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Thread: Micing a multi-driver cab?

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Pretty much all photos or videos that I've seen of guitar recording show the mic right up against the grill, either centered on one speaker, or slightly off center of one speaker, even with a multi-driver cab. Isn't an element of the personality of a multi-driver cab the fact that all the drivers aren't exactly mechanically, or electrically identical, so that you get the slight interaction of multiple drivers? So, if I wanted to capture the sonic character of say, a 410 cab, wouldn't I want to set the mic back a ways?

    In other words, if I wanted to record my Yammy 410, would I get the same tone micing a single 10" driver as micing the whole cab? Part of the reason I'm asking is in contemplation of building an iso-cab. Housing a single 10" driver will be a whole lot easier than isolating an entire 410 combo amp.

    (Micing or miking?)

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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    From your post, you understand the basics.

    Yes, micing one speaker does not achieve the same objective as micing each, but whether that difference matters is based upon your unique set up.

    If all speakers are 'the same', the differences may not be significant. You can test this by recording each and listening to see if the difference in each speaker matters to you.

    If you mix different types of speakers, the blend becomes more important.

    I think you have this figured out though.

    What wasn't mentioned in your post was the fact that many people will place a mic further away. The intent there is to capture the overall sound, which also includes the sound the room adds to the amp. Warren Haynes likes to place a mic in a corner to capture the reflections there. Ritchie Blackmore likes to have one cabinet in a hallway-type room. There are many other ways to capture the overall cab sound and related ambience.

    You get it, and now it's just a matter of experimenting to find what you like.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Thanks ant. You're basically saying what I was already thinking. My biggest problem is, there's only a few moments in a day, and few days a year, when I can crank this baby, to make her sing.

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    Thanks ant. You're basically saying what I was already thinking. My biggest problem is, there's only a few moments in a day, and few days a year, when I can crank this baby, to make her sing.
    That's why I like the e609; just hang it over the cab and gaff tape the mic cable down when you have a sound you like; then it's always at the ready!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    +1. I have a pair of those, with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. But you still need to crank it to get the "tone".

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    +1. I have a pair of those, with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. But you still need to crank it to get the "tone".
    Mais bien sur!
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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    Mojo's Minions Rand-O-Monium's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Damn,amp up & running already?
    "Scalloped & Stickered"
    A Colled One & A Rold One!!!

    RIP My Beloved Sleepy Flower

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Quote Originally Posted by ant_riv View Post
    If all speakers are 'the same', the differences may not be significant. You can test this by recording each and listening to see if the difference in each speaker matters to you.
    Unless you could position the microphone IDENTICALLY relative to each speaker, I would expect positioning differences to have more of an influence on tone than the minuscule differences between multiple speakers of the same type.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rand-O-Monium View Post
    Damn,amp up & running already?
    Only in spurts. But they're good spurts.

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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Still need clarity, are you talking about mixed speakers or all the same?

    For recording, I don't know if this is a standard procedure, but I'd put several mics on the cab (different types and locations) as well as an ambient mic or two and record them all. If they are all in phase, in mixing you can select the one or blend that is best for the track.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    Still need clarity, are you talking about mixed speakers or all the same?
    I'm talking about the speakers that come stock in an old Yamaha 410 combo amp. And I'm not even talking about the speakers. I'm talking about the amp/combo. I want to capture the sound of this classic old amp. Where do I place the mic?

    Sorry. It's late. I might be drung. Druk. Drunge. Damn . . . you know what I mean.

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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    The simple answer is: where it sounds best.
    There is no magic formula and mic templates are often full of sh!t.
    A single mic is fine. The further out the mic, the more of the speaker blend you will get. But the more of your room you will get, too. Close-mic'ing a driver does not mean you will not pick up sound from the other drivers. It is merely a shift in the focus of what the mic 'sees'.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker zenmindbeginner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Where you put the mic depends upon what mic it is, how loud the amp is and the shape and construction of the room you are recording in.

    It also depends on the sort of presence you are looking for.

    Mics have patterns that they pick up sound in and when they overlap because the mics are too close together, you get phase cancelation. Most 4x10 cabinets have the speakers fairly close together and you'll have a difficult time unless you are using close dynamic mics. The speakers closest to the floor are usually not a good choice because they are coupled with the floor and you will get a too bassy tone or one that has a lot of room mud with boomy frequencies you don't want.

    The best way to record a multi driver set-up is finding the sweetest sounding speaker... not only have the mic off axis from the dust cap but angling the mic so it's diaphragm isn't parallel but off axis as well. Find the sweet spot. Then use a condenser mic a few feet in front of the amp to capture the whole amp at once and to get a little room ambience. 3 feet away isn't that ambient and you back the mic up further away for more ambience. Move the mics around a bit while they are both panned up the center and you will hear a sympathetic combination where the bass frequencies are the fullest and the sound is lively and NOT hollow sounding... that means you are in phase. I'm partial to figure 8 patterns but any cardiod will do.

    You then have a track that is the sweetest sounding speaker you have close miked with lots of presence on tap. You also have a mic that captures the sound of the whole cabinet + a bit of room (how much is up to you) and you can blend them according to what kind of a sound you want. I'll vary them a but with always adding a bit of room sound for the solos and backing back to mostly the close mic for rhythms but there are no rules. You might even use more room mic for certain phrases or even certain notes. You might even like more distant mic and less close mic... who knows. That depends on the mics and the room.

    Good luck and monitor with headphones until you get the mics in phase. I chugga chugga with mu right hand on a drop D tuned open 5th chord and move the mic around with my left hand FWIW. Good luck!

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    Mojo's Minions Rand-O-Monium's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    Jeebus.

    I'll be your "engineer/gopher/tech,whatever",Artie!
    "Scalloped & Stickered"
    A Colled One & A Rold One!!!

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    Junior Member mantrasky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    There are many techniques & methods, you just need to find what works best for your songs. My standard setup has worked for many situations, here the SM57 for Rock music has been a standard on many recordings but I like using a "Ribbon Mic" for clean or a mixture, maybe a Condenser, small for Acoustic guitar or large for vocals. Here there setup so I can adjust them instead of EQing, moving them a bit to get the right sound.

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    Sock Supplier to RHCP Beer$'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Micing a multi-driver cab?

    This is why when micing a cabinet with a single mic, it is best to check for which speaker sounds the best for that very reason. Some engineers will even try out several of the exact same kind of mic for the same reason as a dynamic mic is essentially an inverted speaker. Let's say you have two G-75Ts and two V30s. You would find the best V30 and the best 75T, mic them both up in the way you would mic a speaker cabinet for professional recording whether it's a single mic, two mics in the friedman position etc. and make sure the mics are in phase (I can tell you how to do all this as well, I'm not sure how much of the basics you're familiar with and it's long and complicated so I suggest checking out a guitar recording tutorial). Adding more mics isn't recommended for beginners as it increases the possibility for phase issues but if you know what you're doing, go for it.

    Close micing is the most direct, clearest sound with the least compression. As the mic distance increases, a natural compression of sorts occurs and you also increase the amount of room sound you're getting which is why it's common for a room mic to be used in conjunction with the close mics. It can be a cardioid condensor, a good ribbon mic or even a figure 8. Just use your ears and decide what sounds best to you. When deploying a room mic, consider the 1 to 3 rule. Distant mics should be at least three times the distance from the source as the close mics.

    I think one dynamic mic (Heil PR30 or an MD421 if they're available to you) and a nice ribbon mic on the best sounding speaker will get achieve the results you desire.
    Last edited by Beer$; 04-30-2016 at 09:47 PM.
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