The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Micing Alto SAX Live - Best clip on mic for the job?
Old 28th February 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Question Micing Alto SAX Live - Best clip on mic for the job?

Hey guys im looking to buy a little clip on mic to use for the sax player in my band in live performances.

So far im looking at

Sennheiser e908
Sennheiser e608
Shure BETA 98
AKG c419

She play s an Alto sax with a classical mouth peice which is a less raspy tone than a jazz mouth peice.

Does any one have any experience with this type of application?\

Im hoping to narrow it down to a couple of choices and then do a shootout.
Old 1st March 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 

bump
Old 1st March 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

havnt done close mic sax for classical but i would go for the beta98 every time. good sounding workhorse mics. very reliable and easy to control which is more than i can say about others.
Old 1st March 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Thanks

Its not actually for classical, its sorta chillout sessions style stuff with electro beats and Male Vox + 2 Fem Vox Sax And flute.

the sound we are going for with her sax is really smooth dreamy floaty (delay + Verb etc) over the chilld beats so no raspyness required.

I actually hired a Beta 98 for a series of gigs we did over the last week but the hire company didnt put the base connecter in the bag so I couldnt use it and didnt get time to go back and get it etc.

Ended up using an AKG c409 which wasnt to bad, but could have been smoother in the high mids etc.

Ive used the Senn e 608s on brass sections before but this was for real funk style stuff lots of stabs etc, they did work really well for that application though, I can no longer hire them locally to test again on this source

Thanks

Any other opininons??
Old 1st March 2006
  #5
Gear Head
 

Stay away from a e608 and saxophone. Absolutely horrible. I bought one thinking it would be a good solution for me (on a cost level), but I packaged it for return within minutes of the first test. There was a steep roll off on the mid lows (300HZ?) and below. Plus it's narrow pick up pattern didn't capture the whole instrument. I usually don't like to dump on equipment like this, but man was it bad. Glad to hear it worked on Brass though, I figured it would prefer a more narrow sound source like a brass bell.

I have used the Shure SM98 with success I believe to be the beta 98 now.
Old 1st March 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for that

when i was using the e608 it was for that real stabby funk brass sound where I didnt need any bottom just mids etc. Il scrap that one from the list for this application then

Its looking like the Beta 98 is going to be the one to try then

Any one used the AKG c419?

I might hire the beta 98 from the local hire place again for the next gigs and give it a good test in real world

Thanks
Old 8th March 2009
  #7
Here for the gear
 

beta 98 , Audiotechnica ATM 350 or Countryman isomax, better then all the rest. The only one I not tried anymore is Beyer.
Old 12th March 2009
  #8
Trp
Gear Addict
 

The best experiences I had with clip on mics for wind instruments have been AMT. You see them around more and more: http://appliedmicrophone.com/endorse...ment/Saxophone
Old 12th March 2009
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I have used the AMT on trumpet and liked the results. Have not tried it on Sax. I would also recommend the DPA 4099. I use them on all sorts of acoustic instruments and love them.
Old 12th March 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
slaphappygarry's Avatar
 

If I had to go for something clipped on I would start with a DPA 4060. It is OMNI so doesn't suffer from any proximity nastyness and gives a nice impression of distance and air to the instrument it is attached to.

Otherwise I would go with a pencil (Neumann KM's, NT5 etc.. whatever I could get) pointing across the bell of the horn upwards towards the musicians face. A saxophone's sound (and character) come more from the actual horn of the instrument than the bell. Infact, an LDC on a bigger horn also works well.

These are all of course starting points and suggestions of things I have had success with in the past. I would however note I have have never gotten a very nice sax sound from any dynamic I have used (421, 57, 58, EV, Beta 57, e906, Beyer M80 etc...). They just didn't work for me.

Garry
Old 12th March 2009
  #11
LX3
Lives for gear
 
LX3's Avatar
 

Re dynamics, I did well with an RE20 on tenor last weekend. You can't really clip it onto the sax though

Is an M88 not good? I haven't had a chance to try it on sax yet, but from my other experiences with it I'd have imagined it was a strong contender. Still, not really a clip-on.

I did a live album with a jazz-punk outfit where the sax player used an AMT clip-on radio system. I don't recall the exact model number. It sounded great when no-one else was playing, but picked up an incredible amount of spill otherwise. A little disappointing, considering how close it was to the instrument.

Mind you, that band play loud.

There's quite a range of AMT-branded capsules now, which might have tighter patterns.
Old 13th March 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
slaphappygarry's Avatar
 

The M88 was fine but didn't really capture the instrument but did capture the noise coming out of the bell...

Its hard to explain, but it, and dynamic mics in general IME, end up sounding like a DI'd acoustic guitar. Its there, fine and workable but its a very poor approximation of the instrument.

I have never tried the RE20 so cannot comment. In saying all this I have heard many live recordings where a 57/58 have been the only thing to hand and they sounded great but I have never had much success. For trumpets and trombones dynamics are the way forward.

I think it because so much sound comes from the Saxophones pipes whereas the bones and tpt's are mostly blasted out of the bell....

Who Knows!?

Garry
Old 13th March 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
ajfarber's Avatar
 

I play the saxophone, so you can trust me.

Avoid clip-on mics. The saxophonist needs to be able to back away at times.

The best dynamic mics for live work are, Beyer m88, Sennheiser 441U or 421, EV RE20 or RE27. If you get stuck, an SM57 will do.

If you must get a clip-on, go with the AMT.
Old 17th March 2009
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Best clip Beta 98, second ATM 350 third Countryman isomax. All the rest toys.
Old 17th March 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
GZsound's Avatar
I second the opinion that a clip on is not a good idea. Removes any ability to be dynamic.

I have been using a Beyer M260 ribbon without the high pass filter installed on my saxes since 1974 with great results. Nice warm sound. Use the mic for volume control.
Old 17th March 2009
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
IMO, clip mics make all performers sound like they're playing a kazoo...

Heavy EQ seems to be the only answer to this dilemma.
Old 19th March 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
IMO, clip mics make all performers sound like they're playing a kazoo...
The type of horn player that wants a clip-on, is a horn player that normally sounds like a kazoo anyway.heh
Old 19th March 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
I play the saxophone, so you can trust me.

Avoid clip-on mics. The saxophonist needs to be able to back away at times.

The best dynamic mics for live work are, Beyer m88, Sennheiser 441U or 421, EV RE20 or RE27. If you get stuck, an SM57 will do.

If you must get a clip-on, go with the AMT.
Where do you best place these??
Thanks
Old 19th March 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 
opegas's Avatar
 

So why did you want a clip on? Maybe there is a good reason. I avoid them as much as possible as well. Are you dealing with a PA and monitors as well?

Paul
Old 19th March 2009
  #20
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
We just recorded Average White Band at BB King's in NYC yesterday for a new live album.

Freddy V (tenor & Alto saxes) was using a modified version of AMT L-11 for his horns.
He also uses the AMT Roam Elite mics.

I was very pleased with the sound I got from his rig.
I normally hate using clip on mics for recording, but this worked out well for us.

I pulled 3.56K from both instruments and the horns sounded like horns.
Old 20th March 2009
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
smarsland's Avatar
 

Keep in mind that woodwind instruments produce sound all over their bodies, coming out the keyholes, bell -- the whole horn


-s
Old 20th March 2009
  #22
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
...AKA, Kazoo sound.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
ajfarber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedupsteve View Post
Where do you best place these??
Thanks
It's hard to say. If you're playing in a large or medium concert hall, I actually prefer a LDC mic. The Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra travels with Neumans, TLM 103s or something like that.

But for a garden variety PA system in a club or the like, I'd go with the Sennhiser 441u or EV re27 as my first choice. The have good off-axis rejection to avoid unwanted drum leakage, and the have a reduced proximity effect so the player can eat the mic without the dreaded "low Bb explosion". The saxophone is a vented instrument, so when you play the lowest note, all of the sound (and air) comes out of the bell. An aware player will back off the mic for the bottom 3 notes on the horn.

I would avoid ribbons for that reason, some knucklehead saxophonist might choke out a fff low Bb whilst eating your ribbon mic, thereby sending it to the shop for a re-ribbon job. Not worth the risk. This is also why I don't like clip-ons for saxophone, you can't back away. With a mic on a stand, you can get a horn section (or sax section) balance at a distance of a foot, and the player can move in when there is a solo. If a live sound engineer is on the ball, he'll turn up the mic for a solo, but if you're playing in a band without and engineer, you need to "set it, and forget it" so the saxophonist needs to balance himself by working the mic, sort of like a singer does.

A notable exception is Sonny Rollins who prefers clip on mics. He likes to roam the stage as he plays, and that compressed, proximity effect sound is part of his vibe. He was using clip-ons 30 years ago and still does.
Old 29th March 2009
  #24
Here for the gear
 

If it doesn't have to be a clip on the re20 is great.
Old 29th March 2009
  #25
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajfarber View Post
It's hard to say. If you're playing in a large or medium concert hall, I actually prefer a LDC mic. The Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra travels with Neumans, TLM 103s or something like that...

Andy, when we worked with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra they had a boat load of TLM170s.
I do not remember any TLM103s in their kit.
Old 29th March 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I think Andy meant the TLM 170, that's what I have seen the most of there, and what I used on woodwinds when I toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Old 31st March 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 
trompetfreak's Avatar
 

If you're looking for a clip, try a dpa 4060. I've had great experiences stuffing it in the windshield and mount/clip of one of those AT-clips...

Other great options might be checking out how to clip a DPA 4021. That one sounds just amazing.

For the rest I'd say: Try a TLM (170, 103 whatever, they both sound great).
Some saxophonists like eating up your mic, putting it all the way into their bell. In that case, a LDC that doesn't fit in there is best, of if it's more of a loud screaming musician, the RE20 does the job. When it's in the bell, the lowest notes are pretty nasty, but they'll hear that in their monitor, so they can decide themselves if they like it!

gr. ph.
Old 31st March 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
slaphappygarry's Avatar
 

Urgh,

Used an AKG c419 last weeks and it was horrible!

Sounded great on the PA but my recording sounded horrible. Trumpet was *fine* if a little thin, trombone was good but the saxophone was totally hideous. The kazoo mentioned above is exactly what i had to work with.

Ugly ugly ugly and worth avoiding if possible. I dont even think I would ever even use it in a blend of a few mics.

G
Old 31st March 2009
  #29
Gear Nut
 
opegas's Avatar
 

I have been using ribbons on stage quite successfully for a few years now with no real issues. The of axis null can be aimed to avoid monitors and drums and the sound is killer. They are kind of too big for them to eat.
I tried the e908 last week on sax and it was OK. Alto player who really moves a bunch. I had it on the bell but not jammed right in it. It was noticably noisier than my LDC's or ribbons with a a Grace M801.
I've used some of the AMT wireless stuff with the sampson electronics and would not recommend those either.

FULL disclosure : if anything went bad with a ribbon mic I can get it fixed real easy since I work for AEA

paul
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump