This is the sixth installment in guest blogger Steve Lagudi’s series on Guitars & Bass in a Live Setting, and the fourth part of the discussion on selecting and placing mics on stage – if you missed Part 3 of his post on selecting and placing mics, you can read it here.
My mic technique works for the heavily distorted guitars, but what about clean parts? This too gives a really nice result, so it will work. It’s hard to put into words how something sounds – and as you sit here and read this you cannot really hear an example of it – so the best way for me to describe it is like this…it sounds just as it does coming out of the amp if you were standing in front of the cabinet. It gives a solid recreation of what you’re hearing with no coloration.
Steve at home in the studio. (Photo: Steve Lagudi/Instagram)
For some bands I work with, I like to separate the clean sounds. Fortunately, I get to work with bands that are capable of doing this and I have the mics & channels available to do so. The separated sounds can sometimes be a totally different amplifier, or a direct sound, which I don’t really prefer, but sometimes it is the better choice that I have to choose from. When dealing with a separate amp, depending upon the sound I am looking for, I like a condenser. I like really nice sounding cleans. Often times those are the sounds that are in the songs being played, so the condenser gives you that detail and full sound. As for mic choice, few options here…you can go with a nice A-T 40 Series, like an AT4050, or what is really nice, small and low profile, the AE3000.
For other genres or parts that don’t need that up front sound, and need to be tucked in the back, I tend to always go with dynamics. A single dynamic has always worked for me. Like I said earlier, the dynamics in my experience just sit nicely in a mix when placed properly on the source. My go-to mic for this, and you will be surprised, the AE6100. Yes, this is typically a vocal mic, but it works wonders on almost any type of guitar sound, not just the cleans.
One last thought – in this blog I mentioned two mics that were intended for other applications, the AE2500 which is really designed for kick drums and the AE6100 which is a vocal mic. One important thing to keep in mind is that just because a mic might be designed for a specific purpose, that doesn’t mean it won’t work in other areas. So go ahead and try things out, you will be surprised at what cool and interesting sounds you can capture, not to mention what is not so cool hahah!