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SamSystems IM12 review | A dream come true or FOH engineers?

The Integral Close Miking System

While there’s an increasing number of cabinet simulators to help guitarists achieve fairly realistic mic’d up sounds for live or studio use, a real microphone is still the most popular and effective method of extracting a guitar amplifier’s tone and transferring it to a PA or a DAW. 

In the studio, if time allows, guitarists and engineers often experiment with different mic types and placement. However, for live work, time is a luxury and those rare, expensive studio microphones are kept in the safety of their flight case while sound engineers often deploy tried, tested and expendable standbys in front of guitar amps – usually a battered SM57 that’s done a few gigs too many. 

At close range, microphone placement is a big variable to consider, with audible differences from a centimetre or two of movement, so all it takes is a small nudge to turn a great guitar sound into one that’s mediocre. It’s something that can easily be fixed in a recording studio, but on a live stage it’s a last-minute repair at the desk, leaving the guitarist with an onstage tone that’s less than ideal and resulting in a less involved performance. 


“A consistent sound, night after night, makes a FOH engineer’s job so much easier – if you travel with the same PA your channel will never need to be touched and all your crew need to do is plug in a lead.”


So consistency from one night to the next is very desirable and now there’s a way to achieve it with the new IM integral microphone system from SamSystems.