Recording an amp with a microphone

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Recording an amp with a microphone

Postby Steve Sanders » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:02 pm

What is the best way to make a recording with a microphone on your amp? To get the best sound and tone that we all like and strive to get is it better to "push" the sound from the amp "into" the mic with higher levels of volume and / or gain or keep the volume on the amp "low" and let the mic "pickup" the output from the amp? How did Chet do it? How do yall do it? Seems like if you really crank'er up on the amp then you loose some of the "cleaness" and might hear the amp itself especially at the beginning or end as the amp "idles". Some amps are quieter than others but I believe "all" amps will have a little more background amp noise at higher output. I have noticed on some of Chet's albums if you really listen you can hear his amp humming, maybe 60 cycles. I have noticed that especially at the end of a few tunes you can really hear this before the signal goes flat. On one or two tunes I've even heard what appears to be a "squeak" probably from a chair or mic stand. Jus wunderin'. Thanks ever-budy!! Steve
Steve Sanders
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Re: Recording an amp with a microphone

Postby Spadaro Paolo » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:32 pm

Steve, I recording my Gretsch 6122-1959 by placing the microphone in front of my amp Rivera Chubster.

The microphone that I use is the zoom H6 which also shows the level of the signal received, so as to avoid the peaks.

I regulate the guitar and the amplifier with the average values​​.

I do not know how Chet recorded his guitar ...........

Spadaro Paolo
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Re: Recording an amp with a microphone

Postby Richard Hudson » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:47 pm

The noise is eliminated by recording direct, however, Steve, recording direct will never give you the tone that your Parkel amp gives. I normally place my mic over to the edge of the speaker, not in the center. Normally about 6" or so away. You can experiment to find the sweet spot. The volume will depend on your amp. You want to find that sweet spot again on volume, to get the best sound. The higher the volume in your amp, though, the more likely there will be some amp noise, so experiment with different volume levels. If you can record with no effects plugged into your amp, that will be your best option (quietness). You can add whatever effects later.

Bear in mind, I am not a recording engineer. I am just relating some things that seem to work for me pretty well.

Good luck.
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Re: Recording an amp with a microphone

Postby Steve Sanders » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:21 pm

Well, THANK YA for the response!! Whatever you are doing must be right because you get a very nice tone!! I really like your playing and video posts! I do realize Chet was not only a genius on the guitar but also in the recording studio. He really knew how to get the sound he wanted on tape. Plus he had some great engineers in the studio like Bill Porter and Bob Ferguson. I'll tell ya something else, ol' Paul Yandell could get the same results too! Take another listen to "After You've Gone" to see what I mean! What a great player!!! Steve
Steve Sanders
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Recording an amp with a microphone

Postby Norm » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:30 pm

Paul always advocated running the guitar pickups full out and perhaps backing the volume down off the bridge pickup a bit. If you're using a well grounded amp and double coil pickups you should be able to adjust your tone to suit at the amp. Single coil pickups are Dyna-Sonic and Hi-Lo Trons in the Gretsch line.

Mic placement, like Richard says, is a matter of finding a sweet spot. You want to get a bit of the room ambiance that recording direct does not provide.

Do some short tests, make careful notes because it works better to check your specs rather than trying to remember what you did the other day or last week etc.

That's what good photographers do and what is recording if not making and audio "photograph"?
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

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