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Mic Positioning for guitar amps!

 
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Haze
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Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Mic Positioning for guitar amps! Reply with quote

Bored and want some different opinions on micing guitar amps as far as positioning goes. Obviously everything is dependent of what your needs are, but for my go to micing its usually a dynamic mic centered on the speaker cone, about 2" off from the grill cloth, and a condenser roughly 2' away, center of the cab yet pointing just to the edge of the cab.
The dynamic gets the nice top end of the speaker cone while the condenser not only pick up some lower frequencies of the amp but also gets some ambient sound of the room itself [may not be ideal if you don't have a good sounding room]

The dynamic gets panned hard right, which is just where my guitar is in our band mix, and the condenser bleeds slight left so you hear a nice crisp tracking in one ear and some low roomy sounds in the other. Works for me!!

Mics I use are usually an e609 and an AT4040 [killer condenser!!!!!]

whats your preferred method?
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Al_
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to start with a dynamic pointed off-axis a bit at the intersection of the cone and speaker rather than dead on the cone itself. Sometimes I'll use two dynamics posiitioned similarly; and both very close--right up on the grill cloth. I'll then use a condenser 3-ft back or so. With mics and different positions you need to watch out for phase issues which can color the sound in unpleasing ways when the signals are combined. Then I listen and move things around to get a sound I like. For mixing, I usually combine all the mics in single mono track; then either double track the guitars; or if I want a stereo spread--send the combined mono track out to a new track and throw a 0.10 ms delay or so on it. I then pan the original mono track and new delayed track hard right/left. Gives a nice spread.
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Haze
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That light delay/panning slings like it could be seriously thick for rock rhythms. Reminds me of some sloan demos where he is using 6 mics and they all seem to have different timing.
I've also experimented a bit with putting a condenser behind the actual cab so it only picks up bass frequencies then mix in a close mic. Very interesting to handle separate frequencies independently and then mix them back together for a fuller sound
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Al_
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, mic behind the cab is also a cool trick; and can actually pick up a pretty full range sound. Be sure and look at flipping the phase of the back mic is you mix this with mics out front; as it will be out of phase with those and might sound wierd.
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
Yep, mic behind the cab is also a cool trick; and can actually pick up a pretty full range sound. Be sure and look at flipping the phase of the back mic is you mix this with mics out front; as it will be out of phase with those and might sound wierd.


I did this when I was recording a friends band - they wanted a really thick dirty tone so we cranked my AC30 to full, ran a SM57 just to the edge of one of the speaker cones for the highs and mids and then ran a condenser behind to pick up the bass response and some room ambience, sounded amazing.
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aen
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lateley I've been using a ribbon mic, maybe 2 inches from the grill cloth, halfway between the rim of the speaker and the cone.
I usually always have a room mic up, but I also usually end up turning it wayyyy down if not muting it once I get my big drums and stuff in the mix.

It usually sounds really good, but Im also a huge fan of my '58 with the ball unscrewwed pointed right at the speaker, pretty much same position as the ribbon.

Again, I have to plug this mic:
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/MXL-MXL-R144-Ribbon-Microphone?sku=583081
(which has dropped ten bucks since I bought mine!)
The sound is incredible. Used it on the guitar and vocals here:
http://bestnetworx.com/uploader/files/63/To%20Paul.mp3

It's called "To Paul From Dad 1951" it's by the Heart Pills. I hope it comes out soon.
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Haze
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been meaning to buy that mic based on your reviews of it. I have a killer condenser and an e609 but no Ribbon mic. Aren't they picky about phantom powering? My mixer just has a master on/off phantom powering so I'd need to be able to run my condenser and the ribbon mic safely.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is one of those newfangled ribbon mics. the normal ribbon mics are not phantom powered, low output and very warm. think old bing crosby recordings, those were ribbon mics.

these new ones (like the royer 122) are almost a whole different kind of microphone. they are very cool though.
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phantom power can damage ribbon mics.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, I thought this mxl was active like the royer 122. NEVERMIND. it is still a newer style ribbon mic. vintage ribbon mics you cannot put in front of a guitar cab. they are very sensitive. high SPLs can break them. this MXL looks a little different in that regard. it is not as sensitive to low SPL stuff and and has more top end than a vintage ribbon.
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes some of the newer ribbons can handle higher spl. I've got two of the nady rsm-2's but i have yet to use them extensively.
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Haze
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nady RSM-4 also looks ceap and chearful. Might be a cool overhead pair
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aen
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sloan wrote:
Phantom power can damage ribbon mics.


Only if you are shit at connecting cables.


Link

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avj
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We usually employ a two-person technique. With headphones on to monitor the output and the amp on and at your desired level, play through it while adjusting mic positions until you find something pleasing. With multiple mics, the second person mans the board to flip the phase and roughly adjust levels while you move things around to find optimal placement. I've found it's really a lot easier to find the sweet spots this way rather than just tossing a mic somewhere and having a listen.

I also can speak very highly of the MXL R144. I purchased my first one last fall and it's been used on damn near everything. As a consumer-grade ribbon mic, it's built a little tougher to withstand the abuse of improper handling, but if you do decide to purchase it there are a few things you can do to open the sound up a bit by removing some protection. The info came straight from an MXL engineer, so I wasn't afraid to forge ahead.
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aen wrote:
Sloan wrote:
Phantom power can damage ribbon mics.


Only if you are shit at connecting cables.


Link


It's a good precaution to keep it off if possible

http://www.royerlabs.com/phantompower.html
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Al_
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I burned up a home made mic power supply hitting it with phantom power so I'd be cautious with ribbons as well.

I don't own any but a buddy has a couple of the Beyerdynamic ones. They're cool for things like drum overheads; as they tend to be bit more muted in the high frequencies; getting more tom/less cymbal sound. I've also heard the recorded signal tends to respond well to additive eq as well; for what that's worth.

The current issue of TapeOp has an article with Brandon from the Racanteurs and he said that he did some recording on one of their records with Jack White, who'd fallen in love with Coles ribbon mics and wanted to use them exclusively for the recording. Apparently didn't work out all that well.
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Ian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LDC -10, hypercardiod , about 5" back offset from cone a little bit.


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