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Mic'ing an Amp

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Postby JoeHempel » September 30th, 2009, 8:52 pm

In an effort to get rid of some more noise of my fingers on the fretboard, I was wondering if mic'ing my amp would be better than a straight input to the computer.

Would this cause a problem? It's a condenser mic, USB Samson G-Track.
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Postby Scrybe » October 1st, 2009, 1:52 am

It shouldn't do - condensers are regularly used for recording guitar cabs. If worried post a link to the mic's specs nand I'll take a look at it, but provided you don't blast the amp (or happen to be using a full Marshall stack) the mic shouldn't suffer. Also, you can place the mic directly on axis or place it off axis - placing it off axis should (I'm guessing) put less strain on the mic though each placement position will yeild different tones. If you're worried, you can pick up an SM57 very cheaply provided you have a way of connecting that to your computer.

I'm assuimg this is for an electric guitar - for an acoustic just mic the guitar. Some people recommend placing it around the 12th fret, but I'd go for abouut 8 inches from the bottom of the body (in front and pointing up towards the sound hole). I find it gives better tone and, if recording vocals on a second mic, allows for clarity between the two tracks.

If you need more help, specs on the mic and (v important) what amp you'll be using would help me to give you a stronger answer.
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Postby JoeHempel » October 1st, 2009, 5:22 am

It's a classical guitar, if I put the mic up to the guitar, it picks up next to nothing, and when I normalize it tp -3dB, there's so much white noise it's terrible. Of course when I put the mic up to the amp, I get the same problem as recording direct, so no change there.

I think I need something other than the condenser mic. I've got a dynamic mic, but no way to get an XLR into USB, I don't even know if the mic works.

Here's a file that I recorded right into the computer, and you'll hear all the clicks and such and I think it's very distracting.

http://www.box.net/shared/cehfelestk

I don't know the specs on what I have, it's a Samson G-Track USB mic, it's got headphone out built in as well as line in for an instrument.
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Postby dogbite » October 1st, 2009, 9:55 am

the inexpensive wide diaphram condenser I use to mic my squareneck resonator (and vocals) works pretty good. I use an SM57 for amps.
Joe, the sounds you don't like are soooo minimal in your playing I personally would not give it a second thought.
in the clip provided I think I heard a finger nail on the pick guard and a tiny sqeak from a finger on the string.
minor stuff. natural stuff. it is what I expect to hear in a performance.
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Postby JoeHempel » October 1st, 2009, 11:22 am

Thanks. I guess I'm just too critical because I'm hearing my fingers touch every single string. Maybe it's the voices in my head. I re-recorded it they way I did the original file that's on box.net, and I recorded it playing softer and that seemed to work some magic too. Just upped the volume a bit in post.
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Postby dogbite » October 6th, 2009, 3:35 am

hmmm. I would think a condenser could work with a classical acoustic. I place mine above the guitar. half way between the soundhole and bridge. I set levels to just below clipping.
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Postby Alan Green » October 6th, 2009, 5:14 am

JoeHempel wrote:It's a classical guitar, if I put the mic up to the guitar, it picks up next to nothing, and when I normalize it tp -3dB, there's so much white noise it's terrible.


Yep, know all about this one. I've just done a bunch of re-recordings to get rid of hiss on my old tape recordings. Plugging a dynamic mic into my Boss Micro BR is actually good enough for the job.

If you're using a dynamic mic with something like a Portastudio, then back off the trim to just below "hiss" level, position the mic about 8 inches from the bottom of the guitar, and point it upwards towards the soundhole.

Make sure it's not pointing directly horizontally at the soundhole, that'll give you rumbles and booms on the bass notes as the sound punches the mic.

In Audacity, once you've normalised the sound, you might still need to back off the gain, maybe to -9dB, and tinker with amplification. There's a thin line between loud enough and loud enough to bring back the hiss.

www.reverbnation.com/alangreen for my current batch of cleaned-up recordings. The slightly quieter tracks were recorded with a dynamic mic into a Tascam 2488MKII 24-track, as was Ferrer's Ejercicio, but the others were belted into my Boss Micro using the same mic.


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Postby Moonrider » October 6th, 2009, 5:46 am

Here's an article that might help you . . .

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Aug01/a ... tr0801.asp
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Postby JoeHempel » October 6th, 2009, 7:48 am

Thanks guys!! I'm thinking that I need to get a USB input and an XLR cable for my dynamic mic.

The condensor just really doesn't cut it (but it's one of those that acts as a sound card so... :? )

Alan, I listened to your Moorish Dance, and Lagrima (actually recognized that, loved it) Who/where can I get sheet music for Moorish Dance? I love that piece!!
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Postby JoeHempel » October 6th, 2009, 12:52 pm

Just had a breakthrough with the Mic. Placed it exactly where Dogbite said to place it and the USB Condensor worked great. Had to turn the volume up a bit, but once I got it going I got some good test results. I can't wait to record in the morning to see what I get!
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Postby wadester59 » June 15th, 2010, 6:00 pm

jimmy page did miking of the amp on a few songs on there first LP,communication breakdown was one of them as i recall,(sweet sound) he experimented with across the room miking,gave that nice crunch sound on his rhythms.page was pretty crafty back in the day with miking.
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Postby lazysinger » September 10th, 2010, 10:22 am

Woh! Talk about resurrecting a thread... anyway, for those interested I really like this video featuring Michael Wagener showing us how to mic up an Amp for recording....

http://en.audiofanzine.com/homestudio/m ... .7030.html
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