Mic Placement on Guitars

Son of Caladan

Metal Lover
Jan 14, 2020
I've been working on my mic placement skills for over six years, and I still just don't get it. If I follow conventional advice and place the SM57 on the dust cap edge of a V30, I get a lot of high end that often sounds spiky, depending on settings, and always sounds thin, as I'm capturing a lot of high end relative to other frequencies in that position. The center position (center of dust cap) presents similar challenges, but with even more of all the stuff I don't want (fizzy high end dominating the frequencies). If I move the mic further out towards the surround, things get beefier and better, where things finally start to resemble something like what I'm hearing in the room, but I also lose presence the further out from the center I go and the resulting sound is thicker in the midrange but muffled/cloudy. The further out I place the mic, the more the mids and low mids sound like what I'm hearing in the room, but the overall sound is too dark. Basically, no matter what I do, I end up with a less-than-professional result (I am going for something like the guitars on Piece of Mind). I wonder what your guys's thoughts on this are. Why is recording natural sounding guitars, more like they sound in the room, such a big challenge? Do you have any advice?
Have you tried the Fredman technique using 2 SM 57 in 45 degrees?
Yes, I have. It was a small improvement, but nothing significant. What I think is going on is, I noticed that when I have the speaker at about ear level, the there is a ton of treble/fizz coming out of it, which explains why the recording sounds thin and fizzy. I was able to somewhat remedy the problem by turning down treble to zero and dialing in just a little presence. It seems strange that such extreme EQ settings would be necessary to get a barely recordable tone out of a Marshall (DSL20), but maybe it's normal. What do you think?
Remember the mic is just capturing the sound coming from the source, so if the source is noisy or has too much treble, that's what you will get. Start with everything in "0", and then dial the tome from there, when you are pleased with what you hear, mike it and record it ;-)