Condenser mic vs guitar cab

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Member Since: Sep 30, 2009

Just got a Rode NT1-A yesterday :] i think i've heard good things about them, but its my first condenser mic so idk what to judge it by.

Anyway, i was thinking of experimenting with micing my amp both close and as more of a room mic, but should i be worried about damaging the NT1?

Its just a 2x12 combo, 100w. I find my personal sweet spot just around half volume. The NT1-A's max SPL is 137db. How close can i get to the amp without worrying about breaking it?

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MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Oct 25, 2009 09:24 pm

I don't think you'll 'hurt' it by using it up close - But keep in mind that it's a rather sensitive mic to have 'that close' to *anything* 'that loud' to begin with.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Oct 25, 2009 09:32 pm

Looking at your profile, you have a B-52 2x12 100-watt tube amp. A 100 watt tube is capable of generating a whole freaking butt load of SPL, and the 12" speakers are really going to be putting off some wind once you get the master volume up to 10-ish.

A condensor mic is going to be sensitive to the "wind" put off by the speaker itself (think of slamming you bedroom door shut and the wind that's created by the moving door). If you put it too close to the speaker cone, it can overextend the diaphragm in your nice new microphone and potentially damage it by bottoming it out (actually, so can the wind put off by a closing bedroom door, so keep that in mind). So find a spot where the guitar amp's signal doesn't exceed your mic's max SPL handling and the mic is far enough away such that it won't be succeptible to the actual moving air created by your speakers.

This is why condensor mics aren't very often up close on a raging guitar amp. Dynamic mics can take the abuse and aren't really sensitive to damage from puffs of air, unless its really intense. Condensor mics are generally used as room mics, a few feet back from the amp. They capture the room ambience as well as the higher frequency definition of your amp, while the dynamic mic captures the beef/bass, the low-mids, the grit of your distortion, and less room definition.

Hope this helps.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 25, 2009 11:30 pm

ive got one too, i tried it on cabs but its pretty tinny and yeah you'll kill it if you have it up too loud.

honestly its just not worth it using the rode, the sound you get and the fact youre risking mic damage or destruction, you are talking heavy here yeah?

clean stuff and acoustic gits it'll sound great though.
ive used mine for vox which lead me to buy the SM7b which is awesome. wasnt real keen on it for vox.

i havent tried the 2 mics at once for vox which will proly sound great though i recks.
Since: Nov 27, 2007

Oct 25, 2009 11:38 pm

also for heavy you'd really need to treat your room a bit, as condensers pick up everything man.

but on the flipside dude, just get in there and give it a go, and you'll see what "you" need and want sound wise, and then you can make adjustments to everything as you wish.
we only give you our spin on things from our perspective and experience.
sometimes you need to have a bit of fun and figure out your style.

just dont crank the amp on the condenser though. get an sm57. dey pretty cheep cheep.

Since: Sep 30, 2009

Oct 26, 2009 06:26 am

Thanks tad :] Ya i'll try to keep it backed off a couple feet and see what that gives me. I probably won't use it at all when it really comes to recording, unless i feel like getting into this dual micing business, which sounds like a good amount of work. But eh, i'm up for some experimenting.

I've got an i5 as my primary guitar cab/ bass mic btw.

and yeah i was thinking i might need to set up some hooks in my room to hang some special sort of sound absorbent fabric. Can you usually get by with just treating one corner, or should the entire perimeter of the room be covered in the stuff? That i don't feel like experimenting with lol. I'm thinking the main thing i really need to treat it for is vox and maybe acoustic guitars, though like i said, i'm trying it out on amps as well.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Oct 26, 2009 01:46 pm

If you want to use it on your guitar rig then blending with a close mic (i5) would probably be your best bet.

I like at least 8-10 feet of distance for a room mic, that is why I rarely get to use them as my studio is about 8x10 feet :) When I do go mobile I have had great results. I slapped on some phones and monitored only the Condensor while walking around the room. When you hear it, you will know it's right.

After tracking I turn the room mic far far down so it can't be heard over the close mic. Then I slowly bring it up until I can "hear" it, then I back it off by 1 or 2 db. My thoughts are you want to know if it's not there, but you don't want to really "hear" it.

Hope that helps.

Since: Sep 30, 2009

Oct 26, 2009 05:30 pm

Yeah totally :] I get it, and i'm all for the subtle effects. This isn't as subtle, but think about your typical rock harmony. A lot of people, even some musicians, don't really notice the harmony is there, especially one a forth or octave lower. But it adds that extra little kick to the vocals on those lyric lines you really want people to notice, or when it needs some more power, such as in the chorus of a song. Like i said, not as subtle but it still amazes me how many years as a listener i didn't even really notice harmony, even though its in nearly every song i listen to.

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