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sheraton

advice req... recording guitar.

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hopefully you good folks will have some tips .

i bought a nice valve amp at the weekend. problem is i don't have any experience mic'ing the amp, (have recorded this way in studios but never set up the mic etc. myself) anything i should know ?

best mic placement, volume levels etc.

i've been using amp sims for a long time (not been playing live) while the amp sims are great, especially amplitube. i feel you can't beat a warmed up valve amp and actually recording a soundwave (i.e moving some air) compared to just sending a signal through a cable.

tips feedback appreciated.....

cheers sheraton.:smilinguitar:

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Hi sheraton,

Did you see the thread I made about the guitar/bass amp simulator called Vandal?

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/home-studio/25796-amazing-guitar-bass-amp-simulator/

I've felt the same way you did with guitar amp sims (also having used Amplitube, Guitar Rig, and various others) and never being happy with any of them. But Vandal has changed all of that, it is AWESOME!

I posted an example of a recording I did with it and IMO it is definitely on par with recording a real amp... In fact, I've gotten even better sounds with this plugin than I have recording a real amp. :)

-tkr

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i don't have a problem with amp sims the ones i use are great.

i just think the real deal is the way to go for the best overall result.

valves and speakers etc. react to temperature, humidity, air pressure, room ambience etc. there are lots of harmonic overtones?? that you can't simulate. valve amps can sound different one day to the next. part of the joy. amp sims don't heat up and hit that sweet spot, no matter how good.

cheers tho. i will check out vandal

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There are a lot of factors that go into recording a real amp. In addition to the amp itself, you also have things like room acoustics, microphone(s), mic preamps, converters, etc. Then you have to do LOTS of experimenting finding the right position for the mic(s) on the amp and right placement for the amp inside the room. All of these factors will influence your sound in some way. So it takes a lot of work to get a good guitar tone recorded.

In the few times that I've recorded real amps for friends' bands in the past, I've never been very happy with the guitar tone. I'd say largely because my room acoustics (a music/drum room we built off the back of the house) has about the worst acoustics imaginable. lol

I have recently been doing a lot of reading on room acoustics and I always knew room acoustics were important, but didn't realize just how IMPORTANT this aspect is... and it is so often overlooked (such as in my music room). This is an amazing site for all things acoustics, with lots of info on DIY acoustic treatment.

RealTraps - Acoustics Articles

When miking the amp, you are going to want to spend lots of time moving the mic around and listening. If you are recording by yourself, then start a recording and move the mic around while playing and speak into the mic so you know where you put the mic when you listen back to the recording, such as "two inches from the speaker and an inch to the left off center of the speaker cone". This way you will be able to re-create the best setting later.

What kind of recording gear do you have, mics, preamps, recording interface, etc?

Also, do you have the recordings you've done in the studio? If so, would you mind posting them? I've been listening to a lot of professional recordings and comparing the recording I with Vandal to them and IMO Vandal sounds very comparable. So I'd like to hear how it compares to other studio recordings as well. :)

-tkr

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Paying attention to the room acoustics is a big help. But since you don't often have control of that (or to say that if you've chosen to record in a space, you've chosen that space, so let's just deal with it!), then there are a couple of considerations for the placement of the mic:

Choose the volume. Next, find the distance from the cabinet where your body resonates with power chords and low tones (use ear plugs for best results!). Start from right in front of the amp and walk backwards to the other side of the room and listen to how the sound develops. Mark the spot.

Next, fine-tune the up, down and side-ways position of the mic. Just listen for interesting spots. I think this is best done while using headphones and sweeping the mic through the area.

One other thing to consider is to move the mic off-axis at that point. When you find that magical spot, and if you think that spot is still too bright, turn the mic off-axis a bit. Even if you feel that this brightness might be lost, consider that when recording this super-bright sound and later EQ'ing it out of the mix, you also EQ out the surrounding sound of the air. Sometimes it's better to turn the mic off-axis a bit and later add 'sparkle' via EQ later, because in essence you are adding sparkle to the entire area of air that the mic captured.

Then there's what I call the 'blast it' approach, if you are recording in a decent sounding space. If you have a ribbon mic (or maybe try any dynamic mic that can handle high spl's), try placing it somewhere within a foot or two directly in front of the speaker. Then place another mic, try a condensor, somewhere else in the room. Somewhere where you'll capture the essense of the space; where you'll record the natural reverb that's developed in the space.

Now mix those two mic's to taste.

It's all worthy of some great experimenting! Have fun with it.

Here's a link to a song that I recorded, H and A, where all the electric parts were recorded with the first method.

And here's a link to a tune I recorded, Trust, where I used the 'blast' method for the electric tracks.

Steve

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I've been listening to a lot of professional recordings and comparing the recording I with Vandal to them and IMO Vandal sounds very comparable

I think you can hear the digital aspect to guitar recording in many contemporary recordings - I often hear tones on the radio that I know sound so much like Line 6 patches I have in Pod Farm.

A lot of the Waves plugins also reinforce the 'modern' sounds.

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Paying attention to the room acoustics is a big help. But since you don't often have control of that (or to say that if you've chosen to record in a space, you've chosen that space, so let's just deal with it!), then there are a couple of considerations for the placement of the mic:

Choose the volume. Next, find the distance from the cabinet where your body resonates with power chords and low tones (use ear plugs for best results!). Start from right in front of the amp and walk backwards to the other side of the room and listen to how the sound develops. Mark the spot.

Next, fine-tune the up, down and side-ways position of the mic. Just listen for interesting spots. I think this is best done while using headphones and sweeping the mic through the area.

One other thing to consider is to move the mic off-axis at that point. When you find that magical spot, and if you think that spot is still too bright, turn the mic off-axis a bit. Even if you feel that this brightness might be lost, consider that when recording this super-bright sound and later EQ'ing it out of the mix, you also EQ out the surrounding sound of the air. Sometimes it's better to turn the mic off-axis a bit and later add 'sparkle' via EQ later, because in essence you are adding sparkle to the entire area of air that the mic captured.

Then there's what I call the 'blast it' approach, if you are recording in a decent sounding space. If you have a ribbon mic (or maybe try any dynamic mic that can handle high spl's), try placing it somewhere within a foot or two directly in front of the speaker. Then place another mic, try a condensor, somewhere else in the room. Somewhere where you'll capture the essense of the space; where you'll record the natural reverb that's developed in the space.

Now mix those two mic's to taste.

It's all worthy of some great experimenting! Have fun with it.

Here's a link to a song that I recorded, H and A, where all the electric parts were recorded with the first method.

And here's a link to a tune I recorded, Trust, where I used the 'blast' method for the electric tracks.

Steve

hey cheers some good tips to try out:winkthumb:

you're certainly getting good tones yourself :smilinguitar:

cheers.........Paul

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