For an SM 57 just feel for the location of the speaker through the grill cloth, identify the center, and place the mic about halfway between the center and the edge. Step back, listen and make slight adjustments both in closeness and left/right to suit your taste.
Unless you're talking about recording, I didn't find many opportunities to mic a ZBest for an onstage performance given the output of the beast, other than outdoor gigs.
I use two mics, but not small diaphram dynamic mics. I only use large diaphram condensor mics. I start about 3" of cone center and then move in or out from center depending on if I am looking for brighter or darker tone.
Here is Gary Hooker's rig (Brad Paisley) with dynamics
Here is Brad Paisley's rig with large diaphram Shure KSM-32's (and Zac Childs)
By the way .... currently on tour with Loggins & Messina are $20,000 of large diaphram condensor mics on stage ... on all the amps.
The problem with miking the ZBest, or any other cabinet that derives its character from two dissimilar speakers is that to use the most common placement techniques requires the use of two mikes/pa channels. This is not a luxury typically available to most of us, much less the use of high end ribbon mikes.
You can try to decide which speaker you prefer to mike but I think that loses the magic of the cabinet.
I have tried miking the slot with a single mike but found that the best placement to get the full sound of the cabinet was to place the mike(sm57a) about two feet from the front of the cabinet aimed at the "Z" to try to center the field between the two speakers. This approach also avoids any on axis harshness. In some live situations using this approach you may need to shield the mike from the sides to reduce bleed in.
The other trick is to do what a lot of the old blues players often did: Set your vocal mike so that it points toward your rig, then when you get ready to solo step aside so that the vocal mike picks up your rig, boosting your level thru the PA and getting the full effect of the cabinet.
Post by guitarboy02451 on Jul 27, 2005 3:06:28 GMT -7
Myles & Zane, Thanks for the pictures. According to Myles picture of the white Z-best, the placement is between the Z and the sides. This will be for recording and not live sound. I'd like to get the sm just about on center with the cone.
Gstan brought up a good point. However after recording some samples, whatever speaker is on the bottom of the cab seemed to replicate the tones that Buddy gets in his sound clips. I suppose that I'll have to take the back off the cab to determine which speaker is on top or bottom. Obvoiusly micing the bottom speaker will probably produce more bass tones on the recording.
Now it's just fine tuning and finding the sweet spot
I would definitely recommend taking the back off just to check. I thought for the longest time that my v30 was the bottom speaker in my cab but it was actually the g12h. On a side note, I took that v30 out and put in the Greenback that was just sitting in my closet... I think these to are so much better together.. at least w/ my srz65.
Guitarboy....Not sure if you are asking "me" what Mic that is....but if you are....actually I'm not sure. I see you are in New Hampshire and this was at the Electric Cave in Portsmouth. Jim Tierney owns it and has a million Mics in there.....(I forgot to ask him, but I will) Tone was nice this last time in there using that one though.
Post by guitarboy02451 on Aug 11, 2005 12:19:50 GMT -7
Thanks Myles. I think I've found my sweet spot with the mic. It's dead center between the Z and the floor. I realize that the bass ports are to the left, so the mic really isn't center on the cone, rather a little left of the cone, but the recordings seem to come out really good. I can't complain about what I'm getting on the tracks.
I notice some folks use large diaphram condensers. I though it was bad for the ribbons in those mics to go right up agains the speakers? I have a Audio Technica 4033 that I could use, but haven't out of fear of daming the mic.
I realize this is probably the wrong place to aske, but since I see pictures in the post, I figured I'd ask.
Post by G'OlPeachPhan on Aug 12, 2005 7:06:45 GMT -7
I use an AT3035 with a 2x12 with mismatched speakers all the time (not a Z-best, but a similar 2x12, front-ported design). A couple feet back produces a nice blend of the speakers. I also find it works well to use the large diaphragm condensor a couple feet back, and an SM57 close mic'd on the bottom speaker. That way you can mix in the amount of punch you want from the 57, and blend in the ambient combination of speaker tones from the ambient mic.
Also, this may sound stupid, but did you try using a flashlight shining through the grillcloth to located the speaker centers? When I'm recording (at home) I do this and then stick a small piece of tape on the grillcloth to mark the center of the speakers. You could also use a black permanent marker to make a couple small dots on the grillcloth marking the centers (you can't seem them unless you're right next to the cab).
Since you're talking about recording, I've had good luck (I'm relatively new to recording - only been at it for a couple years) finding good mic'ing positions by picking up a set of those Xtreme isolation headphones... They allow me to be the guitar player, recording engineer, and producer all at the same time, because I can be right next to the amp moving the mic around while playing a bit, and I can hear an accurate representation of what it's going to sound like when tracked because of what's coming through the headphones (without much or any of the amp sound bleeding in). It works really well for trying to find the right blend of tones from a pair of speakers, trying to find the right blend of a front and rear mic'd open back cab, etc.
Looking at pictures or placing a mic visually is a good way to get an initial placement, but I really like to use the headphones to fine tune the sound as it can change pretty drastically moving the mic a very short distance one direction or another. Like I said, I'm just a rookie, so the more 'cheater' type options to speed up the process of find good mic'ing position I can get, the better.
As a final side note, when I had the time to gig more, I used to bring my AT3035 along as part of my guitar rig, and would ask the sound guy to use that to mic my amp, and I'd help him quickly find a good spot. Granted, I was playing small bars and such with my band, but I never once had anything but a positive reaction from the sound guy when making this request. Most of them were excited that somebody from the band actually cared enough to help with a detail like that...
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