Guitar Amp Recording

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balthazar001
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Guitar Amp Recording

Post by balthazar001 » January 30th, 2009, 2:50 pm

I've been fighting with my amp and recording equipment trying to record my amp get a good guitar sound. My rig is Schecter C1-Classic - Crybaby Fasel - TurboRat - Big Muff Pi - Danelectro FAB Chorus - Fender Frontman 212 100 Watt. I record using the Boss BR600 digital recorder. I use a Carvin Dynamic instrument mic going into an ART Tube MP Project series mic preamp, then to the line in on the BR600. I'm having problems getting a tone that isnt thin and has some depth and punch to in the recording. Using the Rat, I can get decent tones but nothing has much depth to it, and recording with the big muff is a joke, either its barely heard and has no pitch or it destroys the mix haha. Its a shame because I love the sound of the big muff when jamming with my band, especially when I run it through the tube preamp in my guitar chain. Just wondering whether its actually as difficult to record as I think it is. But the main problem im having is with the microphone/preamp situation. I'm pretty sure my microphone placement is decent, im just wondering as to whether the problem is actually the mic though. I just got the BR600 for christmas and I rarely see any bad reviews of it, so im assuming thats not the problem. Do I have to get a condenser mic to get a good sound? The ART preamp has phantom power which the BR600 lacks so that wouldnt be a problem.

If anyone can give me some tips as to what I could do to what I have to get a better sound, or if necessary what equipment I should get it would be greatly appreciated. Its very irritating when you have a great flow of ideas but you end up giving up because the quality isnt good enough. Though my friends are known to call me a "Tone Nazi" so maybe im just insane haha.

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Moonrider
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Re: Guitar Amp Recording

Post by Moonrider » January 30th, 2009, 5:27 pm

I'm gonna answer your plea for help with a survey. There's a couple of things I suspect, but I'm going to confirm them before I give you suggestions that you're likely gonna fight tooth and nail before accepting.

What kind of sound are you going for?

Frontman 212 R or 212 DSP? It makes a big difference in the answer.

WHICH Carvin Dynamic Instrument mike? Model number please.

When you mike the amp are you listening through the headphones to check if the mike actually picking up the sounds you want? Have you tried without the ART pre-amp?

Have you tried bypassing the mikes completely and running from the "pre out" of your effects loop straight into the Boss recorder?

What settings are you using on the amp and pedals? Be precise. Don't neglect to note if you have any "drive" or "more drive" buttons engaged. The answer you give here will probably throw a glaring light on where the major part of the problem lies. Please describe your pedal settings in order from guitar to amp, then describe the amp settings.
Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

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balthazar001
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Re: Guitar Amp Recording

Post by balthazar001 » January 30th, 2009, 7:01 pm

Honestly never any specific sound, my styles range from jazz and funk to death metal, id say mostly a good alt rock (I know, again not very specific, sorry )sound. I dont have problems with cleans too much, just the distortion tones. The amp is a 212 R, and the mic is an M67. Yes I have headphones on, but the problem is sometimes since they arent very noise cancelling I think sometimes I hear the bass of the amp in the room, then listen to the actual recording and become dissapointed. I try to record to test, then adjust a lot though since I've realized that. I just got the preamp about 2 weeks ago because I didnt like the sound of the BR600 preamp I thought it was a little weak too, so yes I have tried it without it. I was trying to do that today and I always thought it would work...but no sound went into the BR600, it is a very basic amp maybe it doesnt have a line out thing, it does have a pre out though, its strange. I never use the distorted channel on the amp, only the clean. On the rat i have filter at distortion around 9 oclock- 11 oclock, filter at about 7 oclock, and the level at about 1 oclock. On the amp due to the high treble setting on the rat i normally have the treble relatively low, around 4-6, for mids around 8 and bass at about 8. Its possible the eq settings are messed up I guess ive always fought with that too, though i just dont find any other settings with the filter on the rat other than it almost all the way to the treble side, so i know that could have something to do with the depth and bass, but it still should have a bit more i think. On the big muff i have volume at 5 oclock, tone around 12 oclock, and sustain at about 1 oclock. The big muff produces plenty enough bass and punch and thats the one that really frustrates me since that punch never comes out in recording, it actually always seems quieter than cleans even with the volume on the pedal all the way up. I think that just about answers everything...oh not sure if it makes a different but normally I have the tone and volume all the way up on the guitar, I dont change those much. Thanks a lot for wanting to help.

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Moonrider
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Re: Guitar Amp Recording

Post by Moonrider » January 31st, 2009, 7:49 am

balthazar001 wrote: I dont have problems with cleans too much, just the distortion tones.

The amp is a 212 R, and the mic is an M67.

Yes I have headphones on, but . . . they arent very noise cancelling

it is a very basic amp maybe it doesnt have a line out thing, it does have a pre out though, . . . I never use the distorted channel on the amp, only the clean.

On the amp due to the high treble setting on the rat. . . almost all the way to the treble side, so i know that could have something to do with the depth and bass, .

On the big muff i have volume at 5 oclock, tone around 12 oclock, and sustain at about 1 oclock. The big muff produces plenty enough bass and punch and thats the one that really frustrates me since that punch never comes out in recording, it actually always seems quieter than cleans even with the volume on the pedal all the way up.
Ok. That's a pretty hopeful assessment :D

You're actually starting to close in in some of the things that are causing you problems. Here's how things look to me . . .

I went and checked the frequency chart on the Carvin M67/68. It's basically a Shure 57 clone and should work just fine for miking an amp. Like a 57, it tends to emphasize the high-mid frequencies, which is the "treble" range of a guitar.(remember that!)

You're spot on about the Rat settings making things harder for you. Think about it a sec. You're boosting the high freqs with the Rat, and then recording with a mike that naturally emphasizes the high freqs. You can hear what results!

I'd lower the treble on the Rat and the amount of gain on both pedals. shoot for a chunky, crunchy sound just the distorted side of clean. Remember that a mike 2 or 3 inches away from a speaker is NOT "hearing" what you hear way out in the room. It only hears a few square inches of the speaker it points at.

The other main thing I think you have going against you is mike placement. Here's the easy way to do this . . .
Grab a friend/sibling/parent/helper with a steady hand and good nerves. The good nerves are essential, since they're going to be subjected to you banging a power chord for up to 15 minutes. Also grab some of the little "dot" stickers people use for pricing things at yard sales to mark your sweet spots, 'cause it's likely you'll never talk the same person into doing this for you twice. If you plan to be playing with any volume, be kind and give them earplugs too.

Mount your mike on it's stand. Start with your mike perpendicular to the amp and pointing at the center of the speaker. While you play a quarter note rhythm on an E5 chord, have your poor sucker . . . um, uh helper, s l o w l y move the mike in spirals towards the outside of the speaker until you hear a sound you like and shout "STOP!" Have them mark the spot on the grille and continue on. Do both speakers this way. When you're done you should have little round stickers marking all the sweet spots on your amp. Don't forget to take your helper for psychiatric attention if necessary.

The other alternative you have is to use the "pre out" as a line out to to the BR 600. If you use this method you might like the results you get using the onboard amp sims the BR600 has.
Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

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Cat
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Re: Guitar Amp Recording

Post by Cat » January 31st, 2009, 6:58 pm

As one TONE NAZI to another...I really drive people nuts with the time it takes me to mic live amp tones.

Use two or three mics out in front of your amp. Dynamics in close...a condenser farther away. Play with the input dB faders and EQ's. Keep moving the mics around little by little. The is a real bummer to get right so I hope you have some luck. Once you do...measure out the distances and write it down.

Also...in case you are using a speaker cabinet with a TUBE amp brain...keep the brain on the cabinet because there will be "chasis feedback" shakin' them thar tube filaments on the same notes being played.

Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"

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