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Live saxaphone with cardiods and Wedges
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R.E.S.
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#1
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Live saxaphone with cardiods and Wedges

I occasionally find bands bring saxaphones along. Wedges rather than IEM and SM58's. How is this expected to work? The angle of the mic means its area of rejection is pointing at the ceiling. Plus it's half the distance from the wedge than the players ears. For these one off circumstances, I'm reluctant to buy a more appropriate mic (due to £££, though I'll accept suggestions) and I'm certainly not gonna fly wedges in front of their faces.

I'm not expecting a miracle cure. Whether I rip the eq to shreds or not. There is no obvious way to get the volume past the mic to the ears without feedback.

So any suggestions on mic and monitor placement, or other approaches? as far as I can tell, most sax players are used to not hearing themselves. Doesn't seem right to me...
#2
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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a) It just kind of works? A sax has just about the same range as a human voice, so a 58 is actually a pretty good mic for any of the lower to middle range saxes.

b) usually the monitors are more for the other members of the band than that specific sax player.

c) the sound is not just created by the bell in a sax, the finger holes give a lot of tonality too. This means your mic position should not be 'face down' into the bell, but instead a 90 degree angle, the way you would position a sm57 for a guitar, or a shotgun.

d) turn the wedges down? I mix with ATM350's and when those aren't avaiable, 58's and I've never had rejection/feedback issues.

e) if you've got a gate, use it.
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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I’ve never found it to be a problem using a microphone and wedge monitor(s)

This is a SM58. The monitors were two 10” plus horn either side the mic stand base and angled in. It was a dedicated mix for him as the rest of the band didn’t want sax or flute in their monitors



The guy on the left, with the hat is a sax player. Two 12” plus horn monitors for the whole of the brass section, again on their own mix.



For most bands, gates don’t work. If you set the threshold high enough to close while the rest of the band is playing it sometimes doesn’t open. The other way round and it won’t close. If you have them it could be worth a try though.
#4
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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saxophones and monitors

Well, tons of bands use sax players, stand mounted mics, and loud wedges and make it work. You should ring out your monitors......meaning that you test them prior to the band's sound check and use a 31 band graphic eq to diminish the frequencies that cause a problem.

I'm a sax player and have played on stage with many thousands of watts blasting (to the point of my ears hurting) without feedback. I always bring my own Shure Beta98 now, but have used Shure KSM mics, SM57/58, EV RE20....

BTW- the sax player needs to hear too...
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#5
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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Yeah, I also have been playing sax in loud bands for the last fifty years or so and I always use a monitor wedge. I need to hear my horn so I don't overblow.

As has been stated, the mic should not be pointed up, it should be pointed just like a mic for an acoustic guitar. A SM58 will work fine. I use a Beyer M260 ribbon or an AT tom mic on my horn.

Point the monitor at the sax players head, not the mic.
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#6
28th November 2012
Old 28th November 2012
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You can get away with it because of the gain before feedback ratio. Since the mic is crammed right down the bell of the sax, it is getting a very loud signal and therefore does not require to much gain (as opposed to an sdc on a delicate guitar). So even though it is in the wedges at a considerable volume, the mic is not gained up enough to pick a source like that up. The volume of the sax right at the bell is way louder than the monitor at that distance.

Don't believe me, stick your ear right where the mic is and be ready to go deaf haha.
#7
29th November 2012
Old 29th November 2012
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Any horn player or sound guy that sticks a mic down the bell of a sax is an idiot. That's not how it's done.
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29th November 2012
Old 29th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
Any horn player or sound guy that sticks a mic down the bell of a sax is an idiot. That's not how it's done.
For live sound where you have a dense mix and a loud stage, putting a mic back to pick up an entire horn is impractical. For a jazz set you can get away with it maybe, but in many situations, a clip on mic like a beta98 right on the bell is where the mic ends up going.

Before you start flaming and calling me an idiot and before I start ranting on being better than you because I started a pro audio company at 16 and made over $60,000 my first year using these "idiot techniques" look at the practicality of situations.
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29th November 2012
Old 29th November 2012
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I guess I may have misworded also, I did not literally mean down the bell of the sax, but right on the bell.

This is kinda like a singer who "eats the mic and crams it down their throat." It is not literally down there throat, but they are right on it.
#10
29th November 2012
Old 29th November 2012
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Yup. In the vast majority of rock 'n' roll type situations you'll find the mic right on or around the bell - we all know it's the 'wrong' place, but it's practical and absolutely accepted as the norm.
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#11
30th November 2012
Old 30th November 2012
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So the problem is with semantics.

Nobody puts the mic DOWN the bell of a sax unless they are an idiot.. That was my comment. I stand by it.

Even a clip on mic is ON the bell not IN the bell. And a standard cardioid mic like an SM 58 requires the signal to be fairly close to the mic so it works fine with wedges. The Sennheiser 421 has been used on saxes for decades right along with wedges, for example.
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30th November 2012
Old 30th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc14basketball View Post
For live sound where you have a dense mix and a loud stage, putting a mic back to pick up an entire horn is impractical. For a jazz set you can get away with it maybe, but in many situations, a clip on mic like a beta98 right on the bell is where the mic ends up going.

Before you start flaming and calling me an idiot and before I start ranting on being better than you because I started a pro audio company at 16 and made over $60,000 my first year using these "idiot techniques" look at the practicality of situations.
Sorry, now I'm confused. You say you have been "using these idiot techniques" of putting a mic IN the bell of saxes since you were 16? But then you said you meant you put the mic "around" the bell.. Which is it?

You may well be "better" than me. I have been playing sax since 1959 in loud rock and roll bands, probably made a million dollars.. So what? Nobody puts a mic IN THE BELL which is what you said and what I responded to. If that isn't what you meant, then apparently you aren't an idiot.

Congratulations on your success.
#13
1st December 2012
Old 1st December 2012
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I explained what I do, you need to calm down bud. I wasn't talking about placement I was talking about the proximity to the wedge. I used the term crammed right down the bell as a phrase to describe the relative proximity to the wedge.

Like i said, it is not literally down the bell, that would be very difficult to even place, but around the bell is what I was referring too, although all of this talk about placement is irrelevant to my original answer talking about gain before feedback ratios.

But hey, our argument is irrelevant, so if the thread starter has any questions, hit me up.
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1st December 2012
Old 1st December 2012
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I've never really had a problem with micing sax's in a live environment, normally with a 57/58 or a little bug type mic. And this is with deaf as post old rockers, with at least one wedge (sometimes two) solely for the sax player (who is sometimes also a vocalist).

If you're having problems with feedback, make sure your gain staging is correct and start from scratch with your eqing. You're probably chasing your own tail at this point.

I wouldn't recommend gates either, they really shouldn't be needed, and again won't really be helping you. Keep it simple.
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2nd December 2012
Old 2nd December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc14basketball View Post
I explained what I do, you need to calm down bud. I wasn't talking about placement I was talking about the proximity to the wedge. I used the term crammed right down the bell as a phrase to describe the relative proximity to the wedge.

Like i said, it is not literally down the bell, that would be very difficult to even place, but around the bell is what I was referring too, although all of this talk about placement is irrelevant to my original answer talking about gain before feedback ratios.

But hey, our argument is irrelevant, so if the thread starter has any questions, hit me up.
Sorry. I wasn't angry or anything but calm. I merely stated what I consider fact based on your comments. Nothing to argue about really.. Thanks for correcting the record.
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3rd December 2012
Old 3rd December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
Sorry. I wasn't angry or anything but calm. I merely stated what I consider fact based on your comments. Nothing to argue about really.. Thanks for correcting the record.
too bad tone can't be heard through a forum
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30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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Audix D4. Sounds much better than a 57/58, and has better feedback rejection.
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1st January 2013
Old 1st January 2013
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#19
1st January 2013
Old 1st January 2013
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I'd like to add that in the case of the photo of the band (in post 3) ... pattern and small changes in frequency response aren't gonna make a whole lot of difference if the monitor level gets up much as you will quickly end up with more reflected sound directly into the front (on axis) of the mic.

Pointing the mic down just may work better in this case. As always ... it all depends.
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4th January 2013
Old 4th January 2013
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#21
4th January 2013
Old 4th January 2013
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"Gain staging" does not cause feedback. Total system "gain" however does.
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