How To Record Electric Guitar With the N8

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA N8

The open and natural tonality of the N8 make it perfectly equipped to capture the full range of tone from an electric guitar amp. Whether you desire a balanced response from afar or pronounced low-end closer to the amp, the far-field N8 delivers a clear, comprehensive image of your electric guitar in the room.

Unlike the near-field N22, the N8 is a traditional far-field ribbon mic, meaning its ideal position to capture a source is from 12 inches away or further. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use it closer to an instrument, but its proximity effect can have a big impact on the bass and mid-range response. In many instances, its bass build-up will add warmth to the sound of your recording while in some situations, the proximity effect can be overwhelming.

Ribbon Mics
Recording With a Single N8

The N8 is a versatile mic that complements guitar amps from many positions; one method is to position it between 8 and 18 inches away from, and facing towards, the center of the speaker. Moving the N8 closer to the speaker increases low-end proximity effect, while pulling it back, or angling it away from the speaker lessens potential low-end build up. The pronounced proximity effect of the N8 typically necessitates positioning it farther than you would a condenser or traditional ribbon mics.

Blending With a Dynamic

A widely popular close-mic application of the N8 involves blending its signal with a moving-coil dynamic mic to gain a high-end bite in the mix. Place the N8 2 inches from the speaker’s center and align a dynamic microphone adjacent, remembering to correct phase between the two microphones before tracking.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to the N8 blended with an SM57:

Some engineers choose to treat both mics as one by panning them together. Others opt for hard panning both mics to their own ends of the mix, a method that adds dimension and depth to an electric guitar tone.

Listen to the N8 blended with an SM57 hard panned left and right:

Sample delaying one of the two microphones by roughly 20 to 50 milliseconds gives the impression of a larger room, achieving greater depth in a mix. Remember to ensure that the sample delay is short enough to avoid phase issues.

Listen to the N8 blended with an SM57 sample delayed and hard panned 20 ms:

Two Mics Staggered

Yet another technique for blending the N8 and a dynamic microphone involves positioning the dynamic 2 inches from the speaker’s center and the N8 roughly a foot behind it. The dynamic microphone acts as a focus mic while the N8 serves to capture the room and natural reverb. With this mic setup, you can use the same techniques as above to create a whole palette of sonic styles. Try sample delaying the N8 in this position to create a nice and natural larger sound.

Ribbon Mics


Listen to more audio examples of the N8 on electric guitar:

Learn How The N8 Can Improve Your Recordings

Tricks of the Trade
N22 vs N8: What’s the Difference?
Tricks of the Trade
Near-Field vs. Far-Field Ribbon Mics: What’s The Difference

Knowing the difference will change the way you record.

How To Record Drums With the N8