might go as much as five or six feet away,
depending on how loud it is and whether
it’s a big cabinet with four speakers in it.
You have to start at least 18 inches away to
pick up all four speakers equally.
Because you’re trying to capture the
sound of the entire cabinet.
Yeah, I think if you’re a guitar player, you
hear the whole cabinet—you don’t just hear
one speaker. I’m not saying that’s a rule or
that you might not get a very good result
just mic’ing one speaker. I’m just saying, as
a general procedure, I would want to make
sure that the entire rig is being heard, not
just one element of it.
You’ve also said you don’t use ambient
mics with guitar cabinets. Is that because
you’re pulling the single mic farther away?
That’s a slightly unfair generalization. I
have used ambient mics. I think, especially
if you’re recording guitar with a band, as I
often do, an ambient mic is just going to
reduce your separation. I think outboard
processing of room sounds is usually as
good and more versatile than using ambient mics. If you want a guitar to sound
like it is in a room, then put a room plug-in on it, y’know? It will sound good, and
you can control how far away that virtual
mic is, or control all kinds of stuff. But it
is a generalization that I don’t use ambient
mics. I just think you get more versatility
by not using them.
Would that hold true if you were overdubbing a guitar by itself?
Overdubbing is different. It all depends
on the style of music, as well. If the music
calls for an ambient sound, then I put an
ambient mic up. If it doesn’t and you want
the sound in your face, then I wouldn’t. I
think every case is different.
While we’re on the subject, do you recall
what mics were used on the Beatles ses-
sions you worked on?
I remember on Let It Be, Glyn Johns used
a [Neumann] U 67 on George’s cabinet. I
think Geoff Emerick favored the AKG D19
[on Abbey Road].
What about with Gilmour on Dark Side
of the Moon?
Probably a [Neumann] U 87, possibly a U
86. I’ve carried that through right to the
Did you use both of those together or
did you use them separately?
Just one or the other. By the time we
got around to overdubs, probably the
only mic I actually had set up would
be a [Neumann] U 47 so that we could
do vocals. I might have stuck that on
it, on occasion.
Just because it was convenient?
Yeah. The 47 is a great mic, and it will
record vocals and guitar admirably. I
would not see any reason to dig out an 87
or an 86 for the task. But, you know, the
guitars were recorded over the year that
it took to record that album. A lot of the