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Setting up for brass section
Old 18th November 2003
  #1
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Thread Starter
Setting up for brass section

Hi folks,

I've a brass session soon and I'm wondering what approach to take at setup. Three trumpets and three trombones, probably playing 60's and 70's type songs.

How should I position the players?

In the mic department there is:
pair of Royer 122s
pair of 414s
pair of b&k 4011s
km 184s

There's also a Soundfield available.

Mic pres are API, Massenburg, Avalon AD 2022.

Thanks,
DW
Old 18th November 2003
  #2
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

I've found ribbons to work best on Brass sections ... so that would make the royers my first choise for presence. depends on the room of course but if it's big and good sounding enough you could position the B&K's as the main stereo couple ... but distant enough. Condensors tend to sound agressive and harsh when put too close to stuff like brass.

if the room is on the smallish side (no usefull natural acoustics) I would go for the royers in a 90° or 110° angle slightly higher then the players. trombones on the left , trumps on the right. the couple about 6 - 9 ft from the players ..... as a start off position that is ... positioning a couple can be hard ... you might wanna experiment a bit depending on room size / reflections etc etc ....
Old 18th November 2003
  #3
Moderator emeritus
 

What Chris said. But remember that in some rooms, with some players and with som styles of music you'll want to mic the players (or more likely, the sections) individually.
Old 19th November 2003
  #4
Gear maniac
 
dtobocman's Avatar
 

I'd probably put a Royer over each section, set up the B&Ks as an overall distant stereo pair, and use the 414s (padded) as close mics on soloists. Have the 184s ready to swap out on the soloists if it sounds wank.

Royers through APIs, B&Ks through GMLs, and solo mics through the Avalon.

Lots of room tone in their headphones -- they'll probably respond well to the ambience and the perception that they're all playing simultaneously in the same room.
Old 19th November 2003
  #5
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Make the room just as live as you can and have them play with one headphone on and none of themselves in it. Otherwise they'll play too loud to get a great tone or a decent blend.

Playing on both sides of a ribbon facing each other sounds absolutely great.
Old 19th November 2003
  #6
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Make the room just as live as you can and have them play with one headphone on and none of themselves in it. Otherwise they'll play too loud to get a great tone or a decent blend.

Playing on both sides of a ribbon facing each other sounds absolutely great.
Man,

I swear you are a brass player yourself, Bob! Experience has taught me the same things.To further bob's awesome advice, I'd also ask the client if they can tell you any specifics: (what style of music- is there a group leader/section leader, etc) As Dave said, you might want to favour a certain player of either section, but that can be subjective unless you know the parts/players. I personally would try trumpets on the labelled side of the Royer, and bones on the backside, then opposite for the other mic - I tend to like the back side on trumpets: a little more "Coles" sounding than the front side, and bones on the darker side. Also, if that is the chosen route, consider the height of the stand - you don't want players blowing into each other's faces, nor slides bumping the other horns (or your spendy mic - very distracting ) Also, having opposite sides/section can give an alternate flavour to both instruments. 4011's could be used as well if you take the time to sculpt the sound of them with the ribbons. Those mics rarely disappoint, and as spot mics on the leaders, could make a very rich sounding brass section...

Wait - I'm talking about the R-121, not the 122: I haven't heard the 122 yet, so unless it's the exact mic (with higher output) my advice can be taken with a grain of salt. However, I have used many other ribbons on brass, and the Royer is most often my choice.

YMMV,
Old 19th November 2003
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Tousana's Avatar
 

With what you have, I would try the follwing set up. Royers on the trumpets,and since you have only two I would put one on the so called lead trumpet and split the others on one. You didn't say how many Km184's you had,but if you have three I would put one on each bone. Try to keep the mics about a 1 to 1 1/2 ft. from the bell of the horns. Horn players in my experience have a tendency to want to eat the mics. Make sure when you place the mics that they don't inch forward. Use the B&K's for room. That's just my 2 cents worth. Good luck on your session.
Old 28th November 2003
  #8
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Thread Starter
Many thanks for all your replys. I did the session last night and it went great ... we did 9 tracks in just over three hours.

The players set up in a straight line (sitting), trombones on the left. I ended up buying another U87 to match an existing one we already had and we split the two 87s between the bones. We used the Royer 122s between the three trumpets. All were plugged directly into the API 3124 and then into the console channel insert return for routing to Pro Tools. Christ, those 87s are loud! We had to pad the mics and also the API even though the mics were a couple of feet away from the bones.


I used the Soundfield for the room and some plate on the lot and it was the business. Needless to say, the musicians were great, as was the conductor / arranger.

Now for the strings tomorrow.

Thanks again,

DW
Old 28th November 2003
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Beech
Christ, those 87s are loud! We had to pad the mics and also the API even though the mics were a couple of feet away from the bones.

I suspect it was more that horns are loud...
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