The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Weird tones when recording electric guitars
Old 13th September 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Weird tones when recording electric guitars

Help!!
I'm having issues recording crunchy guitars. I used 4 mics on a fender blues JR.
1. NT1 (Joly mod)>512>Elysia Xpressor>apogee quartet. 6" off grill on axis
2. Sm57>bae 1073>Distressor>apogee quartet. Right on grill, slightly off axis
3. VinJet>great river>dbx160>apogee quartet . 2", on axis
4. Akg414> straight into quartet (ran out of preamps/compressors). 12" away, fig 8...(tried to do an M/S...failed)

Did all this just to have options.

Compressors using quick attacks and high thresholds just to catch transients.
Tried multiple guitars, running via a "way huge angry troll" pedal. As recommended by Eric a Valentine on one of these threads.

All inside a clearsonic booth with extra sorber panels....zero reflection.

End result: yucky. Weird tones I spend forever trying to eq out. Fizzy high stuff, 5K and on, and of course piercing 2-5K stuff. Not much left afterwards.
I tried another amp (little Vox ac4) similar results. Tried SG, 335, tele, etc.
All suck in some way. Weird tones everywhere vs clear defined crunch.

I'm aiming for guitar tones from the first 3rd eye blind album. And failing. Do my Amps just suck? My quartet? Or my technique? help!!!
Old 13th September 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
Pick one. Mute the other 3.

Or look up "Phase Reinforcement/Cancellation". Read it 16 times.

:-)
Old 13th September 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
Step 1: dial in your desired tone on the amp
Step 2: find the spot where the 57 translates this tone in the best possible way
Step 3: there is no step 3!
Old 13th September 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
Only use 1 mic at a time. Multiple mics nightmare with phase. Point mic at edge of cone if too much fizz. Straight on usually is too strident
Old 13th September 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 

You are making a very simple task very complicated.
Like the others said...

Any of those GTRs should produce a proper tone through that amp as long as the GTRs are set up correctly.
Dial in a GTR / amp tone that is acceptable and what you desire.
Place a SM57 in front of the speaker and move it until you hear almost what you want.
I personally prefer positioning the mic perpendicular to the angle of the cone and about mid way between the voice coil and the edge roll.
I almost always have the mic approximately 1/2" from the grille cloth, but not touching it.

The BAE 1073 should work fine.
Use a HI PASS to eliminate extreme low end (maybe 100 hz knee... maybe a bit lower.)
The mic should attenuate the high freq. "fizz" but you can do a gentle 3db LOW PASS starting at 10K.
I find that usually need to make a cut at around 3.5K (usually less than 3 db.)

USE NO COMPRESSOR UNLESS YOU ARE BEING VERY, VERY SUBTLE.
The amplifier and distortion box should be compressing the signal.
I myself use either a modified MXR DynaComp or a Keely in front of my distortion pedal in some cases.

At this point work with the GTR and amplifier controls to get the tone you want.
Remember that it is usually desirable to dial back the tone control on humbucker GTRs.
Many classic tones for rhythm parts are a back Humbucker with the tone knob dialed WAY back.

Also, I have never in all my years been able to get those iso boxes to work.
I was forced to use one for a few years (a lot of people working in a very busy facility.)
They just create a strange set of problems.
No matter what, you DO have refelections.
You need an open space, period.

I did record a friend's GTR parts on a contemporary C&W CD project with a Blues Jr. under thick packing blanket.
We had the amp just in front of the console and used a single SM57 through my Sphere M1200 pres with 920 EQ.
It sounded great and we are both quite picky and know what a good recording tone should sound like.
Quite a few respectable engineers dug the tone and gave their praises (not that I need their acknowledgement, but it was nice.)
Old 13th September 2015
  #6
Deleted User
Guest
Try just the Vin Jet and pull it back farther?
Old 13th September 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I don't feel that a limiter or compressor is REQUIRED for Guitar - but I often read advise that says "a guitar amp already has limiting built-in" (through the saturation clipping), "so channel compression is redundant".

But AFTER all this saturation clipping (or various stages of it), there's way-more going on. Tone controls after the preamp distortion, and speaker/cab resonances and such. I've often found individual notes to poke-out, volume-wise. So I'll notice on the gain reduction meter "nothing, nothing, nothing, 8dB slam: whoah! Glad I had THAT on there!"
Old 13th September 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
jp22's Avatar
 

Hopefully you have some good phase alignment tools because that's probably the only thing that could maybe redeem the setup you're using. Not even two mics could realistically get much better than what one mic can do before your other two start cancelling everything out.

One thing is for certain though.. I'd definitely dump the Rode NT1. Those are total crap for recording heavier guitar (confirmed), especially "crunchy", as you've mentioned. Trust me on that one. Personally, I'd run that AKG 414 through your Great River pre and be done with it. If it's not 'fat' enough, mix it with a direct signal DI/amp sim box or some type of digital amp using SPDIF.
Old 13th September 2015
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
Pick one. Mute the other 3.

Or look up "Phase Reinforcement/Cancellation". Read it 16 times.

:-)
This is pretty much it.

I sometimes seen the need to compress clean/jangly electric guitar, and solos, but distorted tones are compressed by the amp and pedal.

I'll often use 2 mics on an amp, but I try my damnedest to make sure the capsules are the same distance from the speaker to avoid phase nightmares.
Old 13th September 2015
  #10
Registered User
Classic mistakes you could be making:

Cab on floor - excites room nodes, and imagine the cone of projection, and half of it bouncing off the floor and causing phase problems with itself, even before mic'ing begins.

Dialing amp to sound "good" when the amp is on the floor, and with your ears pointing 90 degrees away from the amp - facing the walls. The sound you hear in the room will be nothing like the sound with your ear right up on the grill .... get the amp up off the floor, and listen to the direct sound from the cab ... adjust your amp to taste. Probably dialing in a lot less treble and presence ...

Condenser mics can sound good on guitar cabs if they are back off a way. The Beatles often recorded amps this way. More for clean tones than saturated.

Two mics together are a super powerful phase filter that can introduce extreme eq effects. Moving one mic just a centimetre can drastically change the resonance of the filter. Not for beginners. But - when you get experienced, IF you can monitor yourself, there are some powerful sounds you can get by VERY careful mic placement. Some extreme isolation headphones can help you there, or stay in the control room and get an assistant or a robot ...

Careful with the NT1 ... very hot, hyped mics .... give it plenty of air/distance and plenty of headroom ... might be useable.
Old 13th September 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Step 1: dial in your desired tone on the amp
Step 2: find the spot where the 57 translates this tone in the best possible way
Step 3: there is no step 3!
Step 4: profit!
Old 13th September 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
I like my method for recording electric guitar. Use sound isolating ear buds and put sound isolating ear muffs on over them. Feed the sound of the mic through the ear buds while looping some guitar through the amp. Sweep the mic around until you find the perfect spot. You can add more mics, one at a time, by using the same method. Sometimes it's easier to deal with phase relationships by inverting the phase of one mic and placing it where it sounds wost with the other mic, and then flipping the phase back.

I save compression on electric guitars for the mix stage. They tend to compress pretty well on their own.

Also, I find it hard to get a full electric guitar sound with just one track. So I do the "back off the gain and multitrack" thing, even for clean electric guitars.
Old 13th September 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
Use sound isolating ear buds and put sound isolating ear muffs on over them.
Same here. I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked when I first tried it.


Old 13th September 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
If you are listening to each mic, one at a time, and your sound sucks through each individually, your sound probably sucks.
Get a good sound first. Then, mic it correctly, as andychamp wrote, with a 57, through the bae into the computer.
Old 13th September 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
DaveNJ's Avatar
 

What brand buds and muffs are you using? I record in a single room setup by myself, so its hard to accurately judge what I'm getting from the mic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound View Post
I like my method for recording electric guitar. Use sound isolating ear buds and put sound isolating ear muffs on over them. Feed the sound of the mic through the ear buds while looping some guitar through the amp. Sweep the mic around until you find the perfect spot. You can add more mics, one at a time, by using the same method. Sometimes it's easier to deal with phase relationships by inverting the phase of one mic and placing it where it sounds wost with the other mic, and then flipping the phase back.

I save compression on electric guitars for the mix stage. They tend to compress pretty well on their own.

Also, I find it hard to get a full electric guitar sound with just one track. So I do the "back off the gain and multitrack" thing, even for clean electric guitars.
Old 13th September 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNJ View Post
What brand buds and muffs are you using? I record in a single room setup by myself, so its hard to accurately judge what I'm getting from the mic...
Brand doesn't really matter. Just something that sounds decent, I suppose. It's not really for mixing, it's just for getting as much of the room sound out of your ears as possible. I actually use some old Kicker brand earbuds that were a short promo run. They're probably about as accurate as a pair of Beats, but they give me a clear enough picture to work with. And the ear muffs are just some ones I picked up in the chainsaw section of a home improvement store.
Old 13th September 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
DaveNJ's Avatar
 

Cool. thanks! I have an older pair of Shure in-canal buds around here somewhere...
Old 13th September 2015
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Geetarpicker's Avatar
 

Both of your amps mentioned are entry level tube amps with cheap speakers, cheap tubes, cheap particle board cabinets, and other component choices that are much more in the direction of the same. Also EL84 amps in general tend to be on the bright side and many tend to get really fizzy when you push them. I play in a band with a guy with a Blues Jr. and it's simply not much of an amp tone wise.

I'd say try some other amps if you can.

Also you might try recording outside the ISO booth just to rule out any possibilities that it is having an effect on the sound.

Last edited by Geetarpicker; 14th September 2015 at 02:29 AM..
Old 14th September 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Same here. I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked when I first tried it.


yeah until it manifests itself into permanent tinnitus


put the mic up and just put the head in the control room an dial in the tone there.
Old 14th September 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 
jp22's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
yeah until it manifests itself into permanent tinnitus


put the mic up and just put the head in the control room an dial in the tone there.

Totally agree. Never could understand any of all this "earbud" bull.. complete f*ckery. If you're that desperate, just use some isolation headphones for a few minutes, such as Vic Firth. Drummers use them to kill cymbal sounds when syncing to video. The outside cancellation on those will practically make you think you're inside a submarine listening to sonar. Next best thing to an anechoic chamber.. no joke.
Old 14th September 2015
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Just a thought.... are you critiquing your guitar sound just listening to the guitars on their own ..... or as part of an arrangement with other instruments? Reason I say is that I sometimes like experimenting with multiple mics on guitar cabs and if I just listened to the playback of the guitars only then I can sometimes hear all sorts going on, whereas once it is part of a busier track it sits in there a lot better.

Obviously it is usually better to reduce the number of mics and to get the source sound as perfect as possible but one of my guitarists and I do like to experiment to find certain sounds and experimenting with multiple mics can be a way of getting certain sounds.
Old 14th September 2015
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I see it hasn't been mentioned yet, but dial back the distortion a little. Pushing the front end too hard on Fender's can get fizzy. If you are going for heavy; yes turn the amp up. Don't drive the input though. Keep the volume on your pedal down. Amp distortion, preamp distortion, and pedal distortion stacked generally sounds like poo poo.
Old 14th September 2015
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
yeah until it manifests itself into permanent tinnitus


put the mic up and just put the head in the control room an dial in the tone there.
We're talking about mic placement, not tone knob settings. So unless you have a robot or assistant, you'll probably need to be in the same room as the guitar cabinet.

And how would you get Tinnitus from just a few minutes of wearing earbuds? The point of them is to kill the outside sound so you don't have to crank up the volume on the ear buds to hear what's going on. So it never should be loud. And the reason to use ear buds AND ear muffs is even better isolation so you don't have to turn up anywhere near as loud. Most drummers I've worked with prefer going this route over the regular sound isolating earphones because they don't have to have the click as loud to be able to hear it.
Old 14th September 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Virgil's Avatar
Wow, four mics for one guitar amp? I could never mix those and sound ok. Just too much information. I would decide which sound suits the part and mute the others. Does it need to be warm? does it need to be crisp? if anything I would select the tone and then maybe add a little of a second one. Say, if I need a crisp sound and while mixing it needs a little more warmth, add some. But that's it.
Also, I would make sure that the guitar is properly intonated and has new strings. It's obvious, but often overlooked.
Old 14th September 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
Wow, four mics for one guitar amp? I could never mix those and sound ok. Just too much information. I would decide which sound suits the part and mute the others. Does it need to be warm? does it need to be crisp? if anything I would select the tone and then maybe add a little of a second one. Say, if I need a crisp sound and while mixing it needs a little more warmth, add some. But that's it.
Also, I would make sure that the guitar is properly intonated and has new strings. It's obvious, but often overlooked.
If I was doing 4 mics on a cab...it'd be for options. As an artistic perpective I've used 4 mics for a cab...but it was one on the grill, one 3 foot back. In the same room the other two mics were on a snare to pick up the rattle so it gave perspective on the loudness.

I actually have been not even doing the 2 mic thing for awhile. I'd rather double track guitars, and they don't sound tight enough with two mics on them.
Old 14th September 2015
  #26
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevefreak View Post
yeah until it manifests itself into permanent tinnitus


put the mic up and just put the head in the control room an dial in the tone there.
Sure, if you listen at dangerous volume levels.

Don't misunderstand the process. The earbuds are at a normal level and the muffs over those eliminate unsafe volume.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp22 View Post
Totally agree. Never could understand any of all this "earbud" bull.. complete f*ckery. If you're that desperate, just use some isolation headphones for a few minutes,
Jeez,

No desperation here at all. This method is not for everyone obviously, and works best with excellent 'ear buds.

Last edited by hasbeen; 14th September 2015 at 07:13 PM..
Old 14th September 2015
  #27
Registered User
Multiple mics can work really well ... in a good room. You could the SM57 right on the grill, a stereo pair say 6 feet away, and another stereo pair say 30 ft away ... I read about a guy who would create a funnel shaped wall in front of the cab to get some early reflections in the first stereo pair ...
Old 14th September 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
 
AllBread's Avatar
 

I've never liked the way that a Blues Jr. sounds, for one thing. Not familiar with the pedal in question but perhaps you don't really like the way that it sounds? Either way, it seems to me that if one of those mics didn't get you close enough to think, "I'll just move that a bit and be golden" then I'm thinking that the tone sucked before it hit the mic.
Old 15th September 2015
  #29
Lives for gear
 
nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Sure, if you listen at dangerous volume levels.

Don't misunderstand the process. The earbuds are at a normal level and the muffs over those eliminate unsafe volume.
except ear buds are not a studio quality reproduction. The only way to possibly dial in a good guitar tone with headphones would be to use open back headphones, but again you are just asking for trouble
Old 15th September 2015
  #30
Lives for gear
 
nevefreak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Sure, if you listen at dangerous volume levels.

Don't misunderstand the process. The earbuds are at a normal level and the muffs over those eliminate unsafe volume.
except ear buds are not a studio quality reproduction. The only way to possibly dial in a good guitar tone with headphones would be to use open back headphones ala AKG 701, but again you are just asking for trouble

your "method" should be avoided, no offense but it's just bad advice. It will never give you accurate sound and it's very hazardous to your hearing
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump