[LAU] howto record saxophone?

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Tue Feb 24 06:31:59 EST 2009

Arnold Krille wrote:
> On Monday 23 February 2009 12:22:09 Grammostola Rosea wrote:
>> I want to record a saxophone. Any suggestions?
>> My equipment:
>> maudio audiophile
>> maudio dmp3 preamp
>> shure 58a beta
>> saxophone
> On the hardware-side you are missing a microphone stand and a cable.
> The sound of the sax is comming from the big horn so place the mic there.

ahem, no, it doesn't. a *lot* of the sound comes from the holes (unless
you play the lowest note, of course :)

that means the sound comes from different directions dependent on the
note played. which is why you should be looking at a wide polar pattern
mike with good sound _off-axis_. that's why everybody and their
grandmothers are using the RE20 (or PL20 these days iirc), even though
they are fiendishly expensive for dynamic mics.

don't ditch the mike into the bell too much, and be sure to have the sax
player play the entire range of the instrument during sound check. watch
for bad honks and move the mike accordingly. you can't remove those
honks with eq - they affect only a few notes, and an eq would harm the
sound for all notes.

for tenors and altos, i usually have the mike 20-50cm above the bell,
slightly angled towards the holes.
for straight sopranos, there is no way to do it with a single
microphone, unless you can mike it at a distance and have a really good
sounding room.

if all you have is a 58, your results will be somewhat limited. try to
get a nice cheap condenser instead.

> If 
> you aim the mic at the flaps (is that correct english?), you will get a lot of 
> clicking sounds...

true, but especially in big band situations, having such sounds on the
soloist can bring a nice shade of intimacy to it. sometimes i do it on
purpose (or bring out the bow on stringed instruments in a similar
manner). don't underestimate the positive effect of such "imperfections".

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