If you were recording a guitar amp in the studio, you wouldn’t just plop
the amp down, pick a random mic, then
point it in the amp’s general direction—
you’d try different mic types, more than
one mic, move the mics around, maybe
try the amp in a few different places, and
even place some room mics for additional
But that’s also what you need to do
with amp sims, which is why most sims
not only model different mics, but allow
different miking positions. IK Multimedia’s
AmpliTube 3 and Native Instruments’
Guitar Rig 4 have two very useful types
of miking options. Let’s put them to use.
AT3 offers two main mics—chosen from
the usual dynamic, condenser, and ribbon
emulations—so you can obtain different
mic “tones.” You can change the mic blend,
switch the mic phase, move the mics closer
to or further away from the virtual speaker,
and also move “sideways” across the front
of the speaker. Unlike real mics, you can
even put both in the same position.
Try this: Place a dynamic mic (e.g., 57)
on-axis, and a bit back from the amp to
give a direct, defined sound with a little
bit of “air” but not too much brightness.
Use an off-axis condenser like the
170, closer to the speaker and nearer the
speaker edge, to provide “body” and resonance.
Tweak the placement and blend
to optimize the sound.
AmpliTube 3’s miking options.
There are also two room mics, with a
choice of five different acoustical spaces.
Placement for these is somewhat more
limited, but you can change the stereo
image’s width (i.e., mics further apart)
as well as pan them in the stereo field
and reverse the phase.
Try this: For some “air,” select the
room mics’ Amp Closet space, reverse
phase, turn Width up full, and set Level
to about 9 o’clock.
Guitar Rig 4
You can add multiple mics on an amp
in different positions, but don’t use the
“Matched Cabinet” associated with a particular
amp—instead, insert the “Cabinets
& Mics” cabinet.
Guitar Rig 4 accommodates exotic miking setups.
Try this: Drag in a Split component,
and insert a Cabinets & Mics component
in each split. Set these up identically,
except for the Microphone Position
and Mic options. Now you can experiment
with different mics and mic placements
with a single amp. You can even
mic from behind the amp, but if you do,
you’ll probably want to reverse that mic’s
phase. Once you’ve nailed the basic sound,
use the Volume, Pan, Treble, Bass, and
Air controls to tweak the sound further.
The Split Mix section re-combines the
two splits, and provides a blend slider
between the two mics. You can pan the
two mics here for a wider stereo image.
More Is More
While sometimes less is indeed more, in
this case more mics give you more options,
more tone, and more ways to arrive at a
richer, sweeter sound. Try it!