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Mike's recorded sound, mic placement etc

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by FretGrinder, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. heya Mike and other cats,

    I been recording in a studio and I'm doin it again soon.

    Wondering how you go about recording, Mr Watt, in terms of mic placement and DI blend .. Do you have just one mic in front of the speaker and blend to taste with DI ? or use various mics around the room?

    Any advice you could share, or things you recommend trying out would be most appreciated.

    my equipment is a Lakland skyline 55-02, a Labsystems (australian made) valve / mosfet head and matched 6x10" cab. I also have a SansAmp.

    Best results we got last session were using a DI signal and a slightly louder line from a mic right near one of the 10" speakers ..

    Btw any opinions on piezo horns in cabinets? Mine has a blend knob - for the last session I just turned it off.


    David Lee
  2. watt

    watt the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    close mic on the 10" speaker blended w/a direct signal gets me the best results too. however, a lot of my fIREHOSE recordings were done w/direct only! use your ears as your best judge - also try not to go w/only soloing the bass to get a good sound, you need to hear how it sits in the track w/all the other sounds (drums, guitar, singing, etc.) too. as for the horn, I have it on like thirty to forty percent full - less than half.

    on bass, watt

  3. thanks Mike,

    I ended up with this particular session going pure DI (couldn't get my rig up for recording) .. will try some Pro Tools amp modelling stuff later, but found that playing Really Hard got rid of some of the excess niceness of a DI'd signal (if you know what I mean).


    David Lee.
  4. Malcom


    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    The one recording secret that always sticks in my mind is to CRANK THE TREBLE. Your bass will sound horrible by itself, but it'll cut through the guitars.
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Mmmmm... I'm not so sure about this. You'll cut through... but it will be an unpleasant noise that cuts through. If you have problems cutting through. I recommend a midrange boost. Good EQing doesn't always come from just cranking something. The trick is to cut through and sound good doing it.
  6. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    The secret to EQ is subtraction, not addition. If you're too bright, cut the treble. If you're muddy, cut low mids. Sweep the EQ around until you find the point at which it sounds worst, then cut there. Make up any perceived level changes by simply boosting volume.
  7. I have to cut through two Jazz hollowbody guitars (very thick sounding, almost bell-like undistorted) which are frequently distorted and almost NEVER sparse.

    Big drums too.

    I concur that the mids are the ticket, and that subtractive EQ is the way to go. Playing decisions like note choice and rhythmic phrasing have an impact too.

    I'm trying try to shape the sound being recorded to something that is a good start on the sound I envisage finishing up with, but leaves enough of everything there for decisions about tone at mixdown.

    fingers crossed, seems to be going well so far ...

    Loving my new Lakland Skyline for its mids and definition :)



    AND thanks , Mike , for taking the time to answer. Much appreciated, and hats off to you for your participation in our little community. :D - rock on !
  8. watt

    watt the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    you're right, eq addition adds distortion but sometimes you need a combination of both cutting and boosting to get what you're looking for. try to find a good eq setting for when the whole band's playing and not just the bass solo, that's another thing I would suggest. so many times I hear the bass disappear after an 'intro' piece cuz of a weak eq.

    on bass, watt