Live Guitar Amp Miking

Michael314

Electromatic
Jun 10, 2013
47
Minnesota
Hey guys,

So I have a fairly simple question, but I can't seem to find a straight answer. So I'm hoping somebody here will have experience with this and be able to shed some light for me.

What I'm looking to do is set up 2 mic's on one amp (one speaker really) and have them only take up one input on the soundboard. I've heard of other guys doing this and would really like to try it for the expanse of getting a more versatile EQ through the mains. Now obviously I know mic placement and these things will come into play here, but that's not the question I need answered. I'm really wondering how to get the two mic's to only take up one input.

I've seen a few options like getting a small mixer and routing that mixer into the main soundboard. I've also seen things like these DI boxes:

This one: http://www.quill.com/bt-laptop-batteries/cbs/380896.html?cm_mmc=SEM_PLA_T_380896

And this one: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item...2G00SRCHCAPN&gclid=CLiPno_YkrwCFQtgMgodf1YAcA

I guess just for kicks I should add that I'll be using two Shure SM57's on a Fender Princeton Reverb.


So does anyone have any experience with any of these methods or even a different method?? I'd love some tips! Thanks in advance everyone.
 

Michael314

Electromatic
Jun 10, 2013
47
Minnesota
The point of this is to get a better representation of what the amp and speaker really sounds like but not take up multiple inputs on the soundboard. Where I play we have a large board, but we use all of the inputs already so I cannot add another one.

And thanks man, that's one of the ones I included a link for. How satisfied are you with the sound quality of it?
 

drrohle

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2014
833
Hays, KS
I like this type very well. As a soundman at our church, we are always short of channels so these work quite well to double up on inputs. I use them on drums a lot. Since they have an isolation transformer inside there are no problems with matching the impedances. Therefore the mic's sound fine and no batteries to contend with. If there is a drawback it's just that you are stuck with the same mic levels on both. no way to really adjust them individually unless you get one with a switch that will select the Db. attenuation.

--Dean
 

drrohle

Synchromatic
Jan 3, 2014
833
Hays, KS
Awesome. Thanks so much man for your input. That's exactly what I'm looking to do too, run it at our church.
Great! glad to help. I've been the TV production manager/sound tech at our church for the last 20 years so if I can help you in any way feel free to contact me!

Via Con Dios my friend!
--Dean
 

Tony65x55

Gretschified
Sep 23, 2011
13,288
The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
Hi Michael, let's say that you angle one SM57 dead centre of the cone (not one o the best sounding areas of the speaker) and the other one aiming at the very rim of the speaker (also not the best sounding area of the speaker), the maximum distance between the two mics is five inches. If you aim a single mic at the area between the two, the separation is no more than 2.5" from either side. You would need excellent mics, board, amps and speakers to discern any difference at all, even with highly trained ears.

I'm not trying to dissuade you my friend, just saying that the difference would be inaudible to a audience and indeed, to many people with very highly trained listening skills. As well, you will have phase cancellation issues blanking out certain frequencies and a greater chance of introducing distortion, noise and feedback into the system, as well as expense. I would be more tempted to take a single mic aimed at a 45 degree at the mark halfway out the cone. While it is a more traditional method, there are reasons for that.
 

Michael314

Electromatic
Jun 10, 2013
47
Minnesota
Great! glad to help. I've been the TV production manager/sound tech at our church for the last 20 years so if I can help you in any way feel free to contact me!

Via Con Dios my friend!
--Dean

Excellent thanks man! I really appreciate that. I just may have to pick your brain in the future haha
 

audept

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Dec 1, 2010
29,741
Sydney, Australia
Hi Michael, let's say that you angle one SM57 dead centre of the cone (not one o the best sounding areas of the speaker) and the other one aiming at the very rim of the speaker (also not the best sounding area of the speaker), the maximum distance between the two mics is five inches. If you aim a single mic at the area between the two, the separation is no more than 2.5" from either side. You would need excellent mics, board, amps and speakers to discern any difference at all, even with highly trained ears.

I'm not trying to dissuade you my friend, just saying that the difference would be inaudible to a audience and indeed, to many people with very highly trained listening skills. As well, you will have phase cancellation issues blanking out certain frequencies and a greater chance of introducing distortion, noise and feedback into the system, as well as expense. I would be more tempted to take a single mic aimed at a 45 degree at the mark halfway out the cone. While it is a more traditional method, there are reasons for that.

Got to agree with Tony here. 40 years as a live sound engineer leads me to exactly the same conclusion.
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
Most people that use two mics on an amp usually use two different mics.
Say an SM 57 & a Sennheiser 421.
The reasoning for this is that each mic will give you different characters and you can blend the two to get a fuller sound.
The down side is that unless it's done right you can get phase cancellations and actually get a thinner, deader sound than with one mic.
Before I went through all the hassle I'd try different mics and spend a day moving the mic to different positions on the speaker.
You would be amazed how one inch in any direction could make a drastic change of the sound.
I'd try different types of mics as well - dynamic, ribbon, condenser.
All those mics sound very different and you just might find the what you are presently using isn't the right mic for the sound you're trying to get.
You might also try miking the speaker from the back of the amp if it's an open cabinet.
 

Michael314

Electromatic
Jun 10, 2013
47
Minnesota
Thanks for all your concerns guys.

I'm not really looking for reasons to or to not mic up an amp this way. And I'm not trying to mic it up this way for other people, it's for me. We're all different in the way we do things and the way we prefer to do things. That what makes the world go 'round. Also, in saying one way is "better" or "worse" is subjective, just as tone preference is.

All this thread is for, is trying to get some tips from people who've done this method before with success and what equipment they've used to achieve it.

Thanks for the input though everyone I appreciate every response!

-Michael
 

IanRhodes

Synchromatic
Jan 14, 2012
580
OC, CA
Thanks for all your concerns guys.

I'm not really looking for reasons to or to not mic up an amp this way. And I'm not trying to mic it up this way for other people, it's for me. We're all different in the way we do things and the way we prefer to do things. That what makes the world go 'round. Also, in saying one way is "better" or "worse" is subjective, just as tone preference is.

All this thread is for, is trying to get some tips from people who've done this method before with success and what equipment they've used to achieve it.

Thanks for the input though everyone I appreciate every response!

-Michael

maybe get a small cheap mixer?
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
Thanks for all your concerns guys.

I'm not really looking for reasons to or to not mic up an amp this way. And I'm not trying to mic it up this way for other people, it's for me. We're all different in the way we do things and the way we prefer to do things. That what makes the world go 'round. Also, in saying one way is "better" or "worse" is subjective, just as tone preference is.

All this thread is for, is trying to get some tips from people who've done this method before with success and what equipment they've used to achieve it.

Thanks for the input though everyone I appreciate every response!

-Michael
Michael,
As a recording engineer & musician for the past 45 years I was only giving you an opinion for you to take or leave as you wish.
The quality of the preamp you use will determine how well the microphone will perform no matter if it's a $90 SM 57 or a vintage Neumann tube mic.
Dumping any mic into a $69 ART or Nady preamp is not the answer for better sound.

One thing that brought this to the surface for me many years ago -
I plugged a $2500 Neumann 147 tube mic into a Mackie mixer and those cheesy pre-amps in that board made the mic sound like it was worth about $150.
I than plugged it into a Neve module and all of it's sparkle came through.
I did the same thing with an SM 57 - plugged it into the Mackie and it was dull city.
I took that same SM 57 and plugged it into the Neve Pre and it made the mic sound like all those classic rock guitar sounds that were created using an SM 57 on a good guitar amp.

I'm only taking the time to tell you this because most of the quality is achieved or lost in that very first stage of amplification.
If the sound is butchered there then there's nothing the front of the house guy can do to fix it.

At any rate good luck with your guitar amp sounds.
As guitarists we all know how much a bad sound out front bothers us.
 

Michael314

Electromatic
Jun 10, 2013
47
Minnesota
Michael,
As a recording engineer & musician for the past 45 years I was only giving you an opinion for you to take or leave as you wish.
The quality of the preamp you use will determine how well the microphone will perform no matter if it's a $90 SM 57 or a vintage Neumann tube mic.
Dumping any mic into a $69 ART or Nady preamp is not the answer for better sound.

One thing that brought this to the surface for me many years ago -
I plugged a $2500 Neumann 147 tube mic into a Mackie mixer and those cheesy pre-amps in that board made the mic sound like it was worth about $150.
I than plugged it into a Neve module and all of it's sparkle came through.
I did the same thing with an SM 57 - plugged it into the Mackie and it was dull city.
I took that same SM 57 and plugged it into the Neve Pre and it made the mic sound like all those classic rock guitar sounds that were created using an SM 57 on a good guitar amp.

I'm only taking the time to tell you this because most of the quality is achieved or lost in that very first stage of amplification.
If the sound is butchered there then there's nothing the front of the house guy can do to fix it.

At any rate good luck with your guitar amp sounds.
As guitarists we all know how much a bad sound out front bothers us.


I totally understand man! And like I said, I really appreciate every response! I was just trying to keep this thread on topic. It's not a thread about guitar miking in general, there's a very specific technique I'm looking to achieve that several SEVERAL guitar players use in the industry today, and I was just looking for people to guide me in the direction of that specific technique. I'm not looking for people to question or sway me in a particular direction other than that of the technique I'm looking for answers about.

I appreciate the advice on the preamps though! That's sound advice (no pun intended, ha ha). So thank you.
 

rbattle

Gretschie
Feb 10, 2013
282
Burke, Virginia
A lot of the Nashville guys use the Cascade Fathead mic. Cheap for a ribbon, but sounds very good for the price. Check out reviews so you know what you are getting into if you go that way.

Best of luck.
 

Scott Fraser

Country Gent
Jan 14, 2012
1,630
Los Angeles
Got to agree with Tony here. 40 years as a live sound engineer leads me to exactly the same conclusion.

Another live & studio engineer here with 40 years experience chiming in to agree that putting 2 of the same mic on a single speaker is not going to buy you anything of value at all. Two completely different mics each with desirable characteristics is another story, like a U87 along with an SM57. Or 2 mics in completely different locations, such as right smack on the front of the speaker with one & inside the back of an open back cab with the other (and a polarity reversal). Two 57s is just going to emphasize the inherent honkiness of the 57 & not increase your spectral pallet at all. Waste of time.

Scott Fraser
 


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