Totally.. not pedal related, but I think a few of you might be interested in this. As player, we often find ourselves needing to mic the amp in live settings or in the studio or in the basement. It’s good to have some knowledge about this so you can get the sound you want captured. As you can imagine there are a ton of technique, as well as a ton of gear out there. In my experience, the Shure SM57 is the absolute workhorse and you definitely see this mic everywhere, and it’s been on a gazillion recordings for guitar. Mics can get crazy with ribbons and various condensors, etc., but what I really wanted to address is understanding mic placement.
If you have the ability, you should try recording your guitar and understanding what works best for you. For example, I have an Avatar 2×12 with Celestion Vintage 30s and Celestion G12H30 speakers with an open back cab. I really like this combo, but if I need to put a single mic on it (in live setting), I prefer the Vintage 30. The G12H30 is nasty, which sounds great with the V30, but it can sound harsh by itself. So the first job is to find the sweet speaker to mic. If I was to record that cab, I would prefer both speakers mic’d and blended during mix.
The next piece is to figure out what position works best for your sound. On axis (which is directly in front of the cone – close mic’d), Off axis.. slightly off, or possibly angled and play with distance. Maybe you like the tone if the mic is a few more inches away from the cone. Get a flashlight.. get familiar with the mic to cone position and start recording the same riff and listen back. You’d be amazed on how things changes. From more attack, to darker tone, to harsh tones, etc.
I found this great video by Premier Guitar that goes into great detail about this!
To start experimenting, I would highly recommend that you have a Shure SM57 in your rock room. This is the workhorse as I mentioned earlier, and an ideal candidate to experiment with. If you have any tips/suggestions, please let us know by commenting below!