What are your favourite mics for recording guitar amps and why? :)

    • February 5, 2023 at 6:11 am #4730
      Rich Steve Beck

      • February 5, 2023 at 11:06 am #4733
        Bob Katz

          I think placement is far more important than mike choice when it comes to guitar amps or anything!

          My favorite guitar mike is the one that I can place at just the right distance and location in front of the amp to get the effect that I’m looking for! This is true again and again for every instrument. I once did a demonstration when I was teaching years ago at the Institute of Audio Research, about 10 different mikes in front of a pair of clarinets. Each mike had its own character, but to be honest, the character of the clarinet came through in all cases. So, in my opinion, the musician and their sound and amp choice comes first, then the room, then the placement, then the mixdown!

          When I recorded the late Larry Coryell’s guitar amp in an overdub, I placed one mike in front of the cab, and a stereo pair farther out in the studio. This allowed me to integrate Larry’s guitar sound with the feel of the rest of the highly acoustic jazz group in the later mixdown. Today we might use an impulse response sample of the room as the reverberation on Larry’s guitar. Or, a direct box with a guitar amp simulation (of which there are many that sound great) and early reflections from something like Leapwing Stage One or UAD Ocean Way.

        • February 5, 2023 at 2:53 pm #4740
          Bob Olhsson

            I like using a couple classic ’57s near and far with the phase tweaked for preference. The reason is the relative insensitivity to nearby sounds. I assume this is due to a combination of proximity effect and the high-mass diaphragm that simply can’t respond to anything below a certain level.

          • February 10, 2023 at 8:52 pm #4789
            Michael Heitmanek

              I have used an Oktava Ml-53 ribbon mic about 11 inches from the grill of the cab for many years. One of the main reasons other than it sounding realistic to me, it it’s a rather cheap mic. I have heard a Royer R-121 a few times and in a controlled setting and think that would be preferable.

            • February 14, 2023 at 2:04 am #4882

                I like a 57 or AKG 421 on the speaker, kinda getting a little sliver of the cone, and an AEA R84 between a foot or two away and slightly above the speaker angled down towards it. Rarely will I use both simultaneously. And it’s hard to beat a U87 on a guitar amp.

              • February 14, 2023 at 11:53 am #4897
                Mary Mazurek

                  I set up an experiment with my class. We tried a large diaphragm condenser, 421, SM57 hung and one pointed at the cabinet, and a Crown PCC boundary mic.  The SM57 pointed at the cabinet was a solid performer.

                  I’ve also had good results with the SM7b and Royer 121.

                  • February 14, 2023 at 7:15 pm #4907
                    Bob Katz

                      That proximity effect can add sufficient bottom and/or lower mid so that the 57 at a given distance can compete quite effectively with the other mikes.

                  • March 25, 2023 at 3:04 am #5575
                    Jedidiah Wong

                      After years of experimenting with different mics and combinations I’ve settle on the Beyerdynamic M160 + Audio-Technica ATM650. This combo has given me the best representation of what I’m hearing coming out from the amp which in turn means less tweaking is needed come mix time.

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