Tone Report Weekly Issue 114 - Page 32

a loud electric guitar is often a ribbon microphone like the Royer R-121, or the very affordable Cascade FatHead II. These microphones handle loud amps without flinching, and their beefy low end and smooth treble response complement overdriven rock sounds beautifully. Also, because of their natural figure-8 pickup pattern and the fact that they are usually placed at least six to eight inches from the source, they pick up natural room reverberations as well. Finding the right mic is important, and figuring out where to stick it is equally critical. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that most microphones one comes across will have a stronger bass response the closer they are to the source, and will sound brighter and thinner as they are moved away from it. If the sound is lacking low-end wallop, move the mic a couple inches closer to the amp. If it sounds muddy, back the mic off. In regards to placement on the speaker, putting a mic right in the center of the cone will yield the brightest sound with the most attack, and the sound will become noticeably warmer and rounder as the mic is moved away from the cone’s center. If you’re using a dynamic like an SM57, then the best place to start is probably right in the center of the speaker cone, with the mic right up on the grill cloth. This ultra-close mic position maximizes the SM57’s rather weak bass response. When using a condenser or ribbon with a more robust bass response, a good 32 TONE TALK // Get it on Tape: Tips for Nailing your Sound When Recording