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11 mics on a guitar amp - shootout
Old 29th January 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
11 mics on a guitar amp - shootout

So I had the morning free and decided to try out every working mic I had on a guitar amp. Then I got to thinking that I should record it and share the files. It is an unscientific study, but I really tried to position the mic in exactly the same spot and match the levels on the preamp. Afterward I used the gain plugin in PT to match the levels further. The guitar is a late 90s Guild Bluesbird into a fender twin sent out to a Mesa rectifier 4x12 cab with vintage 30s. Neve 3405 pre into an Apogee Rosetta 800 to Digi 002r. One long MP3 with each clip back to back. I included the times for back to back reference.

1. SM7b (0:00) I think that windscreen filters the top nicely, sounds great.
2. Beta 57 (0:19)
3. SM57 (0:37) Always sounds great
4. RE15 (0:56) not bad at all, never touch this thing
5. RE18 (1:14) a little dull
6. 421 (1:33) brighter than I expected (placement?)
7. 121 front (1:53) Of course
8. 121 back (2:12) I love the back of this mic for guitar amps
9. EV N/D 468 (2:32) Harsh, I use this only on a rack tom.
10. Gefell UMT-70s (2:50) lacks the midrange of the dynamics, but nice
11. Audio Technica AE4100 (3:10) AT's version of a 58, not too far off
12. SM57 again (3:29) I was curious if I placed the first 57 in the right spot and I think it was a tiny bit further out on the cone. For reference.
Attached Files

Guitar Mic Shootout.mp3 (2.64 MB, 831 views)

Old 29th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wow, I really like how that SM7 sounded. I've never tried that on an amp. I will have to do that sometime. Thanks. The others were pretty predictable, I can think of situations were they would all shine.
Old 29th January 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
sonicjosh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The sm7b was my favourite, I always took the windscreen off when recording amps, now i will try with it off! I think something may have been off with the 421, cause it usually sounds fuller than a 57. Thanks for the shoot out, i will have to use my sm7b more often for amps as well.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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scrubs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I discovered the SM7B on guitar amps about a year ago and can't get enough. Great sound with minimal effort.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i too found that out.
got a sm7 2 weeks ago, tried it on my deluxe reverb and it's been there ever since.
i love the way it records overdrive tones.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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nbarts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
SM7 is my number one for dirty amps. 121 almost always wins for cleans.

Great comparison, thanks for sharing!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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jchadstopherhuez's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"she grew up in an indiana town....."

i love sm7 on guitar amps. or, really...almost anything...great mic.

best,

jchristopherhughes
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i've usually found that a 421 sounds bright like this.
interesting test - another thing that makes me want to buy an SM7...
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Deleted 86c3d96
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I would have loved to hear the sm57 tab funkenwerk in this shootout.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon ➑️
I would have loved to hear the sm57 tab funkenwerk in this shootout.
Is that a mod?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thanks!

i would have loved to hear a u87 in there, and also a peluso 2247LE (which i own), just for reference against the other

the sm7 was set completely flat?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Makinithappen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What's that other noise in the 121?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Like SM7 too
Now I've own 3 unit now in my collection
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I didn't listen to the clips, but isn't the R-121 bidirectional.. meaning that the only difference w/ turning it around is absolute polarity...?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Nice... Great post!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller ➑️
I didn't listen to the clips, but isn't the R-121 bidirectional.. meaning that the only difference w/ turning it around is absolute polarity...?
I know the 122 is a bit brighter on the reverse side, not sure if the same applies with the 121 though.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➑️
I know the 122 is a bit brighter on the reverse side, not sure if the same applies with the 121 though.
I know from experience (including the above test) that the two sides sound different, and Royer backs that claim up.

Royer Labs
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➑️
I know the 122 is a bit brighter on the reverse side, not sure if the same applies with the 121 though.
There are definitely different tonal characteristics from each side of the 121 as well.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makinithappen ➑️
What's that other noise in the 121?
That just a vintage amp making a little racket that the royer picks up faithfully. At least I hope it's the amp and not my mic. I heard it during a session using the same amp with a different cab the other day. The Royer has been super clean on brass, acoustics and other amps but I'll have to verify.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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ryanojohn's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've always remembered the 421 being thicker than this too... was it set to the M position?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Max The Dog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for posting that, it's very revealing. I think I picked the Sm7.

A couple days ago someone brought a Heil PR30 to my studio. We a\b'd it with a 57 and it killed. I wish I kept the files. We also compared the PR30 to my PR20 and it was much better on the guitar. I do like the PR20 on snare drum, it's got more bottom than the 57.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Joram's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great post! Levels were very good and that's always hard to manag with a shoot out like this. Liked the SM7b best. Pity that you didn't have a 441 in the test.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
did the 421 have a bass cut engaged?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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Never1's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd say the vast majority of those tones are useable in certain contexts.

SM7 sounds great as always. I use mine all the time on guitar amps, but even the RE18 would be useable for a guitar part that needs to sit in a dense mix and not take up too much space. Pretty much exactly the opposite of the SM7B track.

Loved the back of the 121 take. This is on my short list of mics to buy.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanojohn ➑️
I've always remembered the 421 being thicker than this too... was it set to the M position?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepforwheat ➑️
did the 421 have a bass cut engaged?
Just ran out to the studio and checked- M position. Also, the SM7b was set flat- no rolloff or presence bump. Listening back, I thought that the 421 sounded nice though bright- I could see it sounding great in a track.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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heyman's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
SM7
Sm57
Royer 121
Re15
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
here is my question:

how loud was that twin to get it to overdrive like that?

unless i am thinking of some other amp also called twin (possible i guessheh) the volume here must have been pretty stunning.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
the sm7 definitely moved up my list of mics to pick up. the royer also sounded great, as expected. great shootout, awesome thread.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eligit ➑️
here is my question:

how loud was that twin to get it to overdrive like that?

unless i am thinking of some other amp also called twin (possible i guessheh) the volume here must have been pretty stunning.
Pretty loud but not as much as you would think. I am blessed (or cursed) with a twin that breaks up earlier than most. I think it was on about 4 or 5. I LOVE my twin reverb, which is a 70s silverface modded to blackface specs.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
SM7 might not be the star (in a mix).
'
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