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Microphones Sax Mics

JonTheReeds

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I'm looking for a mic that will suit an alto sax for a pub band

What things should I look for? I was thinking that clarity is not a top priority as there will be a lot of other noise going on, but it should be able to cut through and not feed back. Or am I off track here?

Should I go for wireless or wired?

Also, any good stories about saxes and mics?
 

rhysonsax

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Clip on to the sax or held in a stand ?

Do you need to change saxes (in a hurry or at all) ?

How much space will you have ?

What are you doing for monitoring / foldback (to hear yourself play) ?

In the first instance I would borrow or buy a decent dynamic mic and a stand. Mics intended for vocals generally work well for sax, so something like a Shure SM58.

I started out with an AKG 419 clip on mic which is wired - the sound is pretty good, but it does pick up key noise and the trailing cables are a bit of a nuisance. But because I swap between tenor and alto and because I use a SoundBack Perspex reflector for foldback, I changed to a dynamic mic on a stand. You can then back off from the mic, but you can't go on a walkabout among the adoring fans.

I did buy a neat little wireless clip on mic but the sound quality wasn't really good enough.

Rhys
 

thomsax

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SM 57, SM 58 and Sennheiser 421 are good. I don't like to use clip-on on bari.
 
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I use a JTS sax mic, the latest one Cx508w has some added Gubbins which apparently masks keynoise etc
I have to say I,m very happy with mine, I only reason I would. Change mics would be if I decided to go wirelessy
At around £65 pounds on Ebay I think its fantastic value
 
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Nick Wyver

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It rather depends on how much money you want to spend. FWIW I use an SD Systems clip-on.
 

JonTheReeds

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Thanks Rhys

I hadn't thought of those mics, but as I already have an SM57 and SM58 I'll give those a go. How still do you have to be to make sure you get a consistent sound?

Generally we don't have monitors, it's normally a case of standing closer to the house PA. On the whole there's not a lot of room and definitely no adoring fans

This is quite new to me. Although I've got good experience gigging as a guitarist I'm relatively naive regarding sax

Does anyone ever have problems with feedback?

Clip on to the sax or held in a stand ?

Do you need to change saxes (in a hurry or at all) ?

How much space will you have ?

What are you doing for monitoring / foldback (to hear yourself play) ?

In the first instance I would borrow or buy a decent dynamic mic and a stand. Mics intended for vocals generally work well for sax, so something like a Shure SM58.

I started out with an AKG 419 clip on mic which is wired - the sound is pretty good, but it does pick up key noise and the trailing cables are a bit of a nuisance. But because I swap between tenor and alto and because I use a SoundBack Perspex reflector for foldback, I changed to a dynamic mic on a stand. You can then back off from the mic, but you can't go on a walkabout among the adoring fans.

I did buy a neat little wireless clip on mic but the sound quality wasn't really good enough.

Rhys
I take it the word you're looking for isn't 'music'?

As an ex-guitarist I quite happily abuse plank twangers :eek:)
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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No feed back problems as long as you don't stand in front of a speaker
ideally that's the answer- idiot sound men, attempts to blast out just to be heard over loud guitarists etc are quite capable of producing feedback howls without standing anywhere near a PA stack.
 

rhysonsax

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I hadn't thought of those mics, but as I already have an SM57 and SM58 I'll give those a go. How still do you have to be to make sure you get a consistent sound?

Not very still - get the mic set up a bit above the bell of the sax, pointing down a bit and away you go. Don't get so close to the mic that you bash it and keep the sax within say two feet of the mic.

A Perspex reflector on the mic stand, reflecting the sax sound up to your ears helps a lot.

Good luck.

Rhys
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,303
Don't get a SM57/58 , not a fan but hey loads are but not me !!! for mic stand mics theres no better I've found than a EVRE20 or the cheaper EVRE320, there wonderful sax mics. I use a Samson wireless 77 airline for my show/function bands which I'm still loving it.
 

Jamesmac

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1,872
EV. RE320 Dynamic Cardioid. For Recording.
AKG. C519 ML Clip on & Batt Pack B29L. Great for Live. A bit too much treble for Rec.
 

rhysonsax

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Some interesting suggestions here.

I am looking for a decent mic that I can use both for home recording and for performance - so something robust and not too large. I am tending towards a dynamic mic and either RE20 / RE320 or Sennheiser 421 / 441 or the Beyerdynamic M201TG, which is a bit smaller and cheaper. There are also some neat looking small condenser mics, such as the Rode NT5, but maybe they are brighter and/or more delicate.

It's a shame that prices in Europe seem to be significantly higher than in the USA.

I have heard that the RE320 is a bit bright for saxophone - do you think that is true and is there anything easy that can be done about it ?

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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Yes, I saw those interesting reviews and they got me thinking and GASing for a good microphone !

But I think that the reviewer may have been influenced by the spec sheets of each mic, rather than necessarily trusting his ears. It would have been interesting to have "blind" listening tests. The mics he thinks are bad, sound pretty OK to me and any differences he describes are really quite subtle.

He also hasn't included the RE20, which is a very highly regarded mic for saxophones, and he isn't complimentary about the slightly cheaper version that he does test, the RE320.

I didn't realise just how many different types and models of microphone there are.

Rhys
 
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Jamesmac

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1,872
Some interesting suggestions here.

I am looking for a decent mic that I can use both for home recording and for performance - so something robust and not too large. I am tending towards a dynamic mic and either RE20 / RE320 or Sennheiser 421 / 441 or the Beyerdynamic M201TG, which is a bit smaller and cheaper. There are also some neat looking small condenser mics, such as the Rode NT5, but maybe they are brighter and/or more delicate.

It's a shame that prices in Europe seem to be significantly higher than in the USA.

I have heard that the RE320 is a bit bright for saxophone - do you think that is true and is there anything easy that can be done about it ?

Rhys

My RE320 has what I would call a neutral meaty sound, blowing about 6ins from the Tenor bell. Turning a few degrees has less edge. But either angle, I wouldn't say bright.:)
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
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3,303
Yes, I saw those interesting reviews and they got me thinking and GASing for a good microphone !

But I think that the reviewer may have been influenced by the spec sheets of each mic, rather than necessarily trusting his ears. It would have been interesting to have "blind" listening tests. The mics he thinks are bad, sound pretty OK to me and any differences he describes are really quite subtle.

He also hasn't included the RE20, which is a very highly regarded mic for saxophones, and he isn't complimentary about the slightly cheaper version that he does test, the RE320.

I didn't realise just how many different types and models of microphone there are.

Rhys

Loads of sax guys use the EV mics, why ??? the great. Love my EVRE320, best mic I ever had. Been recording also on mine for a year now. Keep trying condenser mics but they go straight back in the draw.
 

altissimo

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Personally I don't like the sound of any of those sound clips on that website, I would've spent more time finding the best mic position for a recording, but since it's mainly an article about live mics, rather than recording mics I suppose they had to put the mic close to the bell as is the norm in live situations.
Mic position will have a great effect on the sound you record - pointing the mic straight down the bell will always sound the brightest, but if you move very close to the mic, the proximity effect will increase the bass response of a lot of mics. Less so with the RE20, which was primarily designed as a radio dj's mic and has little proximity effect so the timbre of the voice doesn't change if you speak up close to the mic. It's also ~£360 new. The RE20's popularity in broadcast studios as a rugged mic that can handle anything probably explains why you often see them in TV clips of sax players
I've used M201's on other instruments and they've been great, but not had one for sax.

Mic-ing for live sound tends be a matter of feedback avoidance and getting as much signal down the mic with as little spill from the other instruments onstage. SM57's and 58's are good at these things, but they're not exactly high fidelity - I've never liked them, but it's usually all that's available. I've ceased caring what my sax sounds like if there's a PA involved. Getting paid, getting fed and getting a good night's sleep are my major ambitions when touring, but that's another subject...

The Beyer M69 and M88 are also good mics, the AKG C1000 is disappointing

If you're looking at secondhand M201's, some of the older ones may have Tuchel connectors rather than standard XLR's, but adaptors are available. This happened to one of my friends who bought a pair of M160 ribbon mics and had to get adaptor leads. Tuchels look like XLR's but are smaller, so check before buying. I think it's the M201N that sometimes had these connectors, probably for German broadcast use. The M201TG is ok.
 

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