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Microphone Month

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Saxophone recording

Zrbailey

Hey guys,
I work at a university and we are going to be recording a saxophone/piano duo for a professional CD release. Was just wondering what mics you guys would recommend for the sax, we may just do a shoot out but thought I would see what you guys thought. Here is a list of what we have available and what preamps we'll use.
AKG-414
Nuemann TLM-103
SM-57
Sm-58
AKG 391
SM81
We will run it through at Presonus M80
On a Mac PowePC with ProTools 7 HD
Thanks for your input!
November 1, 2010 @02:04pm
Ted

You've got a pretty good selection of microphones there, and depending on the room, style of music and sax being used (and other factors) any one of them may wind up being the best choice for you. Personally I generally lean more towards a more neutral microphone, like the 414 you've mentioned, or a ribbon microphone, but I'd definitely do a shootout to see what fits your particular situation the best.
November 1, 2010 @02:26pm
TimOBrien

First of all: Which sax?
Soparino
Soprano
Alto
Tenor
Bari
Bass
Saxes go from very high range to very low range.
You wouldn't pull out the same mic for a soprano singer to a bass singer....
Overall the sax is very similar to the human voice and if you mic it as such you wont go too far wrong.
Mic placement and DISTANCE is everything.
Remember that the sound doesnt just come out of the bell but from all over the horn.
A good start is with the 414 about head-high and back four to six feet aimed at the middle of the horn.
You may have to move the mic around to the side to minimize the sound of the keys.
(can you tell yet I'm a sax player??)
Personally, I prefer a dynamic or ribbon mic on tenor or bari.
November 2, 2010 @01:30pm
Zrbailey

Thanks for the info guys, did the shootout the other day and decided we like the 414 best, it's what we thought would do the best. One question though we have two kinds of 414's, the C414 XLS and C414 B-ULS....we preferred the B-ULS but I was curious what the difference is between these two mics?
Again thanks for all the info
November 12, 2010 @03:01pm
DAS

The XLS is basically the updated version of the ULS. Same basic design, but there are a number of minor electronic differences. I don't remember the specifics beyond that.
November 12, 2010 @03:32pm
rhardman

I am a sax player. For Tenor, I use a Sennheiser 421 on the bell @ about 18" and a condensor at head height (414 would be fine, I use a small diaphragm) back about 3'
for bari: 421 or RE20 + condensor
the key clicks are part of the sound of the horn, but with the dual mic'ing you can pretty much blend them out.
my .02
November 20, 2010 @06:50pm
Zrbailey

First off Mitchel what sort of budget are you on? there are lots of mics out there and depending on your budget that can make a difference
February 2, 2011 @04:32pm
Applied Microphone

Have you considered the AMT LS Studio for Tenor, AMT Ta2 Studio for Soprano. AMT manufactures microphone in the USA for each individual instrument. AMT does not adapt microphones for the instrument, they are built specific for each instrument..
Hey guys,
I work at a university and we are going to be recording a saxophone/piano duo for a professional CD release. Was just wondering what mics you guys would recommend for the sax, we may just do a shoot out but thought I would see what you guys thought. Here is a list of what we have available and what preamps we'll use.
AKG-414
Nuemann TLM-103
SM-57
Sm-58
AKG 391
SM81
We will run it through at Presonus M80
On a Mac PowePC with ProTools 7 HD
Thanks for your input!
September 22, 2011 @10:50pm