In 2015, miking a guitar cab is beginning to become a lost art. Cab IRs are great for production and I love them because they’re incredibly easy to use to get a great sound inside the box, but still… there’s something so cool about putting a microphone in front of (and often behind or to the side of) a killer guitar cab. It allows you to experiment far more than a pre-set mic placement that you get with an IR pack, even if there is a good variety of them – the ability to move the mic or mics in very tiny increments makes for the best possible results and most flexibility.
And that’s just mic placement. There are so many options for speakers, cabs, kinds of mics, room sounds, etc, that you could spend all day just getting one sound for one song. Some might find that tedious – I think it’s a fun opportunity to get not just the perfect sound, but a unique, distinct tone that sets you apart from all the others.
So when I got the chance to do this Panama Guitars 1×12 speaker cab shootout, I was all over it. Panama doesn’t just build speaker cabs, they have their own line of speakers for those cabs, and each of them sounds very different from the others. It was my task to demonstrate the different sound of each, and so I used my format from the Overdrive Pedal Shootout we did and made it interactive.
Just hit play, watch my stupid intro, then use the menu on the right side to click between the same performance through each different speaker. It’s pretty surprising how big of a difference the speaker can make. I was also pretty impressed, normally I think 1x12s are not a good choice for metal but these little things held their own. They’re pretty deep so they have a bit more bass than some 1x12s. I enjoyed the fact that they had a convertible back, so you could just unclip a section of the middle and make them open-back cabs.
Each cab was miked with an SM57 in the exact same spot (I measured) for consistency, since moving the mic even a tiny bit can drastically change the tone.
Panama Guitars is a company that builds amps at the foot of an ancient volcano in the Panama jungle. They currently offer a couple different amps (including the Inferno we used in the video that I will be very sad to send back) and a variety of guitar and bass speaker cabs and speakers.
For more info, check them out at www.panamaguitars.com.
Also, you will bow to Speakerbot.