Mic'ing a Guitar Cab

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Member Since: Jun 05, 2005

I've been trying to get a great sounding electric guitar recording. I first used a Yamaha DG Stomp and plugged it into my Behringer mixer and then into the sound card on my computer suing Sonar Cakewalk. After some experimentation with this, I decided that I couldn't really get the sound I was looking for. The Stomp's clean channel was weak and the decent sounding overdrive sound I could get was way too hard when I would prefer a bluesy overdrive instead of a more hard/metal sound. Then I decided to mic my amp because I really like the sound i get from it. I have a Fender Deville 212 and I use an Tibanez Tubescreamer TS9 with it. I read up on good mics to use, and I decided to go with a Shure SM-57. I plug the mic into my mixer and then into the computer's basic sound card. I've experimented with various positions for the mic, but I usually place it right in front of the speaker about 5 or 6 inches away. I've read that its best to crank up the amp pretty loud, but if I turn my amp up to 3 or even slightly below I get some nasty clipping noises in the recording. I keep the gain on the mixer all the way down and I keep the levels on the mixer as low as I can and still get a decent signal on Sonar. I make sure that neither the mixer or Sonar indicated clipping, but I can still hear it in the recording. I'm not sure if the distorted and sometimes clipping sound I get is due the low quality of the sound card on my computer (it's just the integrated audio that came with it) or if its the techinque I'm using. My band is looking at getting an M-audio PCI interface to increase the quality of the sound going into the computer. I'm not sure if this will help the clipping on my guitar tracks or not. I also considered getting a mic pre amp for mic'ing my amp or using a condenser mic in addition to my SM57. Do any of these things sound like good fixes for my problem, or is there something else I'm doing wrong?

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

Jun 11, 2005 01:33 pm

I had the same problem with my mixer, the preamps are so hot on it that even with the gain turned all the way down, it would still clip.

Try different channels on your mixer and see if any of the preamps are less sensitive. Otherwise, try a different preamp if any of your friends have one.

A sound card designed for recording will always outperform a stock integrated sound card,so that would be a good investment if you plan on continuing to record onto your PC.

jimmie neutron
Since: Feb 14, 2005

Jun 12, 2005 08:38 am

Be sure you're plugging your mixer into the "Line In" of the sound card, not the "Mic In", and adjust the input level with the Windows (or sound card's) mixer.

Since: Jun 05, 2005

Jun 12, 2005 12:00 pm

Actually, jmail, that might be it. I've been plugging the mixer into the place on the sound card where the microphone that came with the computer usually plugs in. I'll try to find the line in and see if that solves the problem.

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