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Share Your 1 Mic Guitar Recording Setups - Pics Appreciated Dynamic Microphones
Old 13th September 2011
  #1
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Share Your 1 Mic Guitar Recording Setups - Pics Appreciated

I've never had too much success with 1 mic setups for electric guitar, something always seems missing. For me it's 57/421/R121 mics into A-Designs and MA5 pres and blend to taste.

But there is something elegant in it's simplicity for a 1 mic setup, less time, no phase issues, etc. Plus I have heard some great tones recorded this way so wanna give it another shot.

So how about sharing some 1 mic techniques that worked for you. Mic/Pre and perhaps anything else like the cab or speaker or mic angle/distance. Pics would be great.
Old 13th September 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Baroque's Avatar
I'd like to see some pics as well. I'm about to start tracking electric guitar with nothing but an MD441. Hoping that's not uncommon.
Old 13th September 2011
  #3
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Jon Harter's Avatar
johnnyc,

Try using just the Royer. Start with it about 6" off the grill cloth, aiming directly at the middle of the cone. That's your starting place. If this is usually where you'd blend in the 57 for bite, spin the Royer around and use the back side.

Since the Royer R series mics are offset, the back side is brighter than the front. If instead you want a deeper low end, scoot the mic closer in toward the speaker. The proximity effect on figure-8 mics like the Royers is pretty pronounced. You'll notice a difference.

If you want to smooth the sound out a little bit, rotate the microphone a little toward the middle or outer edge of the speaker cone. Here the tone will be less aggressive.

There is certainly something beautiful about using just one microphone, and a ribbon in a good starting place. Keep in mind the room you're suing though. Since the pattern picks up from 180°, you'll introduce a little ambient sound depending on the volume level of your guitar amp.

Good luck. Report back on your findings!
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Harter View Post
Try using just the Royer. Start with it about 6" off the grill cloth, aiming directly at the middle of the cone. That's your starting place. If this is usually where you'd blend in the 57 for bite, spin the Royer around and use the back side.
I tried just this before and it sounded very nice and full sounding. The one thing missing was the edge and pick attack. Didn't try the back side though, need to give that a go.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
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bryan k's Avatar
One mic - Start with the SM57 as the first choice.

positioned as shown, distance is about 1" to 1.5" away from grill cloth. This is my FIRST spot i always go to first. You will always get a "useable" sound with this. "The perfect sound" is subjective personal taste and can be tweaked from here.

Old 14th September 2011
  #6
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If the royer isn't doing it for you I would look at the cab next. I am using the 121 with an apogee trak 2 pre. I like this better than with a 1073 or 512. I got an old marshall _cab that is brighter than my others. Once I bought this cab I am 1 mic set and forget. I just switch heads and gtrs and I am very happy.

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Old 14th September 2011
  #7
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wesarvin's Avatar
 

In my limited experience, I think that this is one of the few cases where a good preamp REALLY makes a difference.

Amp-->57-->one of my Saffire or Presonus pres=Crappy anemic flat guitar
Same amp-->57-->API312=Punchy, full-bodied, in your face screamathon
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Harter View Post
johnnyc,

Try using just the Royer. Start with it about 6" off the grill cloth, aiming directly at the middle of the cone. That's your starting place. If this is usually where you'd blend in the 57 for bite, spin the Royer around and use the back side.

Since the Royer R series mics are offset, the back side is brighter than the front. If instead you want a deeper low end, scoot the mic closer in toward the speaker. The proximity effect on figure-8 mics like the Royers is pretty pronounced. You'll notice a difference.

If you want to smooth the sound out a little bit, rotate the microphone a little toward the middle or outer edge of the speaker cone. Here the tone will be less aggressive.

There is certainly something beautiful about using just one microphone, and a ribbon in a good starting place. Keep in mind the room you're suing though. Since the pattern picks up from 180°, you'll introduce a little ambient sound depending on the volume level of your guitar amp.

Good luck. Report back on your findings!
Yup: R-121 6" out and slightly off center for me. That or an SM-57 waaaay over on the side of the speaker but 1-2" out are my two starting points.
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
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bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesarvin View Post
In my limited experience, I think that this is one of the few cases where a good preamp REALLY makes a difference.

Amp-->57-->one of my Saffire or Presonus pres=Crappy anemic flat guitar
Same amp-->57-->API312=Punchy, full-bodied, in your face screamathon
AGREED
Old 14th September 2011
  #10
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Drumsound's Avatar
Plug in mic, point at amp. Adjust to taste.
Old 14th September 2011
  #11
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Adura's Avatar
 

Old 14th September 2011
  #12
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Granny Gremlin's Avatar
 

I'm rarely happy with a single mic close micing a single amp. Usually I find I need to do a lot with the signal in terms of processing to be satisfied this way.

I like to do one of 2 similar things:

1) set up an amp wall, running the guitard through multiple amps or at least multiple, differant, cabs connected to the same amp, mic using single mic (I like LDCs for this but sometimes a ribbon is the ticket) at medium distance (1-4 yards depending on size of room and width of the amp setup). You could just use one amp for this, but crank'er.

2) set up a spaced pair of amps/cabs (or bunches of amps/cabs) and either close mic each side, using the starting position described by bryan k. You can use differant mics, to augment different amp tones (say a 57 or e606 on a janglier or dirty amp on the left and an i5 or RE20 on a mellower 15' cab on the right). The other alternative is to room mic the pair of stacks (either a single mic or a stereo pair if you feel like it). I usually like LDCs and ribbons for this second way, but in a smaller room with the 2 stacks closer together a pair of 57s (or other usual suspect dynamic) in XY just a couple feet away from both cabs can be pretty great.

These are great if you aren't a fan of a lot of proximity effect on guitar tracks. If you do like the added bass of close micing, just place the amps right up against a wall vs a few feet out into the room to get some of that back. This makes more of a difference with open back cabs.

Sorry, I know 1 mic setups were wat was asked about, but it seemed relevant to mention a few other options as the reasons the OP gave for 1 mic was ease of setup/avoiding phase issues, and I think what I mentioned would qualify.
Old 16th September 2011
  #13
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Jon Harter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny Gremlin View Post
I'm rarely happy with a single mic close micing a single amp. Usually I find I need to do a lot with the signal in terms of processing to be satisfied this way.

I like to do one of 2 similar things:

1) set up an amp wall, running the guitard through multiple amps or at least multiple, differant, cabs connected to the same amp, mic using single mic (I like LDCs for this but sometimes a ribbon is the ticket) at medium distance (1-4 yards depending on size of room and width of the amp setup). You could just use one amp for this, but crank'er.

2) set up a spaced pair of amps/cabs (or bunches of amps/cabs) and either close mic each side, using the starting position described by bryan k. You can use differant mics, to augment different amp tones (say a 57 or e606 on a janglier or dirty amp on the left and an i5 or RE20 on a mellower 15' cab on the right). The other alternative is to room mic the pair of stacks (either a single mic or a stereo pair if you feel like it). I usually like LDCs and ribbons for this second way, but in a smaller room with the 2 stacks closer together a pair of 57s (or other usual suspect dynamic) in XY just a couple feet away from both cabs can be pretty great.

These are great if you aren't a fan of a lot of proximity effect on guitar tracks. If you do like the added bass of close micing, just place the amps right up against a wall vs a few feet out into the room to get some of that back. This makes more of a difference with open back cabs.

Sorry, I know 1 mic setups were wat was asked about, but it seemed relevant to mention a few other options as the reasons the OP gave for 1 mic was ease of setup/avoiding phase issues, and I think what I mentioned would qualify.
Haha. I feel like this is the exact opposite of what the op was looking for. Interesting techniques for sure, but very different in ideologies.
Old 16th September 2011
  #14
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Jon Harter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesarvin View Post
In my limited experience, I think that this is one of the few cases where a good preamp REALLY makes a difference.

Amp-->57-->one of my Saffire or Presonus pres=Crappy anemic flat guitar
Same amp-->57-->API312=Punchy, full-bodied, in your face screamathon
I've never used a Saffire or Presonus, but your mic choice will make a much bigger difference than the preamp. I promise.
Old 16th September 2011
  #15
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elamberth's Avatar
My current fav setup is 1 mic, but also with a direct track to add some attack.

I plug the guitar into a DW Fearn passive DI. The mic out then goes into a UA 610 then into the DAW. I often pick something from Amplitube 2 that is similar, but not exactly the same sound as the amo. The out then goes into a little Fender all tube amp & that is mic'd close with an AEA R84 into a DW Fearn VT-1. Then blend the two. Two different guitar sounds are nice, even if 1 is a sim. No phase issues.
Old 16th September 2011
  #16
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wesarvin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Harter View Post
I've never used a Saffire or Presonus, but your mic choice will make a much bigger difference than the preamp. I promise.
So will an amp or guitar, or even player. I do agree about mic choice, but I still say that there is a noticeable difference between a great pre and a mediocre one.
Old 16th September 2011
  #17
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Earthling's Avatar
 

I wonder if anyone would be willing to post audio examples?

The proof is in the aaaa um um pudding! :^/
Old 16th September 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesarvin View Post
but I still say that there is a noticeable difference between a great pre and a mediocre one.
100% agree. Once I got nice pres realized what had been missing.

Think I might experiment more with mics and speakers/cabs. Any non-standard mics people are using with good results?
Old 16th September 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Plug in mic, point at amp. Adjust to taste.
I hope you're not implying you lick it

Old 16th September 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Harter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Any non-standard mics people are using with good results?
EV 635a. It's an omni-directional dynamic mic for reporters. You can get them pretty cheap on eBay. But, then again, this isn't usually a mic I use by itself.

Also try an EV 666. Pretty gnarly, sometimes.
Old 16th September 2011
  #21
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cowrange's Avatar
 

I normally like pairing a Heil pr30 and a Beyerdynamics m160, but a lot of times the pr30 works great by itself. In which case it would be further from the center than if I was blending the two. For my old Fender Super Reverb, I use one SM7 and it's just right.
Old 16th September 2011
  #22
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frans's Avatar
Get isolation headphones , feed the signal into them to hear what the mic hears. Hold the mic and while somebody plays chords, move the mic around to hear how this or that spot sounds. So then you got a few good spots where you can further try a few angles and this or that distance. Finished.

No guessing where to put the mic. Never again. I have bands that never were satisfied with the way their amps were recorded in other places. Took me 5 minutes with the method described above to make them repeat customers.

Put the cab/amp off the ground and away from close walls so you have less to worry about immediate reflections.
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