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Mic ing heavily effected + high distortion elec. guitar? Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 2nd September 2011
Lives for gear
Mic ing heavily effected + high distortion elec. guitar?

Hi, I'm recording e gtr. w/ just an sm57 right now, found the sweetspot (or so I think) and it's right up on the grill. The playing is somewhat fast, and you can hear all the notes accurately in the room, though once recorded, you definitely lose definition and even notes! Not to mention tone loss.

So I'd really like some help in hearing what my ear hears in the room also come out of my monitors. Gear? Placement? Techniques? Etc? Many thanks!
Old 2nd September 2011
Lives for gear
gainstages's Avatar
Originally Posted by asdfdsa View Post

So I'd really like some help in hearing what my ear hears in the room also come out of my monitors. Gear? Placement? Techniques? Etc? Many thanks!
if you want the sound your ear hears in the ROOM....the key in my opinion is to not settle for just a close mic'd setup. either add a second mic to pick up more room sound, or back off your original mic.

I find that mic'ing on the grill when you are using a lot of effects processing is rarely a good solution on its own. a speaker sounds differently at different parts, so when you are effectively mic'ing 1 square inch of the speaker you may be missing out on something... this is awesome for lots of different sounds, but i find this method to often be lacking when i've got lots of effects such as repeating delay, chorus, etc.

back the mic up a bit, or add a second mic. I'll be surprised if that doesn't help you quite a bit. if adding a second mic, just take some caution to avoid phasing issues that will muddy up the sound.


and don't forget, your monitor placement and amp placement are cmpletely different - may need some treatments in the room to help the monitors sound more accurate. compare your sound with a quality pair of headphones if you suspect your studio monitors are inaccurate or not set up with a good acoustic environment.
Old 2nd September 2011
Lives for gear

Not being bad here but:
1 - do you put your head against the grill when checking tone, because thats what the mic is hearing...
2 - the human auditory system is a highly complex system. A microphone is not your ear, so it will "hear"things slightly differently.
3 - if you are losing note definition turn down the gain. A lot. A good live sound does not equal a good recording sound. Especially if you are double tracking. Listen to your favourite song in this genre. Chances are they are using a lot less gain than you think.

I keep making this mistake myself....its a tough one to get right! Best of luck...

ps. As for multi mic approach try it. Could sound great. Its not essential though. Andy sneep uses a single sm57 I believe.....
Old 2nd September 2011
Registered User
Standing in a room, facing your guitar amp, guess where your ears are ... both at 90 degrees to the amp, facing the walls ...

You are listening to the room, and then micing the amp. Mic'ing the amp close to the grill is common practice, because you want the dryest sound you can get, so you can add effects later.

Some effects sound good before the guitar amp and speakers and obviously they are mono effects unless you run multiple amps. Other effects - especially stereo FX - are best applied in the mix, where you can create an artificial space.

Maybe all you need to do is add a nice room reverb to bring you back to something similar to what you were hearing. Bear in mind the midrange boost of the 57 - often not a bad thing for electric guitar.

It's how your guitars sound in the total mix that matters - I wouldn't struggle to emulate how the guitar sounds in the room. But I certainly want the guitar to sound like it is in a space, but often I prefer a virtual space, which can be much larger than my little room ...
Old 2nd September 2011
Registered User
If tracking yourself - never understimate the acoustic string noise you are hearing, and also bone conduction - through the guitar strap and into your body.

I would advise not using effects (for a start) and try to get a good dry tone first. The thing about chorus/flanger/phaser etc is that they are a moving Notch filter. If you are losing notes, it might be because of this - and maybe you don't notice it because of the acoustic sound ...

Many fx can be duplicated very well with plugins, with the benefit of low noise, higher resolution, tempo syncing, automation and stereo etc

You can always 'reamp' FX later.
Old 2nd September 2011
Lives for gear

when in doubt, use less gain.

or, sometimes, the mic is distorting, but you can't tell because the amp has so much gain. try pulling the mic back 3 inches or so.

or, sometimes, the cabinet is getting too involved and creating resonance. try turning down the master volume.
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