114: Do You Really Know Your Guitar Cab (or IRs)?

114: Do You Really Know Your Guitar Cab (or IRs)?

If you know the ins and outs of recording a cab, you can pick and position your mics or choose the right IRs quickly and with confidence.


A lot of people are asking us about how many mics they should use on a cab, or whether or not they should blend multiple amps/cabs. Benedikt just had this conversation on a masterclass that he did for a German Audio magazine.

Our answer is almost always:
Start with one amp, cab and mic, learn everything about it and make it sound as good as you can. Only then add more, if you really need to.

And most importantly: Learn your cab!

The speaker(s) and cabinet are one of the most (if not THE most) important parts of the guitar chain. That's why we've dedicated this entire episode to helping you get the most out of your cab or your IR/virtual cab.

Here are some of the things we cover:

  • All speakers within a cab sound different - compare them!
  • Impedance
  • Volume and cab saturation (open/closed cabs)
  • Mic position
  • Mic angle
  • Mic distance
  • The “glue blob”
  • The influence of the room

And again, this also applies to IRs/virtual mics!

If you know the ins and outs of recording a cab with a mic, you can choose the right IRs quickly, pick and position your virtual mics with confidence, you'll finally know what to listen for and you'll know how to solve any tone problem.

Mikko, the IR loader / virtual mic plugin that we mentioned on the episode:

Book a free feedback call with Benedikt:

This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 114 - Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy 

[00:00:00] Benedikt: think about how to utilize the things better that you already have and, uh, and get the most out of them before you move on to the next thing, because you'd be surprised how much you can do with just one simple rig, one simple mic, one SIM, whatever you have. Hello, and welcome to the self recording ban podcast. I am your host. Benedick tine, and I'm here with my friend and cohost McKim. Oh, and Flint. How are you Malcolm?

[00:00:38] Malcom: Hey, Benny. I'm great man. How are you?

[00:00:40] Benedikt: I'm great too. Thank you. I'm kind of losing my voice right now, but other than that, I'm okay. good.

[00:00:47] Malcom: I know the pain I, uh, I was making, um, our key spike course, um, anybody that isn't somehow aware you're living under the rock that we just released, uh, mixes unpacked, a [00:01:00] little mixing course that Benny and I did together. And one of the bonus modules is going to be a, a course on. we called it like a bonus module, but it's really like its own little course, but it's getting included with mixes unpacked right now. And it is a kind of like a masterclass on how to make key spikes and different uses for them. Um, and, and how to do it in a proper way. That's not going to I don't, I shouldn't be getting into this, but essentially people try to use drum samples and they do more harm than good if they're not careful. So we're trying to avoid that. And the reason I'm bringing this up is because while filming that, I totally lost my voice as well. We do a lot more talking than we used to now with the podcast and filming video content. It's a ton of talking a ton of talking. 

[00:01:44] Benedikt: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. And there's even more coming up. We can't talk about it at this point, but like we, we have plans and uh, so we gotta somehow level up and not lose our voices when we do that. yeah. Um, let's, let's jump in. Um, so today, [00:02:00] by the way, if you want. Before we get to today's episode. I need you to do some housekeeping. I need to do some of the things I always tend to forget when we do the episodes. So first of all, please, if you get something out of these episodes, share this episode with your friends and, uh, also in this whole podcast also, please leave us a review on. Podcast platform, by the way, you can do that on Spotify now as well. This wasn't a thing up until recently, but now you can, so you can leave a review or a rating on Spotify. We prefer and love, uh, apple podcast reviews though. So if you're there or if you can, if you have the app just, would you please go there and leave us a five star review, ideally with a text that would be much, much appreciated. We'd really love you. Uh, if you do that, we love you anyways, but even more so if you do that and, um, uh, and, and the. 

[00:02:45] Malcom: favorites. 

[00:02:46] Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. And then, yeah. Um, and then, yeah, the final thing, if you want a framework for how to make exciting sounding records yourself as a self recording band, you can [00:03:00] get my 10 step guide to successful DRI recording the ultimate 10 step guide to this goes through successful DOR recording. And you can get that. If you go to the self recording band.com/ten step guide, I keep forgetting. Um, I, I CA I, I always forget to mention that. But like, it's really great. It's free. It's a little mini ebook type of thing. You can download that. And it's a great starting point and it shows you the steps from start to finish the whole production process. it gives you a very structured framework for that. So the self recording, bent.com/ten step guide. All right, with that out of the way, let's jump into today's episode.

[00:03:36] Malcom: Hold on. Hold on, hold on. You're not going to tell people why we brought up reviews. 

[00:03:40] Benedikt: Should we do, should we mention 

[00:03:42] Malcom: Yeah. we gotta tell them. I think it's hilarious. All right. Episode, this is episode one, 14, or listening to right now, by the way, I'm extremely proud of that number. Uh, it's a lot of hours of talking and getting to talk about music and thank you all for listening. So much for potentially like [00:04:00] 114 hours. It's sanity. 

[00:04:02] Benedikt: yes. 

[00:04:03] Malcom: a little less than that. Cause I don't not all that long, but some of them told the R and we just got our first negative review. It's not even a negative review. It's just, uh, not, not review. Um, we got a one star, which is. The lowest rating possible. Um, but they didn't write anything and we're, uh, we're optimistic that they didn't mean to. So what, what does this mean for you? People that are listening to this podcast and do like what we're doing? Uh, it means that you got to go and leave us a five star review and, and outweigh this one star review that is dragging us down. And, uh, you know, it actually does help us the podcast. Like the people look to see how many were positive reviews that has. I always read the reviews before I start a new podcast, make sure it's worth the time. So it really does help us very much. And having this one, disgraceful one star review from a complete internet troll is not doing us any favors. So please help us. [00:05:00] 

[00:05:00] Benedikt: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you so much for helping us out. And if you are. If you did that accidentally, maybe, maybe you just check your. And maybe you should all check your apple podcast apps if you accidentally hit the ones. And if you out, like we assume it was an exited, it just go correct that. No, but just like help us out, leave a five-star review. And also we should mention that it's not only about helping us out, like there's something in it for you too, because if you do that, We, you know, we sometimes have guests on our show and we want to do more of that in the future as well. And the better the rating is the more reviews we have, uh, the higher, the chances of getting amazing people on our show because those people check that as well to see if it's worth their time. And so if you want us to have more awesome people on the show that who can show. Their knowledge and wisdom and stories with you, then it absolutely helps to have more reviews because when, you know, with podcasts, it's not like with YouTube where you can see the subscribers and numbers and all that only we see that on the backend. But like if somebody looks up the podcast and sees a bunch of really cool reviews and which helps us rank and all of that, then they are much [00:06:00] more likely to come on the show. Um, so 

[00:06:03] Malcom: Yeah. yeah. that that would be a very appreciated. And I can't imagine what we would have done to offend somebody to get a one star review. 

[00:06:12] Benedikt: Yeah. So that's why I give him the benefit of the doubt. Like it's probably been an exited, I just hope so. Uh, yeah, but we have to correct it. All right. So, um, to today's episode, it's about guitar again. So last week we we've been talking about guitar techniques, so that, that the tone is all in your hands. This week. It's also about guitar, but it's not about the performance. It's about the actual engineering and it's about. making guitar camps and capturing guitars, like real rigs. There's an application for software amps as well here, but like capturing guitar rigs. That's how I call it and why it's important to really know your rig and especially your cab. And I CA I came up with this episode because. I did a masterclass on like last Friday for a German,[00:07:00] recording magazine. They invited me to do a master class, which was super, super, super cool. Like it was a six hour live, um, mixing stream that I did for, for their people, which was awesome. And they had like Q and A's in between. And then there was, there was one. They were all great, but like, there was the question of like, what would I recommend? Would I recommend starting with one mic and keeping it simple? Or would I recommend like basically throwing everything you have at a cab and then trying to come up with a cool blend? Like what, what, how would I start? And what would I recommend, uh, bands who work with me and sent me their stuff I had a very clear answer to that. And it made me think and want to do this episode today because I think a lot of people have it backwards where they don't really know their rig and their cab and what that sounds like on its own and how to capture that properly. And. So in the, in day before they do that and learn that really, they start throwing like eight mikes at the cab and try to, to solve the tone problems by doing that. This is a [00:08:00] really, really common thing. And in this Q and a, we even talked about a, a story. Um, another, another person on the call said, he, he said he saw a post in a forum somewhere and in a Facebook group where somebody was literally like posting a picture with eight mikes on the cab and he's. it somehow it doesn't sound right. What is your opinion? Like, does that look good or something along the lines of that? Like how do you even check that you see a picture with eight mics on a cab and like the first asking, like what to do, you know, First of all, it's just a picture. And then second of all, like there could be so many potential problems with a setup like that. And I would just recommend like starting with one and seeing what that sounds like, and even without a mic, but it sounds like in the room with the thing sounds like that you're trying to capture and then go from there. And that's what we're trying to do in today's episode. So I'm going to, we're going to try to walk you through, W what it is that that makes, the tone of a cab. what goes into that, how to listen for that, what you can try to, um, to do, to experiment with things where you can start putting your [00:09:00] first mic and stuff. So we're going to walk you through this, this process. Basically, we try to keep it simple. And at the end, you should have a process to really get to know your rig your cab, and then you can be much more. You can much more confidently put a mic in front of it and capture it, and then you'll know whether or not you need a second one or a second amp or a second cab or anything else to blend with that. Right. I hope that makes sense.

[00:09:24] Malcom: Yeah. absolutely. It totally makes sense. Um, yeah, I, I think w when you described like the photo with like eight mikes on a single app, I think that describes a lot of. A lot of people when they're getting started and we overcompensate when we're not sure what to do. Um, you see it on drums all the time. People just like being like, all right. There's like I used every channel on my interface to do a different, weird groom set up and say, well, you forgot to make the snare. That's the case. Um, like all of this extra experimentation is super rad and cool, but it should only be done once you hit like the bear. They got the [00:10:00] fundamentals and essentials locked. Those need to come first, always every time. So that's what this is about. Making sure you get the fundamentals and essentials of a cab figured out. 

[00:10:11] Benedikt: Exactly. So my answer to that question is almost always the question. What I would recommend is always like start with one amp, Mike and cab, like one, one rig, and then one mic in front of it. Learn everything about it and make it sound as good as you can. And only then add a second, whatever, like amp cab or Mike, and most importantly learn the rig. Even before you throw my edit. I think you should learn what the thing sounds like that you're trying to capture and where. The they they're different spots on that thing. They're going to sound different. There are different things. You can just learn the thing you're trying to record, you know? So, all right. I sort of came up with a, with a, with a framework has always like a process that I'm going to walk you through. So I'd say assuming that you use guitar speakers with more than one, like guitar calves with more than one speaker in. [00:11:00] if you have just one, then the first thing you can skip that. But if you have a two by 12 or four by 12 cab, then you get to know that all speakers. Within a cab sound different, so you have to compare them. So you can, you can not assume that it's, it doesn't matter where, which one you're gonna make. So just maybe do the experiment or maybe just absolutely do the experiment and like run a IDI or something, uh, ramp it, run it through the amps, a loop of something. So turn it down. Quiet enough so that you can actually listen. Uh, closely to the cab and then just listen to the four speakers at very low volume, obviously, but just listening in, see if you can spot differences. Maybe one of them isn't working at all. Like I had that, like I would, when I went back, when I did life sound, I was miking it, there was a couple of times where it was making, um, a cabinet was wondering why I didn't get any, any like signal or like was just a very low signal. Turns out that one of the four speakers just didn't work, you know? 

[00:11:53] Malcom: That'll do it. 

[00:11:53] Benedikt: Yeah. So, uh, just, just listen to that, maybe grab, or maybe when it's broken or, you know, all [00:12:00] sorts of things can happen. So listen to the speakers. Um, then also you can turn them up and just put a mic in front of the speakers to put it dead center. Just try to put it, that center, do that on all four speakers and see if you can, spotlight major differences in the behavior or the tone of the speaker. And then when you find, when you found the one that you like most. Then just make a note or market on the cab. That's why you often see that people have marked their favorite speaker on a cat, for example. so that's how I would start then. yeah, I don't know any, any, any thoughts on that? Any 

[00:12:31] Malcom: Yeah. Well, I love that. You actually just said, that's why people mark it. I, I remember loving that when a band would come in with an app and they've got like the little tape coroners marked off for like, ah, we put a mic here and I liked it. I was like, well, that's a really good clue. Why don't we start there and see how that sounds. And if you're not convinced to do that, For yourself, because maybe you just don't record yourself that often, or you use an app SIM when you record, that's fine, but you should still do this. You should still learn your live app if you're using [00:13:00] like a speaker live, um, and mark off your favorite spot and then your sound Tech's always go to, like, whenever you go to a show that whoever's doing sound, there's going to probably do the same thing, have the same opinion that I just had of like, They liked it when they, they had an SM 57 right there, I'll just do the same thing that takes some guesswork out of my job, like it. And you're going to get more consistent sound as well. So by doing that work upfront, you're kind of providing yourself a favor for the rest of gigging and recording. Yeah. totally worth at the time. 

[00:13:29] Benedikt: Totally. And I would say, even if you don't use real amps, first of all, I know for a fact that a lot of people who use amp Sims have an amp and they want to learn how to do it, or want to know more about it. We get asked that all the time. So there's that, but even if you're not planning to, to do, to do the. Um, I think you're going to understand your amps better because they are just a simulation or emulation of the real thing. So we've got to some things that you can actually apply to as well. And even if, and even the stuff like, like picking the right speaker or just learning what the [00:14:00] speaker sounds like. I think just that concept of knowing that a speaker is so important and that you can learn it is cool for MCMs too, because there's different. I, ours, there's virtual mikes that you can move around, you know, all these things. So please still pay attention. and then I think it's valuable whether or not you use real amps. So the next thing is, um,

[00:14:19] Malcom: we're going to leave here. 

[00:14:22] Benedikt: Mecca, in case you're wondering Malcolm's cat just completely covered him, uh, on the, in the camera.

[00:14:27] Malcom: been trying to stop her from jumping on the desk for like a couple minutes now. 

[00:14:33] Benedikt: It was cute though. So. Yeah. Um, the next thing would be different. Impedances what I mean by that is obviously there are a capsuled like fixed impedances and this is just what they sound like. But first of all, you can connect them to different outputs on your amp without breaking anything. Like there's usually more than not always, but there's often more than one option. And I won't go too far into that now because I don't want anyone to break their end because of my advice, but just in the. Re read up on that [00:15:00] because there is more than one way to connect them to a speaker, usually without causing damage. It's different for transistors and tube amps, but you don't have to exactly match the impedance. Sometimes there is intentional, intentional mismatch is a thing. If you like, it depends on a couple of things, but like, do your research on that. What you definitely can do is if you want to match things just to be safe. So that's what I would recommend now in this episode, there are cabs that with a switchable sort of impedance, you can run them. It's like eight ohms or 16, or then you can, there's the Marshall calves where you can switch between the mano and stereos sort of operation where only two of the four work and stuff like that. And not only do the speaker configuration change sometimes, but like a different impeded. We'll sound different. The load on the amp is like different. The how hard the amp has to work to drive the cab is different. The headroom changes like a lot of things change. So when you change the impedance, the sound is going to change. So I'm not telling you like a better way or what the correct way is, but like, [00:16:00] just know that there's a difference and just compare it to compare it. Equal volume, record two signals, then comparing the diet equal volume and see what the differences are. If you can hear it. And if so, what you prefer. So this is just something you should just, just try if you haven't done it yet, because there is a difference, 

[00:16:15] Malcom: a hundred percent. 

[00:16:16] Benedikt: then there is, um, the volume and cap saturation, and the difference when it comes to that, between open and closed cabs. So what I mean is up to a certain volume, there will be, there's always going to, it's always going to sound a little different, but there's going to be a pretty linear, it's going to be a pretty linear thing up to a certain volume, but. At a certain point, your speaker will start to saturate will start to compress because the speaker is moving back and forth and it's pushing air. And when the speaker is reaching its limit, it doesn't move the same way anymore. So you can think of, uh, up to that point, it's like a smooth. Movement. And above that point, [00:17:00] you get sort of wrinkles in that movement. I don't know how to else, how else to say that. I always view it as like a clean sign wave, and at some point to get these, the wrinkles and it basically, because the speaker doesn't fully make the full movement anymore, but it like gets faster or it's like, I don't know how to describe it. It's just something that I see in my hat. You know, I mean, maybe you saw that when you, maybe you saw a slow-mo picture of a, of a speaker moving and then when it, when it's full on it, doesn't go back all the way anymore. Like sorta stays there and moves faster. So that sort of thing, just not as extreme. So there is a cap, saturation and compression happening at a certain level, a certain volume, and it's different for open and closed, um, cabs, because a close, uh, with an open cab, the air can be pushed out of the cab on the backside. And with a, with a close cap as this is not possible. So closed cabs tend to saturate a little earlier because the speaker can't move as freely as with an open cab. So again, I'm not giving any recommendations here. I'm just saying, try [00:18:00] that at, just seeing. Record quietly and then record very loud. If you can, and then level match the two recordings and compare them in your diet and see how your speaker behaves at different volumes. It might be a very flat, linear thing up to a certain spot. It might be changing gradually with increased volume. Every speaker behaves a little differently, but you might find a sweet spot where your speaker sounds particularly good for your sound. You know, your tone. 

[00:18:26] just something to be aware.

[00:18:28] Malcom: It really does change. Um, and it uh, it changes how you play, I think as well. Um, you'll, you'll start like the, the speaker reacts differently. Again, like you said, it kind of compresses differently, so you'll probably end up adjusting your play. And some people might find that they dig plane an amp that's pinned versus not. Um, so totally worth experimenting with this is just going to also affect your room sound. so the total volume of how hard depression, like pushing a speaker, changes that speaker response, but it also changes your [00:19:00] room response. So it's something to consider as well. 

[00:19:03] Benedikt: Absolutely. And that would also, I would always recommend doing the equal volume comparison or equal loudness comparison because if you're standing in the room in front of the cab, there's no way. I hear that like a very quiet, empty, very loud. And, uh, so the only way to really compare that is like record it and then loudness matched, and then you can do a blind test or whatever, but like there's no point in judging that and standing in front of the amp, like, I can't tell you how many bands have been in my life room telling me that they're cranked AmTrust's and so much better. And they were trying to convince me by just showing me by and like, um, I'm like, I, you know, I can't. Yeah. Th there's no point in doing that. Like it's just way louder now in my, my years are sort of compressing because of the volume. I can't compare that to what you have before we have to record it and then compare, you know, 

[00:19:48] so, 

[00:19:48] Malcom: totally. 

[00:19:50] Benedikt: all right. yeah. And then, then the next thing would be the most obvious thing, probably for most people, but it's still worth mentioning it's the positioning of the mic on the speaker [00:20:00] itself, or like how the speaker, it's not the capita speaker that you've chosen. That the speaker sounds different on at different positions. So at the, in general, you can say that the center of the speaker, the dust cap is the brightest spot on the speaker. Um, the outside of the speakers that have the edge of, of the speaker is the darkest. And also it's where the, the biggest, like energy sort of is there. Like it pushes the most air on the outside, like right on the outside of the, of the speakers. Not only darker, but it's also, um, the sense of air being moved as the strongest there. And, um, so, so you can gradually move account from the center to the outside and just see how it changes and where you find your sweet spot. You'll find different resonances in different spots. You'll find, um, that sound gets brighter. The closer you get to the center, oftentimes, um, there is a sweet spot around where the dust cap meets the cone sort of. This is sometimes where [00:21:00] we are oftentimes where people start to get a good balance. But yeah, it's, it's, it's different, for different people in different calves, but just learn what your cap sounds like and what you actually like, and, uh, just make again, play a loop and then gradually move your mic across the speaker and just listen to that recording and figure out where you liked it. Most.

[00:21:17] Malcom: Yeah. told the it, uh, I remember being surprised at how different a speaker sounds depending on where the mic is placed. I didn't think it was going to be such a dramatic effect when I first started experimenting with that. Because when you turn on your app, it just sounds loud. And, and like, like your guitar and you can't really do the same thing by sticking your ear up to the speaker because it's super painful to do so. Um, so until you shove a mic on there and start moving it around, that's really going to be the first time you experienced, like, oh, if I move it two inches this way, it's a very, very different tone. 

[00:21:53] Benedikt: Yeah, totally. I did. I remember doing experiment a lot of experiments when I did, when I made the [00:22:00] videos for the surf recording band academy, our big like recording course that we have. Um, I did a couple. Videos where I and recordings where compared to front mic positions. And, and it's like, even though I've been doing this for so long, it's still surprised. And that surprised me, but it was fascinating to see how big the difference actually is how much of a difference it is. And sometimes like sometimes that queue or oftentimes actually the queue moves that I make in the mix are not as drastic as like the difference between just putting it in a different spot. Like this is night and day. So. So, yeah. Uh, and that, and then there's one thing that I think tends to be forgotten often. It's not only about the difference between the center of the speaker and the outside of the speaker, but the speaker is a circle, right. It's round. So if you found, let's say the, the sweet spot where the dust cap meets the. Th there's not only one spot like that. So you can go in a circle around the dust cap and compare how it sounds because the speaker will not sound the same all around [00:23:00] the thing. This is also different. So there's this wonderful plugin. I think I've mentioned it before on the podcast, the Mico M I R loader thing, M I K K O Miko, Mico, whatever it's called. 

[00:23:11] Um, so what's fascinating about this thing other than it's just a great than, than, than the fact that it's just a great tool. What's cool about it is. If you move the virtual mic with that plugin, it's like a virtual cab that loads IRS in the background, but it, it lets you control and blend the IRS by moving a virtual mic. And it's not an algorithm. It's like a, it switches and blends IRS in the background. It's pretty cool. And the cool thing is if you move the virtual mic around the speaker, you see. Yeah on the speaker in general, you see a graph next to it that shows you how the frequency response changes. And the interesting thing is if you put a. In a certain spot and then you pick the exact same spot on the opposite side of the speaker. It's a drastically different curve. So it's not the same all around the speakers. It was [00:24:00] like once you found the, the, sort of the sweet spot between the center and the outside, move it around the speaker and see what you like most, because that's also changing. And I think most people are a lot of people haven't done that experiment yet. We started in the center and then we move it to one side, but we really move it up and down, for example, or, you know, things like that.

[00:24:17] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. it's a. Uh, there's a, there's so many options. It's kind of like option paralysis can happen pretty easy. but that's again, why, what a, what a great thing to do on your own time. So you have time to experiment and, and go in with like some, some sweet spots picked out. You can have multiple little favorite spots and be like, just, you know, make a note of it somewhere. Or, you know, people like to put just little pieces of tape, making a little corner, so you know where the mic goes and you can just write on the tape. This is a bright spot, 

[00:24:48] Benedikt: Exactly. 

[00:24:49] Malcom: like that. Be totally fine. 

[00:24:50] Benedikt: Totally. And I'm not saying you should do all of those experiments every time you record. Absolutely not. But I'm saying as you sat Malcolm in your spare time, on your [00:25:00] own time, when the band is not there with you, you should, you can and should experiment with that just to learn your tools. And then you have that knowledge and you can make notes and you have those, those tools available to you and you can make full use of the. The next time you record it. Right? It's like, I do the same thing. I mix all the time. And when I mix, I'm not experimenting. I mix, I do things. I know work. I have my tool belt and my, my things that I like to use. But then in between mixes, when I have some downtime or when I, I intentionally scheduled time to do that, actually I'll do experimenting. I'll try things without a certain outcome in mind. Go and experiment and learn my tools. Basically I pick a new tool every single time and try to learn something about it. And the next time when I mix, I have new tricks that I can use or new tools. So, so yeah, you should absolutely do that. Learn it. And then, um, you can apply that in your sessions now. There's do you know about the blue blob thing? Malcolm 

[00:25:55] Malcom: No. I'm totally curious what you're going to say about the glue 

[00:25:58] Benedikt: Yeah. This is [00:26:00] really something. I think one of our community members showed me that, Uh, I think Thomas, uh, vice Whipple he's, uh, he's he's one of the earliest members. He was in the self-reporting band academy, beta beta tester team, basically. I think he showed me this there's a video. I was aware of this phenomenon, but there's a really cool video that he showed me that, that, that explains it really well. And made me think about it again. Nali, the great producer. Adam Nali get good. Um, he's the creator of get good drums and he's produced a lot of very cool, good sounding modern, um, metal records. And he's a very, I don't know how to say it. He, he approaches things very in a very logical, also kind of scientific way sometimes. Obviously a great artist too, but he's, he has a great way of explaining things and it's all he does is like always very logical. And I just like his approach. So anyway, he's has a video on YouTube where he explains the glue blob thing. And what it is is if you look at a speaker and a guitar cap, if you take the grill off and you look at the speaker, [00:27:00] there is this one, or like these two spots, usually there's these two little. Blobs where the, the, the soldiering points, I think on the back of the magnet or whatever, like our glutes two or that whatever is glued to the backside of the speaker. I don't have it in my room, but you know, those two things, you see it in front of you, right. You have the desktop and you have the two, the two glue blobs basically, or, you know, and the thing is, this is the arm almost always like always, this is the darkest spot. On the speaker, like if you keep the con the distance to the central consistent. So if you put the mic there, the speaker, there is the response of the speaker is a little slower. It's a little darker. The transient response is a little more smear, not as direct as everywhere else. So. this is, you can use that intentionally and gnarly has a video on YouTube because this sounds like a nuanced thing that you shouldn't care about, but like, watch that video and listen to the difference in the audio, examples like it's night and day. Everybody can hear that it's a clear difference, and it's an artistic choice that you can make. If you put a mic right there, or if you have to grill on, [00:28:00] you're not aware of where the mic is. If you happen to put the Mike right where the blue blob is, it's going to sound different compared to everywhere else on the cab. This is a very different spot and you can accidentally hit it or you can hit it intentionally, but it sounds different. it's just the mass of the speaker on this spot is like different varied, but compared to everybody else, and it behaves differently, it's darker. It's a little slower and it's, it's just different. 

[00:28:21] So, 

[00:28:22] Malcom: Interesting. 

[00:28:23] Benedikt: yeah, 

[00:28:23] Malcom: right. So I'm experimentation in my future. 

[00:28:26] Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. So the glue blob, um, thing is one, one thing you can, you can try, uh, and then once you've done all that, there is another factor, another, um, option that you have, and that is the angle of the mic. So I dunno if you, some people just always do the dead on thing. Other people like to experiment with angles a lot. So there's a personal preference too. I found that angle. Can sometimes give me a blend between two spots that I kind of Alexa when I'm not sure if I want the brighter or the darker spot, and then I pick the darker, but angle it [00:29:00] towards the inside a little bit, then it kind of gives me best of both, both worlds 

[00:29:04] Malcom: Oh, yeah. 

[00:29:05] Benedikt: So that is an application that I like. I think it sounds a little less direct because the, the air is not moving, like not hitting the mic directly. So it may be. If you want the most transient impact, you maybe should go with the dead on position. I think like from a logical, I don't think I noticed that that much, but like, just thinking about it. Um, that's what I would do at least.

[00:29:27] Malcom: No, no, I would agree. I think that I have similar findings. Um, it's like, I tend to start, my, my default is pretty direct on pretty close to set to usually. Um, and then it's easier to kind of swoop out from there. Um, and same thing as you, if, if I want it to not be so brittle, but I'm worried about losing that, that kind of like clarity I'll, I'll keep it, I'll move it to the side, but aim it in. So now we're off our access still kind of pointing towards center and that [00:30:00] can be a good sweet spot for sure. Not always, but definitely can be the solution. 

[00:30:05] Benedikt: Yup, absolutely. Um, and what I found, what affects, what gets affected most by the angle, at least to me is, um, the. The resonance is that you have with a guitar cap, like there's always with every guitar camp, there's always going to be this like very narrow, fizzy type resonances in it. Um, so sometimes you have more of those. Sometimes you have less, but we're basically always battling those. I'm always fighting those in the mix. I think with changing the angle can be a solution to that. I find that if a cap has a really harsh sort of whistling frequency, resonance that you just can't get rid of the angle sometimes does it for me, that sometimes seems to smooth that out a little bit. Uh, so there's always, sometimes it's the combo. That is one of the cases where I would say try a second mic, if that is the case, because sometimes you can get clever cancellations between the two, but like that you can also get all sorts of trouble and problems. So, again, I wouldn't recommend starting [00:31:00] with that, but sometimes just with one mic, just angling it a little bit, can make the whole curve a little smoother to me and those resonances and resonant and whistling peaks sort of get flatter. So.

[00:31:11] Malcom: Oh, bye. 

[00:31:12] Benedikt: Right. And the final is the distance to the cap itself. This is, this has to do there's two ways to think about that. I think one is of course, with increased distance, you're going to capture more of the room. If you're closer, it's going to be more than. But also depending on the mic you're using and its polar pattern, most Mike's every mic that's directional. Every make, that's not an Omni has a proximity effect, which means is that, um, the closer you are to the source, the more low-end the more base you're gonna get, the more basic in the capture. So, um, you get a flat linear response only if you. the distance big enough to the source. So if you read it close to the source, you're going to get a more base. It's the same, like talking into this mix, like I'm going to sound different here compared to over here. And so this, [00:32:00] the, the proximity effect and happens with the speaker as well. So, so yeah, if you want to basically a fuller. You can get very close and usually that's what, where most people start. If you think that it's too Boomi, but you kind of allow like the overall tone electronic down the base snap, doesn't really do it. Then maybe just go back a couple of inches and see if that works right. If your room is controlled enough to do that.

[00:32:23] Malcom: Yeah. And, uh, and know that not all cabs put the grill the same distance away from this. Um, right. So, so you might think, okay. I just, like, I'm always right up against the grill, but it's like that, that. changes depending on what cab you're grabbing. So you might find that you're closer than you're used to being and might want to try backing it off. Um, Yeah, again, I actually do think starting probably up to the grill is probably the great idea getting close is for a starting point.

[00:32:50] Benedikt: Yeah, I agree. And then finally your room itself, uh, that's also part of the rig in a way that you have to learn and take into consideration at all times, because you're not [00:33:00] listening in a, in a, um, like anechoic chamber, you're listening in, in some sort of room. And, um, so that's a factor and it matters more than people think it does. Like even if you're making. If you, even, if you get really close to the mic, it can make a difference. Not, not always, but it can. I had, I had recordings being sent to me where the band was like, we were as close as we can to the cap and I could still hear weird room stuff going on. I could still hear it. And it's so I'm not saying, I don't think it's as big of, as much of an issue as with like, but I think it's still worth mentioning. And if you are in a very big live sort of room, a very, yeah, uncontrolled room, then I would always recommend building like a small Ford around, uh, the cab. It's very easy to do. puts a mattress left and a mattress, right. And some blanket over it and some blanket on the floor or something, and then do the comparison and it will probably do the trick.

[00:33:58] Malcom: Yeah, I, I like to default to [00:34:00] going dead, kill everything. I just want that direct amp sound and, and knowing that how slammed modern recordings are going to get, you don't want to be bringing up extra, like ambiances that are just going to make your guitar thinner. 

[00:34:14] Benedikt: totally. Yeah, that's basically the whole list. What I find interesting here is that last episode where we were talking about the hands and how much the tone is in your plane technique. And then, and then this episode about knowing, learning your cap or cap simulation, like all these things, remember all these things apply to your Sims as well. There are systems that have a virtual mic that you can angle and move and all that. If you haven't experimented with that, do it. I knew a lot of people use the, the STL tones, tone hop and stuff. For example, it has a virtual mic where you can adjust the distance and the position and the angle and all of that. And even the resonance of the cap and like things like that. So you can experiment with that even in the, in the computer. So what I want to. All of this, the, the, the, the stuff from last week's episode with the technique, plus this week's [00:35:00] episode with a guitar cap and the room and Mike positioning and the whole rig and learning all the nuances of it. I feel like with those two things, we've covered the most important by like absolutely the biggest part of guitar tone, because everything else like your amp settings EEQ moves in the mix and whatnot, like all this stuff does not matter. That's that part of it is wrong. If the source is wrong and on the flip side, if the source is right, If your playing is great, you have a great instrument in your hands that you can play well and you know your rig, you know what it sounds like and you're intentional about capturing it and you pick the right mic and the mic position and all that, then just a simple rig with one mic, the right playing technique and all of that will get you so far, that like you can almost forget about anything you do in the mix, because, you know like, guitar tones are one of those few things that when they are right, they are right. And they're almost mix ready. It's not like with a drum kit where you have to do crazy things to make it work. If the guitar tone is [00:36:00] really right and the performance is great, it should just fit in the mix pretty well already. Um, so this is so important. I feel like with these two episodes, we've covered so much and I would have a lot less headaches when mixing other people's stuff. If they would know and apply all these things.

[00:36:16] Malcom: All the, all the, especially our previous episode, honestly. Um, and, uh, yeah, I'm, I'm so glad you mentioned that the, all of this experimentation is now magically possible in the digital realm as well. Um, I, I'm a big fan of the neural DSP stuff and they're, they've got a camp Sam on there that you can play with as well. And honestly, the first thing I do is, um, unlink the hat, the amp and cap selection, and start shooting out the different cab. And inside of the plugin. And then I start tweaking from there on the mic position. And, uh, and now Ben has got me on to external IRS. Um, third-party IRS loading those and, and that, yeah, that's a whole nother can of worms as well, but, uh, [00:37:00] but I'm learning more and more, every time I grab the, uh, you know, open up a different pack and I'm just like, I can't believe how different these different positions sound, same mic, same speaker, but different spot, totally different. 

[00:37:10] Benedikt: Totally. Yeah. And again, like, don't let this slow you down or like, I don't want to cause more headaches than you already have, or like, I don't want to slow you down in your creative process. Just if you're writing, if you're doing, pre-pro just pick a pre-set move on. Like, you know, but like when it, when it comes time to actually capture your final recording, You should, before you do that, like you should have spent some time learning the thing you're going to use. And instead of like trying 10 buying and trying 10 different things and throwing all your, all the mix that you have at source pick one that you really want to use and learn all you can about it. And if you can't, if you really still can't get the tone you want, then blend the second amp, then blend the second cap, use the second mic, whatever you need to do. But I really think. Buying all those things and trying all those things, but then not really trying [00:38:00] them instead of that, I would just pick one and really try it and really learn it and do it and do that when you're preparing so that when you get into the session, you kind of know what you're doing. You can intentionally reach for certain things because you know, you might know. Um, wrote it on your Cabo, you made a note on your computer, you know, the, the go-tos, you know, how to address a certain problem, a certain situation, how to approach it, how to solve a problem. And you're not, yeah, it's, it's not, uh, not a crapshoot anymore where you're not like, you're just hoping for.

[00:38:30] Malcom: Yeah, it really bears saying and probably repeating though in us that if, If you are thinking, you know, I think I need to add another amp or speaker or layer in two more mics, there's probably a problem. You should be really happy with one and adding another, you know, normally that's a sign that maybe you need to replace, not add, you know, like maybe you've just got the wrong tool in front of you and you need to be using a different tool [00:39:00] altogether. now that you know, that's not always the case, I've definitely done. Multi-campus setups that I've loved and multimeric setups I've loved, but usually it's like, all right, we can get by with this one mic, but I bet if we just added this, like here's a classic example, 57. on the cab close to center, like, okay. That is the sound of a guitar I'm so used to hearing. It sounds perfect. but I think if we added a ribbon mic a little further to outside, we'd probably get some more in there and all this up a little bit. Um, and, and just, you know, fatten it up that that's probably gonna work, but it's because it's like, okay, we got the tone, but we just want to alter it a little bit. We want to augment it. Autonomy. It's not like we need these two to get the sound it's it's like, I, you know, I probably could have done the same thing with the NICU. 

[00:39:47] Benedikt: Yeah. Um, yeah, exactly. So, yeah, totally, totally. Right. That's where these classic combinations I kept classic approaches come from, like the 57 at the Royal 1 21. For example, this is. Because of that, but again, there, and then again, [00:40:00] you know, just to prove your point there, that it's not necessary often. there are people like CLA and TLA, like the Lord, Lord, LG brothers, the mixers, the legendary ones I've heard. Uh, I think I've even mentioned it in the pockets before. I've seen an interview with Tom Lord LG, who said whenever he gets sent, uh, sessions with multiple guitar mikes on a single. He says, like, I'm just looking for the one that says 57 and then immediately delete all the, all the rest. So, 

[00:40:29] Malcom: Yeah. And I get it like, honestly, if, when I get sent multiple tracks to I, I quickly listen. And if, if I like, you know I'll probably find the 57 solo and then bring in the other ones, one at a time. And if it's like not an immediate, I'm stoked, it's a site that's gone. That's gone. Oh, this one kind of works. Okay. It'll live there for at least 30 seconds longer until I probably get rid of it too. But like, sometimes it works, but like if, if it doesn't work right away, it shouldn't be there. 

[00:40:55] Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. All right. So yeah, I hope you [00:41:00] can you have, I think you have plenty of things to experiment with now and things to think about. And, uh, most importantly, I hope it makes you think about how to utilize the things better that you already have and, uh, and get the most out of them before you move on to the next thing, because you'd be surprised how much you can do with just one simple rig, one simple mic, one SIM, whatever you have. Um, just trying to get the most out of that by playing and by learning the thing and by carefully choosing how you want to capture it with the least amount of gear possible, I think.

[00:41:30] Malcom: Totally.

[00:41:31] Benedikt: All right. Cool. Thank you so much for listening and see you next week. Bye bye.

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