The Recording thread

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by blues_n_cues, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    more to consider:

    SM57 mic's of 1981, are not the same as SM57 today. Today's mic's are nowhere the quality of the original...

    Altec speaker is more of a hi-fi speaker for midrange, not necessarily a guitar speaker. The mid's & highs are a lot smoother than any Celestion.

    An A cab, vs a B cab will have different sounds, based on internal volume & the slight out of phase of the A cab (internally), top section. While the sounds are more than 90% identical, those differences w/ the remaining couple % add together to make a unique tone.

    Because the stone room is an echo chamber w/ varying wall angles (I envision round stones cemented together throughout), close mic'ing will still capture the liveliness of the room, but, nothing like a room mic. The distant mic's probably are capturing a mix of the rear of the cab, along w/ the billowing sounds of the stairwell, & then the upper room, capturing the distance.

    Back then, w/ tape & mixing consoles, you could not fine tune phase. It was +/- & no other adjustment. You couldn't slide tracks to lock them closer. You would simply mix things together, until you got the desired blend.
     
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  2. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    I repeated my recent experiment, but this time, instead of double tracking, I recorded with both mics at the same time. I also used the DSL15C's internal Vintage 30 in addition to the MX112 cab with a Vintage 30, and lowered the distant mic to chest height, pointing it straight but in the direction of the amp, instead of right past it. Adding the distant mic to the close mic roughly doubles the perceived volume, so there do not appear to be any significant phase issues. Examining the audio waves in GarageBand, I can see that the distant mic is not only slightly delayed, but also has its own thing going on in the sense that it is not simply a duplicated and delayed copy of the close-miked wave, which probably explains why I don't hear a drop from adding the distant mic.
    Below are the three raw tracks. All EQ was at noon. No post processing whatsoever.





    With the distant mic being slightly lower this time, plus the addition of the open-back combo's speaker, the sound has a bit more of the fizzy bite, but you can still hear how much more mid-dominant and tighter the distant mic is than the close mic. I think the combination sounds best. What do you guys think?
     
  3. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Awesome that you are experimenting with more that 1 mic.
    On clip 3 I am hearing some phase incoherencies. Can you hear like a tubular quality? As if you were hearing it through a pipe? I suspect the further mic was a bit too close causing some incoherencies.
    Note that some have used this type of sound, so it isn't "wrong", but I think it is worth noting.

    Have you played with the 2nd mic positioning on the DAW grid? If you adjust by some miliseconds I think you'll notice some drastic changes

    If you nudge the 2nd mic back a few miliseconds it will sort of simulate the mic being further away. If you like where that goes try putting the mic a bit further from the cab

    Another option is to try to align the 2nd mic to the 1st mic if you really like the 2nd mic's position, but I'm not sure how that can turn out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  4. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    I am intrigued by the thing about old 57s being better than new ones. That’s never come up anywhere that I’ve read/heard before. Are we sure about this? Is there a marketplace for “early 80s sm57s”?
     
  5. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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  6. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    in '84, they started mfgr'ing in Mexico. Before that they were made in USA. By 1989, all mic's were MiM...

    The quality went south, along w/ the production...

    here's a thread I found real quick:

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/10559-shure-sm57-new-vs-old.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  7. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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  8. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right. I am glad you noticed that.

    I tried syncing up the tracks, but their waves are so different that it is hard to tell where one track should be moved to align it with the other. Plus, I figured, if Max Norman recorded on tape with so many mics and got it to sound right without any alignment fixing, I should be fine, too. The distant mic sounds like what I have in my mind. I think that that sound is worth exploring. I wish I could make the close mic alone work and sound more like the distant mic, but that's not happening, and it's just more frustration and going around in circles. I'll try and see how close I can get to the rig without losing that critical midrange that gets buried in lows and mids when you get too close to the speaker. The effect is really noticeable on the riff starting at 1:11 in the first clip above.
     
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  9. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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  10. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    well slap my taint and call me derrick.
     
  11. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    Revisiting this video, I notice how similar the riffs with just an SM57 in the video sounds to my recordings with just an SM57. It's a very particular sound. Super fizzy, but it seems that is "the sound" of modern metal and people just accept the fizz as part of the sound. I also messed around with other positions on the speaker today, trying out again positions near the surround, and noticed that the further you go out, the more bass build-up there is, making the recordings very uneven between single notes and chords and palm-mutes. Definitely not useable. As you get close to the cap, things balance out again.
     
  12. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    did you listen to those links I posted above?
     
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  13. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I did. It sounds pretty good, but the basic tracks with the distant mic were already good to begin with.

    I watched these two videos, where both guys are close-miking and getting really nice tones, even with just an SM57 without the LDC added.




    That made me think that I must be doing something wrong and that my problem isn't the gear or the fact that I wasn't using a distant mic.

    So, I went back and listened to my tracks with volume comparisons. I really can't think of anything else I am doing wrong, except that I'm not recording loud enough. The fizziness on the DSL15C finally starts going away when channel volume is at 7, ideally above that, and the tracks start sounding nice and full. I am going to have to try recording a whole song with the amp cranked when I have an opportunity to do that. I have a feeling that that is going to be the answer to all my problems.
     
  14. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    ever think that you're just capturing what the DSL is capable of?

    Try your techniques w/ the 6100 & closed cab. try w/ the DSL & closed cab.

    What I did w/ your tracks is:

    download
    deleted right side of close-mic & copied right side of distant mic & pasted it to right of close track.

    Now, it's a stereo track, close left & distant right.

    Now, I use the plug-in, to make a mono center of the close mic & it makes a stereo track of the distant. It then flips polarity of one side. This creates a stereo image when blended w/ the close mic. The l/r of the distant start cancelling frequencies from the close mic, if the polarity is off. Because each side are polar opposites to each other, they attack different frequencies from the mono close mic, creating a stereo image. The more you turn up the distant mic, the greater the stereo effect, & in essence, the more room sound you get. The close mic, still keeps the sound centered & direct, while mixing w/ the distant sounds.

    You use phase to create a stereo image, w/o the problems of phase cancellation, as Smokey noted, in the one that you just mixed together. You can even turn the track mono w/o adverse effects. That's the beauty of using that technique. This is utilized by mid/side recording, but, can also be used accordingly, in this situation, w/ different results, but, good nonetheless.

    It sounds bigger, than simply merging files.
     
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  15. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    That's a great question. Before I attempt to answer it, let me just add again, just in case you thought I was still trying to record the combo, that I've been using the DSL15C with an MX112 closed-back cab with a Vintage 30. But that of course says nothing about the possible importance of the size of the cab.

    To your question, yes, I have considered that possibility. In fact, just this morning, as I was driving, I revisited my recordings of the DSL under different volume settings, and compared them to Maiden's professional reference tracks, just as reference. The car is a good place to compare tracks, as it can be very revealing of flaws that aren't apparent on the systems. At the end of the day, I am not quite sure what to think of the tracks recorded with volume on 8 and 10. Compared to lower settings, they sound great on studio monitors, headphones, and my home stereo. In the car, they sound much darker (one could also argue warmer) and a bit congested. It's hard to say, since I don't know what the amp is supposed to sound like at its best. I don't have a lot of experience recording successfully, and don't know tube amps well enough to know what to aim for, which is why I am on here to get help.

    After listening to the tracks recorded at different volumes, you, for example, through the amp sounded best with volume at 7, right before the thickening kicks in. My guess would be that this is a sign of the power amp stage kicking in. Interestingly, we all talk about tube amps and how important it is to get power amp distortion and "tubes cooking." I've even heard people say that Marshalls don't sound good until they are fully cranked, or that the louder you play a Marshall, the better it sounds. As another example, a YouTube reviewer of the DSL20CR complained that the amp doesn't start sounding good until it's "real loud". And yet, you liked my DSL15C best on 7, right before the tipping point. So, this is why this is so complicated to figure out.

    One more thing. You mentioned the 6100LM with the 1960A that I have. I have tried that in the past. Granted, it was years and years ago, but I remember running into the same set of frustrations with thin and fizzy, unnatural tone. Both my bandmate and I had the 6100LM. I don't think we pushed those amps as hard as we could have, but we did try different volumes, as much as we could get away volume-wise at the time, and we still weren't quite happy with the results.

    Finally, on the topic of the DSL, it was reasonable of you to question the capability of the amp, and whether I may have reached the limits of its potential. However, consider that in one of the videos I posted above, the guy from CSGuitars demonstrates miking an AVT and gets great results from it. If he can get a good tone from an AVT, surely I should be able to get satisfactory results with a DSL.
     
  16. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    well, there is a difference between getting great results & reaching a particular target goal, such as matching the Iron Maiden recordings.

    1 thing to note. Notice, in the file mix I did w/ the plug-in, I think the sound is better than what you posted, in those files, but, it also sounds nothing like your stated goal, which might make you dismiss it, w/o hearing it through objectively.

    So, while the sound is good, & shows that, your basic tracks are good & can be worked w/, it misses the Maiden mark.

    While there's nothing wrong w/ either/or (chasing the mark vs getting a new great sound), sometimes you have to realize that, there's a certain point that the gear will get & that's it. That's why, even many let's say, Maiden cover bands do not get the sound like Maiden, just as many Zeppelin covers do not get the Zep sound.

    As mentioned throughout this thread, there's also the difference between in the room sound & through the recording deck sound.

    Listen to VHI. Then go find his isolated tracks. Listen to Ozzy, Blizzard of Ozz & listen to the iso tracks.

    Notice how different the iso tracks sound, compared to the mixed production. You can hear the core sound, but... then, look at your work. When you listen w/ frustration to these near misses/failures, do you hear that core sound? Is it as close as the iso tracks by VH & RR? Or even the Murray/Smith tracks?

    1 thing that is hard, is to get a objective tone while you are playing. Notice that, when you listen back to your playing, you don't think it sounds like it did when you played it? This applies to even, if you get the sound recorded perfect. You're not only hearing, but you are feeling. You get the nuance of the pick scraping the strings on every picked note.

    When listening live (as you play), you do not have the same scrutinizing listening vantage point. Everything is on the fly. Listening to a recording, nothing is on the fly & you are examining it under a microscope. Your hearing of the live performance, your ears filter things in/out. The recording does not discriminate & you are subjected to listening to everything w/o the filter.

    The same thing goes w/ photography. When you experience things in the live, you will go, "wow, look at that, take a picture!" Then, when you take the picture, you notice all the flaws, the clutter, things that ruin that good scene. Then you don't want to share it, because the capture does not discriminate. While your eyes focus on whatever it is that caught your eye, the camera doesn't have tunnel vision.
     
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  17. Michael Roe

    Michael Roe Well-Known Member

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    Your DSL 15 is probably going to be one of the most fizziest Marshall amps that were made. I know, I use to own one! That amp has two things going for it to put it in that category.
    1) The lead ch is the higher gain version of the DSL = Fizzy!
    2) That amp uses 6V6 power tubes which are very mid scooped compared to EL34s = Fizzy!

    If I were going for a Maiden tone and owned a DSL15 and a 6100 and had to choose one?
    Well, that is a no-brainer....The 6100 on ch 2 "B" would probably do the trick.
    If I remember correctly the guys from Maiden used the JMP-1 preamp at a latter date. That is a very, not fizzy sounding preamp!
    I have owned both the 6100 and JMP-1 and would say that they are similar in tone with the 6100 having a little more warmth to it.
    I think you are beating a dead horse here. You are just not going to achieve that tone with a DSL15.
     
  18. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    Not to diminish anything you said, but before I comment further on your post, let me just say again that I am not looking to copy a certain tone. Sure, I like the Piece of Mind guitar tone. Of all I've ever heard, it's one of my most favorite. It has a great midrange and is nice and clean/tight in the bottom end, again mostly due to the emphasized midrange. But I also like many other Maiden tones on their records. As I like the Blizzard of Ozz tones. Or the tones on certain Accept albums. And many others that share the same sonic blueprint.

    Moreover, I may be in a minority, but I never thought that isolated tracks sound that different from the mix. When I hear isolated tracks from Piece of Mind or Powerslave or Blizzard of Ozz, for example, I still hear the same guitar tone that I heard in the mix. I do not subscribe to the Internet theory that something can sound like garbage in isolation but great in the mix. I guess if you (not you personally) consider the sound of an isolated guitar musically unpleasant, then you will subscribe to that belief, but I do not. I think it's a fallacy that overcomplicates the simple fact that the whole is still made up of individual instruments that exist in their own space. Even as I am listening to a mix, I can mentally isolate the guitars from the rest and hear what they essentially sound like.

    Lastly, what bugs me about my recordings is not tiny details. We're talking crucial, big-picture stuff here, mostly a lack of mids and lower mids, and a surplus of fizzy high end, probably somewhere in the 5-6k region, which renders the tone sounding thin and fizzy. The midrange that I am missing is what the tracks are missing to sound like a classic rock/metal guitar, or to sound like an electric rock guitar in general, not to sound like a specific target, although that would be nice to be able to achieve, once I am able to get the midrange right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  19. Seventh Son

    Seventh Son Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I have heard the same complaints about the DSL15C before, but let me tell you, when I raise the volume anywhere above 2, the mids on that amp fill out very nicely, and at still higher volume settings, it's got enough mids to tear your head off. With gain at 3 (a very conservative setting, given the amp's vast gain reserves), the amp sounds friggin amazing. Unfortunately, it does not translate to a recording well. As I mentioned before, along with the included sample recordings, the DSL15C sounds a lot better when volume is at 8 or above, but then some of you are skeptical about the tone at those volume settings.

    By the way, when you had the DSL15C, did you find it fizzy in the room? I'm curious, because I simply don't. As I've said, I think it sounds great with a Vintage 30 and an MX112, also with a Vintage 30. I hear no trace of fizz as soon as the amp's volume goes past 2.

    Next, I also have the EL34-based, "improved" version DSL20CR, which I actually like less than the DSL15C. Not that the DSL20CR is bad, but if I have to pick one, I always gravitate towards the DSL15C (it's a real pity it doesn't have a loop). Anyway, as far as recording goes, the improved, EL34-based DSL20CR is the same story. Fizzy, thin. In the room, it sounds great.

    Now, the 6100LM, just the head alone, was a $2,000+ amp when it came out. I have heard comparisons of it with the JCM800 and can attest that they sound almost identical. And even with the 6100LM, I was not happy with the recordings in the past (like, 20 years ago, when I was in an actual band). Granted, I don't think I ever pushed the amp very hard during recording, so take that for what it's worth. I will have to set it up for recording and do some more testing during the holidays with a fresh pair of ears to see what I think. Maybe you are onto something here, after all.

    I mainly use my DSL15C because conventional wisdom tells us that it is better to record with a smaller amp that is pushed harder, than with a half-stack that has master volume barely on 1–1.5. Most sources that I have consulted recommend using smaller amps for home recording based on the same argument.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  20. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    I think I know exactly what you mean from my own recording experiences.

    Something to maybe fart around with is using the amp sims in Logic or whatever and play with the settings on them. Yes its not a real amp but its a reasonable facsimile and I would think if you find a virtual mic position (if your sims let you move the mic around precisely, some dont), knob settings, pedals etc, and if you have the actual mic that your sim mic is simulating, etc. that gets you a good tone, that should translate closely to recording in the real world (IF you can replicate the amp, postioning, etc.).

    Basically I’m suggesting a less annoying way to experiment and hear your “recorded” tone more quickly.
     

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