When recording electric guitar, it is a fairly common practice to use two different microphones blended together to produce a good tone. The most common electric guitar mic pairing would most likely be a Shure SM57 and a Sennheiser 421. These are both incredibly abundant microphones, and they are easily accessible to even the smallest budget studio. There are many ways to mic any sound source, but a very good starting position is right up on the cloth of the cab, aimed at one of the speakers.

  • Microphone choice
  • Microphone placements
  • Tracking

It is best to pull the 421 back about ¾ of an inch to align the phases of the mics perfectly. You should start by aiming them together at where the dust cap in the center meets the cone or the driver.

This will have the brightest sound placement. From there, move the microphones towards the outside of the cone for a darker sound. As always, move your mics until you are satisfied with what you are hearing, microphone placement is a huge part of the sound you are capturing.

Now at the board, you will have a fader for both the 57 and the 421. This lends you the flexibility of tone, allowing you to mix in more or less of either mic to taste. Once you are happy with your tone, record a take of the two microphones together. Pan both mics this take hard to one side and overdub another pass, this time pan both microphones hard to the other side, and listen to the nice wide stereo sound you produced!

*If you have access to a DI box, you can insert it between the guitar and amp and record this signal to it’s own track. This will allow you to save the performance completely dry and grants you after-the-fact flexibility, allowing you to reproduce the performance on your own.*