How To Mic A Guitar Amp | ASK A PRODUCER

Discussion in 'Studio & Stage' started by CoreyT, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    6,440
    Aw Bill...Wheaties crapped in. ;) (Purposeful ending in a preposition. And purposeful wink.)
     
  2. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,913
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    yeah, I do dislike crappy Wheaties, thanks.

    But now that we see the video is really about the gear, not the title, it's all good.
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    Oh, but you insist! ;)

    Actually, it's about both. If I were to do a video on how to mic up a cab, here's what I'd have done:

    I'd have had someone playing while I moved the mic stand around with headphones on, and I'd have demonstrated how the different positions sound manually, instead of with a machine.

    The information about where to put the mic would have been pretty much the same.

    I might have added the phrase, "There are no rules about this, it's all a matter of what you want to hear."

    In other words, the nuggets you were looking for really don't exist. It was a useful video, even without the machine.
     
    Michael_DK and Boogie like this.
  4. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    6,440
    I vote for Les doing a mic-up-a-cab video. :D
     
  5. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    274

    It's also an ad for an iPhone, for the mixing desk, the monitors, the guitar, the cab, the amp head, the.......
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    Haha! You mean a video with the longest-winded explanations of the benefits of my favorite mic stand brands? Why I prefer old-school Switchcraft XLRs to Neutriks for attaching microphones? How I can get 25 years (and counting!) of continuous use out of a Mogami cable if I coil it correctly? Why every studio needs a snake with a breakout box? Why I throw most clips that come with mics away?

    Or the stuff that was already in that video, which pretty much does everything else? ;)
     
  7. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,213
    Likes Received:
    415
    I second it.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    Here's why that's not going to happen, and in fact, should not happen:

    1. There are engineers who've been miking speaker cabinets on major label records who do a much better job recording guitars than I have ever done. They're the experts. Much better to get their techniques and opinions, because compared to their experience, mine is extremely limited.

    For example, I couldn't recognize a good metal sound because I don't listen to metal music. How would I know what works in that context?

    A metalhead would probably find my advice on mic placement fairly useless. Same with someone who does funk. I don't play funk, and have no idea what to do to get a good funky sound. When I need to record a metal track or a funk track, I hire a session player, and often, I either take their advice on miking, or we go to a bigger studio and I hire an engineer who does that stuff!

    2. Every microphone is going to sound a little different, in different places on a speaker cab. My favorite microphone for guitar cab miking is the Royer R-121, just a beautiful mic for a lot of sources. This article really tells you everything you ever wanted to know how to use it - and more. There's nothing I could add:

    http://www.royerlabs.com/rectips_electricguitar.html

    3. Who records guitars better than Michael Wagener? Answer: No one. He's got a set of DVDs coming out.

    http://www.michaelwagener.com/html/dvd.html

    Here's his advice from a Mix magazine article I read back in the late 90s, and it's still pertinent:

    "MICHAEL WAGENER
    Since the late ’70s, Michael Wagener has earned a reputation asone of the masters of great-sounding rock recordings. Wagener, who hasamassed more than 100 album credits, may be well-known for his workproducing, engineering and/or mixing aggressive hard rock projects likeSkid Row, Extreme, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Megadeth and Alice Cooper,but he also has credits that range from Janet Jackson and Queen to ThePlasmatics. Wagener is currently producing a video called How to ReallyRecord Guitar.

    “There is an important relationship between amp output and speaker wattage. I subscribe to the theory that you have to push air toget your point across. That means I will always try to use an amp with more power reserves than the RMS wattage of the speaker cab. Of course you have to be careful not to blow the cab to pieces. A tube amp ofabout 100 watts can have peaks around 250 watts, so make sure your cabinet can stand that occasional peak. Also, if you use a tube amp,that peak is liable to come smoother than or not as sudden as you would get from a transistor power amp. A tube power amp will probably giveyou a fatter, saturated sound, whereas a transistor amp will be cleaner with a bit of a harder attack.

    “Another very important part of the power amp is the output transformer. The output transformer can make or break the sound of an amplifier. Once, I had to exchange a blown output transformer of agreat-sounding Marshall 100-watt top. I never got the original soundback.

    “The distortion doesn’t always have to be generated in the preamp. Sometimes it’s better to keep the preamp section fairly clean and get the distortion out of the power amp or thespeaker. Speaker distortion is the smoothest distortion you can get.U nfortunately, because of the high volume, it also involves having avery good isolated studio, so the neighbors won’t get distortedas well.

    “When you pick a speaker cabinet, there are a few considerations to be made. What kind of sound do you want to achieve?Are you looking for a clean sound or a distorted sound? Is the instrument going to be in the front or the back of the mix? Is it going to be doubled? Are you playing single notes or chords or both? How powerful is your amp? Can your speaker cabinet withstand the power output from the amp? Is your speaker cabinet too ‘big’ forthe amp, so it won’t push enough air? For example, a 4x30-wattcab would be a great, powerful cab for a 100-watt amp if you arelooking for a fat, distorted sound. If you are going for a cleaner sound, you might want to try a 4x75-watt cabinet on the same amp. Makesure that the impedance of the cabinet and the amp match."


    This is advice I have followed, it's why I prefer to record amps with higher power than lower power, with good sounding transformers, etc. But more importantly, when you think about how much more experienced this guy is at recording guitars than I will ever be, why would anyone want to waste so much as ten seconds watching a video I did on this subject?

    Sorry, I won't put that out there, my experience with it is simply too limited to be of any more use than the one Corey posted.
     
    #28 LSchefman, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  9. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    6,440
    Here's why it should happen:

    1. You will be uncomfortable at first, but then warm up and talk for an hour about how many staples you put in the ceiling insulation. :D

    2. You will have fun.

    Don't approach it as or think of it as an authoritative informational video, just talk like we were there in the room. It sounds like fun. :)

    And for the love of Pete, close your quotes!
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    I did close my quote of the Wagener article!
     
  11. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,213
    Likes Received:
    415
    How to Coil a Cable and Cable Management | ASK A PRODUCER

    A new one...


     
  12. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,213
    Likes Received:
    415
    PS, I always wrap mine the way he showed first.
    Nice wraps...
     
  13. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,913
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    He actually does it wrong.

    He twists the same direction each loop. That isn't markedly different from the hand/elbow technique as it introduces several axial turns in the cable. Note when he threw the cable out it remained coiled at the end and didn't lay flat on the floor between his hand and the coil. The cable is twisted.

    The better way is to alternate the direction you twist each loop as you coil which introduces no axial turns in the cable and then they really do throw out.

    I'll look for a better video...

    Video 1



    Video 2



    Video 3... Shows how cables will completely unspool and lay flat.

     
    #33 rugerpc, Mar 8, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
    Dusty Chalk likes this.
  14. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,213
    Likes Received:
    415
    Sweetwater just shared this one on Facebook.

     
  15. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,913
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    At least the Sweetwater video got it right...
     
  16. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    845
    Likes Received:
    274
    Man, this really IS the internet :)

    Subject: micing a guitar cab
    Video count:
    Micing a guitar cab: 1
    Coiling a cable: 5

    :D
     
  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    I know. It's hilarious!
     
  18. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,913
    Likes Received:
    2,680
    Thread drift courtesy the OP, but...
    Cool. Next time I see wrong info posted, I'll just leave it alone. ;)
     
  19. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    16,506
    Likes Received:
    20,495
    Not a chance! :)
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23,261
    Likes Received:
    16,659
    I have perfectly functioning cables that are 25 years old. I have my own way of coiling them, never a problem. Never took cable coiling lessons....:eek:

    I'm self-taught! Haha
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice