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Micing heavily distorted gtr
Old 7th April 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
OvrMyHd's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Micing heavily distorted gtr

Hi all. Long-time site lurker, but this is my first post.

My question is this:
I'm attempting to record a guitarist using Mesa's Tri-axis pre and Mesa's Simul-Class 2:90 as an amp head and a 4x12 cab loaded with Celestion greens. The sound he's getting is very chunky and thick in the room, but no matter what mic I throw on that cab, no matter what cone I mic or degree of off-axis positioning, I just can't seem to "capture" that sound in Pro Tools. Multing 3+ performances has aided in getting a really big sound, but tonally, it just never sounds like it does in the room.

In short: are there any "general guide-lines" to recording a Stoner Rock/Metal distorted sound accurately?

I should note that mine is a prjoect studio only, not a pro environment in any way. I'm currently restricted to using a Mackie 1604-VLZ Pro as my source (i.e mic pre) for Pro Tools (V6) and for mics I have: Blue Mouse, Baby Bottle, SM57, Rhode NT-1A, Rhode NT-4 Stereo and an Audix D6. I am open to buying/renting a mic suitable to this purpose as I'm hoping to do more of this type of project in the future.

If I hadn't shaved my head already, I'd be pulling my hair out over this. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
Old 7th April 2003
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Slippy already hit it. Read the thread over at PSW, grab a cup of coffee or something 'cause it's 15 pages. Report back to class after you've finished.

There isn't a problem with any of your mics. I use a Baby Bottle and SM57 all the time. It's between the player and you to get the sound. The only thing I see that's lacking is a mic pre, and the PT rig but PT is a whole other fish that I ain't touching right now.

Something to think about is if you want to capture an accurate sound or make it into something that's different and better then what your getting from the amp. You can work to get the sound of the room but it's pretty tough to do, you'll never truly capture exactly what you have coming off the amp. It always gets mutated in some way. I for one, usually welcome the chance to mutate the paddle players tone in someway.
Old 7th April 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Kris's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Think about multiple mics... if you are going for what it sounds like in the room, consider a room mic, and compressed with a 'good' compressor, like a distressor for instance... to bring up more of the overall room characteristics...
Old 7th April 2003
  #4
Here for the gear
 
OvrMyHd's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Holy mackerel! That thread was amazing! Thank you very much for referring me there, it was a great read (one I'm about to go through again, just make sure I absorbed it all!).

Here's what I'm going to investigate tonight based on what I've read:

1) My SM57 is probably too close to the grill. There was a comment, I think it was from a post/reply by Slippy, that stated that the mics' diaphragm can be 'flattened'. I don't know for sure till I experiment, but that word describes the unfortunate sounding guitars I currently have recorded.

2) Tube Rectifiers 'sag' in tone, or can 'sag'. The only solution to that, if that's what I'm experiencing, is to hope the guitarist knows someone with a non-Boogie head and that he's amenable to the idea of switching. Though, in truth, I'm really thinking my mic placement is the problem and not his amp config 'cause it does sound really good in-room.

3) Kris, I've tried a room-mic in an attempt to capture what we're all hearing in the room, but it didn't help. Admittedly, though, I hadn't at that point learned you could change phasing on a channel within Pro Tools and after reading your suggestion, I'm going to put one up and record it with each take. Better to have it and experiment than not.

4) Someone in that thread mentioned a Royer 121 on a guitar cab. Can a ribbon mic take that kind of abuse? Or am I wrong, and the Royer isn't a ribbon?

And Jay, what mic pre would you recommend for heavy guitar sounds? Everything I've been considering for purchase has been based mostly on vocals (though I have to say that I'd buy a GT Vipre for its looks as much as for its great reviews). The mic-pre existing outside my Mackie is a brain-teaser to me in as far as routing it into Pro Tools, but till I have the money on hand to buy a good one, that is probably a thread unto itself

Thanks again guys, your responses have given me new hope!
Old 7th April 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
imacgreg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Instead of using your second mic as a room mic, stick two different mics right on the cab. At work, the "standard" guitar micing setup is a 57 and 421 on a speaker. Check the pic. The mix is usually 75% 57, 25% 421. Also, try taking a direct and amp farming it. The combo usually results in something bigger than any individual peice. Always check phase. Oh yeah, personally I usually turn the amp's pre-gain down a bit when recording, I don't like things to get too mushy. This especially goes for when you have the guitars double or triple tracked.

Ian
Attached Thumbnails
Micing heavily distorted gtr-imbrue-recall-pics-008-small.jpg  
Old 7th April 2003
  #6
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Yeah, definitely try a 121/122. (Although I haven't tried the 122 yet, I'm sure it's a beauty.)

They really work great going to digital.

Such a great mic for electric guitars. And they can definitely handle the noise.

Tried one on mellow vocals a couple of months ago too. Sounded sweet. Very very, umm, natural sounding.

The digital dilemna. Good Luck.

R.
Old 9th April 2003
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If the diaphragm on the 57 is collapsing you need to either back the mic off or back the amps volume down. #1 Rule of thumb when doing metal/handcore type stuff is that you need less gain and bass and more mids then you'd think.

The 57/421 combo sounds pretty good, it's a default for me if I'm overdubbing and have time to play with multiple mics. I go a bit farther and align the capsules of the mics. A Royer 121 will take the level of an ultra cranked guitar amp, no problems there. But, it's the only ribbon you can do that with. Room mics in metal/hardcore sounds are ususally bad mojo. Tough to get them to add anything besides mush and wash.

The Dual Recto is a standard, if you can't get a usable nu-metal tone out of that hang yourself and stick to the day job. If you're not getting a defined note from a palm muted low-E and you have a "whooommm" sound around it you have too much low end and/or too much volume from the amp.

Good mic pres? Anything with some iron. Dakings, 1272 (Vintech or Averill), API, Telefunken V672's, a Vipre, etc. Figure about $600-800 per channel and up. Don't settle for anything less if you want better. If you want different, then you can spend less and get something like a Joe Meek or whatever.
Old 9th April 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Last heavy guitars I did (JMP Master Vol. It wasn't metal but still noisy as f***.) had the 121 going through a 1272, a bit of high shelving and a nidge of Opto-Distressor and I'll be damned if I didn't have to keep stealing the guitar off the guitar player cuz I was so bloody inspired by the sound.

Then recording an old Fender twin I tried the 121 through a 1272 and then a 1073 with no real shwing going on. Popped it into one of the channels on my 3124+ and the band thought it was the best guitar sound they'd ever had. (They probably hate it now but bands SUCK anyway! )

And I second the "Don't settle for anything less" line.

Spend the money (or rent/hire) and experience the love...

R.
Old 9th April 2003
  #9
Here for the gear
 
OvrMyHd's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years


Nail on the head! Turn it down. As embarassing as this is, I fell victim to the guitartist's mantra of "the celestion has a sweet-spot when it's driven just that little, extra, bit over the edge...hear it? hear it?". Well, in the room yeah, i was hearing the cab tone change (though I was also hearing a lot a ringing in my right ear after that...ouch). But, despite my growing pains and because of your excellent advice, I did the following:

Kept gain up...way up
Master volume down
SM57 in the position of the 421 in your picture Jay (and btw, thank you SOOO much for the pic, it was invaluable)
changed my degree of off-axis positioning
added then removed a room mic, it did precisely what was predicted...it went mushy
and lastly, turned up the guitarists headphone level to help maintain his "feeling" of being in a live situation.

In short, it sounds way better than I had hoped and if I weren't prone to always second-guessing myself I might even say it sounds good.

Thank you all so much for your feedback! It's been a tremendous learning experience. And Jay, your point about not being able to record a good sound out of a Rect was really right-on and that was what had me distressed enough to post my question in the first place. If I couldn't get this recorded and sounding good, my concept for a career-change into AE'ing would've undergone serious re-consideration. As it is it's daunting at best, but as someone's sig said: Curiosity Skilled The Cat.

Gotta run, I'm ordering a 421 today and am selling some gear to get that Royer....mmmm, my first ribbon.

Thanks again!
Old 6th May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey OMH

all this is cool but all you need to do is buy a beyer m160 and you will
be laughing. if you do decide to do the 57 & 421 combo (which is good)
may i suuggest putting them against each other side by side -as if they are taped together.so the pick up fronts of the mics are an inch apart.
Old 6th May 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
andre tchmil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
stealth,
Explain a bit further.
If you tape the mics together, and say point the 57 on axis, then the 421 will point near the outside of the speaker, right ?


oh yeah, anyone knows if the sennheiser 521 type is more or less similar as a 421 ?
Old 7th May 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE]Originally posted by stealthbalance
[B]hey OMH

all this is cool but all you need to do is buy a beyer m160 and you will
be laughing.

... until the ribbon goes! A M160 won't take the kind of punishment that a 121 will .. though it's a great mic for the buck. I'm currently looking at 200 Euros to have my 160 reribboned, and it's never been on a guitar amp that I know of.

Peter
Old 8th May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
andre-
so the mics look like this ll pointing for me usually not right
in the middle but between the cone , and the center at the crease.
i am usually touching the speaker grill and even pushed in a bit.
thats only after ive swept each speaker -in say a 4 by 12 and then sweep
each mic indevidually. i find the sweetest speaker and then i sweep that.
the good news is that i dont use real gtr amps anymore-
so it allows me far more time to enjoy life.
Old 8th May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey stealth,
we'll say welcome back to the real gtr amps user club in about 6 months. (may vary 3 months back & forth)

cheerio, kosi
Old 8th May 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
kozi-

im afraid you are incorrect. i try over and over to get a better
sound off of real amps but amp sims beat them out every time.
this is with garage bands to hi price session cats. they sit there in amazement.
its all about the axe and the pedals - sorry to say. guitar collecters
and amp collecters who visit my sessions don't know about this and
start questioning which great amp i use - i just say i dont remember.
sorry kozi - im much happier in my life without guitar amps. but hey-
whatever blows your skirt up - im certainly not trying to convert anyone.
Old 8th May 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
mdbeh -

it is not my intension to come off like im bragging. but since you are
so wanting to know how it is done - may i kindly reply to
you to figure it out yourself. its not what you use - its how you
use it. if i were in your shoes , ignorance would be far more of
an annoyance. but if you are pleased with using your "proper"
recording techniques, then i would stay with them -forever.
Old 8th May 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
mdbeh-
thats a great idea - the ignore option would be great as it won't
conflict with the closed mind you seem to have. it is unique that
after you post your RRIIGGHHHTTT - that you expect for the guy you
are replying to to come clean with all their secrets they have
aquired only after having used all the techniques that you use and
enjoy for a couple of decades. stay closed and keep pounding out
those hits from the windy city. but if you want someone to share
their methodology with you , a little politness goes along way.
Old 9th May 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
stealthbalance:

you wouldn't by any chance be sweetbubs would you?

or maybe jack ortman?

or someone else like that?

it took me a few posts to catch on to what was happening. for all those who don't know the above, the idea is just to enjoy the surrealism and don't let it annoy you...
πŸ“ Reply

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