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Best Mic for recording electric guitar?
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GearGeek
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#1
20th July 2005
Old 20th July 2005
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Best Mic for recording electric guitar?

Hey Guys. I'm new to this forum. First off let me say hi to my fellow slutz. Now to my question: I have a small home studio and I will be recording electric guitar in a few days. I only have one mic (AKG 414). Will this be sufficient to mic a guitar cab? I've been told that a SM57 is the standard for that kind of thing. Is there any diss-advantage to using a condensor? Thanks for any advice.
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20th July 2005
Old 20th July 2005
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SM 57 is a very commonly used mic for guitar cabinets. I like it because it sort of takes the mic out of the equation and makes placement, the room, and the guitar player and his or her equipment determine the sound.

I have an AKG 414 and I tried it out on a guitar amp once and didnt much like it. It was just one situation though, hardly a conclusive result, so I will probably try it on guitar amps in the future. Mostly I still use my SM57 though.

To answer the question, yes the 414 would probably work for you, but it might be a good idea to get an SM57 or two because theyre great to have and you can use them on lots of things.
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20th July 2005
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the AKG 414 will be more than sufficient to record electric guitar. with proper placement, you'll be able to get some really nice sounds.

but...

buy an SM57!!!

it's a $60 investment that will not lose its resale value and can be applied to so many applications that it just seems silly not to own one.
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20th July 2005
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It probably isn't "low end" but the Royers are wonderful.
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21st July 2005
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I NEVER like dynamic moving coil mics on guitar amps (including and especially the SM57)... so there's nothing at all "wrong" with condensers on guitar amps, I rarely use anything else.

and although i'm not much a a 414 fan, it will be fine.
you may find you wan to add some upper middle (2k-5k) into it for guitars.. but I'm sure you can make it work.
Definitely put its internal pad on.
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21st July 2005
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In my opinion, if you can't afford a Royer 121 or 122, get an sm57.
If you can also swing a 421 to blend with the 57, you'll be very happy.
But, if you can get all 3 and blend them, you'll be tracking some monster guitar sounds.

-CJ
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21st July 2005
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Thanks for your replies everyone. Well, I did the session today and it came out great. Nice big fat guitar sound. I know I should get a 57, I just have never been in a situation where I've needed it. (I don't record drums). But I guess for 60 bucks you can't go wrong. Thanks again!
azz
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21st July 2005
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azz
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Your AKG will work nicely. I often ues some kind of condencer whtih a 57 for guitar amps (espeshaly stacks) but i wold defanitly go out and get yourself a 57. Every studio shold have one. The Royer wold allso sond great if u can aford it. Also it depends on what kind of music your recording for exsample for Metal guitars i like to use a shure Beta 91 on the laying on the floor or on top of a pice of phome realy picks up the lowend in downtuned guitars
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Royer 121! The 57 is ok if you have the right pre behind it (1073). But the royer is a killer mic. Check out the site. royer labs. They have a section where you can hear all the mics. Hope this helps. Peace
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21st July 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearGeek
Thanks for your replies everyone. Well, I did the session today and it came out great. Nice big fat guitar sound. I know I should get a 57, I just have never been in a situation where I've needed it. (I don't record drums). But I guess for 60 bucks you can't go wrong. Thanks again!
I like the '57, too. (Also great for chunky/strummed acoustic rhythm steel string guitars, too.)

But if you got the sound you wanted with your 414, you're good to go. You can always experiment with a 57 later. (If you don't like it, do make sure it's not one that someone's kept in their hip pocket for the last 7 years or let his kid play with in the sandbox. People do the damnedest things with 57s... the trade shows with Shure reps banging nails into 2x4's with a 57 as a hammer are famous.)
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57 usually

also good and a semi- cheap, used Senn E609 and used Senn 441.
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24th July 2005
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Dynamic Mics My Friend

have been having good luck with old Electro Voices... the 660 664 and 664a can all be found for cheap...and EV Kicks ASS...word

Now the Sm57 was my first mike...and yes you should have at least 2...great on shitty vocalists..
great on Guitar Cabs for sure...but why go the traditional route....this is the future after all

a condenser is very usefull thing, but can you kill a man with it?...look into the 664...marvel at the stories of its use as a hammer....all this talk about the character of vintage tube Mics and none concerning the character of dynamics...

..realize that dynamics are as varied as condensers and MUCH cheaper...

Plus you can kill rats with them

can a $1100 royer do that...

also i have been using a H&K RedBox MkIII out of my Traynor YBA-1 in conjunction with good results...$40? = Cheap! thumbsup
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24th July 2005
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What I've been doing lately is using a 57 and a 421 angling away from each other. eq'ing the 57 for the highs and the 421 for the lows. It usually turns out really nice. Especially if you make a tent around them. Dunno why that helps exactly but it sounds killer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ck1r0ck2
Now the Sm57 was my first mike...and yes you should have at least 2...great on shitty vocalists..
great on Guitar Cabs for sure...but why go the traditional route....this is the future after all

a condenser is very usefull thing, but can you kill a man with it?...look into the 664...marvel at the stories of its use as a hammer....all this talk about the character of vintage tube Mics and none concerning the character of dynamics...

..realize that dynamics are as varied as condensers and MUCH cheaper...

Plus you can kill rats with them

can a $1100 royer do that...
lol so true, you should see how beat up 58s get, we even had a riot and they got used as weapons, yet they still work.

it doesnt matter what you are doing get a pair of 57s, while they are often not the best for a job they can be put on absolutly anything and give a good sound. as with condensers every dynamic has a different sound, my 57s differ alot
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24th July 2005
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my current fave is a microtech-gefell mv 691 or 692 with a 71 capsule!
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17th June 2011
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Love the combination of an SM-57 with a Royer R121; the 57 provides the bite and harshness of raw rock, and the 121 rolls the edginess off, thus providing a nice, smooth, warmth to the frequency curve. Run `em both through quality front-ends, pan one left, the other right, make sure your phase alignment is spot on with no cancellation, print it. The natural frequency differences in the mics really helps to open up the stereo field. And if you place one mic on a Greenback and the other on a Vintage 30 or maybe a 75 watter...well, the speaker differences also translates well to the wide-pan mix strategy.
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17th June 2011
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I have used and liked the following: SM57, e609, i5, MD211N, and an MD421. I usually do not mic with condensers, not saying I won't though, but I have used a Royer 121 with excellent results.
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17th June 2011
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I love using a Shure SM7B or a Sennheiser MD421 on guitar cabinets. Big thick sounds from these 2 mics. I sometimes blend in a Sennheiser e604 with either one of these mics. I also experiment with some condensers I have. Mix blend everything you have until you like the result!
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18th June 2011
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SM57
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18th June 2011
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I've been digging the Audix i5 a lot on cabs. It seems to have more bite than the SM57. For me though, I can't ever seem to get a great electric guitar sound out of just one mic. Maybe that's because I always wind up needing a different sound in the final mix than what I think I will need when I'm tracking. So my preferred method has been to put the i5 up on the grill and drop a Nady RSM-5 or an Oktava MK219 about 3-6 feet back depending on weather I want a meaty tone (Nady) or a more sparkly tone (Oktava). I'm sure an MD 421 and a Royer 121 or Neumann U67 would be better, but this is low end, right?

I place the i5 first (usually just off the dust cap, but wherever it sounds best) and then add hook up the second mic (RSM-5 or MK219) and move it back and forth in front of the cabinet to capture more room sound. As you move it, you'll hear the phasing effects of the two mics, so you just stop it where the phasing fattens up the sound without making it muddy. Unless both mics are the exact same distance from the source, you'll have phase issues, but if you are smart, you can use that to your advantage! Use the distance between the two mics like an EQ knob! A looping pedal and some isolation headphones make this easier if you are by yourself.
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18th June 2011
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Wouldnt using direct input work as well?
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18th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
I NEVER like dynamic moving coil mics on guitar amps (including and especially the SM57)... so there's nothing at all "wrong" with condensers on guitar amps, I rarely use anything else.
I tend to side with Walt's heavily out-voted view against dynamics. Not a big fan of dynamic moving coil mikes on my guitar amps. I can do OK with some condensers, but mostly I find an M130 just gives me what I want without a lot of fuss. Easy to adjust the balance of direct and reflected sound with a single mike by changing distance and angle.

Cheers,

Otto
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18th June 2011
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Quote:
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Wouldnt using direct input work as well?
As well? That's a matter of opinion. It'd be different, that's for sure. The thing with DI is I've yet to hear a good amp simulator. There's just something about a real nicely made tube amp that you can't emulate. In fact, many cheaper tube amps don't have that, for lack of a better word, soul that a good old fashioned point-to-point hand-wired full tube path amp will have.

However, running a guitar through the DI is not without it's benefits as well. It tends to put the guitar right up in your face. I'll often run a guitar though some stomp boxes into the DI and mix it in with a real mic'ed up cabinet for some metal style guitar sounds. It doesn't sound REAL, but it CAN sound larger than life. Using a DI guitar alone, to me, always sounds too fake. It's like that guy you meet at a party who tells one joke and everyone laughs, so he spends the rest of the night cracking jokes that never land. You may even leave the party early because of him, but you also might tell that joke the next day at the office. They're all tools of the trade.
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18th June 2011
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in my opinion, any ribbon, even a 50 dollar chinese ribbon, will sound better on a guitar amp, close miced than a 414.

if you want a nice room sound, then the 414 will do just fine.

you can also use the 414 close on a guitar amp, it will just need more processing to work in a mix.

of course, with any ribbon you need a good pre with lot's of gain.

and really, before you think about mics, you need a nice sounding guitar amp - i like the orange tiny terror combo for recording.

good luck
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18th June 2011
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when i started i was using two sm57s, one at 90 degrees to the cone and one dead on with the cone, one near the center and one the middle. then blend them in stereo to get a full sound. worked great and great to learn about mic placement.
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shure unidyne III and MXL R144 is my killer combo for my valve amp. IMO you can't get much better than a ribbon mic on a nice valve amp, but I like a dynamic off axis to blend in there too.
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18th June 2011
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So basically everyone here uses the same mic(s) for both distorted and clean electric guitar? I find that hard to believe...

For me, it's the 421 for clean and the 906 for distortion.
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18th June 2011
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18th June 2011
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e609 mixed with a cheap sm57 clone, e609 covers the mid's and lows, sm57 clone just adds that missing high end I get with the e609.

Depending on the stuff I might add in an Se X1 as a room mic about 3 foot back, 1 foot above the amp.

I only use the x1 on cleans, there's something about a dynamic that I don't like on my cleans, not warm enough.
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18th June 2011
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Depends on player, rig, genre.

I like 57, e906, 121, and very sparingly a 421
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