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Favourite Mic For Guitar Amp

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by QweziRider, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Getting a bit frustrated with mic'ing a guitar amp for recording. I can get the bass sound I always want in a heartbeat, not so much with distorted guitar. I'm using a Blackstar HT Stage 60 for beefy metal tone (not shrill and brittle), getting exactly what I want to hear from the amp.

    I tried my Shure SM7B (in multiple positions) and the result was shrill and brittle'ish. Moved to my AEA R84 and got much closer to what the amp was doing, but still required a ton of EQ massaging to the track to get almost where I want the tone.

    Does anyone have a favourite mic they use for heavier guitar tracks that sends exactly what you hear from the amp to the recording? Something that colors as little as possible (I'm using only the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 preamp into the DAW, nothing fancy).

  2. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
  3. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    When you say you're getting what you want form the amp, how much of what you are hearing is off axis/room reflection? A lot of heavy tones are captured using a dynamic on the grill and a condenser or ribbon further away, but that requires a decent sounding/treated room.

    I am sure you already took it into account, but the sm7 needs a lot of gain at the board to sound its best too.

    I have used an sm57 and an e609 with good results in the past, am about to take delivery of an e906, I've heard nothing but rave reviews.
    lowplaces likes this.
  4. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Thank you guys. I pulled out the old e609 and it was immensely closer to what I wanted to hear. I don't know why I didn't think to give it a try yesterday. Ender_rpm, I saw your post about half-off e906 and have one on the way. Can't hurt to have another tool.
    lowplaces and Ender_rpm like this.
  5. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    If I hear what I want, I record somewhat near where my head is (a couple of feet from the cab) and with a neutral mike. First reach is for the Beyerdynamic M130, a small figure 8 ribbon, because it gives such a natural tone with a bit of low end roll off, just enough to make things better on guitar. Also it has a figure of 8 pattern so I can get the amp at a reasonable distance plus some degree of ambience from the rear. You can adjust the ratio by how close you position the mike to the amp.

    QweziRider likes this.
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    The SM7 has a mid-boost switch. I assume you have it off? If not, turn it off. Also, the SM7 sounds better / less shrill on guitar when you place it a foot or so from the speaker, not right up on the grill. Also point it / position it more towards the outside of the speaker than the center of the speaker.
    Cownancy and QweziRider like this.
  7. I've been using an Audix i5 for years with great results on guitar. I often end up using just that mic, double-tracked for heavy guitars.
    QweziRider likes this.
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    The Senn e609 is a very good choice for close mic on a gtr cab, but the e906 is even better—more honest. It may be my favorite widely available dynamic for capturing Fender-style spank when the cab tone is already happening.
  9. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I revisited all this today (and just now reading what you wrote). The mid boost was off, but I messed with turning it on. I did pull the mic back to about a foot away, aimed toward the outer edge. Gave it a touch more gain at the preamp than previously. It was much better than my previous tries. Beefy but not bass heavy, and the shrillness gone. Just about to what I wanted to hear.
    And I and lowplaces like this.
  10. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Tried it today next to the SM7. A slightly different animal, but very nice. I can see it getting used.
    lowplaces likes this.
  11. frankzap


    Apr 11, 2014
    New York
    Lately I discovered that this cheap MXL144 ribbon works very nice with a cabinet that is hit hard by MBMK5. But then, adding a condenser to capture a bit of the distant roar, makes wonders. SM57 + Senheiser e609 are kind of standard for cool.
    QweziRider and lowplaces like this.
  12. Bassndrums73


    Mar 13, 2018
    I use a combination of Shure Sm57 and Sennheiser MD421 and blend the 2 channels together. 57 pointed at the center of the speaker cone and 421 half way between the center and the edge. Both the same distance from the cone. Adjust the distance from the cone for the sound you want by trial. Blend them together in the mix. Hard to beat.
    QweziRider and lowplaces like this.
  13. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    I don't have much to choose from but I like a 421 or an sm 57.
    QweziRider likes this.
  14. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    SM-57 about 8-10" back and off center from the cone. Keeps the shrill away.
    Cownancy, QweziRider and lowplaces like this.
  15. SharkSandwich


    Jan 15, 2018
    The i5 is a great mic. Priced right, built tough, like a sm57 but only better. ;)
    negative theory and QweziRider like this.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I have read several reviews were people use Audio Technica AE2500 dual element kick drum mics for heavy guitar sounds; here's a relevant thread: Audio Technica AE2500 for Guitars?

    My all time favorite guitar mic is the Sennheiser MD409. These are pretty much unobtanium these days as they have not been made in 30 years or so Reviews suggest that the E906 is closer than the E609. I believe both have a much tighter pattern than the MD409.

    Believe it or not, I have also gotten really good guitar sounds with a Shure Beta 58.
    QweziRider likes this.
  17. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Thank you for that suggestion. Stupidly, it never even crossed my mind to try that route for a heavier sound. I've been back down this rabbit hole all last week, hearing things I've done recently completely different and still not satisfied.
  18. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    make sure to listen in the context of some sort of mix, too. a "heavy" guitar sound that you like soloed may never work in a mix. and the heavy guitar sound that works in the mix may never sound good soloed.

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