The Effect of Proximity Effect
.One of the most interesting thing to me regarding electric guitar recording is proximity effect, or the phenomenon that occurs in directional microphones (cardioid, hypercardioid, figure 8, etc) whereby the low frequency content is boosted more and more as you get closer and closer to the source.
All of these microphones are ribbons, but they all have drastically different responses and characteristics. If you used something like an SM57, you'd get a very different sound. So what's the big deal? ALLOW ME TO DEMONSTRATE.
AUDIO FILES - GOOD MONITORING SYSTEM HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
The point is, EVERY MICROPHONE IS DIFFERENT. They all have different frequency response curves, and they also have different DYNAMIC RESPONSES. It's really impossible to measure their dynamic response other than a mic's sensitivity rating, max SPL, and understanding the mic's circuitry, but that's not an easily applicable set of data. In this instance, the SM57 sounds best (to me) right up against the grille. The Royer sounds best about 6" off the grille. So if you hear someone say "I LIKE TO MIC ELECTRIC GUITARS RIGHT UP ON THE GRILLE," or "TO GET THE BEST ELECTRIC GUITAR SOUND, PUT A MIC 1" FROM THE GRILLE CLOTH" or anything like this, you need to be aware of what microphone they are using. Everything will change drastically depending on the mic, the amp, and the mic position.
This doesn't even BEGIN to scratch the surface - what guitar are you using? What pick / string gauge? What amp? What amp SETTINGS? What cab? This particular example was a Gibson SG with humbuckers into a 1985 Marshall JCM800 50-watter into a 412 cabinet with two Vintage 30s and Two Century Vintage speakers. We mic'ed up the V30s. All of these factors contribute. If you had a thinner sounding amp (like a Vox for example) into a 112 cabinet, the Royer might sound best right up on the grille. But in this instance, it didn't with the Marshall + 412.
After tweaking with the amp settings a little, moving the Royer around, and fine-tuning the sweet spot for lows / mids / highs, I was sitting with this tone, which I like very much! No EQ needed! No pedals needed! No fancy trickery or goofy plugins to mess with my tone. I'm happy!
You have to use your ears, adjust, and adapt to whatever gear you have, and try to get it to work for the sound you want.
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Kendal Osborne is the Host of the Recording Lounge Podcast and the Owner / Head Engineer at The Closet Studios