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Microphones which mic?

El Robo

Member
Messages
55
Location
Malvern, Worcs
Which mic would you recommend for recording the sax? I'm using a shure sm58 at moment as it is the only type I have to hand. I've used the shure sm57 for guitars before, would this be suitable for sax or is there a better option? I am looking at spending around 150 quid. If you have one that would make me sound like lester young i'm willing to stretch the budget :)

El Robo
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,406
Location
Daventry
When I use a fixed mic for gigs, it's an SM57. Not sure about its advantages over the SM58 - probably for rock/soul stuff it works well, but the SM58 always sounds a bit more rounded and mellow. Never recorded with one though - whenever I've been in a studio, I've played into a vocal studio mic which prob costs several times your budget!
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Which mic would you recommend for recording the sax? I'm using a shure sm58 at moment as it is the only type I have to hand. I've used the shure sm57 for guitars before, would this be suitable for sax or is there a better option? I am looking at spending around 150 quid. If you have one that would make me sound like lester young i'm willing to stretch the budget :)

El Robo
Hi El Robo,

The Shure SM57 will be fine for the sax, as to whether there are better options? Well, not necessarily better, just different. A condenser mic will generally be more detailed sounding and airy and hopefully have a certain quality to it but, it will also pick up all the imperfections of the room you are recording in like the computer fans and so on. Some condenser mics have switchable or variable polar patterns which adds a bit of the fun to the whole thing but generally a cardioid pick up pattern is the most common and probably the most useful.

What do you currently plug your mic into? The dynamic mic you have doesn't need phantom power but if you decided to go for a condenser mic then you will more than likely have to give it 48V phantom power for it to work.

Just a thought, but I'd say that the SM57 (or SM58) is a good solid dynamic mic, there may be some better dynamic mics out there but it's a good mic. So if you were thinking of spending some money, a condenser mic would be a good one to add to the collection as it would offer you something different.

Makes I have personally used are, Shure, Rode, SE Electronics and Audio Technica.

I'm also interested in an Sontronics STC-2 but I've never tried one, if I win the lottery I'm getting one of these Brauner :w00t:

Best wishes,

Chris
 
OP
El Robo

El Robo

Member
Messages
55
Location
Malvern, Worcs
I plug into a mixing desk that has phantom power so that will not be a problem for a condenser mic. The SM58 is a great mic and does have, in my opinion too, a warmer sound that better suuits my wifes voice. At the moment a warm sound is what i am trying to achieve so it does suit me. Its just that I was recording my sax today and wanted to know if I was in the right ball park with regard to the basics!!

From your comments I think I will stick with the sm58 for the moment as my level of ability does not warrent a bigger investment. We have used rode mics in the past for gigs, for vocals, and were very impressed with the quality, i think they were nt5's.

thanks for your help

rob
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi Rob,

You'll be able to get a different 'colouration' to your recorded sound by moving the mic around and changing the distance between you and the mic. The SM57 is a directional mic (cardioid) and these mics tend to exhibit what is know as the proximity effect, the closer the mic is to the source the more the bass frequencies are exaggerated. This 'effect' is often used by singers to fill out their voices but might not be too desirable on the sax.

I'm still trying to find the right mic position, but at the moment I tend to be about 3ft away from the mic with the mic pointing down a bit, aimed towards or slightly above the left hand key table. It's a movable feast as I don't stand completely still but it gives you a general idea.

The first part of this is recorded with a dynamic mic from the same family as your SM58: Mid/Side Sax Test.mp3

All the best,

Chris

p.s. Sorry I got it into my head you were using the SM57, not that it really matters, I think I'm right in saying the SM57 and SM58 use the same dynamic cartridge and it's only the head basket that differs between the two models.
 
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OP
El Robo

El Robo

Member
Messages
55
Location
Malvern, Worcs
Chris,

I have n't tried recording that far away yet. I've always tried to get as close as possible force of habit I suppose! I'll try standing further away at the weekend.

Rob
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
Location
Sweden
I use to blow into a SM57 to amplify my sax. For recordings Röde NT4 + a DV camcorder. A DV camera is an ok recorder.

Thomas
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Chris,

I have n't tried recording that far away yet. I've always tried to get as close as possible force of habit I suppose! I'll try standing further away at the weekend.

Rob
Hi Rob,

I don't know exactly how far Pete is away from his mic but you can get a general idea from the video, and he's got a great tone and has captured it well in the recording:


And Crazydaisydoo who also get's a great recording of his sax seems to mic a bit closer:


All the best,

Chris
 
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