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Microphone for jazz guitar recordings needed
Old 2 weeks ago
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast View Post
Not sure what kind of jazz your son is playing but here is a 57 on a small Roland Jazz Chorus amp.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qsi-bBkGOTU

Many people will tell you that you need a different mic because the 57 either sucks or is only good for rock or whatever... I think the tone here with just a bit of reverb is quite nice and don't wish after the fact that I had used a "better" mic on it.
Yes but the original post states the player has not been happy with the tone of a 57 on his guitar and amp.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Yes but the original post states the player has not been happy with the tone of a 57 on his guitar and amp.
Original post also claims they are not all that experienced and are unsure of how to improve things so I'm offering other solutions and suggesting that it is possible that the 57 may not be the cause of their problems.

Assuming one needs another mic when not getting what you want on your recording isn't always the right choice even if we are gearslutz.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #33
Gear Nut
 

I would also suggest micing/mixing both the guitar and the amp.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #34
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a di, a mic on the neck, one or two different mics on the cabinet plus room mic(s) get you all different options - not that options are always needed though...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #35
Here for the gear
 

OK. Now my mind has officially been blown.

It makes sense to mic the arch top itself, for the acoustic tone? I think this takes me into a realm of possibilities that I was not emotionally prepared for.

Probably more importantly, I think it takes us into a realm of possibilities that my 17 (going on 18) year old son isn't ready to implement.

Here's what I'm taking away from things right now.

1. It's quite possible to get good quality recordings using the SM57. It almost certainly requires that we deal with recordings differently from our recent practices. Turning up the amp, and turning down the pre-amp gain sounds like a suggestion we should investigate. Playing around with reverb on the recording is another thing we should try.

2. It's possible that, even after the experimentation with the SM57, that we don't get outcomes that my son likes. In that case, a relatively simple solution might be to experiment with a new microphone.

3. If we do look at a new microphone, a ribbon mic seems like a reasonable option (either used alone, or in combination with the SM57). And a pretty decent selection of candidates includes (but should not be limited to):
- Beyerdynamic M160
- Royer R10
- sE VR1 or VR2
- Cascade Fat Head (preferably with Lundahl transformer)

4. Even if we do opt for a new microphone, we should not be hesitate to experiment extensively with things like microphone placement (distance from the driver, angle to the driver etc) and addition of effects post-production, like reverb.

Does it sound like I've got a handle on some of this?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Addict
 

I've seen a lot of videos of Wes Montgomery with a Neumann U67 on his amp. Is that the kind of jazz sound you're after? An SM 57 is more of a rock/country/blues sort of play. And they are great for that. Just not sure how jazzy it is...

Steve
Old 2 weeks ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
Does it sound like I've got a handle on some of this?
Yes, I think you summarized that well.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #38
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Thank you all!

I truly appreciate all the great insights.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
OK.

Does it sound like I've got a handle on some of this?
Sounds like you do and with some time and effort I think you will get some great recordings.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodic dreamer View Post
I would also suggest micing/mixing both the guitar and the amp.
I'm thinking that I might have been too quick to dismiss this option. Just recording what comes out of the amp means you lose much of what makes the archtop sound like an archtop.

What kind of microphone makes most sense for the instrument itself? A small diaphragm condenser? Large diaphragm condenser? Ribbon? I gather a dynamic mic would not be appropriate for this. And this mic would be directed around the 12th fret, where string excursion is greatest? Or at the f-holes?

Any especially good candidate microphones for this kind of job?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #41
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
I'm thinking that I might have been too quick to dismiss this option. Just recording what comes out of the amp means you lose much of what makes the archtop sound like an archtop.

What kind of microphone makes most sense for the instrument itself? A small diaphragm condenser? Large diaphragm condenser? Ribbon? I gather a dynamic mic would not be appropriate for this. And this mic would be directed around the 12th fret, where string excursion is greatest? Or at the f-holes?

Any especially good candidate microphones for this kind of job?

For jazz I like a ribbon on the amp. I have had good luck with both a large and small on the actual archtop. Large would be my go to, but one of my favorites was two Km84's.

I've love the sound in these videos. I love the stringy sound he gets.



Old 2 weeks ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodic dreamer View Post
For jazz I like a ribbon on the amp. I have had good luck with both a large and small on the actual archtop. Large would be my go to, but one of my favorites was two Km84's.

I've love the sound in these videos. I love the stringy sound he gets.



These are lovely. Thanks. What a nice listen.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extreme Mixing View Post
To record Jazz guitar, I'd be tempted to go with a large diaphragm condenser. Maybe an AT 4050.

Steve
I find TLM-102 works great on guitar amp.
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
I'm thinking that I might have been too quick to dismiss this option. Just recording what comes out of the amp means you lose much of what makes the archtop sound like an archtop.

What kind of microphone makes most sense for the instrument itself? A small diaphragm condenser? Large diaphragm condenser? Ribbon? I gather a dynamic mic would not be appropriate for this. And this mic would be directed around the 12th fret, where string excursion is greatest? Or at the f-holes?

Any especially good candidate microphones for this kind of job?
I had an archtop and have tried this technique- I think it is over complicating things. And I don’t recall seeing Wes Montgomery or George Benson use it. Archtop gets its sound from the amp.

I don’t play jazz but my playing is heavily influenced by jazz. One of my two electrics is 335 (I also play a Strat) going into Fender Twin Reverb. I have a SM57 and a Neumann TLM-102.

I actually like the Shure for recording vocals but on guitar cabs I think it earned its reputation on distorted sounds and for that I think it is ideal.

However, for jazz I think TLM-102 works so well! You should put it on your list of mics to research.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Surprised to read that he uses an AC15. It's not the kinda amp that comes to mind when I'm thinking about a nice, warm Jazz tone. Vox is more famous for s***** rock tones, not so much for mellow jazz tones. But then again, if he gets the sound he wants out of it, than that's totally cool
My mic choice would probably be a AKG C414 B-ULS (just because I happen to have two of these), but any large diaphragm condenser, that isn't overly crisp would do the trick. I'm sure ribbons are great too for jazz tones. The SM57 on the other hand is again known for mid heavy rock tones, it cuts through in a dense mix, but isn't particularly warm and mellow sounding.
I might also not close mic the amp, at least not in a way you'd close mic a rock amp.
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I had an archtop and have tried this technique- I think it is over complicating things. And I don’t recall seeing Wes Montgomery or George Benson use it. Archtop gets its sound from the amp.

I don’t play jazz but my playing is heavily influenced by jazz. One of my two electrics is 335 (I also play a Strat) going into Fender Twin Reverb. I have a SM57 and a Neumann TLM-102.

I actually like the Shure for recording vocals but on guitar cabs I think it earned its reputation on distorted sounds and for that I think it is ideal.

However, for jazz I think TLM-102 works so well! You should put it on your list of mics to research.
It's all according if you want an amp sound or if you also enjoy the way your arch top sounds in the room. When I think of the modern slick jazz guys like Rosenwinkel or Moreno then I think the amp alone. That is where its at. If I think more in terms of Lage Lund or Peter Bernstein then having a little of the acoustic-guitar in the signal sounds good too.

Basically amp if you're shooting for more of the electric sound or/and if your adding effects, but if the goal is to sound up close and personal it always sounds nice when you add a little of the acoustic elements of the guitar to the mix.
Old 1 week ago
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodic dreamer View Post
It's all according if you want an amp sound or if you also enjoy the way your arch top sounds in the room. When I think of the modern slick jazz guys like Rosenwinkel or Moreno then I think the amp alone. That is where its at. If I think more in terms of Lage Lund or Peter Bernstein then having a little of the acoustic-guitar in the signal sounds good too.

Basically amp if you're shooting for more of the electric sound or/and if your adding effects, but if the goal is to sound up close and personal it always sounds nice when you add a little of the acoustic elements of the guitar to the mix.
I agree, but, archtops are electric guitars even though they have a large box.
Old 1 week ago
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I agree, but, archtops are electric guitars even though they have a large box.
Totally agree. Any of the mics mentioned lately will capture a more full range and balanced sound than an SM57. TLM 103, C414 or the AT 4050 microphone. All good choices.

Good luck.

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I agree, but, archtops are electric guitars even though they have a large box.
Archtops like an ES-175 or an Ibanez or an Eastman have pressed tops and don't have much acoustic volume, so there's not much point in miking them. But a higher-end carved-top f-hole guitar can be really loud. Louder, in fact, several feet out in front of it than it is in your lap. Definitely something mikable there. And a lot of them don't have pickups.
Old 1 week ago
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eiko View Post
Surprised to read that he uses an AC15. It's not the kinda amp that comes to mind when I'm thinking about a nice, warm Jazz tone. Vox is more famous for s***** rock tones, not so much for mellow jazz tones. But then again, if he gets the sound he wants out of it, than that's totally cool
This is all a question of evolution.

He's been playing in rock bands since he was about 9. But he's never been one for heavy distortion. He liked the Vox clean sound, and the amp was affordable.

These days he's all about the jazz. He gigs with the Vox when he has to, but prefers to borrow a JC120. A new amp is coming soon, though (in transit from Henriksen).

It's the same situation with the microphones. SM57s were sensible options when he and his brother started playing, and we wanted to have something around the house. But since we've been in lock-down, he's been looking to record more, and so it seems like a good time to rethink the whole set up.

The arch top guitar is one Fender produced for a short period in the mid 80s, the Fender D'Aquisto (designed by D'Aquisto, but produced in Japan). Similar size to the ES175, with a laminated body. But it certainly makes a decent sound unamplified.

Right now, I'm still keen on the idea of a ribbon mic on the amp. And at $320, a Cascade Fat Head with the lundahl transformer looks like a good deal. I'm really tempted by the idea of getting an LDC too, partly for the option of micing the guitar or the room, partly because it provides another option for micing the amp, and partly because I'm a sucker. It's hard to justify spending $700+ for some flexibility, though.

Is there something in the 3U Audio Warbler range that compares reasonably to the AT4050 or the TLM102?
Old 1 week ago
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post

Right now, I'm still keen on the idea of a ribbon mic on the amp. And at $320, a Cascade Fat Head with the lundahl transformer looks like a good deal. I'm really tempted by the idea of getting an LDC too, partly for the option of micing the guitar or the room, partly because it provides another option for micing the amp, and partly because I'm a sucker. It's hard to justify spending $700+ for some flexibility, though.
To be honest, I wouldn't overthink it. Get an amp that does a nice Jazz sound (I'd try Fender valve amps, but again, a matter of personal preference), get a decent LDC, do some experimentation with mic placement and you should be fine. It's not about Lundahl transformers or the type of solder being used, the basic ingredients are a guitar that can produce the tone, an amp that can sound jazzy, and a suitable mic. And of course a suitable player in a suitable room
Old 1 week ago
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
It's hard to justify spending $700+ for some flexibility, though.
Yeah, if you went the $700 Beyer ribbon you might need one of these too:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-mic-activator

Gear has a tendency to need more gear.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post
I agree, but, archtops are electric guitars even though they have a large box.
Hollow-Body guitars are different than Semi-Hollow guitars. A hollow body is just as much an acoustic instrument as an acoustic-electric. You don't see too many people preferring the plugged in sound vs a mic on the instrument itself.

The point is most people don't spend 5 grand on an amazing full Hollow-body to ignore the natural sound of the guitar.

Now a 335 is something altogether different. That is more of an electric guitar.
Old 1 week ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodic dreamer View Post
The point is most people don't spend 5 grand on an amazing full Hollow-body to ignore the natural sound of the guitar.
You can easily spend that on an ES-175, and acoustically those things sound like a cigar box.
Old 1 week ago
  #55
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
You can easily spend that on an ES-175, and acoustically those things sound like a cigar box.


Sure, and there are amps that sound like crap, but that isn’t my point.

It was the comment that the amp tone is the sound that one should work for regarding jazz guitar. I would say yes, some styles within jazz very much so, but not all styles. Chasing down an amp tone doesn’t need a hollow body. Just listen to Ed Bicket playing through a Tele. If you’re going for an amp sound then a 335 is perfect. If your wanting to capture the tone of the hollow body, then putting a mic on the guitar and blending it with the amp is a great way to do it.
Old 1 week ago
  #56
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitaristsdad View Post
I'm thinking that I might have been too quick to dismiss this option. Just recording what comes out of the amp means you lose much of what makes the archtop sound like an archtop.

What kind of microphone makes most sense for the instrument itself? A small diaphragm condenser? Large diaphragm condenser? Ribbon? I gather a dynamic mic would not be appropriate for this. And this mic would be directed around the 12th fret, where string excursion is greatest? Or at the f-holes?

Any especially good candidate microphones for this kind of job?

I've been doing this for years, the trick here is isolating the two mic's (usually a condenser on the live guitar mic). That's why I sometimes go to a DI paired with the live mic - easy isolation, the Di is capturing the body of the sound, the live mic, the detail.

You mic the jazz box the same way you'd mic an acoustic - single condensor mic down toward the rear, off axis, at the f holes - that's where the sound is. Move the mic around (you may have to move it in as well) to hear what sounds best. You can also try the 12th fret, but you may find it hard to get enough volume.

For the live mic, a condenser; any decent Neumann TLM 103, AT 4033, AT 4050, AKG C414, etc. The latter two mic's have switchable polar patterns, which can be a good choice in a nice acoustic space. The signal will be low, so a mic with high sensitivity and low noise is what you want.

SM57's are well matched to guitar amps because guitar amps are limited in frequency response. In this setting, the amp mic is of less importance.
Old 1 week ago
  #57
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I confess that I posted in this thread without reading the whole thing, which is never good. Now I have, and... he's using an AC15? Mercy me. I own one, and I love it, but a jazz amp it is not. The JC-120 is way more like it, or a Polytone if you can find one, or a Quilter.

By way of example, here's a trio doing a live broadcast. The guitarist had an archtop Ibanez, and came into the studio and said, "Oh! A Vox! I've never tried one of those!" I pulled out my most potent antidote, an RCA 77dx, and I EQ'd away all the snap and twang I could, but... still. It's okay. Damage control at best. But for heaven's sake, get the kid a jazz amp.

Old 1 week ago
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melodic dreamer View Post
Hollow-Body guitars are different than Semi-Hollow guitars. A hollow body is just as much an acoustic instrument as an acoustic-electric. You don't see too many people preferring the plugged in sound vs a mic on the instrument itself.

The point is most people don't spend 5 grand on an amazing full Hollow-body to ignore the natural sound of the guitar.

Now a 335 is something altogether different. That is more of an electric guitar.
I think I assumed we are talking about archtops with pickups and I see these as electrics.

I had a Washburn J6 Wes Montgomery model which is a hollow body. True, it is louder than other electric guitars but I would never play that guitar unplugged. Gibson L-5 is an acoustic.

I do not listen to much jazz anymore so am not familiar with musicians mentioned above, but if we are talking jazz tone that involves an archtop and an amp I think we are talking about Wes and Benson sound.

Regarding the amp- it may be possible to sell the Vox and get a Fender Deluxe for similar price. George Benson used Twin and Deluxe. I was also able to get really amazing jazz-blues tones with the 335 and Peavey Classic 30.

As we are talking about a young musician, I would get him into the ballpark of that classic jazz sound, and then he can take it from there.
Old 1 week ago
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I confess that I posted in this thread without reading the whole thing, which is never good. Now I have, and... he's using an AC15? Mercy me. I own one, and I love it, but a jazz amp it is not. The JC-120 is way more like it, or a Polytone if you can find one, or a Quilter.

By way of example, here's a trio doing a live broadcast. The guitarist had an archtop Ibanez, and came into the studio and said, "Oh! A Vox! I've never tried one of those!" I pulled out my most potent antidote, an RCA 77dx, and I EQ'd away all the snap and twang I could, but... still. It's okay. Damage control at best. But for heaven's sake, get the kid a jazz amp.

Sounds great, Brent. I don't think the AC15 was a hinderance at all.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Sounds great, Brent. I don't think the AC15 was a hinderance at all.
He made it work, but if you're after a great jazz tone, you'd start with the amp, because as mentioned above, the AC15 isn't really able to produce proper jazz tones.

I'd Try Fender valve amps, those can sound warm and full. Polytone is fine too of course, but I like valves
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