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Tips & Techniques:Brass Recordings

Hey there,

Lately I had some brass recording sessions,
I Had to record 5 Brass players playing together,
I found that placing the Players in exact same distance from each other while using a-b setup with 2 identical condenser mics gives a real nice feel for the whole section. I also added a Dynamic mic for each instrument to give some nice boost to the whole sound just simple shure 57 mic for most of them except the trombone and baritone sax which I decided to use AKG D112 mics for that nice low end.

If any of you have a better suggestion I'll be happy to give it a shot.
Rock ON!


Created by edone, 21st January 2008 at 12:48 AM
Last edited by mw, 27th March 2012 at 03:05 PM
Last comment by dangoudie on 1st May 2009 at 01:09 PM
5 Comments, 11,918 Views

(5) Comments for: Brass Recordings Page Tools Search this Page
Old 6th June 2008
Gear interested
glitchless's Avatar

Brass recording

I was recently recording a trio horn section for an album. There was a trumpet, trombone and alto sax.
I setup a pair of Beyer M160s in an XY pattern and also a Blueberry in the middle as I'm fond of this mic and was told it had a ribbon like sound.
I must admit I ended up tracking in mono with the Blue which sounded fantastic.
Old 14th June 2008
Gear Maniac
newyorkbrass's Avatar

Recording Brass Tips

From my experience micing brass depends on the number of players.

In a 5 brass configuration a mix of 70% stereo room 30% personal micks works best although, it means that for a standard 5 player double you will need 14 tracks... Many people mixdown the personals in groups so you have Mix-personal-bone, Mix-PersonalTrumpet, Stereo-room. that is only 3 tracks, but if you made a mistake in the levels, oooops...

Also Remember that Trombones record at 75% of the level of trumpets and saxophones, unless they are really pushing.

Brass - Trombones in particular have a huge dynamic range (in exces of 70db) so u must make sure to hire people that are studio experienced and know what to do with the microphone... Use minimal compression just to make sure no overload is present, but remember that many times people like to overload the principal trumpet for the digital "edge"!!! The Jedi Master records Wynton Marsalis that way on the high tracks...
Old 13th November 2008
Lives for gear
waxx's Avatar

i use rather the same technique as in the first post mostly, but tend to use other mics for the close micing to fill the roomsound. I also position the loud instruments (trumpet) further away from the mic than the more silent instrument (the trombone or klarinet)

For trumpet, trombone, hornet, ... i use Large diagram dynamics (RE20, SM7, MD441, ...) and for the sax, klarinet (wich is rare these day's), ... i use ribbons (Beyer M160) if possible

The ribbons are not really close to the instrument, but rather a 30-40 cm from it and pointed at the instrument, not specific to the horn. You got a lot of bleed if the players are too close to each other, but with well positioning of the players in a good room, good balancing and no compression on the individual channels (only on the group) it works very wel.
Old 18th February 2009
I use Royer 121s on trumpets always. Takes the edge off them. Coles 4038 on bones... or if those aren't available a Senn. MD421. I actually use condensers on saxes... 414s.
Old 1st May 2009
Lives for gear
dangoudie's Avatar

I did a brass quintet recording recently and I set up various mics around including a 414 blumlein pair, a 441 and a spaced pair of 87's. I only ended up using the 87's and I was amazed how complete they sounded on their own. It helped that the players were quite good at balancing themselves but I'm still impressed.

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