Being the guitar special this month, I thought I should look at one way in which you can record your guitar in the home studio without a microphone being used directly, but I still want to talk about microphone technique – if that makes sense.
Many guitarists are getting on board with the latest bit of kit out of Germany, the Kemper Profiling Amplifier and with a rack mounted version about to land, we will see a lot more guitarists using this in the live environment.
But how is microphone technique important with a plug and play style profiling amp that doesn’t need a microphone for you to record a track?
This lies within the profiles that are stored within the unit. Many users of the Kemper are happy to work with the factory preset profiles or to grab those that are being readily shared by other users around the world online. But a lot of Kemper users are making the most of their unit by profiling each and every amp and cabinet combination they can get their hands on.
This is where microphone technique is important and choice of microphone can play a big part in the overall sound.
As each profile is reflective of not only the amplifier, but the speakers and the microphone used, it is possible to build up
multiple profiles for each amp with different speakers and different microphones. You can very quickly increase you array of profiles by using two or three different microphones with each amp and cabinet combination to give your overall guitar sound varying tones.
We all know that an SM57 is going to sound wildly different to a U87 when recorded and so the same goes for capturing your profi les. But, the important thing is to consider your microphone placement with a little more detail.
As the Kemper pushes your amplifier in the profi ling stage to ensure it captures the full dynamic range, you need to be aware that
your regular microphone placement may not give you the best result. It is important to test the profi le once it is completed to compare it to the original amp tone. You may have to move the microphone a little further back and repeat the process until the two are more closely matched. Spending a little extra time, and I am only talking about a few minutes here, in the profi ling stage will give you much better results each and every time you just want to plug your guitar into the Kemper and get recording straight away. A problem solved before you get to the mixing stage is much easier to deal with than one that has to be dealt with after you have finished recording and don’t quite have the tone you are after.
This is not just the case when using a Kemper profiling amp; the same mentality should be applied to setting up you microphones in any recording situation. Get it right to begin with and you will save yourself a lot of trouble in mix down. And, after reading all of that, if you are scratching your head, going “what on earth is a Kemper?” maybe you should get down to your local dealer and check out what this beast of a machine can offer you! by ROB GEE