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micing a guitar cab....or not to

EmptinesOf Youth

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Originally posted by DeadlinessOFYouth:

hey everyone, hope your all doing well

ive been micing my marshall cab for awhile now, and im just curious as to if you think itd be smarte just to buy a descent recording amp. i dont really need the power for recording anyway right?

thanks in advance


A few years ago I thought that I might go direct, so I tried a handful of options. I've also tried going direxct out of some various pieces like a Digitech floor box through a Sans Amp, etc. It all sounded okay, but in the end I went back to the real amp/speaker as my own preference. I don't play loud at all, but with the right guitar and amp, and very simple mic technique (I put the mic in front of the speaker, slightly off center and slightly off axis) I can usually get the sound that I want.


My amps are mostly of the practice variety, mostly bought cheap, and mostly are from the 50s and 60s. Nothing fancy, some only have a single volume and tone knobs.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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The great thing about recording is that you have the ability to use anything that floats your boat.


For recording, you can, and should, use any amp that you like the tone of. A big stack, or a tiny little practice amp - it makes no difference. You'll record the sounds and mix it in accordingly. You don't have to worry about being heard over the drums/bass/whatever.


I don't know what your recording setup is, so I can't recommend anything specific. If you find your Marshall is just too loud for your room/studio when cranked to it's "sweet spot", then maybe you might thing about looking for something that has the sound you dig but can be played at livingroom levels. Or maybe an Air-Brake or something.


Good luck! :thu:

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil






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Personally I'm actually into just going direct into the computer and using Amplitube software for the amp sound...it's a great sounding plug-in in my opinion, and you can completely change your mind about what sound you want after recording your part. Of course that can potentially be a bad thing if you have trouble deciding. :D


Splitting the signal to record direct on one channel and amped on the other can be nice too - especially since that direct track can be a safety net if you decide you hate the amped sound later on.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum



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I've gotten my best recording results by using a mic and a short stand with the mic right up against the grill-cloth. But, that's personal opinion. You might find that some direct methods work good for some parts and the mic/amp method will work best for other parts.


a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)


...Better fuzz through science...



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Smaller amps can be very useful for recording... and it's not just the volume concerns. Noise isn't a problem here - I can crank any amp I want up full bore, day or night and not bother a soul. But you can get some surprisingly BIG tones from small amps. And you can crank them up so that the output tubes are actually working up a sweat at non-lethal volume levels too.


Like Bill, I use similar close mic techniques. I do move the mic around until I get what I'm after - you can alter brightness by moving towards the center of the dustcap or further out towards the edge of the speaker, and sometimes I place it more than a little bit off axis, out by the edge and angled in towards the dustcap - it just depends on the amp and what sound we're going for. I also like multi-mic techniques. I'll always have at least one mic up close, but will sometimes use two or even three fairly close in (sometimes with one on the "back" side of an open back cab) and one or two out further to get some room.


As far as your Marshall, if you like the sound you're getting, don't feel compelled to change anything - just use that. But if you're looking for something you can "crank up" a bit more without getting a visit from the local police, maybe a smaller recording amp would be a good addition to your gear list.

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