Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Drum Re-thoughts and Guitar tone

M1 and I met last night to review drum ideas and test some mics on my guitar cabinet. We ended up going witht he single overhead and the lower right condensors with a AT3525 condensor deep in the kick drum enclosed in foam. The SM57 won out on the snare.

For the guitar we found positioning the microphone closer to the cones of my CBS black Fender 2x12 closed back cabinet. The speakers in the cabinet are OEM EV-12Fs. Classic 300 Watt monsters. The clean sound on these are awesome and the overdrive from my class A single ended Fender Champ 12 is quite early 70's classic. The amp btw...is a Champ 12. I modified it with various mods found on the internet plus a few of my own to warm the tone up and ease the gain in the lead channel. I plan on replacing the pots in the gain shannel to allow more flexibility in gain control...

Well anyway we set up a SM58 on the cabinet and recored a clean and gain channel track. Then we repeted with the MXL2001. What we found was quite interesting.

We played with exact position of the mic in relation to the speaker. Starting first on the outer third of the speaker and moving inward to the cone. The EV speakers have a rather lager silver dome in the center and we found that a position that allows the mic when pressed up against the screen to (about 1.5" inches from the dome) captured half the dome and half the cone. This gave a balance of the crispy grit of the dome and the smooth warmth of the cone. The dome alone would be too crisp and the cone was too muddy. Together they blend well. Lateral movements of less than a inch make a audible difference in micing these speakers.

The SM58 was rather lifeless on the clean part of the track. But when the gain was kicked in suddenly this fantastic tone emerged. SOunding like Crosby Stills, Nash "Road To Marakesh" lead. That liquid warm buzz. The gritty combination Sovtek 6L6WGC and 12AX7A-C Groove Tube tubes were smoothed quite nicely into a very sensitive and expressive tone by the SM-58. The deep end "cloonk" was there as well in the rich mixture of complex mid-range harmonic overtones. The MXL was the exact opposite. The clean sound with the MXL2001 close mic'd was rich and true to life. It sparkeled with a clearly defined pingy Fender style. Both the out of phase pickup settings on my strat which I use for all most all clean tones sounded most excellent.

Keeping in mind that these are all dry tracks 24/48 digital tracks shows that the tones we are getting are going to be quite workable in the mix down.

We learned alot about how we are going to tackle many of the recordings coming up. As M1 said..."it was a good night."

Next up...The 1958 Hammond M3. We are picking it up this weekend in Illinois....but that is another tale...

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