Learning the correct placement of two microphones on a guitar amplifier is easier than you think. In this video, Grammy award-winning recording engineer, Steve Lamm, will show you some simple tricks to experiment with for optimal results.
Why Two Mics on a Guitar Amplifier?
To begin, you might be asking yourself why are two mics better than one on a guitar amp? The reason is simple. You can achieve an overall richer tonal range using this method. This is due to capturing two areas of the speaker that have subtly different outputs, which results in a combination of blended sounds you would not have achieved otherwise.
Combining Two Microphones
Firstly, when you place two microphones in front of the guitar cabinet, try using a modified stereo micing technique called X/Y. Instead of using a true X/Y position, where the microphones are at a 90-degree angle, it is best to change it up slightly. There is some room for play here and still have the phase be right on, because the diaphragm of the mics are so close together and the sound is arriving at them at the same time. Thus, your phase will be optimal.
Second, try placing one mic in the center over the round piece of the dust cover—then another one off axis. You can move them either to the right or to the left of the center of the speaker. The sound differential result will be obvious—the closer to the center, the brighter; the farther from the center, the darker.
Third, for another interesting affect, take the second microphone and move it farther away from the first one. There won’t be any negative consequences as far as phase relationships are concerned. The mics just need to stay the same relative distance to each other from the speaker.
Try these tips and techniques and remember, experimentation is key.