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Why Using Less Mics is Better

July 16, 2017

It’s no secret, there are hundreds of articles on the internet which say that you should use less mics to achieve the result you want. Most notably, this idea was arguably conceived in recent times by Graham Cochrane of Recording Revolution. The thing is, we don’t want to believe using less is better, because we see videos on YouTube of famous engineers that put a million mics up on a guitar cab, or putting up multiple mics on multiple cabs, or putting up multiple mics on a drum kit… the list goes on.

Why is this bad? Well, first and foremost, it detracts from the original objective; to record a song and capture a good performance. Finessing the placement of multiple mics on a guitar cab to have the perfect balance of each other is very time consuming.

There are so many variables that are more important than using multiple mics; by using more mics, the process becomes more confusing. So many different tones can be achieved through amplifier choice, guitar choice, pedal choice, mic preamp choice and more, without ever reaching for another mic, or even positioning the one microphone you’ve put up differently.

The big advantages of using one mic over several is that it forces you to commit to sounds then and there. Your projects will become a multitude of well thought-out decisions which makes things easier when coming to mix. The other huge reason is phase relationships between the mics; using one mic means it is impossible for the variable of phase ruining your tone. If the tone you get is lacklustre with one microphone, it’s on you. You should be able to achieve pretty much the tone you require using one microphone.

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