Recording your “true” tone

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by StratSounds, May 15, 2019.

  1. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    Is the absolute best way to record the actual sounds coming out of your amplifier to mic it with a high quality condenser mic? I think I know the answer, but I wanted to throw it out there to you guys with lots of recording experience and get your opinions. Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    The absolute best way that I've found is with a ribbon mic, specifically my Sontronics Sigma ribbon, although a high-quality condenser can sound good too. It really depends on the amp, the settings, the room....
     
  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    If you're talking about "what you hear" then that's a rabbit hole. ;)

    There are boatloads of methods to get great sounds....
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  4. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    Yep, either a good condenser or ribbon mic.
     
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  5. ajb1965

    ajb1965 Old Enough to Know Better Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    That's a tough question to answer. It is going to depend on so many factors and you are going to get a different answer from each person. Some swear by using a condenser and a ribbon mic together, others will say a single SM57 will do the trick, and still others will tell you to hang a Sennheiser 609 in front. Where and what you are recording also make a difference. If you have to use bedroom levels there are things to account for and adjust, or even bypass the speaker altogether and go with a load box and DI out.

    Maybe a little more about your recording environment would help folks give you some advice
     
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  6. nederemer

    nederemer Senior Stratmaster

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    Johan Segeborn (totally awesome youtube channel btw) usually mics the speaker and the room. Sometimes with multiple mics BTW like a near and far away room mic.
     
  7. unionjack515

    unionjack515 Senior Stratmaster

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    +1 Ribbon mic. Perhaps some cork-sniffery but they do sound fantastic.
     
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  8. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    Funny you said that because I was careful not to say “what’s the best method to record the sounds that I hear coming from my amp” because I know that’s a subjective rabbit hole. BUT, let’s say that you have a halfway decent ear, scientific term there;), and you would like to ATTEMPT to accurately record the sound that you hear standing three feet in front of your amp. I guess that’s what I’m getting at. I know there are many variables, but which method gives you the best shot at capturing the sound emanating from your amp, given a decent ear, in a small room with decent acoustic properties? Does mic’ing the amp in one form or another give you the best shot at it?
     
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  9. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    Yes. But it might take a long while to figure out and a bunch of money.
     
  10. knh555

    knh555 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Instead of chasing that rabbit, I record it as best I can with what I've got and then EQ, compress, and whatnot in the DAW to get it right to my ears. I currently use an SM57 and it never quite sounds like what I'm hearing, but I can get it back to something I like and I still get that tube amp vibe while I'm playing, which I don't with my USB direct out options.

    Life's too short.
     
  11. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Strat-O-Master

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    I've found success with a Shure SM57 direct on the speaker and then your favorite room mics to blend in.
     
  12. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

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    OK, I give up. You think you know the answer, what do you think. Not goading you, really am interested to know your view.
     
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  13. WireLine

    WireLine Strat-Talker

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    Depends...if in a room with other instruments then I prefer ribbons (RCA 77DX or 74B specifically)...if in isolation an Omni dynamic just kills it, as it captures both source and ambience...near perfect
     
  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Put a mic on the left side of your head at ear level...another on the right. Point them towards the source. Use these as your room mics. Then close mic the amp with a good ribbon or large diaphragm dynamic. Like an RE20. ;)
     
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  15. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I probably gave a few folks the wrong impression here, I’m not looking for absolute perfection, just a reasonably good reproduction of what I hear in the room when playing without having to do a ton of post mixing to get there. I clearly don’t record much, but I’d like to start recording more of my stuff and occasionally live sessions with the people I play with.

    I ran an analog soundboard for a few years back in the late 80’s so I have some basic knowledge, but I realize the technology has changed significantly and I obviously haven’t done much research on modern recording methodologies. I was mainly wondering if a good microphone in front of an electric instrument’s amp is still the preferred method of true ear nerds for capturing the sound coming out of a speaker vs other methods, like a line out from the speaker direct to DAW or something.
     
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  16. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you would want to get your "true" tone captured in the studio.

    In fact, i would venture to say what you hear on a track, is pretty far off from the actual tone.

    There's a lot of gear that a guitar signal goes through before it is "finished".

    A good mic is your best bet. Good doesn't have to mean expensive. Some low budget mic's might sound great.
    Expensive mic's can also sound fantastic. Either condenser or dynamics.
    Fezz parka mentioned the RE20. A dynamic mic with a full sound. Great on guitars (and certain vocals) and many other sounds.

    It's all about what sounds good to you.
    I know it's cliche, but it's true.

    Close mic'd, room mic'd, different axis, you name it, it's been done. And to great effect. Use your ears.
     
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  17. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yes, a mic in front of the speaker is still an industry standard.
    You can of course use cab impulses and record direct. Both methods yield good results.
     
  18. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    I made some pretty nice recordings of jam sessions in my basement years ago. We had a couple guitars, bass, and drums, and sometimes a singer. I used two condenser mics facing the "band" about where close audience members would be. One to the right side and one to the left, about ten feet apart.
     
  19. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    My suggestion is set up 10 tracks for recording. Get a notepad and write down your first “setup “ details (mic/position etc etc).

    Repeat with different setups, until the guitar sounds the way you want IN THE MIX.

    If you use a room mic then do some reading on latency and phase shifting and apply as needed.

    Good luck
     
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  20. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    As others have mentioned, capturing the room may be very important, especially when using reverb or delay effects.

    If you are only “close micing” (right next to the speaker) you might only capture the “dryer” (i.e. less lively) parts of the tone which may cause you to lose some of the parts you’re hearing three or so feet away from the speaker.

    Just something to keep in mind regardless of what type of mic (or mics) you may be using...

    Good Luck!



     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019