Tone Report Weekly Issue 114 - Page 31

Mic it up After verifying that the sound coming out of the amp is absolutely sublime, the next step is to put a microphone in front of it. Microphones have their own built-in equalization curves, and moving a mic even an inch in any given direction can change its response dramatically. EQ-bymicrophone is a lot more natural and musical sounding than the EQ used at mix time, so taking time to get the right mic and the ideal mic position is crucial. The trick is to find a microphone with a character that complements the guitar sound, and then experiment with positioning until the sweet spot is located.  When recording at a proper recording studio, or a nicely outfitted home studio, there are generally a few different mic options for guitar amps. The old standard is a dynamic mic like the Shure SM57, Sennheiser E609, or Sennheiser MD 421, shoved right up on the grill cloth. This method works just fine and can be perfect in the right instrumental mix, but it can also be kind of bland and constricted sounding. Another common option is a condenser mic, like a Neumann U87 or AKG C-414, placed a foot or more back from the amp. This can yield a much more lively, full range tone with greater dynamics, but condensers can also be a bit sensitive and bright sounding in front of a loud, distorted guitar amp. The ideal microphone for ToneReport.com 31