothing like the organic experience of miking up your amp, and experimenting :food-smiley-004:
 
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