bigbadbeach wrote:Hey I also had a few questions for the guru's on here... i'm working on recording an album for the first time. I'm getting very inconsistant sounding recordings. The playing is solid, but i can really seem to find a volume or mic placement that wont make my guitar sound really thin and fake... Im using a SM57 place one inch from the mesh just off the cone, on a 4x12 mesa cab, and a PG27 placed about 4 inches back from the mesh on a 4x12 sunn cab. The recordings just dont sound very good. I have my Eq's on my amps with treble 7, mids 8, bass 5, gain 7... I generally record at high volume with two stacks running at the same time... I use overdrive pedals, Fuzz, and delay pedals on and off in the recordings aswell. JJust does not sound good... Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers
I agree with some of what ricks.pics is saying about phase issues and proximity effect. Whenever you're having issues of something not sounding recorded like you think it sounds in the room, it requires a pause and reassessment. Pick one microphone and start from scratch with your placement experiments. If you can't find a placement that sounds good (and really, move it in 3 dimensions, take nothing for granted), you may want to try a different mic or change your gear settings. Having multiple mics on one source can get confusing and complicated if you're not very sure about what you're doing and why you're doing it, phase relation issues aside. What are you trying to get out of a two mic setup? Is it just a stereo sound, it is depth (room sound), is it variety of tones? You may find you actually don't like what you're getting out of a certain mic by itself, but it may work in context with a very different mic in a double setup. What you hear in the room isn't usually accurate, unless your ear is at speaker level. Even then, the recording is the result you're actually getting, so change things to make that sound the way you want.
If you find you ARE having phase issues and just want to sort that out, using a polarity/phase flip button is useful. Sometimes flipping it can help, but if it's not 180 degrees out of phase it might just change what sort of weirdness you're getting, not fix the issue. The easiest way to check phase relation when tracking is to put on some over ear headphones, flip the polarity on one mic/channel (sometimes you can do this in the DAW, mixing console, preamp or interface, use whatever means you have easily available) and move that mic around until you hear the sound cancelling out (or a major tone suck or some sort), then flip it back to normal and you'll be in phase. As ricks.pics mentioned, if you're not trying to get different levels of room ambiance (one mic being farther back), you can just align the capsules of each mic so they're the same distance from the speaker/grill. Some mics have bigger enclosures around the capsule, so that might not necessarily mean lining up the grills of the microphones.
As for proximity effect, play around with distance and just see what you like. I prefer to get pretty close up most of the time, some people like to back up a few inches. Trust your ears, if it sounds good it is good. Like I said previously, if you do all these types of things and you just aren't getting the sound you want, your gear/settings doesn't sound how you want. The human ear and brain are tricky and very subjective. What you think you hear in the room may not be accurate and/or your brain might be filtering out a lot of things it doesn't like or want to hear. If you get a fairly neutral or pleasant sound out of a certain mic/position, start playing around with your gear settings until it sounds good. Don't take for granted the idea that your sound is good, but you're just failing to capture it. That's not always the case and it's better to be realistic about what's happening and use it as an opportunity to learn about tone and what you like and don't like about it. You may find out some assumptions about your taste in tone or gear aren't as true as you thought...or you might find the right mic and position and totally nail it with what you're doing now. I try not to make assumptions when recording, it takes a lot of practice to get into that mindset.