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Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar

The electric guitar sound is dependant on the instrument, the amplifier and the speakers, add to the room acoustics, the position of the speaker and the playing style and you can understand why the electric guitar can be difficult to record. The electric guitar can be recorded in the following ways

1. Miked speaker.

2. Direct Injection (DI)

3. Miked and direct mixed.

4. Through a guitar processor.

Microphone Choice

Because the frequency response of guitar speaker systems is limited, dynamic cardioid or microphones with a presence peak at 5kHz to, add punch are often used. Dynamic microphones are not as sensitive as capacitor microphones so there is less need to worry about extreme pressure levels produced by guitar amps. American producers tend to use capacitor microphones and this gives the American rock sound, which is not as fat as the British sound. Use whichever microphone gives you the result you want.

Microphone Placement

Guitar amps can be close miked, miked from a distance or a combination of the two methods using two or more microphones. Treat the guitar amp as an instrument in its own right because different sounds come from different parts. The majority of the sound comes from the speaker but even with a sealed cabinet some comes from the back and with an opened-backed cabinet as much comes from the front as back

with a sealed cabinet some comes from the back and with an opened-backed cabinet as much


Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar

Unless you want to get the sound of a full cranked up Marshall stack, in which case you

would set up the stack and mike from 10-12 feet away, you will probably want close mike the speaker from some 12 inches (or less) in front of the cabinet to produce a bright, intimate sound which will cut through the mix. The microphone can be placed as close as the speaker cloth.

In the case of open-backed cabinets, a fatter sound can be achieved if the back
the case of open-backed cabinets, a fatter sound can be achieved if the back of the cabinet
miked. But remember that the phase of the back miked signal must be reversed so that it is
phase with the front miked signal.
third microphone can be added at several feet from the guitar speaker. This ambience

microphone is usually a capacitor model and will produce a softer more reverberant tone. The close miked signals are mixed with the ambience Mic signal.

Direct Injection


is possible to record the guitar without miking it up at all, but the results are never the same


a miked set up because the guitar amp and speaker colour the sound of the guitar by

boosting mid and treble frequencies. The output impedance of the guitar’s pick-ups is too high for the mixer mic/line input and this can cause poor treble response. To overcome this mismatch a DI box is used. The guitar is plugged into the DI box and the DI box is connected to the mic/line input on the desk.

Guitar Processors

Guitar processors provide the guitarist with many simultaneous effects and can be plugged straight into a mixing desk. They tend to have some sort of speaker simulation circuitry, which tries to mimic the effect of real speakers using filters etc. The guitar is plugged into the guitar processor and then into the desk.


Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar

The Electric Bass

As with guitar the bass guitar should well set up and rattles and fret buzz should be fixed before recording. The electric bass is usually recorded direct for the cleanest possible sound. The direct injection provides deeper lows tan a miked amp although the miked set up gives more mid range punch. A combination of both miked and direct sound gives the best of both worlds. The microphone can be capacitor or dynamic with a good bass response and is placed 1-12 inches from the bass cabinet speaker.