Mic'd or direct?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Recording > Mic'd or direct?

Non-Existent

Joined: 05/26/03

Posts: 1597

Well this post asks about more than just going mic'd or going dirct but,anyway.

My band is going to the studio in january and I'm really racking my head thinking of what sounds better...direct or mic'd...any thoughts?
I dont own a tube amp,but want a tube sound and am willing to buy a low watt tube amp to achieve a good saturated heavy sound if needed.I was looking at the carvin vintage 16,but dont know what kind of grind I can get out of that.What did metallica use to get the distorted sound on the song 'one'?Serious,if I cant buy the equipment I have no problem renting it.I'm not looking to emulate a sound.I will tweak to my liking.
Would going direct make it easier to achieve a great tone?
Also,My drummer thinks it would be easier and sound better to play/record songs all together instead of laying down the drums first,then bass,guitar e.c.t.
I would imagine the quality and consistency of riffs,drums, and basslines would be better if layed down and repeated within the recording instead of the whole band aiming to get the song flawless in one shot.

Thanx in advance!

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

#1

Well this post asks about more than just going mic'd or going dirct but,anyway.

My band is going to the studio in january and I'm really racking my head thinking of what sounds better...direct or mic'd...any thoughts?
I dont own a tube amp,but want a tube sound and am willing to buy a low watt tube amp to achieve a good saturated heavy sound if needed.I was looking at the carvin vintage 16,but dont know what kind of grind I can get out of that.What did metallica use to get the distorted sound on the song 'one'?Serious,if I cant buy the equipment I have no problem renting it.I'm not looking to emulate a sound.I will tweak to my liking.
Would going direct make it easier to achieve a great tone?
Also,My drummer thinks it would be easier and sound better to play/record songs all together instead of laying down the drums first,then bass,guitar e.c.t.
I would imagine the quality and consistency of riffs,drums, and basslines would be better if layed down and repeated within the recording instead of the whole band aiming to get the song flawless in one shot.

Thanx in advance!

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

Kevin Taylor

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 03/05/00

Posts: 4722

Go direct and use an amp simulator or plug something like RedBox Cabinetulator into your send/receive. But take an amp too. You can always route the guitar signal back out to the studio through the amp and mic it a second time on a new track. About the only time you need an amp for sure is when you need the feedback.... although you can get this direct too just by using small speakers up close to the guitar.
You should look into Amplitube if you record digitally. You can simulate anything from AC-30's to Fender Reverbs to Marshal JC-800 plus it gives you an auto wah, echo, any cabinet you want etc...
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

#2

Go direct and use an amp simulator or plug something like RedBox Cabinetulator into your send/receive. But take an amp too. You can always route the guitar signal back out to the studio through the amp and mic it a second time on a new track. About the only time you need an amp for sure is when you need the feedback.... although you can get this direct too just by using small speakers up close to the guitar.
You should look into Amplitube if you record digitally. You can simulate anything from AC-30's to Fender Reverbs to Marshal JC-800 plus it gives you an auto wah, echo, any cabinet you want etc...
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

Full Access

Joined: 08/02/02

Posts: 1329

When my band recorded, I used a POD for my guitar, and was very happy with it, and I love tube amps. With the POD you can choose a lot of different settings and you can get a nice tube sound.

Also when we recorded, we all played the songs together and recorded them. Then went back and fixed everything, starting with drums, bass, guitars, vocals. I think it worked really well, and I will definetly do it the same way next time.
Electric Guitars are the inspiration for cries of "Turn that damn thing down"-Gibson website

#3

When my band recorded, I used a POD for my guitar, and was very happy with it, and I love tube amps. With the POD you can choose a lot of different settings and you can get a nice tube sound.

Also when we recorded, we all played the songs together and recorded them. Then went back and fixed everything, starting with drums, bass, guitars, vocals. I think it worked really well, and I will definetly do it the same way next time.
Electric Guitars are the inspiration for cries of "Turn that damn thing down"-Gibson website

Member

Joined: 11/04/03

Posts: 63

For guitar tracks;
Unless you POSITIVELY, ABSILUTELY, have to go direct...

USE A MIC!

Any other members here, with AT LEAST 10years PROFESSIONAL recording experience (i.e. Getting Paid for your work in recording STUDIOS, not playing with home computer software) will most likely support my position.

There are SO MANY reasons why it's better for your final product & for your experience.

Of course there ARE exceptions to the rule, but playing the percentages puts the odds in your favour.
...I don't know if that fit, but it sure did sound cool!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!

#4

For guitar tracks;
Unless you POSITIVELY, ABSILUTELY, have to go direct...

USE A MIC!

Any other members here, with AT LEAST 10years PROFESSIONAL recording experience (i.e. Getting Paid for your work in recording STUDIOS, not playing with home computer software) will most likely support my position.

There are SO MANY reasons why it's better for your final product & for your experience.

Of course there ARE exceptions to the rule, but playing the percentages puts the odds in your favour.
...I don't know if that fit, but it sure did sound cool!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

I think it also depends on how good the engineer is and the sort of sound you want.

It is easier to get a good sound recording direct and, if you are at home with out much knowledge and experience, recording direct is a much better option than trying to record a miced amp.

However, if you are paying for studio time and an engineer, well they should know what they are doing and providing you can communicate the sound you want to them, they should be able to accommodate you. Unless you don’t happen to have a Soldano or a Dumble / Vintage Marshall Plexi / Machless combo or any other ones of the amps supplied by the pod !

Most people will tell you that to get the absolute best sound you can well micing an amp is the way to go. This is probably true, however by the time the guitar has been compressed EQed mixed, mastered, and finally converted into an MP3, very few people can tell if it is a Pod or the real thing.

Remember the magority of the music listening public have never heard of a Pod.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#5

I think it also depends on how good the engineer is and the sort of sound you want.

It is easier to get a good sound recording direct and, if you are at home with out much knowledge and experience, recording direct is a much better option than trying to record a miced amp.

However, if you are paying for studio time and an engineer, well they should know what they are doing and providing you can communicate the sound you want to them, they should be able to accommodate you. Unless you don’t happen to have a Soldano or a Dumble / Vintage Marshall Plexi / Machless combo or any other ones of the amps supplied by the pod !

Most people will tell you that to get the absolute best sound you can well micing an amp is the way to go. This is probably true, however by the time the guitar has been compressed EQed mixed, mastered, and finally converted into an MP3, very few people can tell if it is a Pod or the real thing.

Remember the magority of the music listening public have never heard of a Pod.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Kevin Taylor

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 03/05/00

Posts: 4722

I got 20 years professional experience if that counts :)
With Mic'd, you're locking yourself into a final sound, have to contend with the quality and type of microphone and the experience of the engineer...amp noise..mic placement..room noise etc..

If you record direct with no effects but monitor yourself with something close to your finished sound...you can later take a line out from the solo'd guitar track into the studio, run it through an amp and mic it again. Better yet, just use Amplitube. You can experiment with combinations until you find the exact guitar sound you're looking for.

If you absolutely must record with a mic'd amp, at the very least use 2 mic's so you've got a choice, & take a line out direct just in case.
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

#6

I got 20 years professional experience if that counts :)
With Mic'd, you're locking yourself into a final sound, have to contend with the quality and type of microphone and the experience of the engineer...amp noise..mic placement..room noise etc..

If you record direct with no effects but monitor yourself with something close to your finished sound...you can later take a line out from the solo'd guitar track into the studio, run it through an amp and mic it again. Better yet, just use Amplitube. You can experiment with combinations until you find the exact guitar sound you're looking for.

If you absolutely must record with a mic'd amp, at the very least use 2 mic's so you've got a choice, & take a line out direct just in case.
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

yep everything Schmange said !

Also don't be afraid to double track and re-amp stuff.


[Edited by Dr_simon on 12-01-2003 at 06:21 PM]
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#7

yep everything Schmange said !

Also don't be afraid to double track and re-amp stuff.


[Edited by Dr_simon on 12-01-2003 at 06:21 PM]
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Member

Joined: 11/04/03

Posts: 63

schmange, my good man, I certainly don't want to sound argumentative; so please excuse me if that's the case.
I wouldn't fully DISagree with much of what you've offered here. I DID mention that 'when necessary' even a hardcore "mic'er" like me agrees to "direct-track" options.[QUOTE]schmange
...With Mic'd, you're locking yourself into a final sound, have to contend with the quality and type of microphone and the experience of the engineer...amp noise..mic placement..room noise etc..[/quote]
A good example is if one is to be "locked-into" a final sound just because they mic'd the track, then I wouldn't suggest this as the best option. My reference to how important it is for one's "experience" could certainly apply to many cats here who DON'T have MUCH experience.

If you'd allow me to offer a polite rebutal to you VERY VALID difference of opinion (which I DO respect)...

Mic'ing aguitar track should be something that guitar players learn to do for even a BETTER understanding of what's to be achieved/expected when going direct. You(schmange) may have this experience & manipulate a direct signal during mixdown better than a 'newbie' recording artist, if you get my drift?

Mic'ing a guitar amp (even a not-so-decent amp) should NOT be that difficult for most, so that little bit of experience could improve your hearing responses to natural acoustic reproduction. It's NOT expensive either. MANY of the GREAT guitar players STILL love simple mic's for guitar rigs. The SM57 is VERY common for this, even in places where we can afford $3000 mic's.

If a lot of you cats are REALLY bent-hip on "modeling", "plug-ins", and the whole software route, POWER to ya', and best of luck if it works for ya'.

I've been biz' partners & worked with some REAL hip cats who even have the experience/degrees in the study of 'physics' in audio engineering. My closest friend/audio partner, ran THE MOST advanced audio for video post production facility in Boston. A long-time recording partner of mine (Joe Pet/drummer of Joe Perry Project) runs a new state of the art facility in Boston & has credits for audio mix/production of Billboard hits (and I used to run his last studio). So I'm sure you understand where much of my 'school of thought' comes from, since I've learned what's properly accepted amoungst my circle of friends & business associates.

There are good emulator/simulator products, but the physics of the actual gear DOES NOT EXIST in an emulator or plug-in; and I'm sure you cats know that it takes as much time & knowledge (or more) to defeat many things like comb-filtering from "double-mic'ing" an amp as it does to learn a simple way to place a mic on a speaker.

I respect YOUR point of view & your experience, schmange, and there is NO ONE WAY to do ANYTHING right. If your throwin' together some fun stuff' for mp3's, don't sweat-it if it's not a big deal, but learning the source of the craft can make your DIRECT tracking much better.

Schmange, when my friend & I co-write this "Mic'ing or Direct" article for the new section of our website, It may be very beneficial to us if we could also include YOUR input as well. If you'd kindly accept our formal invitation to participate, please e-mail me so we can hook-up. I'd appreciate it brother!
[email]jsv@jsvcolorfast.com[/email]

I believe people reading can benefit from BOTH perspectives...

...but I STILL hope you try the mic! lol!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!

#8

schmange, my good man, I certainly don't want to sound argumentative; so please excuse me if that's the case.
I wouldn't fully DISagree with much of what you've offered here. I DID mention that 'when necessary' even a hardcore "mic'er" like me agrees to "direct-track" options.[QUOTE]schmange
...With Mic'd, you're locking yourself into a final sound, have to contend with the quality and type of microphone and the experience of the engineer...amp noise..mic placement..room noise etc..[/quote]
A good example is if one is to be "locked-into" a final sound just because they mic'd the track, then I wouldn't suggest this as the best option. My reference to how important it is for one's "experience" could certainly apply to many cats here who DON'T have MUCH experience.

If you'd allow me to offer a polite rebutal to you VERY VALID difference of opinion (which I DO respect)...

Mic'ing aguitar track should be something that guitar players learn to do for even a BETTER understanding of what's to be achieved/expected when going direct. You(schmange) may have this experience & manipulate a direct signal during mixdown better than a 'newbie' recording artist, if you get my drift?

Mic'ing a guitar amp (even a not-so-decent amp) should NOT be that difficult for most, so that little bit of experience could improve your hearing responses to natural acoustic reproduction. It's NOT expensive either. MANY of the GREAT guitar players STILL love simple mic's for guitar rigs. The SM57 is VERY common for this, even in places where we can afford $3000 mic's.

If a lot of you cats are REALLY bent-hip on "modeling", "plug-ins", and the whole software route, POWER to ya', and best of luck if it works for ya'.

I've been biz' partners & worked with some REAL hip cats who even have the experience/degrees in the study of 'physics' in audio engineering. My closest friend/audio partner, ran THE MOST advanced audio for video post production facility in Boston. A long-time recording partner of mine (Joe Pet/drummer of Joe Perry Project) runs a new state of the art facility in Boston & has credits for audio mix/production of Billboard hits (and I used to run his last studio). So I'm sure you understand where much of my 'school of thought' comes from, since I've learned what's properly accepted amoungst my circle of friends & business associates.

There are good emulator/simulator products, but the physics of the actual gear DOES NOT EXIST in an emulator or plug-in; and I'm sure you cats know that it takes as much time & knowledge (or more) to defeat many things like comb-filtering from "double-mic'ing" an amp as it does to learn a simple way to place a mic on a speaker.

I respect YOUR point of view & your experience, schmange, and there is NO ONE WAY to do ANYTHING right. If your throwin' together some fun stuff' for mp3's, don't sweat-it if it's not a big deal, but learning the source of the craft can make your DIRECT tracking much better.

Schmange, when my friend & I co-write this "Mic'ing or Direct" article for the new section of our website, It may be very beneficial to us if we could also include YOUR input as well. If you'd kindly accept our formal invitation to participate, please e-mail me so we can hook-up. I'd appreciate it brother!
[email]jsv@jsvcolorfast.com[/email]

I believe people reading can benefit from BOTH perspectives...

...but I STILL hope you try the mic! lol!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!

Non-Existent

Joined: 05/26/03

Posts: 1597

Where in boston JSV?I live in mass about 30 minutes from boston.Whats the average rate in the studio/s?

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

#9

Where in boston JSV?I live in mass about 30 minutes from boston.Whats the average rate in the studio/s?

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

Member

Joined: 11/04/03

Posts: 63

CoooL! You're near Boston?! Contact me sometime bro'!
Drop me an e-mail: [email]jsv@jsvcolorfast.com[/email] or get my info from the "contact page" on our website.
JSVCOLORFAST.com

I'm right outside Boston, like 5min. from the Fleet Center (that where the B's play, for all you "non-hockey-playing" girlie-men!)

Studio Rates?? Yeah, good ques'. It's a tough answer. It depends so much on your requirements, project, recording medium, etc. Let's get in touch & I can offer you some helpful info & even some contact names/numbers if you need 'em. I work in audio production for projects & private clients, so anything I can do to help a "local", ya' know?

Hope to hear from ya' bro!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!

#10

CoooL! You're near Boston?! Contact me sometime bro'!
Drop me an e-mail: [email]jsv@jsvcolorfast.com[/email] or get my info from the "contact page" on our website.
JSVCOLORFAST.com

I'm right outside Boston, like 5min. from the Fleet Center (that where the B's play, for all you "non-hockey-playing" girlie-men!)

Studio Rates?? Yeah, good ques'. It's a tough answer. It depends so much on your requirements, project, recording medium, etc. Let's get in touch & I can offer you some helpful info & even some contact names/numbers if you need 'em. I work in audio production for projects & private clients, so anything I can do to help a "local", ya' know?

Hope to hear from ya' bro!


~JSV
http://www.naturallywireddesigns.com/
Hey you punx'! Click Here & get some 'chops!