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Studio Pass: Periphery

Lesson 40 of 40

BONUS VIDEO: Micing Guitar Cab

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

Studio Pass: Periphery

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

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Lesson Info

40. BONUS VIDEO: Micing Guitar Cab

Lesson Info

BONUS VIDEO: Micing Guitar Cab

So in this segment, I'm gonna talk about placing microphones on a guitar cabinet using a method that I kinda call the pink noise method. I didn't invent this method. Actually I heard about it from a really good engineer in Ireland called Michael Richards from Trackmix Studio. He very kindly posted about it on the internet. I don't know if he invented it, but... For those of you that haven't miced up a cabinet before, just some very rough basics. We're not gonna look too much at the tone, or any aspect of this apart from the mic placement. Generally, the closer you place a microphone to the center of the cone, the brighter the sound you're gonna get, and the further off to the side, the more dark it's gonna get until it's very kind of muffled sound. When you are placing a microphone on a cabinet, it's very normal to aim for somewhere around where the central part, the dust cap, meets the cone. And as a general rule, you can pretty much eyeball that and get something that's gonna be good...

. But this technique allows you to really hone in on the perfect spot where you've got the brightness of the cap plus the fullness of the cone, and none of the harshness that comes if you get really close up on the cap. So, the first thing I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna run some pink noise through the cap really quietly, and I'm gonna just listen to that on my headphones and move the microphones around. Basically, what I'm gonna be aiming for is to find the area, I'm gonna start in the middle and kinda scan out to the side, and I'm gonna find the point where the brightness is just starting to roll off, and that's probably gonna be the sweet spot right there. So, let's get stuck into it. Alright, so I'm gonna start with the SM57, and I'm just gonna look at it and find the point where it's brightest. You can probably hear already that there's now some very strong hissing frequencies coming from the speaker there. I've got the microphone right up on the cabinet. And what I'm going to do is just gradually move it out to one side and listen to what happens as I do that. (hissing) So hopefully what you can hear there, is it's gone from being very bright and hissy to very dark. That's as I've kinda scanned from the cone, sorry, from the cap over to the cone. Now I'm gonna go back, and I'm gonna try and find the position where it's kinda got both characters happening at the same time. (hissing) Right around there is sounding good to me. Now what's gonna happen, is if I pull the mic away from the cab, we're gonna get a reduction in the amount of low end and the amount of fullness to the sound. I'll demonstrate what that sounds like, but generally, for metal usage, I'm gonna keep the mic very close up on the cone. (hissing) Also, as you back up with the microphone, you're gonna find that you start to hear both components of the sound combining more. That can be really cool for some uses. Again, I'm just gonna try and find a really, really great direct sound by being close up on the cab. (hissing) Cool, right. So the next stage is, I'm gonna add a second mic to this. We're gonna use a Sennheiser 421. This is a very common combination to use for distorted guitars, and what I'm gonna have Alex, our engineer do, is flip the polarity on this microphone, and I'm gonna use the pink noise to try and find the perfect spot where the two microphones are gonna be in phase. What I'm gonna listen for is maximum cancellation. Hopefully what you'll find, there's gonna be a point where the two mics really are kinda fighting each other, and it goes very, very quiet. Let's see what happens. (hissing) So, I'd say right around there is giving us a pretty good cancellation. I'm just gonna check where we're at across the cone. (hissing) Cool. So, to me, we're getting a really good cancellation at that spot. Can you just flip the polarity on the 421 now, and let's see. We should find we get a very full sound coming back at us. (loud hissing) There we go. Cool. Next step, let's see what this actually sounds like with a guitar signal going through it. Cool, so here we're gonna listen to the SM57 on its own first. (rhythmic guitar chords) Can you now solo the 421? (rhythmic guitar chords) Now can you give me a 50/50 blend of the two, and let's see what happens? (rhythmic guitar chords) Maybe bring down the 421 just a little bit in the blend. (rhythmic guitar chords) Sounds pretty good to me. Cool.

Class Description

Periphery is one of the most influential bands in the progressive rock/metal scene. They’re known not just for being great players with great songs, but also self-producing their most recent double album “Juggernaut.” In this class, you’ll get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at exactly how they did it, lead by Periphery bassist/producer Adam “Nolly” Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern.

First, they’ll track drums live in the studio, showcasing some of the techniques Nolly uses to capture Matt’s unique, nuanced performances. They’ll cover their approach to tuning, mic selection, mic positioning, and some of their own tricks for handling mic bleed and other common challenges.

Next, they’ll walk through a complete mix using an actual session from “Juggernaut” and the drum tracks they just recorded. They’ll cover their overall approach to mixing, then go into detail on approaches for compression, EQ, and effects for every instrument.

This class will also include all of the samples that Matt and Nolly record live on the air available to download along with a bonus video of Nolly showing how to mic a guitar cabinet using the technique that he used to get the guitar tones on the Juggernaut album.


Connor Smith

I haven't even finished the course and already my mixes have improved dramatically. Night and day difference. I haven't watched the portions with Matt as I'm using drum samples (GGD specifically), but I have no doubt it's great. Matt is always incredibly helpful and is a brilliant drummer. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Nolly, he's very articulate and his approach to audio engineering is flat out brilliant. I'm so happy I purchased this course. Before my mixes were good (balance and things of that nature) but lacked life and energy. I just wasn't getting the professional level sound I was searching for. Now, I am proud of my mixes and actually think they're getting to the point where they sound professional and don't sound like they were produced by a dude in his bedroom with about half of year of recording and audio engineering experience. The metal genre is difficult to mix as there's a lot going on and the "current metal sound" is very crisp and clear while still being very heavy and punchy. It isn't 80s dad metal where guitars are hissy and flubby. lol I am a huge Periphery fan and it's a privilege to watch Nolly share his knowledge. I really enjoy his approach as its very simple but very effective. He doesn't have insane mixing strategies, he just does what works and it's applicable to any DAW and is helpful for almost any genre of music. Brilliant course!

a Creativelive Student

This was an amazing course! I loved hearing from both Matt and Nolly on their thought process behind drums in general. I love the point they drove home about getting a great source tone. That seems to be forgotten in a lot of recordings and they try to fix it in the mix. Jolly did a fantastic job of making it look "easy" to take already great sounding source tones and making them really shine! Cant wait to put these concepts into practice in my own projects. What a great source of knowledge here. Thanks for this great class!

Adrian Gougov

Best course and overall learning experience I've had in a long long while. Nolly and Matt are superb. Nolly is an astonishing mixing and recording engineer and a great teacher. Not only does he explains his methods carefully and in detail, but also lays down key concepts in an understandable language. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to mix modern heavy music. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to track drums properly. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna see one of modern metal's best drummers track a whole song from start to finish. Props to Creative Live for bringing this material to us.