Welcome to the first installment of the Abe’s of Maine blog! In all of our future installments we hope to bring you key information, features and tips on all of the hot products you can find at Abe’s of Maine. We’ll also do our best to bring you special deals and incentives that you can only get from reading and commenting on our blog postings.
For this first installment we’ll talk about one of our hottest new departments, Pro Audio and Musical Instruments. Abe’s of Maine offers thousands of products that cater to all our friends in the music industry, from the seasoned pro to the beginning student. While there are dozens of different roles one can play within the music industry, these days more and more people are finding themselves playing more than one role, especially with the explosion of the home studio market. We’d like to offer some tips to help facilitate efficient and great sounding sessions in your home studio.
Many home studio owners find themselves limited by the small space their studios are situated in. Whether its a bedroom, a basement or a garage we can feel limited by the lack of space afforded to us. The most important thing to remember though is that while our studios may be situated in one area, that doesn’t mean we can’t use ALL of our surroundings to our benfit. It just may require some longer cables. Here are some suggestions with regards to tracking guitar amps:
1. Need an echo chamber? Want some natural short reverb? Your bathroom is all tiled up and ready to go! When recording your next guitar track try this: Place your guitar amp in the bath tub and tilt it upwards. Place one mic right on the grill and place one up in the air. For the close mic using a directional dynamic mic like the Shure SM57 or the Sennheiser MD421 II will allow you to capture the amp without a lot of the room sound in it. For the room mic using a condenser mic like the RODE NT2000 or the Audio-Technica AT4050 you’ll get all the sound bouncing off al those tiles. Once you get that perfect take, go ahead and blend the two tracks together to taste! Another option is to throw a ribbon mic (which are incredibly popular on guitar amps) like the CAD Trion 7000 close to the amp. A ribbon mic is bi-directional so one side will face the amp and get that direct sound while the other side will be pointing upward and capturing the room sound. Just be sure to listen first and get the placement right as you won’t be able to separate these two signals later on.
2. What if you’re looking for the opposite? Lets say you want a really dead and dry guitar track but you don’t have a vocal booth or small isolation chamber. Make use of what you do have. Go into your living room or den and grab the cushions off of your sofa. Build a little room around your amp or cabinet and place the mic inside of it. Voila! Instant isolation! There are other methods too which can prove useful. Products like sE Elctronics Reflexion Filter are normally set up on a mic stand in order to deaden a vocal track and take the room out of the recording. But there’s no reason why you couldn’t take it off the stand and set it on the floor in front of your amp. A real fun one is using a hardshell case as a gobo. Usually a hard case has a hard reflective outside but inside its lined with a plush, more absorptive material. Open up the case and stand it in front of your amp. If you want to deaden the sound a little face the the inside of the case towards the amp. If you want to increase the reflectivity of the sound in the room, face the outside of the case towards the amp. Be creative!
3. Lastly, hallways can be very useful. Sometimes we want to capture the sound the of the guitar amp as if it were in a very large room. But what if your house has low ceilings and no really large rooms? Place your amp at one end of the hallway and a mic all the way at the other end, up in the air. While you may not have a large room, the length of the hallway may add some distance and surface area to give that “large room” sound. Experimant with putting the amp in the middle of the hallway and a mic at each end. If it’s an open-back amp like the Peavey Bandit 112 or the Vox Pathfinder the mic behind will pick up a little different sound and the two tracks can be blended together. Just make sure to adjust the mics to eliminate any phase issues, or see if swapping the phase of one mic will help.
We hope this first installment has been informative and fun! Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you’ve got available to you. Remember, the first rule of recording is: There are no rules! Be sure to check back often for more tips and features.
Cameras, Video, Televisions, GPS, Pro Audio, Musical Instruments, Large Appliances, Small Appliances, Fitness Equipment, Car Electronics