There are guitar sounds that you just cannot get by a direct injection (DI box) or amp simluator.

The sound, volume, distortion and even cone break up quality of a real guitar amp’s are characteristic of a particular musician’s playing and no direct injection technique will ever replace this!

It’s worthwhile getting one of those small but high quality amplifiers which are a lot less bulky to carry around, and open up various possibilities to mike up for effect For a start, due to the proximity effect of cardioid type microphones, the closer you bring the mike to the speaker, the more bass you will get, and viceversa.

To modify the high end, put a magazine or sheet of cardboard across the front of the speaker. The thicker the screen, the mellower the sound you’ll get.

By using an acoustic mix of direct and reflected signal, you can change the quality and tone of the sound.
Put the amplifier on a hard reflective surface such as a concrete or parquet floor. You can now move the microphone into various positions, to achieve differing, phase shift type tonal changes. First point the microphone at the centre of the cone and move the microphone in and out as previously for adjusting bass response.
Then, point the microphone at the hard floor at a distance of about 16 inches away from the speaker, and move the microphone up and down vertically.

Face it against or into a hard wall, and move the mike around. You’ll be surprised at the variations of sound that you’ll achieve. These techniques employ acoustic rather than electronic equalisation, so you can further trim the sound when you’re done with your experiments.

If you have an open back combo don’t forget to try mic up from behind the amp.

The different sounds you’ll get are ideal for overdubbing, say a guitar part played several times with different tones achieving much fuller and nicer sound.

Guitar Man

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