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Brass Mic Questions....
Old 16th October 2006
  #1
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drBill's Avatar
Brass Mic Questions....

I haven't been recording brass for awhile at my personal studio, done most of that at larger rooms, but with my new room up and going (16X24X12 ceilings) I want to record a new project here. It will have a lot of brass fanfare stuff and is kind of "Olympic-esque" like for lack of a better term. 2Tpt, 2Bones, 1Tuba, 2FHn

I'll probably record the Tpt/Tbn's in one session and the Tuba/FHns in another. The budget/timetable will be so tight that there will not be a lot of time for experimentation on mics.

I've got a lot of new mics, but would love to hear what you would choose and/if I need to get some new mics - either beg, borrow, steal or buy. (I'm thinking it's time for some ribbons!)

I've got access to:

U87, (2)KM84, (2) Geffel UM70, UM71, M70, (2) AKG414B-ULS, (2) C451EB, (3) Sennheiser 421, (2) MXLV69ME, GT AM62, (2) AM40's and the usual smattering of dynamics & misc mics.

I hate the fizzy thin sound of a hypey condenser. I want it big, beefy and fat like a wall of guitars. I've used the 87 & 414's on Tpt and hated it. The 87 is cool on bones though. In other studios I usually end up with some classic tube mics, but that's just not going to happen this time. Any suggestions? Have any of you been using any of the less expensive ribbons on Brass as of late? I'll be operating on a pretty tight budget on this one and although I'd like nothing better than going out and exercising my gear-sluttieness and spending ten grand on mics, that's just not gonna happen this time.

So....any suggestions?

Thanks! Bill

PS - for pre's I've got - API 512's, A couple of shadow hills gama's and a boatload of pres (48 - as if I needed even half of them) in my D&R Orion.
Old 16th October 2006
  #2
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 

Yes, ribbons - esp the AEA R84 if you can b/b/s one. Beyerdynamic M130 does great spot and close work and is a bit cheaper.

Ribbons aside, the U67 is a better choice than U87 on brass IMO. Try it if you can.

I've heard some reports that the MXL V669 does well with horns. We have one here, but it's never won a shoot-out against the R84s for this role.

MD421s work well also. If you use them on trumpets they'll need some eq to soften the edges but contralto horns will shine.
Old 16th October 2006
  #3
Han
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Seems like you need a good ribbon mic.
Old 16th October 2006
  #4
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Han View Post
Seems like you need a good ribbon mic.
Yeah - a bunch of them! heh

I've used 67's & 47's extensively in the big studios, but can't afford that here. I've used the V69ME on solo tpt and it worked out well. Not sure about a section though. I may try it or try finding a pair of 84's.

Any more ideas?

Thx.

bp
Old 16th October 2006
  #5
My first recording teacher was the head of the jazz band and the big band at our school; he always got great results using primarily 421s on brass instruments.

I tend to work with indie/rock/metal artists more than anything else, but on the few occasions I've recorded brass and woodwind instruments I've always ended up favoring the Royer R121.

For what it's worth - Cory Spotts
Old 16th October 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
Don't know if you're recording each group (like the two trumpets) individually or with one mic.
With what you've got, I would probably try either the 414's or the 421's on the trumpets.
Trombones would probably work with 87, 414, or 421.
Tuba could be done with a 421.
French horns can be troublesome, since their tone can get pretty murky at times. Plus it depends on the quality of the players and their horns. I would probably start with a 414 and then go to a brighter mic, like the 87, KM84, or 451, if you need to lighten up the tone.
Old 16th October 2006
  #7
If you can't afford an AEA or Royer or higher end Crowley and Tripp (all of which sound excellent in various apps), you may want to consider the Peluso R-14 ribbon, which is a bit less expensive and still excellent bang for the buck IMHO. If the Peluso is a bit too thick in the low end for your tastes, the backside of the Crowley and Tripp Naked Eye ribbon will be a good choice (the back of the figure 8 pattern is less dark than the front) , and is still economical.

Old 16th October 2006
  #8
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
U87 for tuba and trombones, TLM 170 can also work
TLM170 for horns (1 in front and one behind with switched phase)
RCA44, coles 4038, m269, U67 for trumpet. In a bind TLM170.

I like keeping a respectful distance to the bells of the trumpets.
When recording them separately, I would start with the lows to give the highs a tuning reference, the other way around is not optimal for pitch reasons.
Old 16th October 2006
  #9
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
U87 for tuba and trombones, TLM 170 can also work
TLM170 for horns (1 in front and one behind with switched phase)
RCA44, coles 4038, m269, U67 for trumpet. In a bind TLM170.

I like keeping a respectful distance to the bells of the trumpets.
When recording them separately, I would start with the lows to give the highs a tuning reference, the other way around is not optimal for pitch reasons.
Some good ideas here, but I don't like U87's on tuba/bone: just a bit too bright and their inherent bite often accentuates the 'honky' mids on trombone - TLM 170 is more neutral without the fizz.

As a brass player, I prefer ribbons (4038/R-121/R-122/R-84/SF-1 etc.), but there are a lot of mics that can do the job. AEA's R-88 as an ensemble mic most likely would be stunning - a brass ensemble's "wet dream" heh

If you have an EV RE-20, or Senn 441's kicking around, I'd consider trying them on both tuba and trombone (even trumpet!). Good dynamics are often overlooked, and have better rejection than most condensers (esp. if they're all in the same room!)

Ditto on not mic'ing the trumpet(s) too close: can be spitty sounding close to the bell. Listen first from a few feet back - if the room is very "live" you might need to get in closer, but a safe distance back sounds more natural.

Best with it,
Old 17th October 2006
  #10
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T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Ribbons preferred here too. Dont like to use my u87s at all for this.

coles 4040 and Beyer m130/m160 are my tools for this task..the MXL V6 is a real sleeper too..sounds remarkable on lower brass.
Old 17th October 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

my vote is for ribbons as well, especially if you're talking about micing everyone up individually. as a trombone player, there's just something about the ribbon mic sound that evokes a certain nostalgia. 441's are great as well, and i would often choose a high quality dynamic over a condensor-- but those gefell um70, m71, etc's also can work well for horns-- i have a couple m71s' and they're great for being a little more honest than my beyer m130.
Old 17th October 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
I have to agree that often ribbons and good dynamics work better than cndensors, even good ones.

I've worked with the Blues Brothers section a lot. First time I wasn't really equipped or prepared. I put a 414 in front of Alan rubin on trumpet.....which he immediately dismissed a "Cheap Japanese ****". I told him it wasn't Japanese, but he reiterated it was "Cheap japanese ****". We settled on a 441.

Next time in I had 2 Coles 4038. He loved the Coles through a Focusrite 115. He liked it as much as his personal U47.

On Sax Lou Marini was very partial to a c12VR. The other Coles went to Birch Johnson on Bone...though he also likes RE20.

One session we had the great Ronnie Cuber on Bari. C12 worked on that.

I really think this section is unbeatable. Certainly in the top 3.
Old 17th October 2006
  #13
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
The lineup above is of course only support/spot. The main rig will typically be
5 M150's on orchestral brass.
Old 17th October 2006
  #14
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drBill's Avatar
Great ideas guys. Thanks for the help. Is the R88 basically two R84's? Keep the ideas coming! bp
Old 17th October 2006
  #15
the Beyer M160 is magic for brass, for dynamics i'd choose a Senheiser 441 or 421,
condensers works for me only for the brass instruments who plays on the low octave and when blending them with the high octaves brasses who recorded with ribbons it seats great in the mix , and i'd go for tube condensers for the lows , i had some good results with a Lawson L47 , a CMV562 or a U67, i'm not a fan of the U87 for brasses
Old 17th October 2006
  #16
Han
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Since I've got Beyer M260's (3) I've never used anything else for brass and even winds.

A while ago I've recorded a klezmer band and the winds were recorded with both a Beyer 260 and a Neumann M149.

The player's choice was the 260. M260's have a rolloff on the low end, but who needs low end for tpets tbones or clarinets?

Besides that, the Beyer ribbons are among the brighter sounding ribbons and 260's are the cheapest of them, but great mics.

I always use two mics on brass and winds, the MD441 is great as well and very rejective, but still a nice OAR.

And if you go for an MD421 on brass, use the MK1.
Old 17th October 2006
  #17
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Great ideas guys. Thanks for the help. Is the R88 basically two R84's? Keep the ideas coming! bp
According to Wes Dooley, the R-88 isn't exactly the same as the R-84: it should be a bit brighter (has less felt/cloth lining the interior) and can take blistering SPL (165 dB!!).

FWIW, I love mine: wouldn't trade it for anything, and has it's own distinctive flavour. The nicest thing is it can produce fantastic bass response while placed quite a distance from the source. The stereo image is beautiful.

Worth trying out if possible! thumbsup
Old 17th October 2006
  #18
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Just finished a session recording brass using Royer 122s.

Yuummy !

So like the rest.....Ribbons
Old 17th October 2006
  #19
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Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Great ideas guys. Thanks for the help. Is the R88 basically two R84's? Keep the ideas coming! bp
To me the R88 seems to have a flatter response than the R84 or the R92. Not as much bottom as the R84. "Fuller" than the R92. Among other applications I use my 88 for remote work and room on drums.
I've had good results with R84 on sax, R92 on trumpet and tuba.
Also 121 and 84 on Trombone.
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