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Ambient Room Electric Guitar Micing, Yay or Nay?
Old 1st April 2010
  #1
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Ambient Room Electric Guitar Micing, Yay or Nay?

So I've never had too much success with room mics for electric guitars. Do any of you just forego them completely and just use close mics? Or perhaps have a cool technique to share that would inspire me to give it another shot?
Old 1st April 2010
  #2
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Its Nay for me. Sometimes I will use just a room mic, but never both.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #3
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Unclenny's Avatar
Never worked out for me either. But then my room is.....less than stellar.

That said, I just tracked the SG in the 'control room' as a working track for a tune I'm co-writing. Just let the Blues Jr. go soft into my vocal mic (tube LDC in omni).

Sounds pretty cool.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Another nay from me.
I usually record the guitar in the same room as the drums, so the room mics are still there and I record them in case they sound cool in the mix... but they don't.
Good sounding room, too.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #5
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big country's Avatar
 

its kinda cool to hear a guitar in a big huge untreated room

let your sound grow and be free ,
if you suck at tracking close mic every thing
Old 2nd April 2010
  #6
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TurboJets's Avatar
I also forego a room mic with electric guitars and mostly record inside my amp closet.

However, with an archtop, I'll close mic the guitar itself and blend that in since the acoustic qualities of a good archtop are so interesting. Adds a nice live feeling to the track.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #7
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amanitas's Avatar
Depends for me. If I want the part to be really ambient and spacy sounding I will usually do a mic up close and then a mic farther away to give a little more depth of field (especially if the bass and keys are direct and the drums are programmed) which can be nice. I find using Little Blondies for this application are great because they have such a pleasing voicing to them that even if your room is providing extra noise or artifacts, they don't, sonically speaking, ruin the effect of the part, and if anything are what help to make it sound slightly less sterile. Often times I'll route both signals into a bus and then suck the mids out of the bus and it can sit nicely around the mix so to speak...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #8
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davedarling's Avatar
 

Depends on the music for me. Big crunchy/distorted guitars, never.
I have been using an omni in the room along with a close mic for some of the roots, and blues records I do.
Check out Janiva Magness "devil is an Angel" just out this week. Most of the slide guitar is a royer on the amp, and a Radio Shack omni 10 feet away in the middle of the room.
Generally, the more the space on the recording, the more sense a room mic makes.


dd
Old 2nd April 2010
  #9
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decocco's Avatar
 

If you have an awesome sounding room, then yes. Mic the room. I have recorded some roomy guitars in awesome rooms that just sounded eat.

If you have a bad room, then no. Do not record room sounds in a ****e sounding room.

I love some roomy guitars every once in a while.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #10
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big country's Avatar
 

Ambient Room Electric Guitar Micing, Yay or Nay?-6a00e553e1689788330128767833d2970c-800wi.png
kinda but not anything like this

sound volume and room size and a echo balance into the distance and number
and styles of mic

so think of it like, you can run a close mic (putter) (dynamic card)
ribbon between (8) 7 iron
LDCs are pretty much omni or a driver for distance

the object is to hit the ball three times while its still moving
or this case capture the sound in some sort of delayed phase

then do some na na na na na na na naing

most people dont use wood for putts
Old 2nd April 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

I've had really good luck with distance micing. I'll close mic with a 421/57 then I use a cardioid LDC facing the amp (usually about 25' away). Just move it around until it's phase relationship is okay.

I used it on a band that did an extremely dynamic 15 minute song. The distance mic was mixed in about 15% during distorted guitars but at some parts when just a single clean guitar would be doing some delay/ambient stuff I'd drop out to just the room. I really liked the distance/room mic as a different flavor.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
Room mics can be really cool, I love them But..... it can also be a lot of work especially if you do not have a really good room. Then also phasing issues if you are not careful.

Most of the time I close mic and then add a lexicon room reverb. Really much easier and always great results. No one can really tell the difference if executed properly.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #13
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stagefright13's Avatar
 

I find the distant mics are hard to control on guitar amps. If I use one I gotta move the freaking thing fifty times to get the right spot.

OR I could make it sound good before the guitar player gets tired of jamming. I usually prefer the latter...

John
Old 2nd April 2010
  #14
For you guys that are doing big crunchy guitars only close mic'ed, how do you treat them in the mix? Do you leave them dry?
Old 2nd April 2010
  #15
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Kessler View Post
For you guys that are doing big crunchy guitars only close mic'ed, how do you treat them in the mix? Do you leave them dry?
Usually dry but sometimes a hint of very short delay or reverb can give a bit of space to the mix.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #16
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syntax's Avatar
 

Shouldn't it really depend on the tracks relationship to other parts?

If I have more than one guitar going I almost always end up using a room mic (or a mix of room and close) on one part and a close mic on another to create space and tonal variation. It really doesn't matter whether or not the room is treated. Listen, record, listen, and if it works; it works. If the room sound isn't happening don't use it, but I would never avoid using a room mike just because I wasn't in a controlled environment. The juxtaposition of electric guitars in real space is a beautiful thing that cannot be achieved using close miking alone. I suppose you can fake it, but it isn't that hard to throw a mic up in a room.

In a practical sense I also like to do it, just to have an A/B variation on a tone that can come in handy when mixing either as an alternate option or to create tonal shifts in the arrangement (roomy on the intro...close on the verse...panned mix of room and close on the chorus...you get the idea).

One of my favorite exaggeratedly roomy sounds lands somewhere between Mark Ribot/Tom Waits and SRV, and is achieved by putting an LDC 6 feet (+/-) behind the amp, and blending it 70/30% with a close mike (flipping phase of course). I wouldn't use it on everything, but it is a killer roomy sound for the right solo.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #17
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craig9045's Avatar
 

ambient room micing all the way for chill out sections.

Prefer to close mic 99% of the time though.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Usually dry but sometimes a hint of very short delay or reverb can give a bit of space to the mix.
Thanks. I've tried the short delay thing before and not really liked it. How short of a delay are we talking here?
Old 18th July 2015
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCM - Ronan View Post
Its Nay for me. Sometimes I will use just a room mic, but never both.
Less is better. For blues omni mic's on guitar amp cabinet sound good as with many sound sources if the room tone is ''good'', but mostly it's good when the mix is not too busy.
Old 18th July 2015
  #20
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
Usually I keep my mic as an Omni or fig. 8 about a foot back in a small room, so the guitar isn't insanely dry.

However I think for certain effects (like the delay reverb hard panned away from the dry guitar thing) or guitar solos a room mic can be a great thing.
Old 18th July 2015
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

In my room, I'll put up a 58 a ways back from the amp and pointing away from the amp, print it, maybe use it, maybe not. I discovered this by noticing that a talkback mic I had put up for guitar overdubs made the guitar sound bigger and better.
Old 18th July 2015
  #22
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Drumsound's Avatar
Like Brent, I often have a talkback mic set up to chat with the player. Sometimes I'll end up using it as a room mic. Other times, I know I want some room tone, so I set up a room mic. I stull usually use a close mic too, because I feel like micing too far from the source messes with time and makes the guitarist sound late (physics). With that close mic there, blended with the room, I feel the groove is more intact.
Old 18th July 2015
  #23
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Whack Doofa's Avatar
I'm gob smacked at the Nays! Absolutely no offence intended at all gents, I just really thought it was a given. Particularly if the guitar part is front and centre, so to speak.

I find the low end "chug, suck" kindof thing is hard to achieve any other way. Even stereo ambience mics!
I just like putting mics up I guess. Ell Oh Ell.
Old 18th July 2015
  #24
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Big YAY here. I like to mix LCR with guitars on the sides. Pan room mic opposite close mic for high quality reverb / Haas delay. Adjust EQ and pre-delay to taste.

This helps keep hard panned sources from "poking out" out of the mix. And it sounds better than artificial verb.
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