Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
As you guys have heard, John Brown and I have been tweaking new tones with a new set of mics and just to kind of recap how we got to this point, first we decided on which cabinet heads we liked, just from listening in the room. Then Brown put his ear to the speakers and decided which one he liked, then we tested that just to make sure that he wasn't crazy, or deaf, which I knew he wasn't gonna be, but you know, still gotta test it. So we put a 57 on each speaker, got them going through the same exact preamps with the same, at the same exact levels, and not only that but we checked with the studio to make sure that SM57s were all of the same build and very similar serial numbers. The reason I say that is because, there is a batch of SM57s out there in the world, that are... bootleg 57s and they are everywhere and they sound completely different and it's very, very hard to know except for by looking at the serial number. So you always want to check your 57s, for the serial number and mak...
e sure that you have a real one and not a Chinese knockoff. So anyways, as you could hear in there, he was actually right, he heard that the top right speaker was the best and through testing in there, we agreed. But, we didn't like the tone that we were just getting off the 57, straight on, it just wasn't good enough. So we came in here and changed some stuff up, now this mic right here, the SN7B is pointed up at the ceiling, we're not using this. The reason it's still here is because, I am very scared to remove it completely, because this is a game of centimeters. I'm afraid that if I move this I might knock a cable which will move a mic and I really like where we're at. So just know that this is a game of centimeters and if have a tone that you like and a mic placement that's good, you need to cordon off that area like it's Fort Knox or someone will bump into it and mess you up. So let me show you what we've got. We've got one 57 that's straight on, now that's in different position than it was before, before it was on the edge, where the speaker met the dust cap but this is actually straight on at the center of the speaker. That captures a lot of high end, as you probably noticed, and we have the angled 57 which is at a 45 degree angle and that shaves off a lot of the high end. That's our favorite mic, and that's called the Fredman Technique, made famous by Fredrik Nordstrom of Fredman Studios. Great, great metal producer-mixer, did lots of wonderful things, big influence to all of us. Than we put a 421 in the opposite 45 degree angle, now it's gotta lot of top end bite and in all honesty I don't typically like them on guitars and neither has John Brown but, people seem to use them so much as a secondary mic, that we just figured why not, let's try it. As you saw in there though, it does have a lot of harshness, it gives a lot of bite but, maybe a little too much. So we did have to filter out some of the upper mids, pretty, pretty intensely. And then I don't know if you can see this on the camera but, right below the 57 that's straight on is a D6, and the D is just there to add just a little bit more bottom, a little more roundness and maybe just a little more fullness to the low mids. It's something that you know, like anything else in recording, doesn't always work, but when it does it's really really cool and as you heard in there, it just added a little bit more body to the tone. We made sure that all of these mics are the exact same distance from the speaker, so we won't get any phasing issues and we did check in the other room, and they were perfectly in phase. Now one thing you should know, is when your mic, different speakers on a cabinet, they will move at different rates and will cause phase anomalies. Not always, but definitely more often. So yeah, once you find the speaker you like, focus on that, try to get the mics the same distance and yeah go for it, have fun. So, we feel like we are almost there. We're much happier with this mic choice and placement and now were gonna just make a few final tweaks, maybe on the amp, maybe it's the guitar choice just to get a little bit more hate in the tone.