Boxy sound with a 1x12 and SM57

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Thread: Boxy sound with a 1x12 and SM57

  1. #1


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    Boxy sound with a 1x12 and SM57

    I bought a Mesa Mini Rectifier slant 1x12 a while back and had a go at micing it with an SM57, but all I can get out of it is a very boxy sound, no matter where I place the mic.

    I'd assume it is just the nature of a 1x12, but I've seen plenty of clips of people using a similar set up and they don't have the same sound. All of these people always have great recorded guitar, though, and they all seem to use two mics (one is always a 57). For example, Petrucci in any of his recent Mesa vids is using a 1x12, Marco Sfogli in his The Reaction vid is using a Mark V 1x12 combo, and Ola Englund in his V25 demo vids.

    So, I don't expect to sound as good as these guys, and I appreciate they're using extra mics, but how come I'm getting such wildly qualitatively different results, no matter where I place the mic? Is it possible it's the room I'm recording in (it's very small), or is that not such an issue for close micing a cab?

  2. #2


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
    Is it possible it's the room I'm recording in (it's very small), or is that not such an issue for close micing a cab?
    Bingo.

    Very big deal.

    There's a bit of a delusion kicking round that being close to a source eliminates or reduces the room. Nonsense. You absolutely cannot escape the modal response of a room and the effect of near boundary reflections. They affect the sound at the speaker just as much as anywhere else in the room. The mic picks that up.

    Move the cab around, see if you can get a more favourable interaction that way. There are lots of guides on speaker placement, as in monitors, and the physics is exactly the same for cab placement.

    Also, given that your problem is currently with mids, 10cm thick of 60kg/m3 rockwool savages midrange and low midrange. It's near total absorption.

  3. #3


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    Cheers Mark. I'm in a 2.5x5m room here. Do you reckon that's too small to avoid this boxiness without that stuff, even if I reorient the cab to face longest-ways in the room? If so, I might just give up the ghost. I guess I should just give it a try. I'll also see if I've got long enough cables to stick them in another, larger room, just to hear the difference.

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  5. #4


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    Without a doubt fire down the long axis. Also, try raising it plenty off the ground. Start with about where it would be if it were the top speakers of a 4x12.

    Assuming you have a 2.4m, all axes of your room are 'harmonising' with each other (constructively interfering would be the correct term, but I figure that's less obviously comprehensible to most ). The 2.5, 2.4m are short enough that they will get pretty strong mid modes. I've attached a couple of calcs of the room modes.

    Definitely try the bigger room, and lots of different places in that room too.

    And, no, I don't think hope is lost. You should definitely be able to get a good result in there, it will just take some effort. You may have to be prepared to move lots of shit around. Arrange a room like I do: shit goes where it sounds best and everything else can fit in or fuck off.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Boxy sound with a 1x12 and SM57-untitled2-jpg   Boxy sound with a 1x12 and SM57-untitled-jpg  

  6. #5


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    You could get a Sennheiser 421 as well, those sound great on cabs. The 57 is that honky mid centric stuff that cuts through, the 421 is more hi fi sounding.

    It's not popular to say in the online google "how to mic a cab" era, where we all got our idea of the definitive idea of recording from posts on the Sneap forum circa 2007, but there are definitely alternatives to the 57. You could actually download Recab to get a pretty representative idea of how they sound and go from there.

  7. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    You could get a Sennheiser 421 as well, those sound great on cabs. The 57 is that honky mid centric stuff that cuts through, the 421 is more hi fi sounding.

    It's not popular to say in the online google "how to mic a cab" era, where we all got our idea of the definitive idea of recording from posts on the Sneap forum circa 2007, but there are definitely alternatives to the 57. You could actually download Recab to get a pretty representative idea of how they sound and go from there.
    As an owner of a 421: No.

    I love that mic, but it absolutely will not solve this problem. It's not about the flat EQ curve of the mic, it's the room modes ringing. Or so I very strongly suspect. Cant really know for certain without clips.

    Besides, spend what a 421 costs on rockwool and carefully place the cab and the mids problem will absolutely go away. Do either of those and he'll get a major improvement.

  8. #7


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    Here's what it sounded like when it was facing the shortest way (the first 50 seconds or so):



    And here's what it sounded like when facing the lengthiest way (not the best clip, but you get the idea). It was facing an acoustic guitar!



    The best sound I've got from the amp is by using two impulses with it, a 57 and a 421!

  9. #8


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    Yeah, it's the room.

    And 421s are amazing blended with 57s. That and toms is their purpose in life. Not so much on their own.

    P.S. I know you did that combo because it's what petrucci uses

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