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Hey so I've recently recorded my band and I'm happy with the mixes but i'd like to progress in my recording techniques.

 

I recorded my guitarists on a 100 watt combo marshall amp which had an emulated direct line out which I used as opposed to micing. I believed this produced the sound we were looking for.

 

BUT

 

Recently both my guitarists have purchased half stacks and are wishing to use their new amps for recording, so of course I said definitely. When they brought down just the head I expected to achieve the same results. The thing was they didnt have emulated line outs on them so I opted for the speaker outputs on both heads but achieved a thin guitar sound (Not Nice) so we tried the headphone outputs and achieved the same.

The thing was it would sound ok on clean but it was when they try distortion you would lose all the body in the sound.

 

Can anybody suggest what I should do to get that meaty distorted sound whilst still getting those clean pronounced guitar sounds?

 

Cheers

 

Also I am using a Firepod with Cubase SX3

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For starters, let's discuss using the speaker outputs to record directly:

 

In a word, DON'T DO IT! Plugging a speaker level output directly into a recorder's line input is like trying to drive a semi truck through a mouse hole - something is going to get destroyed! :eek:

 

Of course, if you're using a product like a Hughes and Kettner Red Box in between the speaker output and speaker to obtain a line level output (in the case of the Red Box or Palmer speaker sims, that line out will simulate the sound of a speaker), that's one thing... but a speaker output should never be patched directly into a preamp, line input, etc. without the use of something to knock the level way down.

 

My usual suggestion for guitars is to get the sound you want coming out of the amp first (critically important IMHO), then capture that sound via a mic or several microphones. If you want to go direct, you can use a speaker emulator. If your amp doesn't have one, lots of companies make them.

 

Of course, if you still have that combo amp available, and the emulated output on that was giving you exactly the tone you wanted, you could just use that and let the guitarists use the new amps for live... ;)

 

BTW, welcome to the forum. :wave:

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Haha, woo let me just wipe that sweat from my brow. Cheers for the advice..

 

It seems though that when I use a mic/mics I cant achieve it as powerful as compared to the direct line. I seem to pick up to much background or it just hasnt got the 'balls'

 

Now a speaker emulator does sound intriguing, where exactly can I get one and how much do they range for?

 

Also would it make a difference if I was to record a cab or the speakers in a combo for instance?

 

Cheers.

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A lot of people like to dump on the 57, but I like 'em. I will use a 57 or a 421 up close on the cabinet, and an LDC farther away from the cabinet. The combination of the two together gives a beautiful, large sound. The 57 especially comes alive when paired with a good quality mic preamp. For guitars cabinets, I use either my Neve Portico or my Peavey VMP-2.

 

And yes, don't use your speaker output for direct recording. Bad sound, and potentially bad results.

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just slap a 57 on the speaker [pick one of them] and move it around until you get the balance of highs and lows.

 

also, if you like the direct sound, so a split and grab the DI on the way in [clean] and run it through something like guitar rig and combine that with your amp'd sound.

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If you are micing your amp, one thing that often thins out a sound is cranking the amp up too loud. There's a point of no return. Just turn it up loud enough to get your tone, and no louder. And do what Alphajerk says - move the mic around until you get a balance of highs and lows. As I said before, I like to have a second mic, a room mic, which really opens up the sound and makes it super large.

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If you are micing your amp, one thing that often thins out a sound is cranking the amp up too loud. There's a point of no return. Just turn it up loud enough to get your tone, and no louder. And do what Alphajerk says - move the mic around until you get a balance of highs and lows. As I said before, I like to have a second mic, a room mic, which really opens up the sound and makes it super large.

 

 

True that man, when an amp is too loud sometimes its like the tone gets transparent and harsh, like theyres holes in it leaving jagged edges.

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Palmer
- about $600.


H&K Red Box
- about $120.


If you want to mic the amp, but it's too loud and ticks off the neighbors, the
THD Hotplate
is a good product to consider.


As far as guitar microphones, there are a ton of great choices and techniques, but you could do a lot worse than the Shure SM57.
:)

 

IMO:

 

Palmer - don't have one.

 

H&K - have several, not a great sound but certainly better than NO emulation, nice and cheap, BUT you have to leave the speaker connected on a tube amp so if the neighbors are a problem this won't solve it.

 

Hotplate - It will make you amp quieter, but it won't sound like a miked speaker. And every notch you take the volume down makes the sound worse. Anyone want to buy mine, cheap?

 

Motherload - Best combination dummy load / attenuator and speaker sim I've yet to hear! Sounds just wonderful and has tons of adjustments. But - it ain't cheap.

 

Yellow Jackets - replacement tube adapters to make your amp quieter while still allowing you to overdrive the output stage. Advantage - it really is a lot quieter. Disadvantage - sounds like a completely different amp, which you may or may not like.

 

SM57 - The standard, but no longer the best. Advantages - if you see a loose screw or nail and don't have a hammer, you can beat it back into place with a 57 and the 57 will work. Disadvantages - you really have to move it around a lot to get the sound you want - which is hard if you're doing it by yourself.

 

E609 - The NEW 57 for miking guitar amps. Just....better, and less finicky about placement, hangs down for side address. Try it! Disadvantages - none, except if you have a metal grille on your amp and you hang it, you'll be wondering what all those annoying "tick" sounds are as the mike bounces off the grille repeatedly.

 

E609 + LD condenser mike back a ways - Maybe the ultimate miking technique, letting you blend to get the sound you want. Disadvantage - if your room sounds crappy so will your recording.

 

Royer 121 ribbon - Very sweet sound, especially on combo amps, nothing quite like a ribbon if you like that sound. Disadvantage - you really need to use the back (more delicate) side of the mike, and you need to put it up pretty close to the grille for the best sound - which is exactly the two things the manufacturer says NOT to do to the delicate ribbon.

 

Just my thoughts based on what I do.

 

Terry D.

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If you feel like the bottom end is missing, try micing the back of the cab (with a second mic ).

Just don't forget to reverse the phase.

 

I've found this trick handy on very small combos, YMMV.

 

You'd be surprised how good a miced guitar amp can sound, at conversation volumes.

 

-Ron

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SM57 - The standard, but no longer the best. Advantages - if you see a loose screw or nail and don't have a hammer, you can beat it back into place with a 57 and the 57 will work. Disadvantages - you really have to move it around a lot to get the sound you want - which is hard if you're doing it by yourself.

 

E609 - The NEW 57 for miking guitar amps. Just....better, and less finicky about placement, hangs down for side address. Try it! Disadvantages - none, except if you have a metal grille on your amp and you hang it, you'll be wondering what all those annoying "tick" sounds are as the mike bounces off the grille repeatedly.

 

I agree with a lot of what you posted Terry. :) The Hotplate is more of an attenuator, not a speaker sim. The Red Box isn't the be all, end all of emulators, but certainly beats nothing at all. Haven't tried a Mother Load yet, so no comments on that. The Palmer is actually pretty good - I don't own one, but a client does, and I've used it (although blended with microphones on cabs; IOW, not exclusively) several times. Yes, THD Yellowjackets are (usually) going to knock your wattage down a bit (although not really in a 6V6 amp), but are more about a tonal change IMO - EL84's sound quite a bit different from 6L6's / 6V6's / and even EL34's.

 

But I do disagree regarding the E609 vs the SM57. :) I find the 609 is far more placement sensitive than the SM57. It has a tighter polar pattern, and IMO doesn't sound very good off-axis. Yes, you can hang the cable over the amp and have it sit flat against the grille, and I wouldn't mind that live, but in the studio, I'd rather avoid the direct coupling if I can - I usually don't like to have my microphones and cables in contact with my sound sources. I use mine on a stand... and I might have it only a few whisker's distance from the grille, but I never have it touching it, regardless of what it's made of. I'm just funny that way I guess. ;):D

 

I think the E609 is a nice microphone, but to my ears, it's a bit fuller and darker, and has a more pronounced sounding proximity effect and less presence peak than a 57. If you want extra meat and thump, it works well, and while I do own one, and have been happy with it in some cases and for some sounds, I usually prefer a 421 if I'm going for that sort of a tone.

 

A 57 also isn't a bad mic, but it's not my go-to on guitar cabs either. A lot of the time, for dynamics, I use Audix D2's and i5's. They have some of the meat of the 609, and some of the presence of the 57 IMO. Lately for me though, it's been more about ribbon microphones - a Groove Tubes Velo-8 on one amp / cab, and a Beyer M160 on another cab in a second room, with maybe a LD condenser further back in the room on the same cab as the Velo-8. Both of those ribbons are VERY cool sounding on guitar cabs, and both are less expensive than the (also very nice ) Royers and Coles ribbon microphones. AEA also makes some killer ribbons. I'm not too up to date on some of the Asian built ribbon mikes...

 

But hey - I think it ought to be possible to get at least pretty decent / good tracks with any of the microphones we talked about in this thread. I think the key is getting the guitar to sound great coming out of the amp, and then experimenting so you know the way the mic sounds and how it reacts in different positions relative to the speaker(s), and then placing (or moving) the thing until what you hear coming out of the CR speakers is as close as possible to the way it sounded out in the room.

 

And I agree - it can be hard to get tones without an assistant to help with positioning the mic while you listen in the control room - although a pair of the Extreme Isolation headphones can help a lot with that. :wave:

 

There are a ton of viable ways to mic up guitar cabinets, and I've been thinking about them a lot lately - even more than usual (and not a week goes by where I don't stick a mic in front of a guitar cab - or several guitar cabs ;) ) because I have been getting ready to draw up an outline for a instructional video on the subject that I was asked if I might be interested in doing... :o I think that might be a fun / interesting project. :)

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SM57 - The standard, but no longer the best. Advantages - if you see a loose screw or nail and don't have a hammer, you can beat it back into place with a 57 and the 57 will work. Disadvantages - you really have to move it around a lot to get the sound you want - which is hard if you're doing it by yourself.


E609 - The NEW 57 for miking guitar amps. Just....better, and less finicky about placement, hangs down for side address. Try it! Disadvantages - none, except if you have a metal grille on your amp and you hang it, you'll be wondering what all those annoying "tick" sounds are as the mike bounces off the grille repeatedly.


I agree with a lot of what you posted Terry.
:)
The Hotplate is more of an attenuator, not a speaker sim. The Red Box isn't the be all, end all of emulators, but certainly beats nothing at all. Haven't tried a Mother Load yet, so no comments on that. The Palmer is actually pretty good - I don't own one, but a client does, and I've used it (although blended with microphones on cabs; IOW, not exclusively) several times. Yes, THD Yellowjackets are (usually) going to knock your wattage down a bit (although not really in a 6V6 amp), but are more about a tonal change IMO - EL84's sound quite a bit different from 6L6's / 6V6's / and even EL34's.


But I do disagree regarding the E609 vs the SM57.
:)
I find the 609 is far more placement sensitive than the SM57. It has a tighter polar pattern, and IMO doesn't sound very good off-axis. Yes, you can hang the cable over the amp and have it sit flat against the grille, and I wouldn't mind that live, but in the studio, I'd rather avoid the direct coupling if I can - I usually don't like to have my microphones and cables in contact with my sound sources. I use mine on a stand... and I might have it only a few whisker's distance from the grille, but I never have it touching it, regardless of what it's made of. I'm just funny that way I guess.
;):D

I think the E609 is a nice microphone, but to my ears, it's a bit fuller and darker, and has a more pronounced sounding proximity effect and less presence peak than a 57. If you want extra meat and thump, it works well, and while I do own one, and have been happy with it in some cases and for some sounds, I usually prefer a 421 if I'm going for that sort of a tone.


A 57 also isn't a bad mic, but it's not my go-to on guitar cabs either. A lot of the time, for dynamics, I use Audix D2's and i5's. They have some of the meat of the 609, and some of the presence of the 57 IMO. Lately for me though, it's been more about ribbon microphones - a Groove Tubes Velo-8 on one amp / cab, and a Beyer M160 on another cab in a second room, with maybe a LD condenser further back in the room on the same cab as the Velo-8. Both of those ribbons are VERY cool sounding on guitar cabs, and both are less expensive than the (also very nice ) Royers and Coles ribbon microphones. AEA also makes some killer ribbons. I'm not too up to date on some of the Asian built ribbon mikes...


But hey - I think it ought to be possible to get at least pretty decent / good tracks with any of the microphones we talked about in this thread. I think the key is getting the guitar to sound great coming out of the amp, and then experimenting so you know the way the mic sounds and how it reacts in different positions relative to the speaker(s), and then placing (or moving) the thing until what you hear coming out of the CR speakers is as close as possible to the way it sounded out in the room.


And I agree - it can be hard to get tones without an assistant to help with positioning the mic while you listen in the control room - although a pair of the Extreme Isolation headphones can help a lot with that.
:wave:

There are a ton of viable ways to mic up guitar cabinets, and I've been thinking about them a lot lately - even more than usual (and not a week goes by where I don't stick a mic in front of a guitar cab - or several guitar cabs
;)
) because I have been getting ready to draw up an outline for a instructional video on the subject that I was asked if I might be interested in doing...
:o
I think that might be a fun / interesting project.
:)

I'd watch it!!

 

Cheers for the replies guys, really helped. Going to record hopefully next week so I should get a few previews of what I've taken on board and tell me what you think!

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Hey guy's no recording could be done, someone stole my mic stands at a gig, got to get some more. Very angry atm.

 

Also got another question. You know when you find especially in big studios that in the control room the head is there but the cab is in the live room mic'ed up. Just wondering how that works, how do they connect the head to the cab?

 

Cheers

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You connect a 1/4" cable from the amp's output to a snake that goes to the room (whether it's through the wall or whatever). On the other side of the snake, you connect the associated 1/4" output to the cabinet.

 

In my home studio, I run a snake under the doors out from the control room (the second bedroom) to the drum room (that'd be the living room) and connect it as above. It's just that the whole snake is going under the doors instead of being neatly tucked into the walls, but it's the same idea.

 

And of course, I suppose anyone could just get a super long cable and have them go under the door. I've done that too.

 

Now, I should put in my two cents. I defer to the guitarist's comfort level, obviously, but whenever possible, I try and have the guitarist in the same room as the cabinet because I like to capture that energy and interaction that comes when the guitar's pickups and the cabinet interact, and the whole interaction of someone being in the same room as the sound that they're creating. But, like everyone else, I don't always do that.

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You connect a 1/4" cable from the amp's output to a snake that goes to the room (whether it's through the wall or whatever). On the other side of the snake, you connect the associated 1/4" output to the cabinet.


In my home studio, I run a snake under the doors out from the control room (the second bedroom) to the drum room (that'd be the living room) and connect it as above. It's just that the whole snake is going under the doors instead of being neatly tucked into the walls, but it's the same idea.


And of course, I suppose anyone could just get a super long cable and have them go under the door. I've done that too.


Now, I should put in my two cents. I defer to the guitarist's comfort level, obviously, but whenever possible, I try and have the guitarist in the same room as the cabinet because I like to capture that energy and interaction that comes when the guitar's pickups and the cabinet interact, and the whole interaction of someone being in the same room as the sound that they're creating. But, like everyone else, I don't always do that.

Cheers, thought it might have been that

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