1 (edited by surfnorthwest 2010-04-04 16:13:07)

Topic: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

I use the Fireface 800 to record both my keyboards and my guitar amps into SONAR 8.5. I am not happy about how harsh the guitar canbinets can sound when recording them. Would it be helpful to first run my Shure SM 57 mics through a preamp then into the Fireface 800 to smooth out the tone. I am considering the purchase of a PreSonus Eureka preamp to do this.

I just need to figure out a better way to capture the true tone of my amps.


Re: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

Hi surfnw,

maybe that's not RME preamp's fault wink

why don't you try a ribbon mic?

Royer Labs R-121 Ribbon Microphone usually does a great job

Re: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

hey surfnorthwest,

In my experience, I would try multiple mics and placements before looking to the preamp.  Depending on the density of your mix, the sound you're going for, and tone you're recording, an SM57 can be great, or pretty nasty.  As mentioned above, a Royer is great; but there are less expensive alternatives that can be as good or better (depending on what you're looking for!).  I would borrow or buy an inexpensive cardiod condenser mic that has a relatively flat response and put it right on the grill at the speaker's voicecoil pointing towards the center at about 45degrees.  It won't have the potentially harsh peak that the SM57 has (especially on guitars with distortion).  Also, you might look at less expensive ribbons like the Cascade Fathead.  It also never hurts to have two mics on the cab and mix 'em.  Have fun!


4 (edited by Randyman... 2010-04-05 21:22:45)

Re: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

Keep in mind that a mic placed 2" from the speaker will NOT sound the same as your amp does in the room at ear height.  If you want more of a room sound, then consider either using room mics or combining the tight mic with a further room mic for the "room tone" you might be looking for (relative placement of close/far mics is also crucial here).

Mic and preamp selection along with your actual amp tone and MIC PLACEMENT goes a very long way, but you should be able to ge a workable sound with a SM57 and a FF800.  You might try to tweak your amp's sound as you monitor the mic in the headphones since that is what you will be recording (or record a short pass, and listen back - make small mic placement changes and repeat until you get close to the sound you want).

Most people seem to be shocked how their amps sound when tight-mic'd for the first time - generally due to a somewhat harsh sound at the amp to begin with.  Good tone (or more correctly: APPROPRIATE tone for the song) at the amp makes everything else fall into place that much easier...


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Re: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

Thanks guys, I did a lot of experimenting today and am getting better sounds. Basically I am finding out that using the headphones while someone else plays the amp allowed me to find a position with the SM57 that sounded much better. But in the end using a VST plugin I have called Waves L3 Multimaximizer I was able to cheat a bit and get the tone perfect post production. I did not see any advantage to using two mics and mixing the two with panning tricks.

Going to look into a good ribbon mic, the Peluso R14 Ribbon Microphone is coming highly recommended by a sound engineer I know. Anyone try one of these?


6 (edited by rwil 2010-04-06 21:31:25)

Re: Preamp into Fireface 800 to capture guitar amps

Peluso are good mics but never heard guitar clip. Many producers like Swedien seems to like very much the Royer R-121. You can find many pics and usefull infos on Royer site.  The Beyer M160 is another which sounds really nice.
Another one that some clips are available, and very affordable is the Cascade Fathead II (using the Lundahl LL2912 Transformer is a must), infos on Cascade. Greg V did a test somewhere (youtube?). Excellent guitarist and goodies tester (amps, mic, guitars etc). The amp of course, but the speaker has big impact using a specific mic. I'm using a Mesa Express and i swapped the stock Eminence to a Celestion Greenback 2 weeks ago, and I'm shocked how easy it is now using the Celestion! Less harsh and ice picky on overdrive. My SM77 is closer from a ribbon it seems!
Best luck since a lot of trial and errors are needed to strike gold!


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