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Guitar Amp Miking Techniques: Shure SM57, Sennheiser 421, Royer 121

Hi, I’m Matt Gordon, here at 1092 Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today we’re going to talk about guitar amp micing techniques.

So for today’s session, I’m going to be using this 1964 Silvertone 1484, or Twin Twelve, as it’s also known.

I’ve got three mics up: A Shure SM57, which is a dynamic mic, I’ve got a Sennhesier 421, also dynamic, and I’ve got a Royer 121, which is a ribbon.

Now, important side note, just because I have a ribbon up here being the 121, that doesn’t mean that you can just go throw any ribbon on a guitar amp. I don’t want you to blow up that ribbon and then send me the bill.

So be careful when doing that.

But anyways, so I’ve got these three mics up on this amplifier, and the reason I’ve got it up is because it’s going to give me a lot of choices, and it’s going to give me a lot of different flavors and tones and sounds that I can capture in the session.

What I don’t necessarily like to do, and what I don’t do or don’t advocate for is just because you have three mics up, doesn’t mean you should record three tracks to Pro Tools.

What it does mean is you can make decisions and buss things and bounce them all down to one track. You have the capability of recording on three, but as an engineer, I think I find it more satisfying to record something to tape the first time.

In this scenario, the 57 is going to provide that real bite of the high end of the signal coming out of the amp, the 421 is going to give you the mids, that crunchy mid sound, and the Royer is going to fill up the body of the sound.

So let’s take a listen to each mic individually, and then we’re going to listen to the blended signal at the end.

[Shure SM57]

[Royer R121]

[Sennheiser 421]

[3 signals mixed]

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