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Recording How should you mike up a sax?

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,365
It depends why you are wanting to mic the sax - is that for live performance, studio-based high quality recording or home-based recording ?

For live performance vocal dynamic mics work well for sax, usually about 12 inches above the bell and pointing downwards.

For home recording, a self-contained mic with analogue to digital converter going into a computer works well. Your budget determines what to get, but several people on this forum are using Zoom digital recorders. For more money you can use decent studio microphones feeding via an audio interface into a computer running some recording software.

Pete has got a good article about studio recording of the saxophone here: http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-recording.html

Rhys
 
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dram

New Member
Messages
16
It depends why you are wanting to mic the sax - is that for live performance, studio-based high quality recording or home-based recording ?

For live performance vocal dynamic mics work well for sax, usually about 12 inches above the bell and pointing downwards.

For home recording, a self-contained mic with analogue to digital converter going into a computer works well. Your budget determines what to get, but several people on this forum are using Zoom digital recorders. For more money you can use decent studio microphones feeding via an audio into a computer running some recording software.

Pete has got a good article about studio recording of the saxophone here: http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-recording.html

Rhys
Thanks Rhys

It is for performance, I'm lucky enough to be in a blues band who are willing to put up with my efforts. I'll have a look at Petes article.

Dram
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,365
Thanks Rhys

It is for performance, I'm lucky enough to be in a blues band who are willing to put up with my efforts. I'll have a look at Petes article.

Dram
For live performance you also have the option of a clip-on microphone, either wired or wireless. This gives you the opportunity to move around (rather than having to stay close to a stand mic) and interact with the audience. I have got both wired and wireless clip-ons, but I now prefer a stand mic for several reasons:
  • The sound quality is a bit better with a stand mic (dynamic or condenser) for the money each mic type costs
  • I swap between tenor and alto and this can be a bit slow with a clip-on
  • I have had trouble with batteries failing mid-gig with clip-ons
  • You can back away from the stand mic to play quietly or try things out without the audience hearing
  • Clip-on mics pick up rattling noise from the saxophone keywork, although this isn't a big problem with a loud blues or rock band
  • Horn sections usually balance their sound better playing with stand mics

Rhys
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
541
Thanks, Thys. I have a Shure SM57 and a SM58. Is one preferable to the other? Jim
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Shure SM58 seems to be the universal work horse used by all the bands around here, i use one without problem, i did however get a Beta 57A which just wouldn't work with sax + our setup........BTW our trumpet player uses something different again (not sure what though as i never have my glasses with me) as the SM58 wont work for him.
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Sm57 is the better choice of the two.
Works great on sax for live purposes.
The mic can handle loud hits and works fine with trumpet and trombone as well.... And snare. However you may need to make adjustments to the high mids so that you don't get a to sharp sound. (Not referring to intonation but the sound)
 

dram

New Member
Messages
16
Sm57 is the better choice of the two.
Works great on sax for live purposes.
The mic can handle loud hits and works fine with trumpet and trombone as well.... And snare. However you may need to make adjustments to the high mids so that you don't get a to sharp sound. (Not referring to intonation but the sound)
Thanks to everybody who took the trouble to respond. Previously I've always been in bands as a vocalist so I have a number of Mikes I could use. I'll start with my 57 first and then give my PVM 38 (Its a 58 clone) a try. Once I've done that I'll report back.

dram
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,949
I hate using mikes on stands. I like to move about too much.

I have a SD Systems dynamic clip-on mike on a trailing lead. I've tried wireless but got fed up with it for a number of reasons (interference, drop-outs, sound quality).
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Nick, with your system do you have a lead going to a belt pack, then to the desk or do you simply have a lead running from the sax streight to the desk?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,949
Nick, with your system do you have a lead going to a belt pack, then to the desk or do you simply have a lead running from the sax streight to the desk?
The lead from the mic runs into a Digitech Vocal 300 then to a small monitor on a stand at ear height and then to the desk.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
I don't like being stood in one position at a mic on a stand as I like to be able to interact with other members of the band and jiggle around a bit (occasionally! ;} ) so I use a clip on Shure Beta 98 H/C - you will need phantom power though as it's a condenser mic. :thumb:
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
The lead from the mic runs into a Digitech Vocal 300 then to a small monitor on a stand at ear height and then to the desk.
Ah yes i remember seeing the monitor set up in a picture you posted last year when i was asking about monitors, interestingly since i left that band I've never needed a monitor either at prac or live...

Do you find yourself spending to much time messing about with the Digitech though? that could be a problem.

I don't like being stood in one position at a mic on a stand as I like to be able to interact with other members of the band and jiggle around a bit (occasionally! ;} ) so I use a clip on Shure Beta 98 H/C - you will need phantom power though as it's a condenser mic. :thumb:
Might give one of those a go, although being samwiged between Steve and Nath makes it very difficult to "jiggle around" (see my avatar)!
 
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