On/Off Axis Mics

 

Studio Pass with Steve Evetts and Ben Weinman

 

Lesson Info

On/Off Axis Mics

This is one of my favorites is the on off axis um once again get position with the the best position with the on access mike so we already have that I'm going to just let's say we're locked in there I don't you know I'm not really uh we don't need callin to move that but now I'm gonna walk over here and I'm gonna show you so now we have we have our basic mike we have on access my car for fourteen and that's what we're we say okay, we're locked in that position is good the same thing of selecting the head it's the same kind of thing so that's the control this one is done we're locked in here now let's do a secondary mike we have you know what? Let's ah pull this cable out I mean mute the mike meet this yeah could you please thank you now we've got our different secondary mike, which is sure I seven fifty seven and I'm gonna actually just pull this one. So now we're going to come in off axis on this one we're going toe we need to kind of eyeball up the height and get them on the same ver...

tical plane and then about right that's about right try and lock in our stand and I'm coming in on about approximately groups you know want to really in a real world you don't want to touch the other mike we want tio coming on about a stand is not cooperating about a forty five degree angle I mean sometimes it could be less sometimes it could be more and we'll probably have I'll probably have kellen sweep this and change the angle a little bit but I'd say it's you know my geometry that well but I'd say we're about a forty five degree angle and we're on I'm bringing the back edge of the mike and I mean literally getting it to where it's pretty much touching but not touching the grill of the four fourteen so we're kind of like there if you're looking at is like a window or eyeballing her near they're both looking at the same roughly the same point but now this is coming in off access and this is a definite phase thing where the phase relationship between the fifty seven and the four fourteen they complement each other excuse me and we'll show that now again will dial in this the level of the fifty seven way won't need to sweep it just yet I'm just this weird to giving this static but I will shortly so we face a verse yes we are ok that's our that's just our fifty seven how it is playing and then you can always a stopping interesting all right so showing that now listening yeah that's all those total variations and now you see what happens is what what I do, especially unlike with something like a mesa where I said a mission before, sometimes the top is especially on the dialect fries with this kind of music, the top and get a little brittle. And what I find is that if you hear if you noticed when I brought it up, the top end actually mellowed out a little bit and that's because of the off off axis, the phase relationship between those two mikes. It's actually canceling a little bit of the extreme sicily top. Just just listen against blue of dialing in your your brain to listen and focus on what, like focus on just the high listen to just the highs of the amp. You hear where the top end, the really silly top end, just kind of mellow out a little bit like they're like that's. What a good thing of like, ana off axis on excess thing, khun dio because you're making the face cancellation actually work for you and again, a speaker, you know, obviously, in the diagram that we had up before, you know, and you see the mike off access like that speakers and you see a grill cloth is flat, but the speaker behind it is not at the cone. So air is coming off of that cohn in different ways when if it's coming straight out as one wolf or if it's coming out that way shooting that way it's much more that s o attack and all these things and the way the air hits the microphone has a lot to do with where the mic is placed off of that calm you know think about when going into a cone and like how it goes all over the place so but so what where you see where that the top end mellows out a little bit now it's getting rid of that extreme like really chirpy topping that I don't necessarily like you know sometimes it works but I dont night my taste is I don't like that but what you can do after we hit that noted that let's just say after the fact now normally like I said I would be uh sometimes I'd be doing any cue on this like actually tracking tio committing and tracking to it but we don't have another e q to show that but what you khun dio like that now you're as that top end kind of mellows out a little bit by loop this but you can dial in dialogue after you actually remove it and die alone dial in a little bit of that top we're still getting that kind of crunch but it's not the same kind of top end its a little more so it's a little smoother and it's a little more pleasing to the year. So that's so that's a big thing right there, so ok, so let's kill him let's ah, let's just show now on this what I need you to dio is we're going to sweep it so we're going to change the angle but you want to still keep it the same where it is to towards the mike you know what I mean? So do that we're gonna change, basically change the angle, okay? No, we're not move. Yeah, yeah, just we're just swinging this out and then but basically you see how it's almost touching so you just keep it like that and I'm going to just show I'm going to record it. And as with the blood on the two mikes and I'm going to show the difference with phase and also using a phase as in the queue. I mean, disable this and show what that's doing if we can tell too much because way really ideally we always wanted to these touching his woman for a little further out. When we ring, you're moving it, but because you always want to kind of like lock in that position but here's the difference, your top here are the top and changed again now I didn't change the relationship between the two mikes in here and when I was doing it before where you heard where the top and went away. Now that blend of the two mikes is the same and all that is is mike positioning and basically well not basically it's changing the phase between the two mikes variable darker it's darker there but it gets brighter here so again it's all about phase and it's all about the relationship between the two mikes and there's plenty of other set ups where if you know when I showed it we could we could have really kept the four twenty one on the cabinet for our demonstration purposes we pulled it off because it's easier for everybody to see as just the one thing instead of to have to start building up and have a jumble of microphones up there. But so what if we have those two okay that's great and that's cool but what about bringing back that for twenty one on the opposite speaker? What does that too? And now we've got three mikes and now we've got three variations and it's like ok, well, more for twenty one les off access mike like, you know it's it's so endless the amount of variables, any amount of possibilities and it's almost like the pro tools thing where you have too many choices and commit and I absolutely believe in committing but again these three if I put up the third mike phone even a fourth microphone I would be putting that to one track not two not three one get the blend that feels good sometimes one mike's great sometimes three makes a great it's all about getting that blend and getting what feels right to you and what feels right to the player and feels right to the track and we'll be doing stuff on the next segment playing in the track and adjusting in the track and showing that um oh yeah steve if you're recording cabinets that have two speakers do you ever use stereo mike's like an x y mike or ah bloom line style microphone in front of it to sort of get different sound from both speaking way yes that a little earlier I generally don't um I've done I have done it in the past especially on a few bands and especially on the punk side of things where they're like a lot of times it's common especially in you know, hard rocking double tracking like rhythm guitars even one guitar player and I've had a couple of instances where the really guitar player were so adamant I don't want to track I don't want double tracked the guitar's like ok so what do we do how do we how do we get a little bit of a bigger sound you know how do we spread it across stereo and how do we make it, like have enough weight and have enough presence? And yeah, I will do sometimes that on on that instance I will do some sort of stereo thing or even there's a quick instance where you're splitting the mikes between say, like the fifty seven, forty four twenty one that I was doing the two separate speakers I'll take that else, I'll split them to two channels, but they're going to be pan hard left and right and maybe with slightly different accuse ones little darker ones, a little brighter and that's going to create cause you know, another way to create stereo is this kind of like that's ah very basic early stereo technique is bright on one side dark on another side with with a single source so that's a way to do it? Yeah, and yeah, and sometimes to do to do a, uh like a not so I don't need you to blue line, I usually do m s uh and that and, you know, a little further back, especially when like more of a rock or a blues kind of sound, I can do that and you can you're capturing the amp in the space a little more and I'll do a stereo thing where you're kind of when you say further back are you talkinto foot three feet five feet yet it could be any of them yes and yes to all the above could be any one of those three again whatever works but yeah usually foot back, you know, like just kind of like it's the same thing like the players like where are you if you were playing in the room and you're amped like, where would you kind of? And I look at your perspective look at the guitar player's perspective and kind of try to capture a little aloof to whatever small degree in essence of that without it being too muddy or to, you know, indistinct yeah you're talking about like, actually want physical watching a player just in front of an amplifier and just physically like how they how they respond or where they even stand in front of an amp? Sure and hearing with their young okay, just yeah. Wanna have you elaborate on that a little bit? I know exactly it's just, uh, you know, like I said, what we do generally, you know, on a purely technical side is unnatural. So I try teo, you know as much as we can incorporate, you know, whether it's on the performance side or even just like a sometimes from a miking and perspective side of things like get it to where it sounds like that you know what I mean? And you know just a quick aside, it's the same philosophy I have. Like when I'm mixing but then I will form according a band with like two guitar players. It's like ok, something is as simple is like an ok where they when I see them live who's on what side? What side of the stage. And I'm doing it from audience perspective. Same thing with the drugs I never unless the drummers insistent I never panned the drums drummer perspective because the only person that ever hears the drums that way is the drummer. I do it from the audience perspective. So the same thing that goes for guitars and panning in the mix and everything like that's, like where's, the guitar player live invents case I should really be doing panning the guitar like this the whole time in the mix because he's jumping all over the stage. But, you know, yeah, guarding the way the guitar player hears it and the fifties are great phones. We actually have a bunch of pairs in the studio as well. But there's always a question about if the guitar players should be in the control room or next to their amp how do you sort of feel that out and determine, you know it's? It's kind of generally some summer toppers are insistent there standing in front of the rand was they want to feel that they really want to feel that they don't want to have anything to do with like hearing if their studio monitors and you know that's all great but depending on like say if ben was in there with his amp and he's got a semi holiday target would be howling and feeding back all over the place and will be you would be able to control it you know especially for how loud we generally try to record but and then but then again what I'm going into a little bit in the tracking in the next segment the communication of working with the player one on one and like telling him like really push it and sometimes I'll be yelling at him like like god like just not not like yelling like in a bad way but like psyching about like just like you know it's just it's all about like trying to capture that it that thing of live so it's a it's definitely a you know a per it can be for its pork for you no it's each individual thing could be different but you know for the most part you know after we get the tone out there I'm having them in the control room and I'm really it's just easier to communicate I hate the one thing in a perfect world there could be some sort of weird you know, scifi laser isolation where I could talk to the player if he was standing in front of the amp and I could talk to them constantly just like I'm sitting here talking to you I'm talking to ben like right here but obviously I don't like that that thing of somebody on the other side of the glass and me big producer going oh do it again over the talk back I don't like that I rather just have a dialogue like this just like you know all right let's go again that's I like that element of that that connecting with the artist on that level so and as a performer like sometimes his facial expressions even if once my playing a bit oh you know I'll be like oh and it gets my confidence up a little you know I see him start to reactor so exactly because it's got it's like live you know you're playing live and you see the audience reacting you know it didn't take but you know you actually get more of the interaction and the more of a vibe from being together then yeah and again, what has he said the goal is to get the the actual source tone as close as possible to be coming out of speakers anyway like how it sounded when the head was in there and maybe I was in that room, when we were playing, get it to, you know to there, and then tweak it just accordingly anyway, so right. And that's. The other thing is having the players you control and having the head in the control room again, like I show you, my local, he'll be playing, and I'll be adjusting the sound as we're going here, and sometimes I life through louder than he would like, because I want to feel like I'm in front of a right that's. A lot of times, what happens is, more often than not, the guitar player needs to get it cranked in the control room and it's. Fine. So a lot of times I will make a separate headphone mix for myself and keep it much quieter and wear headphones while they're tracking. So is kind of way to simulate, sometimes that being in the room, in the control room, anyway.

Class Description

Learn how to get perfect guitar tones in the studio during this 10-hour class on tracking guitars. In this course, Steve Evetts (Saves The Day, Suicide Silence) and special guest Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan) dive deep on everything you need to know about creating and capturing perfect guitar tones.

Getting great guitar tones is all about the details. Steve and Ben cover how to select the right guitar, strings and picks, how to choose the right head and cabinet combo, and how to get a great tone. From there, they go through the process of selecting and placing mics. Finally, they show you how to track guitars the professional way (no cutting corners— ever!) and edit the tracks so you’ve got everything you need for a flawless mix.

Reviews

Joshua Rathbun
 

Good basic knowledge, which delves into more detailed stuff later on in the course.