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Please give me tips on recording trombones!!
Old 17th March 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Please give me tips on recording trombones!!

Hello,

the coming period I'm putting myself into the world of recording trombones. Since I'm a trombonist myself and that I've almost never heard a perfect recorded trombone. Either in a solo, 4tet or ensemble setting. I'm not talking about bigbandsettings because they work well with the room micro and spotting.

I have noticed that the ribbon microphones work the best with the trombone.

Some microphones I have on my mind to invest in are:

AEA R84 and R88
Cascade Fathead II
Royer Labs R-121 R-122 SF12 SF24

Please give me all your tips and knowledge about this!!

Thanks in advance.
Old 17th March 2009
  #2
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Jonstudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinSch View Post
Hello,

the coming period I'm putting myself into the world of recording trombones. Since I'm a trombonist myself and that I've almost never heard a perfect recorded trombone. Either in a solo, 4tet or ensemble setting. I'm not talking about bigbandsettings because they work well with the room micro and spotting.

I have noticed that the ribbon microphones work the best with the trombone.

Some microphones I have on my mind to invest in are:

AEA R84 and R88
Cascade Fathead II
Royer Labs R-121 R-122 SF12 SF24

Please give me all your tips and knowledge about this!!

Thanks in advance.
Hey, I record classical music. In fact today I am mixing a solo tuba album. I think you would find the Royers to be too small sounding for a larger brass instrument. The Fathead is really only good on EGT amps and maybe a room mic for a drum kit. It doesn't protect the high end well enough. I cannot comment on the AEA Mics. But I would HIGHLY reccomend looking at the Coles Ribbon Mics for brass recording. They have a smooth and deep bottom end and carry the high end very well. They should cost about the same as the Royers.

Jon
jonsstudio.com
Old 17th March 2009
  #3
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

IME,

Those are good choices for mics, tho my fave for brass (trombone) is the Coles 4038. That (or any of the other ribbon choices you've mentioned) paired with a neutral pre-amp, i.e. Hardy M-1, Milennia, GML, or even Neve/RND, API, or similar should easily net you great results.

With you playing the instrument, the best way to discover what sound you prefer is to experiment with the record button engaged. Set your gain accordingly, and spend time positioning the instrument in various places around the mic. i.e.: distance 2 ft. back/on-axis... 2 ft. back/off-axis... 3 ft. back/on-axis... 3 ft. back/off-axis... 6 ft. back/on-axis etc. etc.,

The room you record it in will influence the sound almost as much as the microphone. IMO, large-ish rooms with high ceilings are best for brass recordings, unless you want that particular room sound to influence the recording...

I can't precisely know what your motives/desires are WRT this instrument - as you know from being a player, the sound you experience being 'behind the bell' is totally different from being in front of it - maybe taking some 'unorthodox' recording techniques might find you the exact sound you are looking for?

Best of luck, and I hope this helps!
Old 17th March 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonstudio View Post
In fact today I am mixing a solo tuba album.
jonsstudio.com
Wow - may I ask who is the player, and what is the style?
Old 17th March 2009
  #5
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Jonstudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
Wow - may I ask who is the player, and what is the style?
Yes, the player is Chester Schmitz, formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is Tuba and Piano album. A tuba is quite an interesting piece of machinery to put behind some nice microphones!
Old 17th March 2009
  #6
Have you tried a 414buls? I know it's not a ribbon, but I really enjoy the sound of it on brass and woodwinds.
Old 17th March 2009
  #7
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nicpope's Avatar
 

I recently recorded a 6 piece trombone section led by Fred Wesley (of James Brown fame) and got a really good sound from a combination of u87's, 414's (I can never remember what model we have but they are old, with the metal bodies) and a kms44 on the bass trombone. We also put up a room pair (m-s) with a Korby with the u47 head and an r84 as the side mic.

It was pretty funky in there.
Old 17th March 2009
  #8
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I forgot the mention the Coles 4038!

@nicpop: do you have an audiofile from this recording for me?

@Jonstudio: which micro did you use for the tuba?


Anyone has experience with the AEA microphones on brass/trombones?
Old 18th March 2009
  #9
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opegas's Avatar
 

I've only done jazz stuff with the R84 on trombones and mostly in a big band setting. It does sound pretty good though. The coles 4038 is also well suited for brass. You are going to get a warmer sound with a AEA ribbon than a condenser.
I know in a bunch of film scores some guys are using the R88 as a trombone section mic.

Paul
Old 18th March 2009
  #10
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinSch View Post
Anyone has experience with the AEA microphones on brass/trombones?
Yes - both work well - I own an R-88 and I use it often on brass (tuba/trumpet/bone). Depends tho. Sometimes it's not what I want in a certain context and I will use something else.

If I had only one choice, I'd pick the 4038 for basically all brass duties, tho I can make do with an R-121, R-88, or others, some not even ribbon mics. (edit: the Sanken CU-41 is a wonderful mic, and IME sounds incredible on tuba - better than ANY other condenser I've ever used...)

There's no accounting for taste, only what I prefer on any particular subject on any given day/session - what YOU prefer may be something totally different (tho I doubt it, I could most def. be wrong...)
Old 18th March 2009
  #11
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonstudio View Post
Yes, the player is Chester Schmitz, formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is Tuba and Piano album. A tuba is quite an interesting piece of machinery to put behind some nice microphones!
Yes it is, and I record one very frequently, tho that 'interesting piece of machinery' can sometimes carry a load of 'clacks' and such with the abundant mechanical noises...

Chester is a fine player - I have a few albums with him in the BSO...thumbsup
Old 19th March 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinSch View Post
@nicpop: do you have an audiofile from this recording for me?

I do but I can't give it to you. It's not released yet. Sorry!
Old 19th March 2009
  #13
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opegas's Avatar
 

So here is a trumpet comparison of some mics R84, R44C, sm57, Km84, and U87(card). Through AEA RPQ preamps, the SM 57 is through a TRP. These are just MP3(sorry) If I edit them down I can put better quality. I didn't record these, but I believe the trumpet is about 3-4 feet back.

Paul
Attached Files

Trumpet_KM84.mp3 (3.75 MB, 2638 views)

Trumpet_R44C.mp3 (3.75 MB, 2546 views)

Trumpet_R84.mp3 (3.75 MB, 2522 views)

Trumpet_SM57.mp3 (3.75 MB, 2554 views)

Trumpet_U87.mp3 (3.75 MB, 2617 views)

Old 21st March 2009
  #14
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nomoreflakes's Avatar
 

i regularly use a 121 on brass and it is just wonderful, smooth and sublime
Old 21st March 2009
  #15
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wow opegas nice examples!!

Does anybody have examples of brass on a Coles 4038 and a Royer 121?

Would be great to get some classical trombone happening...

Thanks!
Old 24th March 2009
  #16
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opegas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinSch View Post
wow opegas nice examples!!

Does anybody have examples of brass on a Coles 4038 and a Royer 121?

Would be great to get some classical trombone happening...

Thanks!
Where are you located? If anyone wants to volunteer to come to AEA, in Pasadena CA, and play trombone we can do a couple comparisons.

Paul
Old 1st April 2009
  #17
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I'm living in the Netherlands so its a bit far away but I'll find a tromboneplayer who lives around there. I think it's a very interesting thing to do.

I'll let you know!
Old 3rd May 2009
  #18
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amanitas's Avatar
Hey there,

To chime in I am actually a big fan of condensers on trombones. Ribbons are great but sometimes you lose the bite and edge you want from a trombone (as opposed to a euphonium or something more conical). Unless you are trying to soften the sound I think a u87 with a good pre in a good room will yield quality results.

Re: Pasadena Id love to come by and try some stuff out - I'm a brass doubler (tpt, cornet, flugelhorn, euphonium, valve bone, alto horn, etc.) and I live in Culver City so it would be awesome to set up a mic/pre testing day. I'm on tour right now but will be back in LA in a week or so...
Old 24th July 2009
  #19
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U87 always works great on tenor t-bones.

Soundelux e49 on bass 'bone. Or U47.

I like to keep the ribbons on the trumpets (RCA KU-3A is best tpt mic in the world), and LDC on the bones and horns (414s work nice on "French" horns, but it's all about the room with those puppies)

Greg

.
Old 24th July 2009
  #20
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by opegas View Post
Where are you located? If anyone wants to volunteer to come to AEA, in Pasadena CA, and play trombone we can do a couple comparisons.

Paul
I've got a great trombonist that I can bring over to make comparisons. He does a lot of professional recordings, and lives in Glendale.

I need to pick up my 77DX, which you just fixed, also....

I can bring along my KU-3A, also...

Greg

.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #21
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After listening to that demo of a trumpet mic'd by an SM57, I wonder how a trombone would sound with an SM58?
Old 8th May 2012
  #22
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschoendorff View Post
After listening to that demo of a trumpet mic'd by an SM57, I wonder how a trombone would sound with an SM58?
I'm tempted to say, "like a trombone with an SM58." But i won't!

I've played on thousands of live gigs with SM57s and 58s, and tons of lo-budget recordings for bands into them. They are good for what they are: bulletproof mics that get the midrange information out to a live audience with decent rejection. And they are pretty good hammers, and they can take the occasional beer spill, also.

But in a studio? Maybe for certain types of music. maybe.

I'd characterize the overall sound on horns as boxy, pushed, and woolly. Proximity gives it more size. You can have a very bright sound and the mic will actually sound better. It's a good pair with lightweight, bright horns playing very close to the mic. Which is partly why they are so useful live.

But in a studio? Maybe for certain types of music. maybe. But any decent studio will have better recording mics, hopefully.

Just my opinion.

GC
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