In this free video tutorial, for Production Expert Tutorial from Woodworm Studio in Oxfordshire England, we talk to Producer and Recording Engineer Mike Exeter about his approach to recording heavy rock and metal guitar parts using two microphones.
A Point Of Reference
Mike likes to start by working out which of the speaker cones in a 4x12 cab sounds the best. He uses a DI guitar track to get the right tone from the amp in the room, then records an 8 bar section of the track through each of the cones recording them with a Shure SM57 pointing directly at the dust-cap of the speaker.
From these 4 recordings he can judge the best sounding speaker for the rest of the session.
Once the best sounding speaker is selected, Mike then positions the SM57 a little to the right just off the dust cap. This he says gives the best combination of bite from the dust-cap and smooth tone from the paper of the speaker cone.
Filling In The Gaps
The SM 57 can capture a great guitar tone but it is far from full range. Mike uses a Warm Audio WA-14 large diaphragm condenser microphone positioned near the same speaker cone pointing at the cone of the speaker to fill in the missing frequency range missed by the SM 57. The Warm WA-14 gives a nice full low end and a bright, yet not harsh top end to the recording. These 2 mics are then blended on the console at the tracking stage and bussed to a single channel committing the tone “to tape”.
Throughout this free video tutorial you can hear see and examples of the guitar recordings and see for yourself just how much difference this attention to detail makes.