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Microphones What mic to choose?

Polobic

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Hi! I would like to buy a mic for my alto/tenor sax and I really don't know what to buy. I have seen many mics and pick ups but i don't know what would be the best option for me. I would like to use my mic to plug in pedal effects to my sax , mainly in a live setting. What is better for me, mouthpiece pickup or bell mic? Any model suggestions?

I hope you can help me!
Thanks
 

Jeanette

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Welcome to café sax, do pop over to the doorbell section and introduce yourself :)

Jx
 

Nick Wyver

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Mouthpiece pickups are the easiest if you want to plug straight into a series of guitar pedals. However, you have to accept that your sax is not going to sound like a sax. If you use a clip-on or stand microphone then you need an effects unit that will accept an input from a low impedance microphone or a matching transformer before your rack of guitar pedals.
I like my sax to sound like a sax so I've got an SD Systems clip-on mic that I plug into a vocal effects unit (Digitech Vocal 300) although I do occasionally use a matching transformer to plug into a Memory Man and Cry Baby.
 

aldevis

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I like my sax to sound like a sax so I've got an SD Systems clip-on mic that I plug into a vocal effects unit (Digitech Vocal 300) although I do occasionally use a matching transformer to plug into a Memory Man and Cry Baby.

Can't you go straight from the Digitech? Doesn't it have a line output?
And confess: you made up "Memory Man" and "Cry Baby".

No "Screaming Wife" (Because Memory Man forgot to take the rubbish out)?
 

Ads

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The Cry Baby is THE classic Wah pedal and the Memory-man a classic delay - you`ll love the name of Electro-Harmonix's most famous pedal - the BIG MUFF ..... LOL .
 

Nick Wyver

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Can't you go straight from the Digitech? Doesn't it have a line output?
I probably wasn't very clear. I use the guitar pedals instead of the Digitech rather than as well as. The Digitech is a bit fussy about the electrical supply and some pubs round here have supplies that are not exactly up to par. The Digitech has a mic output (the one I use - into a powered monitor), a stereo jack out (might be line level - I'm not sure) and a headphones out.
 

aldevis

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I probably wasn't very clear. I use the guitar pedals instead of the Digitech rather than as well as. The Digitech is a bit fussy about the electrical supply and some pubs round here have supplies that are not exactly up to par. The Digitech has a mic output (the one I use - into a powered monitor), a stereo jack out (might be line level - I'm not sure) and a headphones out.

How is your full line when you don't use the Digitech?
 

Nick Wyver

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How is your full line when you don't use the Digitech?
Mic into inline transformer (XLR in, jack out) to Memory Man to Cry Baby to DI to Monitor to PA desk. Other pedals can be slotted in.
 

aldevis

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Which inline transformer do you use?
 

altissimo

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the problem I've found with clip on mics is the tendency to pick up structure borne 'clonking' noises from the keywork - the mic element has to be completely isolated from the body of the sax to avoid unwanted noises being transferred through the clip and the body of the mic. My Sennheiser claims to do that, but it doesn't...
 

Polobic

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Thanks for your reply! Can you tell me were i can buy a mouthpiece pickup online? Canada or USA?
 

aldevis

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http://barcusberry.com/product.cfm?ProductID=8
They were the first making something similar, and this seems to require no drilling.

The Rumberger K1x (i.e. at howarth.uk.com)is said to be good, but I would never drill a hole in my saxophone neck. If you really like the Pasoana, you can have one shipped to the States.

Expect keywork clanking
 

DavidUK

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This might be useful: http://blog.shure.com/choosing-a-saxophone-microphone/

Also, this on pick-ups: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?218152-Clip-Mic-Vs-Pickup-for-Amping-amp-Effects

And, although rather old, this one on positioning: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?490-best-sax-mic/page3

If you're flying around a stage I guess you don't have a choice other than something attached to the sax, but from the little research I have done recently, a mic on a boom stand seems to be best if you can remain in one place while playing.
 

altissimo

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Pickups on the neck, mouthpiece or reed will never sound very good, but if you want to go for the vintage Eddie Harris, Ian Underwood 'electric sax' kind of tone, then you could try a Shadow SH 4001 pickup that sticks to the reed before you start ruining perfectly good mouthpieces by drilling holes in them.
I'm sure someone used to do a piezo film transducer that clamped under the reed, or between the reed and ligature, but I can't find it.

some info on the Varitone used by Eddie Harris -
http://www.academia.edu/1351972/What_Happened_to_the_Electronic_Saxophone

and info on the old Barcus Berry pickup - http://www.todayaq.com/media-and-music/songs-03653.html

if you want a more natural sounding clip on mic, then the one's by DPA, SD Systems and AMT are a better option
 

Colin the Bear

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Of course if you're not bothered if it sounds like a sax you could go for one of those wind generator thingamabobs.
 
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