Tutorials

Amplifying the sax, need help with mics

ProDigit

New Member
Messages
13
Ok, so in the other thread I made about my new sax, I pointed out that it was not very loud in a band setting. In fact I can hardly hear myself playing, and for a man playing by ear it is very important that I can hear myself.

I already use a sax reed #3, so pretty hard for beginners standards, and my sax has plastic (between domed and flat) resonators inside, so I'm about as loud as I can go!


I currently have a Behringer B208D monitor, which I use as my main monitor to amplify the sax with, and a Shure mic; in the likes of an SM57 if I'm correct.


I don't particularly like the sound, but it's better than no sound at all. I'm looking for a clip on mic so I can move around.
The problem is that many clip on mics are pretty expensive (+$130).
Wireless is nice but way too expensive!
I was looking for something sub $100, preferably sub $50, that still sounds good!

I'm looking for one that does not need phantom power to operate; because I'll plug it straight into the monitor for now, the monitor does not have phantom power.


Which mic would you suggest (preferably one available from one of the major websites like ebay, amazon, musiciansfriend, musicfactorydirect, ...)?

A second question would be towards those who have their own effects processors,
some prefer the sax to have a hint of reverb. Which effects processors do you use?

I've been looking around at some stomp boxes, and some portable (mobile) effects processors from Behringer, but none has a reverb, eq, and compressor in one.

Some guitar multi effects processors do, but I don't know if they are any good for saxes, because guitars generally don't have that bright +2kHz frequencies.
A bass multi effects processor stomp box would be an alternative. But so far, I've not found many effects processors for saxes.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,966
I'd stick with the 57 if I were you. You certainly won't find anything under $50 that's as good. You could always gaffer it to the bell if you want to move around. (No, I'm not kidding - BTDTGTT).

A lot of sax players use the Digitech Vocal 300 as an effects processor. My only gripe with it is that it doesn't have a decent wah function.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,419
I'd stick with the 57 if I were you. You certainly won't find anything under $50 that's as good. You could always gaffer it to the bell if you want to move around. (No, I'm not kidding - BTDTGTT).

A lot of sax players use the Digitech Vocal 300 as an effects processor. My only gripe with it is that it doesn't have a decent wah function.

NWSW

(Nick Wyver Speaks Wisely)
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
SM57 all the way. You could try drum kit mics (make sure they're 'dynamic' to avoid the phantom power issue)...

To hear yourself, get some earplugs. The sax resonates through your teeth, so you can hear yourself if you partially block everything else out..! Try these...
I've not tried them myself but there are changeable filters so you can adjust the band's volume.
They also help prevent tinnitus, which is a bonus!

Nick
 
Messages
509
I'd stick with the 57 if I were you. You certainly won't find anything under $50 that's as good. You could always gaffer it to the bell if you want to move around. (No, I'm not kidding - BTDTGTT).

A lot of sax players use the Digitech Vocal 300 as an effects processor. My only gripe with it is that it doesn't have a decent wah function.

Are you still using one Nick?
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,845
A SM 57 for me to. And that's it! No effects processors, pedals .... just into a PA. A straight sound.
 
Messages
509
Yup. I've been a bit conservative with it lately - using it mainly for reverb and the pedal as a volume control.

I have been throwing out huge amounts of hints to my other half and the kids that i would like one for my birthday, so hopefully i will have one at the weekend yipee!
 

Martin

Member
Messages
212
To hear yourself, get some earplugs. The sax resonates through your teeth, so you can hear yourself if you partially block everything else out..! Try these...
I've not tried them myself but there are changeable filters so you can adjust the band's volume.
They also help prevent tinnitus, which is a bonus!

Nick

I bought a pack of these ear plugs after losing an argument with other band members to reduce sound levels on stage.

They reduced the ambient noise level very well, but as soon as I played a note my sax, my own sound seemed to bounce around inside my head. Mechanical noise of my sax was amplified too. On very low notes, I had a slight rattle on one of the keys (now fixed) which wasn't usually a problem, but with the ear plugs in, it overwhelmed the note I was playing. I found them impossible to use.

Martin
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
I bought a pack of these ear plugs after losing an argument with other band members to reduce sound levels on stage.

They reduced the ambient noise level very well, but as soon as I played a note my sax, my own sound seemed to bounce around inside my head. Mechanical noise of my sax was amplified too. On very low notes, I had a slight rattle on one of the keys (now fixed) which wasn't usually a problem, but with the ear plugs in, it overwhelmed the note I was playing. I found them impossible to use.

Martin

You get used to it...! Seriously though, if you use a filter with a lower dB rating more of the ambient noise will get through and balance up. I actually use a very posh pair of moulded plugs with interchangeable filters (though I really only use the -15dB ones).
That sax noise is always in your ears when you play, it's just that the ambient noise drowns it out. Industrial plugs block everything except the resonance in your skull, divers' plugs are a bit better but don't uniformly remove all frequencies. Musicians' plugs are supposed to but don't really in practice, though they're better. It's a bit of trial and error I suppose until you find a setup that suits.

Nick

P.S. if it's too loud on stage it sounds terrible out front in my experience... But no-one listens to the sax player on this!
 

Martin

Member
Messages
212
You get used to it...! Seriously though, if you use a filter with a lower dB rating more of the ambient noise will get through and balance up. I actually use a very posh pair of moulded plugs with interchangeable filters (though I really only use the -15dB ones).
That sax noise is always in your ears when you play, it's just that the ambient noise drowns it out. Industrial plugs block everything except the resonance in your skull, divers' plugs are a bit better but don't uniformly remove all frequencies. Musicians' plugs are supposed to but don't really in practice, though they're better. It's a bit of trial and error I suppose until you find a setup that suits.

Nick

P.S. if it's too loud on stage it sounds terrible out front in my experience... But no-one listens to the sax player on this!

Hmmm...perhaps I need to persevere with them.

Martin
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
This is another nitemare for us bendy metal blowers,not being heard,not hearing ourselfs,the guitar and singer who always are far to loud.This is our world.SM57 rule.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Are you Shure? :)))

Shure am;} i also think the Alpine ear plugs are great and well worth the money,ya only get 1 pair of lug holes so look after them.Also making your own sound back reflector helps alot also.We need as much help as possible.
 

Col

Member
Messages
153
I use one of these http://www.sax.co.uk/acatalog/info_467.html
and started my own band with MY mixing desk.
Only way to make yourself heard - be in charge of the controls (same strategy as the TV remote).
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top Bottom