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How to mic a guitar amp?

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How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Luckjockey » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:18 pm

Hi all,
I’m Andy and pleased to be on this forum.
I have for some time been using a straight ‘line out’ from my amp to the PA system and it’s been good but always seemed something was missing until I was watching ‘Andertons’ and got wondering how they got their sound so good. I always noticed the mics in front of the amps and started to research it. There is thousands of sites/videos showing how to position the mic in front of the speaker cone, but what next? There’s literally nothing out there to demonstrate set-up. I’m happy with amps, mics and positioning of mics but where next? Once the mic is in front of the amp, where does the mic lead go/plug into? What is/are the available/recommended set-ups? Can someone either post a demo or recommend a link? I’m desperate to find out how this works. Please help?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:59 pm

I'd start with a read of this: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ric-guitar
Then give yourself an afternoon of playing around (ideally with a patient mate!) and experiment to see what works for your environement and your sound. :thumbup:
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:03 pm

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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby The Korff » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:11 pm

The above linked article is excellent — but given that you're asking the question at all, and especially in the Live Sound section of the forum, I'd suggest the following quick-fix:

Get an SM57, plug an XLR into it, and loop it under the handle of whatever amp or combo you're using, so that the mic is dangling in front of the middle of (one of) the amp's speaker(s).* Present the other end of the XLR to your PA operator, inform him it's an SM57 in front of a guitar amp.

Image

When you get to sound check, and your PA operator politely asks you to turn your amp down, counter him with a 'more me in the monitor' and oblige him to the extent that your goodwill allows.

Done!

* mic-dangling is optional, but it'll save you a mic stand and frees up a few square feet on a small stage
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:28 pm

There is some discussion around the practice of dangling an end address mic in a less than optimum position. On behalf of the anti-danglers I would suggest a side-address dynamic such as the Sennheiser e609 which is a true dangler's delight. I use the apparently discontinued e606 which I have recently discovered is also an excellent tenor banjo mic, mounted inside the instrument with some velcro strappage.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:02 am

Surely it's going to suffer from fire damage if mounted like that? ;)
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:15 am

A short boom mic stand doesn't take up too much space and allows you to get the mic angled correctly. They don't cost much either. You can also get clips that attach to amps for mounting mics so you don't have any floor stand to worry about.

Right-angled XLRs and using shorter mics like a Beyer M201 can also help reduce the amount of stage space taken up by end-address mics.

I have got a side-address guitar amp mic (MXL DX-2), but I've never had a chance to use it in anger yet.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:00 am

For live playing, get yourself a Senneheiser e906, dangle it from the top, move it around until it sounds good and you're more than done. When I use a physical amp on stage, it's always low wattage, low volume and miked.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Luckjockey » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:56 am

Hi, and thank you all for the reply's.
Unfortunately I'm not quite grasping this, or maybe I'm thinking to much into it. All I am looking to discover is this:
When a mic (whatever type) is positioned in front of the amp (again, whatever) where does the XLR cable from the mic go? where does it plug to? I'm looking to discover set-up options as I have no clue. Literally, I'm looking for an idiots guide to where the XLR goes.
Thanks again. Andy
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:21 pm

CS70 wrote:For live playing, get yourself a Senneheiser e906, dangle it from the top, move it around until it sounds good and you're more than done. When I use a physical amp on stage, it's always low wattage, low volume and naked.

Whoa!!

The eyesight's not what it used to be, unfortunately the imagination is.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:51 pm

shufflebeat wrote:
CS70 wrote:For live playing, get yourself a Senneheiser e906, dangle it from the top, move it around until it sounds good and you're more than done. When I use a physical amp on stage, it's always low wattage, low volume and naked.

Whoa!!

The eyesight's not what it used to be, unfortunately the imagination is.

Hopefully the ladies would enjoy! :bouncy:
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:52 pm

Luckjockey wrote:Hi, and thank you all for the reply's.
Unfortunately I'm not quite grasping this, or maybe I'm thinking to much into it. All I am looking to discover is this:
When a mic (whatever type) is positioned in front of the amp (again, whatever) where does the XLR cable from the mic go? where does it plug to? I'm looking to discover set-up options as I have no clue. Literally, I'm looking for an idiots guide to where the XLR goes.
Thanks again. Andy

You plug it in a spare channel on the mixer, exactly the same way as a vocal microphone?
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Music Wolf » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:00 pm

Luckjockey wrote:.
I have for some time been using a straight ‘line out’ from my amp to the PA system.

Is this your own PA system or do you use the house PA system (with an Engineer)?

The line out that you are using today - what is the connection? I expect that it is a jack type (1/4" / 6.3mm). How are you connecting this to your PA?

From your questions I am wondering if today you are connecting the amp to PA using a jack to jack lead (or you are providing this to the house Engineer) and this is why you are wondering about where the XLR lead from the mic should go?
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Luke W » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:39 pm

Wonks wrote:A short boom mic stand doesn't take up too much space and allows you to get the mic angled correctly. They don't cost much either. You can also get clips that attach to amps for mounting mics so you don't have any floor stand to worry about.

:thumbup:

Seeing 57s and the like hanging over an amp micing up the floor annoys me beyond belief.

If a stage is so small that there's no room left for a mic stand then the room probably isn't large enough to justify micing the guitar anyway :D
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:19 pm

I always mic the guitar amp even in small rooms and unless the guitar amp is way too loud on it's own I'll bring it up in the PA until it just fills out the sound. Most guitar amps are very directional so don't do a good job of filling the room without help. I usually use side address mics (MXL Cube) but they definitely sound better a few inches from the grill rather than right on it. A 57 hung over the cab is better than nothing though.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby ef37a » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:03 pm

https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... 1wQAvD_BwE

That ^ will solve the "dangling" problem and is a lot cheaper than another mic! And BTW, you don't need to spend £100+ on an SM57? Prodipe make a very acceptable dynamic for 30 quid and there is a Behringer at half that price. 'Tis just rock n roll!

Not sure if the mixer/PA setup has been clarified but if there is no spare mic input on the PA you could use a small local mixer or even a low Z to 50k lifting transformer into the line input you presently use?

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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:25 pm

In my view, there's absolutely no point spending thousands on guitar, amp and pedals (it quickly adds up) if you then waste it on using a very cheap mic. No need to go mad, but avoid the cheap SM57 and SM58 lookalikes as they rarely achieve anything even close to the originals in sound and feedback rejection. I've bought a few to test out and wasn't impressed. Many are wired (badly) for unbalanced operation, when they could easily be wired for balanced.

The AKG P4 is a well-made compact sub-£50 instrument mic with a tight pickup pattern that sounds good on guitar amps. Spend a bit less and you loose a fair bit of fidelity, and often get either a very shrill or very bassy sound and a mic that's prone to feedback. It's far from the last word in amp mics, but I'd say it is the starting point in decent sounding ones that will give a decent rendition of your amp sound through the PA.
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Luke W » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:30 pm

For the record, my room size comment wasn't entirely serious. I nearly always put something in front of an amp for exactly the reasons Sam mentions, rather have it and not need it and all that...
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:50 pm

:D
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Re: How to mic a guitar amp?

Postby ef37a » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Wonks wrote:In my view, there's absolutely no point spending thousands on guitar, amp and pedals (it quickly adds up) if you then waste it on using a very cheap mic. No need to go mad, but avoid the cheap SM57 and SM58 lookalikes as they rarely achieve anything even close to the originals in sound and feedback rejection. I've bought a few to test out and wasn't impressed. Many are wired (badly) for unbalanced operation, when they could easily be wired for balanced.

The AKG P4 is a well-made compact sub-£50 instrument mic with a tight pickup pattern that sounds good on guitar amps. Spend a bit less and you loose a fair bit of fidelity, and often get either a very shrill or very bassy sound and a mic that's prone to feedback. It's far from the last word in amp mics, but I'd say it is the starting point in decent sounding ones that will give a decent rendition of your amp sound through the PA.

The Prodipe TT1 has been reviewed in SOS and Mr White found it quite decent I seem to recall. I bought one of the basic Behringers just to try it out and I confess I have only done a speech test but it seemed ok to me. Both mics are solidly made and are not trying to be SM57 copies.

Not sure you need massive feedback rejection that close to a loud amp?

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