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Woodwinds and congas
Old 16th June 2005
Gear Nut

Question Woodwinds and congas


I've got to make an outdoor recording with soprano sax, flute, and congas...any suggestions for mics/positioning for these? From what i've seen, micing the holes/pads on the soprano seems to be popular. Should I be doing this and micing the bell too? Normally on alto/tenor sax, I just mic the bell...

I've never had to deal with any kind of flute, so any advice would be welcome. I'm having bad dreams about 'nothing but breath'...

In the studio, I'd normally use a ribbon on the congas, but I doubt I can get away with that for this gig outside -- any favorites?


Old 17th June 2005
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar

How are you? I trust all is well with you and yours.

I would mic the holes/pads on the soprano and the bell of an alto or tenor sax; I would place a mic at the mouth of the flute player (don't worry about having bad dreams about 'nothing but breath'!); I like SM57s in between the congas pointing straight towards the musician below the skins. I've also used KM140s with great success.
Old 21st June 2005
Here for the gear


I've been playing congas for quite some time and normally use one SM57, but I've always pointed it straight down in the middle of two congas assuming to get the best sound from the drums as it rises.

Any thoughts on why you point it straight toward the musician and below the skins, or do you find "it just works"? Also, how far below the level part of the head?

Additionally, I play my congas in the seated position. I like them sitting on a hard surface because I believe the sound reverberates inside the drum and will resonate the head if it is tuned properly to get a nice "above the head" tone. This also allows for tilting and lifting of the drum in order to obtain different tones while playing.


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