Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

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Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by johnnysomersett » Sat May 14, 2022 2:36 am

So, looking forward towards my bands next recording session I've decided to buy a couple of nice-ish microphones to use for tracking. I used to use a combination of an old RCA 74JR and an Octava MK012 but a) I sold all my mics years ago and b) it's a much more 'commercial' sound I'm running these days rather than the Albini-a-like production we aimed for in my last band.

I'm looking to try and get a nice pair of complimentary mics for electric guitar and want to try and keep it under £1000 for both if possible. A combo of ribbon and condenser or dynamic usually sounded great to my ears but open to any suggestions. Guitar tones are mostly overdriven, kinda bright and jangly, occasionally a bit thicker with a Rat about halfway up. We track live in one room so bleed is somewhat of an issue but I have some good techniques down to minimise this.

I would likely look to buy used to maximize the budget. Things that also can double up for other uses like vocals also would be handy.

Open forum on suggestions. Thanks in advance
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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by cpeck » Sat May 14, 2022 3:27 am

I am looking to grab a Beyer M88 in the not to distant future for el gtr. My friends really love the AEA n22 ribbon as well; I personally use a Royer, but the AEA fits your budget better I think.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat May 14, 2022 5:47 am

In your position I would get a Royer R121 and a Shure SM57.

Either will work for something on their own, and both work well in combination.

Don’t let internet experts (and 20-years-ago-Steve-Albini) put you off the 57.

It’s a totally fine and useful mic for electric guitar cab, especially distorted guitar (and especially paired with something else)

It’s cheap enough to buy it and use it and form your own opinion. You’ll never regret owning the Royer

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat May 14, 2022 5:49 am

Second choice might be a Beyer M160 and a Sennheiser MD421 (you’ll likely have a little bit left over)

I’d skip a condenser unless you had a considerable amount to spend.

I love a great LDC on guitar cab, but generally don’t have much use for a cheap one.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by johnnysomersett » Sat May 14, 2022 7:21 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 5:47 am
When I say I sold *all* my mics...I still have a couple of SM58s and 57s in a drawer so the 57 is covered (and what we mostly used on the last recording)

The Royer was on the 'maybe' list but I'm always dubious of internet hype. But I trust you on this as I know you have an extremely acute sense of transparency and honesty regards equipment (your recent Klon experiment being testament to this)
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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by Kent » Sat May 14, 2022 7:29 am

Sm57 and Austrian Audio OC818

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by marqueemoon » Sat May 14, 2022 7:54 am

Nothing wrong with a 57 on a guitar cab. I don’t really like them on anything else but snare though. I’m using one as a vocal mic for practice because it’s paid for, but I really dislike it for that. I think it’s partially the shitty preamps in the PA though.

If there’s something decent in a U87 clone with switchable patterns, high pass, and a pad for your budget I would do that and a 57. I know you’re pretty handy with a soldering iron, so maybe you could build a kit.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by Dok » Sat May 14, 2022 3:50 pm

m160 (x100)
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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by CorporateDisguise » Thu May 19, 2022 2:12 am

The Cascade Fathead was well regarded for a while as a budget ribbon option. Seemed to be the working mans R121. It’s been on my list for years, but I haven’t been recording enough lately to justify it.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by øøøøøøø » Thu May 19, 2022 4:49 am

I don’t perceive much in common between the Cascade and the Royer.

The Cascade is much more inconsistent, but most examples I’ve heard are darker and woolier than anything I’ve ever gotten from an R121

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by Maggieo » Thu May 19, 2022 1:54 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 5:47 am
In your position I would get a Royer R121 and a Shure SM57.

Either will work for something on their own, and both work well in combination.

Don’t let internet experts (and 20-years-ago-Steve-Albini) put you off the 57.

It’s a totally fine and useful mic for electric guitar cab, especially distorted guitar (and especially paired with something else)

It’s cheap enough to buy it and use it and form your own opinion. You’ll never regret owning the Royer
Brad is spot-on. On top of that, the SM57 is a "secret weapon" vocal mic, that's on way more recordings than you'd think.
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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by Jonesie » Fri May 20, 2022 5:56 am

I'd personally go Royer and a Sennheiser e609 or e906. I find those a lot more pleasing to the ear than a 57, personally. I also find them to be surprisingly great on drum close mics, should you want some versatility.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri May 20, 2022 6:10 am

I used to feel that way about those, too.

I no longer do. Over the course of time, I went back to the 57s.

This could just be “my deal” (rather than evidence of anything universal)

But for me it was sort of like getting the fancier guitar and then in the end going back to the Tele. You wander in search of something better, but ultimately you come home

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by Jonesie » Fri May 20, 2022 8:22 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 6:10 am
I used to feel that way about those, too.

I no longer do. Over the course of time, I went back to the 57s.

This could just be “my deal” (rather than evidence of anything universal)

But for me it was sort of like getting the fancier guitar and then in the end going back to the Tele. You wander in search of something better, but ultimately you come home
I'll have to go back and try a 57 again. The last time I used one it was pretty fizzy, so it's been relegated to under snare use exclusively. I'll throw it back up though and see what happens.

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Re: Guitar: 2 mics, £1000, what would you choose?

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri May 20, 2022 11:00 pm

A 57 is one of those that I like best right up on the grille, usually.

A bit of proximity effect can help balance its considerable presence boost.

I do find the e609 has just as much presence lift in practice, it’s just a bit different in character.

I only really appreciate the 57 for distorted sounds these days, and often in combination with a 421, m160 or 121.

If it sounds fizzy, moving it toward the edge of the speaker cone usually helps

One more thing, now that I think about it… it’s been many years since I’ve tried amping a 57 with a “neutral” preamp of the type you find built into most interfaces. I didn’t like it with my ancient Digi002 (of course most things sounded terrible into that thing…)

Into something like a Neve I like a 57 a lot on snare and distorted guitar (and like marqueemoon above, not too much else)

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