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Clip on microphones

Discussion in 'Saxophones & Accessories' started by Jazzgirl, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Jazzgirl

    Jazzgirl New Member

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    Hi guys
    I am new to the saxophone and new to this site but I was wondering whether anyone could give me advice on saxophone clip on mikes. It doesn't need to be a radio mike but I'd like one to clip on the end so I can wander about the stage a bit while I play!
    A good quality one that doesn't cost the earth would be very weelcome.
     
  2. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    Check out SD Systems mics - available on sax.co.uk I think - really high quality and good sound for a reasonable price. The only reason I'm not still using mine on stage is that I now use a Shure wireless kit!
    For a cheaper option, AKG clip-on mics are pretty good, though they need Phantom power from the mixing desk, because there's no belt pack.

    All of these are high-quality pro spec mics, you won't need to upgrade ever.

    Hope that's helped!

    Nick
     
  3. daveysaxboy

    daveysaxboy Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower

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    The best around for the price is the new SAMSON WIND INSTRUMENT clip on mic.About £70.00 for the mic and you go straight in to the desk.The wireless AIRLINE SAMSON mic and receiver cost about £240.00 but just get the mic and a mic lead and your sorted for £70.There really good.Got a great sound.
     
  4. Mamos

    Mamos Member

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  5. daveysaxboy

    daveysaxboy Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower

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    That's the 1's.I use just the samson clip on mic with a mic lead to the desk in my wedding band,as do the trumpet and trombone player.My mate has the full samson airline wireless unit and the great thing about them is you only have your mic on the bell and no power pack around your waist or attached to the sax.You just clip the mic on and your free.
     
  6. SteveK

    SteveK Member

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    I used a Sennheiser 609 for a while. A great mic and it has the advantage of not requiring phantom power. Large mic - like used on a stand - have a large diaphragm and it's movement is enough to generate a higher enough signal to feed into a preamp (e.g. a mixer desk or PA). Clip-on mics generally can't generate a strong enough signal as they are very small and thus have a small diaphragm. Therefore clip-on mics are usually condenser type mics and they need an operating voltage of 48volts that is generally supplied from a mixer desk or seperate power unit.
    This gives a better signal to noise ration and thus better quality.
    The 609 however managed to get around this and have produced a diaphragm mic that is sensative enough to not need power. No doubt that there are others around as well. It's well proceed at around £120 although the clip is not easy to use.
    It worked well for me as I was using a setup that did not provide phantom power.
    However that has changed as I am now working with an effects set-up that supplies +48v to mics so I've upgraded to a Audio Technica Pro35. It was about £180.

    All of the above mics are all great as well. The Samsom looks to be exceptional value - particularly seeing as it's wireless as well.

    Steve
     
  7. Jules

    Jules Formerly known as "nachoman"

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    warning- in 2012 the good hm government are selling off the airwaves for a quick buck. a large proprtion of radio mike equipment is going to be unuseable past this date. http://saveoursound.wordpress.com/
     
  8. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    The reason I don't use this system (and I know people that do) is threefold -
    1) the sound is ok, but noticably not as good as Shure/AKG/SD Systems, and the capsule is not so well designed - feedback is much less likely with a better system.
    2) the mic clip is not very stable - if you're dancing like a **** on stage like I have to do, because the full weight of transmitter and battery is all on a little clip it may fly off or snap (a trumpet player pal had three snap - he now uses the Shure system) - you're not that free!
    3) you're stuck on one frequency - if the local mini cabs use the same one you'll be getting orders through, or if there's more than one radio onstage you have to be careful (the Shure is selectable)

    Davey's right though, the best sound will always be from a wired mic - if it's balanced you get no loss of quality, which will be inevitable with a radio system.

    Cheers,

    Nick

    P.S. I put off going for a radio because of the new radio legislation, but it's all still wrangling on, and I figured that since I use it every week I'd probably need a new radio kit by then anyway...
     
  9. daveysaxboy

    daveysaxboy Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower

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    Agree on the lot but for a deal the Samson is fantastic.I have a TRANTECH wireless system that cost me £500.00 about 12,13 years ago and served me well in my club,holiday pro day's but now only use the Samson clip mic straight to the desk for my pro wedding dates and will only use a SHURE SM57 mic on a stand for my soul,blues pub band and for jazz gig's.For me you cant whack a Shure SM57 OR SM58 Mic on a good old mic stand.
     
  10. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    Definitely - ideally the SM57 cos it's more directional!
     
  11. Mamos

    Mamos Member

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    OK
    If I was going to get a SM57 to record myself with audacity and to improve the sound quality during my on-line lessons (practising a bit more might do that though) What else would I need to buy to make it all work?

    mamos
     
  12. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    Just an adaptor/wire to plug the XLR lead from the mic into the PC (mini jack?) should do it.
    To really get good sound quality you'd need a pre-amp like in a mixing desk between the two, and a hi-spec soundcard in your PC too.

    As for the online lessons - the sound is 'interpreted' by Skype, and compressed down before it's sent, so real-time sound quality will never be good.
    Should get a reasonable mp3 recording though, and you could send that down the wire to be played at the other end with no appreciable loss of quality.

    Any good?

    Nick
     
  13. Mamos

    Mamos Member

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    Not bad

    I have heard told that the compressed down skype thingy can make it sound like you are playing bum notes and play havoc with your timing:rolleyes:

    mamos
     
  14. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    I allow for that!!
     
  15. Mamos

    Mamos Member

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    Is there a way of turning the signal from a normal mic into a digital usb signal or would I be better off buying a usb mic in the first place

    mamos
     
  16. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    There you have me - probably best off with a USB mic - otherwise you've got to either get a USB mixer or a pre-amp or something.

    5 seconds on the internet reveals this, Samson CO1U, which seems like a good bet - reasonable price for a high quality sound, record using Audacity or whatever, good frequency response, polar pattern looks sensible (seems to be fairly directional, less so than an SM57 but more than your average condenser, though I'm no expert).

    Your other option is a USB recorder (keep thinking I should get one of these) like this Yamaha Pocketrak - handy for noting things down, and you don't have to fire up the PC of course.

    Or just carry on using the normal pc condenser mic...

    Nick
     
  17. kevgermany

    kevgermany Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    Or get a Zoom H2, which'll act as a recorder and USB mike.

    As far as I know the SM57/8 requier phantom power, so keep this in mind if you go that way and want an adapter.
     
  18. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    ..the Zoom's good, but another £60...

    SM57/8's shouldn't need phantom power - they're dynamic mics.

    Both the Pocketrak and the Zoom have mic/line inputs in case you do get a dynamic mic and want to use that too, or want to record from another source.

    Nick
     
  19. JasonC

    JasonC Member

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    I have a Shure PG27-USB which is pretty good, no other devices are needed to get it working, just plug and play. All you will need a mic stand though because you can't clip it onto the Sax, I haven't found that to be a problem so far though.
     
  20. SteveK

    SteveK Member

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    Two possibilities:
    1) Get a USB microphone. Advantage: no other equipment needed, Disadvantage: Mic is not much use for other purposes and you cannot mix with other instruments - if you needed to that is. If you upgrade a better mic later the USB one will not be re-useable for other purposes.
    2) Get a USB A to D interface. This plugs into a USB port (usually self power off the port) and then allows you to connect mics, guitar etc and Midi instrument into your PC. They usually provide phantom power (if needed) and also have the advantage of giving you high quality audio out. For example you can connect speakers or head phones to monitor. They also act as a preamp. A low cost interface starts at about £100 and they go up to what ever you want to pay. For the majority of situations through a £100 device is just fine. You can use your existing microphone as they have balanced XLR or jack inputs.

    A USB microphone will have the A to D converter inside it as USB ports do not understand analogue. This is fine but the A to D conversion quality will be medium to low - probably no better than build in A to D converter in a standard PC or MAC. If you are going to compress and send over skype then this really is not a problem but if you planned to use the setup later to do home recording then option 2 is the way you want to go. Option 1 will give you a ceiling that will limited quality and functionality if you want to go further.
    I have a an E-MU 0404 USB device which cost me £80 on ebay (about £120 new) but there are plenty more on the market that do exactly the same job.

    Steve
     
  21. JasonC

    JasonC Member

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    As mentioned above, you could just buy a normal XLR connected mic and then a USB to XLR adaptor such as this one, it is going to bump the price up though, especially if you want to buy a decent mic at the same time.

    I looked into all this a few weeks back and I decided to go for the USB option because it was the easiest to setup and use. I could have gone for the XLR to USB option but for the extra expense I decided that it wasn't worth it as I probably wouldn't use the XLR connection anyway. You can monitor through the mic I bought which I think is essential for home recording onto backing tracks etc, and used with Audacity or something similar you can do some pretty good stuff.
     
  22. Mamos

    Mamos Member

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    I think the best thing for me at the moment would be a zoom or similar or a samson g trak

    I will have to start saving the pennies

    If and when I start to perform on stage I will have to look into getting a grown up microphone

    mamos
     
  23. saxnik

    saxnik Member

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    Sax players shouldn't have to provide their own sound equipment!! It's loud anyway, unless the band you're with is overbearing, in which case they should provide something for you!
    OK, I know I've got my own mic outfit, but that's because I can use it in all situations, my own band or other peoples', and it saves having to stand in exactly the right way to play into a mic on a stand...

    Complicated, innit?

    N
     
  24. SteveK

    SteveK Member

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    Quite right Saxnik! I insist on an arm chair and a cup of tea on stage in addition to amplification.
    Steve
     
  25. kevgermany

    kevgermany Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    You're perfectly correct, was getting mixed up. Thanks.
     
  26. Jazzgirl

    Jazzgirl New Member

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    Thanks guys for all your help. Its all rather interesting and a bit of a minefield isn't it. Am thinking a wired one rather than a radio mic - the samson one sounds good. Happy blowing!
     
  27. Lockjaw

    Lockjaw Member

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    I've had an AMT Wi5 for a year or two now, for anyone wanting a top-notch clip-on radio mike it's brillliant - the tiny self contained mike/transmitter clips on the bell, easy to switch if you're doubling, great sound and virtually impossible to make feedback. But it is a franky stupid price!
     
  28. Linky Lee

    Linky Lee Member

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    I use an Alesis io/14 Firewire interface into the computer. This allows me to plug in a dynamic or condenser mic as it can provide phantom power. It also has headphone monitoring direct from the unit or I can set the audio to route through the computer and monitor from the computers speakers.

    The other benefit of the Alesis is that it can record 2 tracks simultaneously. This means I can plug into some music software and for example, record vocals/guitar onto separate tracks whilst playing live and then being able to edit them separately with EQ/compression and so on. - This may not be something you're looking for but definitely a useful feature to have.

    The unit itself didn't cost an arm and a leg and provides me flexibility at home with my recording.

    The mics I use are a Rode NT1-A - a pretty decent quality condenser mic for the price and for live I have an AKG C-519 clip on mic which does a fantastic job. I think the AKG is around the £150/180 mark and a solid investment if you plan to do a reasonable amount of live work/recording. It's quite small and discreet, easy to clip on (and hasn't fallen off yet) and gives a great quality sound too.
     
  29. Tobes

    Tobes Member

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    Just thought I'd share my recent recording experience using a USB mic I bought on Amazon for £40 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_s...=Samson Go Mic Clip On USB Microphone&x=0&y=0). Suffering from lack on space and finances I decided to give it a go - primarily for recording vocals and saxophone. Currently my studio consists of laptop with Logic Pro, Sony Studio headphones and the USB mic (usually clipped on to music stand) - good for being about to carry all in one go if you need to find a quieter space!

    Pretty impressed with the results. So far have found the best results for recording sax using the -10db switch on the side and standing about 1 meter from the mic. Too closed and it picks up the the key noises too much.

    Anyway, here are the results:
    Tenor: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/30652037/TenorBluesModel_v1.mp3
    Alto: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/30652037/Alto Sax Ballad Improv V1.mp3
     

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