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Advice on Brass Section Recording!!!
Old 17th December 2004
  #31
Gear interested
 

You might want to look at an article I wrote for Electronic Musician, November issue, on recording brass instruments. I included clips of trumpet recorded on different mic types. The condenser I used is a TLM-103.
Dave
Old 17th December 2004
  #32
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Dave-G.. thx! But... unfortunately there's no Eletronic Magazine here in Brazil.
Is there a place a can check it online?
Thx very much for all replies yet! AWSEOME info... will try all the stuff (session will be tomorrow!)
Old 17th December 2004
  #33
JTR
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by wwittman

I don't personally like the TLM103 period... I'm not sure there IS a transformerless Neumann that i really like.
but certainly many great trumpet solo recordings , and even more in sections, were done on 87's and they sound great.

given your choices:
87 on Trumpet, TLM on Bone, probably C1000 on Sax, or switch the sax and bone and see what you like better.

All I know is that when I see mics like C1000 & TLM103 being suggested for just about anything, the adjectives "glassy" "strident" "two-dimensional" and "harsh" come to mind.
Even the U87 - I think is overly bright and edgey souding on a lot of sources.

"Engineers' Notch"?
Yep, call it that - or "Producers' Notch"

Everytime I see someone grab 4k and crank it, I know there's gonna be trouble in River City...

Custom fitted earplugs: the solution for STD's "Sonically Transmitted Damage"
Old 18th December 2004
  #34
Lives for gear
Fun arguement...sorry I got here so late.

I've had the opportunity to record the Blues Brothers section several times for some great blues recordings. Lou Marini, Alan Rubin, Birch Johnson....sometimes with Ronny Cuber on bari. Certainly one of the best if not the best.

Fletchers thing about watching them warm up is totally true....they will wander to where thier horns sond good and play.....so pay attention.

The Firsts time I did them I put a 414 in front of Al Rubin.....he walked away from it proclaiming "cheap Japanese ****!!!" when I pointed out is was Austrian....he said "Cheap Austrian ****". So I took the U87 from Birch and gave it to Rubin, who was moderately happy....after telling me about his personal U47...which be of course didn't bring.

I had a u67 for Marini...so he was cool. And now was stuck on the Bone. Bone guys love RE20's....so we went with that.

So.....given your situation, Maybe the TLM on sax, the 87 on Trumpet, and the D112 on Bone.

Next time they can in I was ready....Coles 4038 for the trumpet and bone, 67 on the Bari, and a c12 on sax. Was killer.

Those guys can rock it. Just don't take a hit of Rubin's pot onless you have the rest of the day off.
Old 20th December 2004
  #35
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Thread Starter
The session was FINE!!!! :D

I ended up using U87 on Trumpet and the 2 TLMs (mine and the borrowed) on Sax and Trombone.
I didn't have problem with level balance... they originally blended great (which of course helped me a lot).
I didn't record the room. Only the 3 close Neummans. I think the results was FINE, taking in count my little experience and limitations.

In the end of the session everybody was happy! :D

Jpg and mp3 soon!

I think I will have opportunity to try all the other alternatives very soon... because there's more horns knocking the door ;-p!

Once again, thx for all the valuable help and good vibes! GS rocks!
Old 20th December 2004
  #36
JTR
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Cosmonauta
The session was FINE!!!! :D

I ended up using U87 on Trumpet and the 2 TLMs (mine and the borrowed) on Sax and Trombone.
I didn't have problem with level balance... they originally blended great (which of course helped me a lot).
I didn't record the room. Only the 3 close Neummans. I think the results was FINE, taking in count my little experience and limitations.

In the end of the session everybody was happy! :D

Jpg and mp3 soon!

I think I will have opportunity to try all the other alternatives very soon... because there's more horns knocking the door ;-p!

Once again, thx for all the valuable help and good vibes! GS rocks!
Cool - glad it went well for u

if the musicians walked away happy 'n huggin' you, then your job is done

Quit apologizing for your English - All the guys on this site who speak it for their first language should be humble for the fact that so many people around the world want to talk to them about music using a language that they didn't learn on their mother's laps.... I wish I spoke Portuguese a quarter as well as you speak English.
Hope you have many more great recordings.
Old 20th December 2004
  #37
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by JTR
I wish I spoke Portuguese a quarter as well as you speak English.
THX very much!!

Although english is not my native language and I can't speak it fluently, I try my best, because I know it's the fast bridge to get in touch with you all wherever you are and wherever you from. And this is what the matters!!

This is a pic from the session, while the guys were warming up, checking the notations and before I switched the U87 from the trombone to the trumpet.
Attached Thumbnails
Advice on Brass Section Recording!!!-horntrio2.jpg  
Old 20th December 2004
  #38
JTR
Lives for gear
 

Hey man

thanks for the picture

after I posted, I was talking to Ramon Taranco about some projects we did together, recording guys like Pat Labarbera

This thread brought back memories of working with the Tower Of Power horns, and woodshedding with sax players, discussing their choice of mouthpieces while listening to Sonny Stitt, Paquito D'Rivera and Sonny Criss....

Long live horn players
Old 20th December 2004
  #39
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

My $0.02...

If you have a good room and the players are tight I say a single mic (the U87ai) will give you a perfectly aceptable sound if you get the placement just right, (although this depends somewhat on the type of music and how you plan to mix it).

If you're going for micing individually I would put the U87ai on the Trumpet and the D112 on the 'Bone, leaving the TLM103 for the Sax. A much better solution would be to replace the D112 with a borrowed or rented RE20 - I heard a friend's Trombone through this live the other day and it sounded really good! I would try to avoid the TLM103 on the tumpet because of the added high end on an already shrill instrument, even though it does have a higher SPL of 138dB as compared to 127dB on the U87ai.

Another idea - you could try setting up a M-S pair with the TLM103 in the middle catching the main section sound and the U87ai in Fig8 catching the room ambience and making up a nice stereo sound?

Engage all available pad switches on everything anyway!


EDIT: I just saw the pics so scratch everything I said!!
Old 20th December 2004
  #40
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Vari-Mu's Avatar
 

It's funny, a lot of trumpet players seem to like the TLM103. A trumpet player I sometimes do sessions
with bought one to use in his project studio and there have been a number of players responding to this thread who also seem to like it. I can see it maybe working on a tenor sax, but on trumpet?

I guess it's a matter of horses for courses. My mental paradigm for a great sounding horn section is more "Kind of Blue" than 70's fusion but clearly a lot of times that sound is not necessarily going
to be appropriate and at the end of the day you have to give the client what they want.

I also think that horn players are a little like vocalists. They all have different tones and idiosyncracies which mean you have to match the mic to the player as well as the instrument.

Glad your session went well despite all the conflicting advice

Best

Vari-Mu
Old 21st December 2004
  #41
Lives for gear
 

ribbon mics have had a grand history of recording brass (unless i've got my history wires crossed).

the AEA R-84 is a large size ribbon mic in figure-8. that mic is freakin' awesome, and looks like it would be the perfect "next mic" for you in your collection.

it comes in right around $999.

i would be looking for a way to do this:

record all three players once through the AEA. then have them do their part again through it. then pan it left-right in the mix and compress/limit as needed.

so you get monster-fat doubled track.

that's only if their parts are always together as one "brass blob", and the session is amenable to this type of overdub setup.

you would need to play around with positioning the players a little to get the instruments to blend. but i bet you could find that sweet spot in about 10 minutes (or even 10 seconds). which would be better than messing in your DAW for two hours trying to fix sounds.


as a random note, i've seen Miles Davis play live with a U87 on stage as his mic.

another idea would be to have them play into the AEA ribbon, and then have the U-87 several feet back in omni-mode. then blend in the daw.

those are the ideas that come to my mind (not that that counts for anything).

these would be "ideas" on brass recording rather than advice, fwiw.
Old 21st December 2004
  #42
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dave-G's Avatar
No scotch??!!?

-dave
Old 21st December 2004
  #43
Old 21st December 2004
  #44
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by genericperson
the AEA R-84 is a large size ribbon mic in figure-8. that mic is freakin' awesome, and looks like it would be the perfect "next mic" for you in your collection.

it comes in right around $999.
Thx!!! I'm really considering this one, plus the EV RE stuff.

Quote:
No scotch??!!?

-dave
I save it for later

THX VERY MUCH, will read it right now!!!
Old 21st December 2004
  #45
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Vari-Mu
It's funny, a lot of trumpet players seem to like the TLM103. A trumpet player I sometimes do sessions
with bought one to use in his project studio and there have been a number of players responding to this thread who also seem to like it. I can see it maybe working on a tenor sax, but on trumpet?

I guess it's a matter of horses for courses. My mental paradigm for a great sounding horn section is more "Kind of Blue" than 70's fusion but clearly a lot of times that sound is not necessarily going
to be appropriate and at the end of the day you have to give the client what they want.

I also think that horn players are a little like vocalists. They all have different tones and idiosyncracies which mean you have to match the mic to the player as well as the instrument.

Glad your session went well despite all the conflicting advice

Best

Vari-Mu
This is what I am talking about. If I was playing on a jazz recording with you as the rec engineer I would be in very good hands and feel safe but if it was a horn section session I would not. Kind of blue is one the best jazz recordings I know but it has little to do with a horn section sound.

Of course the music decides how the players must play and then choose mics for it. How brass and WWs are played is the most important factor to change sound. If the players can't do a variety of sounds then you're using the wrong players. When it comes to mics I use both ribbons and condensors.

What I mean with horn section Trp has already given you the best lead. Almost everything arranged and played by Jerry Hey (trumpet) and his section is what everone have to measure up to. They have been the first call section for 25 years for a reason. (Probably many).

/A
Old 22nd December 2004
  #46
Gear maniac
 
Vari-Mu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by stampen
This is what I am talking about. If I was playing on a jazz recording with you as the rec engineer I would be in very good hands and feel safe but if it was a horn section session I would not. Kind of blue is one the best jazz recordings I know but it has little to do with a horn section sound.

Of course the music decides how the players must play and then choose mics for it. How brass and WWs are played is the most important factor to change sound. If the players can't do a variety of sounds then you're using the wrong players. When it comes to mics I use both ribbons and condensors.


/A
I think you're finding disagreement where none exists. What I have a problem with is the idea of the TLM103 as a near mic on trumpet. Your own recommendation is for its' use as a room mic.

As an aside the head parts of " Kind of Blue" certainly are section recordings, (and very nice ones too, done with M49s only, so I certainly don't rule out using condensers on trumpet in every instance), but as I aknowledged in my last post they are not what Cosmonauta needs in this instance.

So we agree, no?

Best

Vari-Mu
Old 13th August 2008
  #47
Brass section mic recommendation

I have the same issue as Cosmonauta but a different mic list.

I'll be recording a trumpet, tenor sax and trombone section with whatever of the following gear you guys recommend. I won't have the luxury of as much tinkering time as I do when recording my band's brass (OK, wind - I know how touchy sax players get about the whole reed thing) players individually so I'd like to exploit your experience to give me a head start on the "use your ears" advice I shall undoubtedly receive.

I have...
1 X AT4050
1 X AT4047
2 X SM7b
2 X C1000S
2 X Kel HM1
1 X Kel HM2d
1 X D112
5 X SM58
3 X SM57

...and some preamps...
GR MP-2NV
UA6176
EH 12AY7
Focusrite Voicemaster

...all into a DIGI 02R

Unless advised otherwise, I'd tend towards an xy (pseudo) pair made of the 4050 and 4047 to capture the ensemble at 6' distance and 4' high and then individually mic using the Kels or Shures.

I eagerly anticipate a flood of helpful suggestions.

DJ Stevie Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmonauta View Post
I have a very important session coming up next saturday.
I would like some fellow GS's advices! ;-p

it's a 3 pieces brass section: SAX, TRUMPET and TROMBONE.

I'm used to record drums, bass, guitars, keys, vocals and even solo sax or solo trumpet... in a daily basis for the last 4 years.
But horn sections is not very common in my studio. :-(

The guys are the top players in town. (So their original sound is great).
The music is soul-funk stuff.
We will overdub 1 time all the tracks.

So, what's the best way (mic positions) to record these section?
Shoul I record the room (m -s ??) additionally to the close?

My mics are:

-Neumann U87i
-Neumann TLM103
-AKG C1000
-AKG C391(a pair)
-AKG D112
-Shure SM57

THX!
Old 14th August 2008
  #48
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Tiny Circus View Post
I have the same issue as Cosmonauta but a different mic list.

I'll be recording a trumpet, tenor sax and trombone section with whatever of the following gear you guys recommend. I won't have the luxury of as much tinkering time as I do when recording my band's brass (OK, wind - I know how touchy sax players get about the whole reed thing) players individually so I'd like to exploit your experience to give me a head start on the "use your ears" advice I shall undoubtedly receive.

I have...
1 X AT4050
1 X AT4047
2 X SM7b
2 X C1000S
2 X Kel HM1
1 X Kel HM2d
1 X D112
5 X SM58
3 X SM57

...and some preamps...
GR MP-2NV
UA6176
EH 12AY7
Focusrite Voicemaster

...all into a DIGI 02R

Unless advised otherwise, I'd tend towards an xy (pseudo) pair made of the 4050 and 4047 to capture the ensemble at 6' distance and 4' high and then individually mic using the Kels or Shures.

I eagerly anticipate a flood of helpful suggestions.

DJ Stevie Steve

It depends on the sound you are after, but if it's a straight forward brass section, I would try the 4050 (possibly my favourite AT mic) on the trumpet (I've used this before and they sound great) 4047 on Bone, possibly SM7 on sax.

Interestingly I came across this thread late, and read Williams post, I thought his advice was the most sound, it seems our original poster agreed as he ended up doing almost exactly that (albeit with a borrowed TLM103).

Regards


Roland
Old 15th August 2008
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
newyorkbrass's Avatar
 

Old 18th August 2008
  #50
Brass section mic setup

I'm after a tight, big band sound and will be double tracking. I'd have used the SM7 on the most strident instrument (trumpet) and the 4050 on the most complex (sax) but I will try your suggested setup first.

I also like the 4050 as a good all rounder although I don't consider it a "character" mic which is probably a good thing in a workhorse...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
It depends on the sound you are after, but if it's a straight forward brass section, I would try the 4050 (possibly my favourite AT mic) on the trumpet (I've used this before and they sound great) 4047 on Bone, possibly SM7 on sax.

Interestingly I came across this thread late, and read Williams post, I thought his advice was the most sound, it seems our original poster agreed as he ended up doing almost exactly that (albeit with a borrowed TLM103).

Regards


Roland
Old 19th August 2008
  #51
...and now I've got a Pealman TM-1 on order so that'll probably be the room mic in omni....Unless you know different ?
Old 20th August 2008
  #52
Gear nut
 

Here's what I would do.
I'd use the 87 in Omni, 1 mic on all of them. I'd put the mic in the middle and have the players in a circle. Players love it because it's so easy to blend. If thers's too much trumpet, for example, have him back up.

Then take your stereo mics and just put them up in the room in a sweet spot. They can be your L/R and make the 87 your center.
I did this years ago on a 12 piece horn date and the players loved it.
P.S. It's also one of the ways Phil Ramone records brass
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