Neumann U87 for guitar cab close mic???

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Wizard of Ozz, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Anyone have any luck with a Neumann U87 as a close mic for recording a guitar 4X12 cabinet live in the studio?

    I know these are used a lot for vocal mics and room mics... several feet back from a cab... but what about as a close mic? I know you need to activate the PAD so you don't blow it up... but any experiences appreciated.
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    If someone wants to give me a U87, I'd be happy to try it and let you know. :)
     
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  3. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Me too. :banana:
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Kidding aside, I'd LOVE to help you, but I don't own a U87 and I doubt many people on this board do either. While I'm sure it would work fine on a cab as a supporting mic along with your favorite flavor of SM57, there are also a LOT of good mics out there that do the same for less than the ~$3k one of those will set you back, so I don't know if it would necessarily be my first choice as a cab mic.

    Also, the pad just cuts the output of the signal going from the mic into your preamp, it doesn't make the capsule any less susceptible to damage when placed close to a high decibel source. Again, for the price, I might still try to go with something maybe a little more tailored for the application and able to handle the abuse (besides, while it's been ages since I've tried one, I actually haven't ever really loved the sound of a LDC on a guitar cab).
     
  5. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    You can use it close up on a guitar cab, but keep in mind that a condenser mic has a wider cardioid pattern than a dynamic (due to the different capsule designs), so you'll pick up more room sound/reverb. Dynamics are generally more appropriate for tight, metal guitars, but give it a shot and see if you like it.
     
  6. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I have used U87s often in the past, primarily for vocals, acoustic instruments, or room/ambient mic'ing. They have a mice sibilant bump at the top end, so maybe not the best thing for high-gain distortion (can easily capture too much fizz). Really nice for acoustic and clean though, especially when you are recording a guitarist with a 'duller' acoustic or clean sound.

    Since these mics are not primarily intended for high SPLs, I personally would avoid jamming any $1k+ large diaphragm condenser mic right on the cone of very loud guitar amp. If for some reason I did decide to close mic a loud amp with one of these, I would definitely use the pad. Every recording situation is different, but in the loud amp scenario, I could easily envision positioning the mic 6-8 inches away from the cone and/or off-axis, allowing some air between the mic and the cone to help diffuse some of the brittle highs and proximity weirdness. You will probably need to test moving it around a bit before you find the ideal position.

    Then I would probably stack it with something else close mic'd on the cone, like a SM57, or a SM7 if my U87 tone was still on the brittle side, and mix to taste. As always, keep an eye out for potential phase issues in the multi mic scenarios.

    And post some clips here when you're finished!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  7. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

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    LDCs in general are very finniky on guitar cabs, or high volume close miced applications. I like to supplement a bass cab mic(s) with an LDC, but other than that, it wouldnt be an immediate choice.
     
  8. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Thanks for all the feedback... the impetus for this idea was from this article:

    https://www.soundonsound.com/people/metallica-one-classic-tracks


    Where Flemming talks about micing the guitar cabs with both a Shure SM7 and Neumann 87 right next to each other. To quote:


    "were each recorded with a Shure SM7 placed at a 45‑degree angle close to the cone of the best‑sounding speaker in the [Marshall] cabinet, as well as a Neuman U87 right next to it."


    I want to borrow one from a friend but obviously don't want to damage it either.

     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Honestly, this is more interesting to me, considering how much attention the Mark IIC+ got thanks to this album:

     
  10. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I don't play this style of music, but this is one of my favorite guitar albums of all time. I loved the dryness of it, mixed totally unlike any major label album before it (or after, AFAIK). And as always, the Mesa Boogies sound killer!!!
     
  11. pipelineaudio

    pipelineaudio SS.org Regular

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    Assuming you had an amp coffin or chunk chamber type of setup, you could certainly do it, but just like when using them for kick drums or close mic'd trupmet/sax, you gotta know that you are substantially wearing that capsule out. If you really want a condenser falvor on a cab, there are cheaper ways to do it. When we're talking close micing guitar cabinets, we are talking a tone where even a milimeter or degree change of a mic to a cab is going to have INFINITELY more effect than what type of mic you are using.
     
  12. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Glenn Fricker has been using a Roswell Delphos which he claims is comparable to the u87, to record heavy guitars for a while now. I don't know anything about wearing the capsule out. My audio professor said that if you're going to use a condenser for something loud, keep a backup for more normal volume level applications.
     
  13. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    That still a $900 mic.

    I have an Audio Technica AT4047. It's a reasonable approximation of a U87. They've gotten more expensive in recent years, but I've been able to find them used in good condition for $350-$500 with shock mount on Ebay and Reverb. At that price, you can throw that bad boy in front of a loud cab without too much concern.
     
  14. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    U87s are fucking killer on tight midrange high gain amps, and also on a whole bunch of tight clean amps. They're ok on big low end amps, as long as you use the high pass filter. You also need a tight room sound in general anyways when working with LDCs and loud sources

    I'll pull out my harddrive, I have a few sessions in different styles with some guitars that use U87s. I'll try and bounce out some stems and get some of the mixdowns so you can have a listen.
     
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  15. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I've done SM57 and AT4040 both on the grille in similar setup as Fleming's, works great. I've only done U87 on blues amps which were I'd say moderate volume, works really nice on clean or dirty crunch kind of amp. For heavy gain I've used them a bit away from the amp in more of an ambience setting usually to let leads bloom. For close miking I've used AT and Shure condensers and they perform well. Didn't break any of them while in use :)
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I don't know what's more shocking to me, the fact we have members with hands-on experience with a U87 on a guitar cab, or the fact we have members who mic amps, period. :lol:
     
  17. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    This is what I wanted to hear. Thanks. :eddie:
     
  18. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    I prefer the old ways... :sharpie: :playboy:
     
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  19. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zi4iprb3sl0n2o7/AAATES0nafapxH4ljngsMSF_a?dl=0

    Ok, so here's some tones for comparison. This tune is from my bands album that'll be coming out a bit later this year. I picked something with just rhythm tones for now. So there's 3 files.

    1 - Raw sounds

    This is 1 DI with all its related reamping. For most of the album for rhythms each part was double tracked, then the DI was reamped through both a Dual Rectifier into a Recto 4x12 and a 5153 Mini into the same cab. Each time the cab had 2 mics. The recto we used a Royer 121 and an SM57, and the 5153 we used a U87 and an SM57. In this you'll hear 5 different sounds.
    A) Starting at 0:10 = All sounds combined (this starts the track)
    B) Starting at 0:24 Mesa with a Royer 121
    C) 0:30 Mesa with an SM57
    D) 0:36 5153 with a U87
    E) 0:42 5153 with an SM57

    0:48 the pattern as above repeats
    1:12 the pattern repeats with the blend coming at the end

    2 - Rough Processing


    Same pattern as above pretty much, except this time I threw some VERY rough processing on it as I didn't mix this particular track (Stef Exelmans from ATMOS studios did) and don't actually have anything other than base version reaper with me atm.

    3 - Mix

    Final Master version in context with actual processing done
     
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  20. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I followed the ExCuria link in your sig to a couple of tracks on Bandcamp. Really dug it.

    You guys still play?
     

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