Why would you use a microphone on a speaker?

January 3, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

2 comments on “Why would you use a microphone on a speaker?”

  1. Paul, I am looking forward to some of your DSD (I presume) recordings. Do you think you could pull off recording the Takacs String Quartet? They reside right there in Boulder. One of the best in the world.

  2. Loudspeakers used to amplify electric instruments (guitar, bass, Hammond, electric piano) are not remotely flat or uncolored, even though they are the direct descendants of the 10 inch and 12 inch speakers used large radios and record players in the 1940’s. The speaker is an essential part of creating the right sound. For example, frequency of a 12 inch speaker doesn’t normally extend beyond about 5 kHz, which is a blessing considering the distortion being produced by an overdriven amplifier. Also, the linear excursion of guitar speakers is much less than for a modern hi-fi speaker of similar size, and the distortion created as the voice coil reaches the edge of the magnetic field is another contribution.

    In a concert, engineers will use a microphone placed directly in front of a guitar speaker. In a recording studio, the engineer will normally add a room microphone, so that what we hear on the recording is a mixture of the close microphone and the room. This would be lost with a direct connection.

    For many guitarists, the Celestion Greenback speakers with cones manufactured by a supplier called Pulsonic are the Holy Grail. Sadly the Pulsonic factory burnt down in 1973.

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