Remember that Seinfeld episode “The Close Talker”?

It’s about this guy who stands WAY too close to the people he’s talking to.

So awkward…so funny.

The thing is, just about everybody knows not to stand so close to people. We know that being a Close Talker is weird and uncool.

But when it comes to miking up a guitar amp, a lot of us are “Close Mikers.”

But is that the only option? An SM57 shoved right up next to the grill?

Should we be experimenting with different placements?

Check out today’s quick video from my studio:

And if you’re the kind of person who likes to get better at recording, sign up right now (before you forget) for my Recording Electric Guitar class. Here’s the link:

www.UnderstandingRecording.com/electric

P.S. This is a live, 4-week class. Included with your “tuition” is a free critique of one of your recordings. I normally charge $50 for these, so that’s like finding a 50-dollar bill in your pocket right after signing up. Come join us. We’d love to have you.

  • Letzter Geist

    i’ve been a closer miker for a long time. just shove the mic up, eq it later. maybe move the mic around; closer to the edge, closer to the middle, angled up, angled out, etc etc. but always no more than 3 inches from the speaker.

    the other day, i was recording a demo, and i was loving the tone i was getting just sitting back in my chair. so, i took a LDC and put it about 4-5 feet back from the amp, slightly above pointing down towards the sound, and it worked wonders. full spectrum, beautiful chunky. another technique to keep in my bag of tricks. hardly had to do any eqing in the mix, besides for a 80hz roll off, 2db high-shelf boost around 7k, and a 3db cut around 600 for the vocals to sit nice.

    http://soundcloud.com/letzter-geist/news

    gibson firebird-> coffin case blood drive-> epi valve jr-> 12″ custom speaker cab-> behringer c01 LDC-> ART Pro Channel-> Tascam US1641

    • Funny how backing up really does make mixing a lot easier. 🙂

  • Josh A.

    This is a good suggestion. I had an AKG 414 condenser for my VOX and decided to try a big more roomy sound by backing it off a few feet. It worked wonders, especially with that particular mic. Gave me a great tone and just the right amount of natural reverb, without being so roomy I’d have problems altering in post.

    Love your vids, man.

    • Anthony in Manchester (UK)

      When I saw the headline “The Close Miker” I thought it was going to be about ruining vocal takes my singing too close to a mic. As a beginner I never even thought about mic placement and distances and spaces and I used to sit a vocal mic on a desk stand. My idea was that this would make it more convenient to do quick vocal takes while i learned the capabilities of my DAW because I could do it all without leaving my chair. I rarely, if ever, got a vocal take that I liked. I’m guessing the proximity to the mic plus the reflective surfaces ( desk, computer screen, back wall ) meant that I wasted a lot of time on BAD recordings before I realised that getting off my chair to stand at a mic in its own space instantly made recordings more musical.

      • That totally makes sense, and I think we’ve all been there. 🙂

    • Thanks Josh! I love the 414.