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Microphones best condenser mic for alto sax?

Juju

Senior Member
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280
Location
London
There is no such thing as "the best" condenser mic, there are so many factors to consider... For example individual sound, room sound, type of music, other equipment used. Personally, I'd always prefer a ribbon mic (for example a Royer 121 or a Coles 4038) to a large diaphragm condenser because I don't like the accentuated bright top end. Having said that, we recently got a Flea 12 http://www.flea-microphones.com/mics_vintage.html - It has a beautiful smooth, silky top end - I absolutely love it!
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,363
Location
leicester
My Oktava MK 319 suits my Martin alto well or you could try an Audio Technica AT 2020
Microphone position can affect the sound as much as choice of mic - point it straight down the bell for a bright, modern sound, overhead for a more airy sound or in front level with the bell or to the side for a less edgy tone. I prefer the mic to my right hand side, about waist height, pointing upwards a bit.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
I had a SE 1100A that was nice.Sold it when I got my EV RE320 though,great sax mic.I do want a SE 4400A though.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
There is no such thing as "the best" condenser mic, there are so many factors to consider... For example individual sound, room sound, type of music, other equipment used. Personally, I'd always prefer a ribbon mic (for example a Royer 121 or a Coles 4038) to a large diaphragm condenser because I don't like the accentuated bright top end. Having said that, we recently got a Flea 12 http://www.flea-microphones.com/mics_vintage.html - It has a beautiful smooth, silky top end - I absolutely love it!
So how much was the Flea 12
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,025
Location
London
I started a recent thread around here about budget microphones.
I added this to the collection
http://www.nohypeaudio.com/lineaudioproducts.htm
and it is a great companion for my nohype ribbon. I never thought to a small diaphragm on the bass clarinet, but it works great.

The ribbon is more coloured, the CM3 more defined. If I had to step up on microphones to record a saxophone, the Coles would be my choice. Probably no condenser would equal its quality at that price range.
EV RE20 (similar to davesaxboy's choice) is another great option. Wonderful for live too.
 
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daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
I started a recent thread around here about budget microphones.
I added this to the collection
http://www.nohypeaudio.com/lineaudioproducts.htm
and it is a great companion for my nohype ribbon. I never thought to a small diaphragm on the bass clarinet, but it works great.

The ribbon is more coloured, the CM3 more defined. If I had to step up on microphones to record a saxophone, the Coles would be my choice. Probably no condenser would equal its quality at that price range.
EV RE20 (similar to davesaxboy's choice) is another great option. Wonderful for live too.
Yea the EV are great sax mic's.Lots of warmth.I do fancy the SE 4400 and I want a ribbon mic.Just so I've got 1.Courtney Pine uses the SE 4400 and the top end SE ribbon mic.Thats over a grand so out for now.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
Would the Neumann TLM-193 be suitable for alto sax?
Neumann are great mics so any would be a good choice.Depends what sound you want.Thats when it gets say.Other more advanced mic geeks might give you better help.All midrange condenser mics will give you a nice sound,each different but then theres EQ and mixing to get to grips with.I've been recording a lot the last year and every couple of weeks I stumble on a little tweak here or there and I get atad better at the mixing,EQ thing.
 

Juju

Senior Member
Messages
280
Location
London
Would the Neumann TLM-193 be suitable for alto sax?
I would not agree that all Neumanns are great/equally suitable for sax. Unfortunately the Neumanns they don't make anymore these days are arguably the best ones. There is just no modern Neumann that's anywere close to a U47 or U67, the U87 is pretty much an industry standard and a very good and reliable mic, yet I don't think it can beat a good ribbon or valve mic on sax. Btw, it's not just about the mic, the preamp makes a massive difference, too.
I would recommend to audition the mics you are interested in- record yourself and listen what they sound like - and choose the one you like most. That's what we did the other day- we narrowed it down to 4 mics and auditioned them together with two of our own mics, same room, same preamp, and we ended up with the Flea...
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,025
Location
London
That's what we did the other day- we narrowed it down to 4 mics and auditioned them together with two of our own mics, same room, same preamp, and we ended up with the Flea...
Were all of them C12 inspired?
 

Juju

Senior Member
Messages
280
Location
London
Were all of them C12 inspired?
No, not at all. We had an eye on a Flea47, but we also tried the Flea 12, a Mojave (they are made by Mr Royer) and a Royer 122V (a valve ribbon mic, absolute killer!!).
Surprise, surprise, we didn't like the Flea 47, the top end was just too harsh, and to our surprise the Flea 12 absolutely smoked it for sax. Incredibly smooth, silky top end and nice fat enough midrange. The real killer was actually the Royer valve ribbon mic, but we had also brought our 121 for comparison and they are quite similar. Since we already have more nice ribbon mics than we can possibly use in a recording session we went for the Flea 12. I loved the sound of the Fleas through BAE 1073 or Neve 1073 preamps. It really changed the sound a lot (at home we use an Audient and a UAD Apollo for the non-ribbon mics). I can recommend both the BAE and the Neve, they are different, so it's down to personal preference.
 
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