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AKG C 1000 S as mic for sax

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by swingguy, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    Am I asking too much of this modestly priced mic for sax recording?

    And if it is adequate, any suggestions as to placement in relation to sax bell etc? And what about input volume settings ... ride it just short of too far, or keep it way below peak?

    DAW set up is Sonar 4 PE with fast computer and 2 large HD's.
  2. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    Hi Swingguy,
    I really REALLY dislike the AKG C1000s. I've used it on several different sources (including woodwinds) and always got poor results. It tends to have a harsh brittle quality to my ear. The problem is there are not a lot of options in your price range. If you can save for a little longer a huge step up in quality (IMHO) would be a Crown CM700. The Crown doesn't get talked about on the net but it's a good sleeper. I don't know what your recording goals are besides saxophone but you could probably get some workable results with a Shure SM57 and then upgrade once you've saved a little more. You could use that '57 on tons of sources down the line. I won't even get into the myriad of cheap Chinese condensers because I don't have much experience with these to make a good recommendation.

    As far as recording tecnique for sax. It does depend on the room but a good starting place would be to put the mic about 2 ft. back and aim it somewhere towards the keys. You'll get a pretty goofy sound if you stuff the mic in the bell like a lot of folks do. When it comes to recording levels I always try to record as hot as possible without clipping. Good Luck.
  3. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    The C1000 is probably one of the last mics I'd reach for on a sax... If you are looking for a very cheap mic that sounds decent, look towards either a Shure KSM27 or one of the Marshal mics.

  4. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    Thanks guys
    The sound I've been getting has indeed been too "brittle" or harsh. And yes, I have found that "close-bell" mic technique produces too much of a "percussive" (sudden loudness) effect when notes which use most tone holes closed are played. The air is actually physically pushed more directly into the mic the more tone holes are closed. And its a pain trying to remember to back off for certain notes.

    Personally I don't like the results of micing to the side of tenor or alto but I do agree with the "about 2 feet away" idea ...
    ... with soprano it works best if bell is aimed about a foot over the top of the mic.

    Have an old SM57 kicking around and I'll try it today.

    btw, about what price range is that Crown mic?

    Any other thoughts on type of mic? I can't consider thousands of dollars but I'd go for something in the mid hundreds if there's somthing like that out there substantially better than a 57.
  5. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    The Crown CM700 usually goes for about $275 or so new. Fifth Circle suggested a Shure KSM27 which goes for about $300. They are different types of mics (Crown is small diaphragm condenser Shure has large diaphragm). It's a personal preference thing.
  6. swingguy

    swingguy Guest


    I guess I should assume the Crown Cm 700 and Shure KSM 27 are of a better quality than the Shure 57

    I'll see if anyone around here stocks these
  7. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I have had good success with the BeyerDynamic M160 on sax, especially on alto. It leans toward the buttery side of flavor. I think you can get one around $400.
  8. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Absolutely... I love ribbons on saxes. The Beyer probably has the best bang for the buck out there when it comes to ribbon mics. One of these days I'll get a couple more so I can do full big band sax sections (I only own 3 of these right now) Of course, that being said, last night I did a big band with 5 Royer R121's on the sax section and it sounded AWESOME. It is also about $6K worth of mics too...

  9. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    This one? ... Marshall MXL 2006
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    All great suggestions so far.

    If you're looking for dirt cheap and good sax sound - find a "Good" Oktava MC012 (I sat in the floor of my local retailer with 18 or so of them playing around until I found the one I liked.) It can have a relatively mellow sound, almost ribon-esque, but with the bite associated with the SM57.

  11. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    The AT 2020 gets some good reviews and a real deal it would seem! ... anyone got experience with those as a sax mic? or similar use
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I'm absolutely in love with the sound of the new MXL V6 on saxophones. Honestly, it seemed to tame every problem I've had with saxes using other mics. (Esp that ugly honky/squonky sound that can pop out when they're really blasting some notes. )

    The V6 is $349 MSR, but you can probably get it cheaper than that at all the usual sources. It's smooth as silk on-axis for saxes and most vocals, and there's much less proximity effect than you'd think. It's a cardioid LD side address mic. It's one of their "Silicon Valve" series mics: Transistor circuitry, emulating tubes. They claim it's american made. (I suspect it's assembled here, from parts made overseas.) Wherever, it's worth a listen if you're looking for a mic that'll sound good on sax and a lot more.
  13. not_heifetz

    not_heifetz Guest

    MXL V6 for violin?


    I just read your review for Mix magazine. Do you think the MXL V6 would work well for solo violin? Thanks.
  14. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    It's certainly worth a try for solo violin. In the time I had to review it, I wasn't able to use it in a violin studio/recording-session setting; all the violin soloists I was recording at the time were live events, and the V6 is really quite large - too large for an overhead in a concert setting. It would have drawn quite a lot of attention to itself, I'm sure! (I did use it on any number of orchestral instruments: cello, double bass, harp, etc. It's great on acc guitar & sax, as well.)

    FWIW, I like my KMi-84's for live solo violin, as well as something new I've been trying out when I can - the Audix SCX-one. That one's really quite a nice surpise - it's quite good on a number things, I'm really happy with how it sounds overall. Both mics are of course much smaller profiles, and draw little attention to themselves; they look good on stands or hanging from overhead.
  15. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    Thanks Joe ... I'll price those for sure. :)

    Joe E.
  16. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    been trying some mics. So far the SM57 and AT 3035 are my choice (haven't tried a Marshall yet). I can't believe how "dead" that AKG C 1000 is compared to any of these, even a cheapAvlex D 73 and an olf Fostex!

    Hoping to get ahold of a Marshall soon but it may turn out all I need is the old tried-and-true 57! It sure is clean. The AT has a bit more "warmth" but with a touch of post eq I could almost exactly match it with the 57.
  17. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    This is the mp3.com site of a good friend of mine Dave Duffus
    All sax instrumentals (tenor and soppy). All recorded with a Cad E200 through a Yamaha 02R.

    Email him if you want to know more. I'm sure he'll be happy to help.
  18. adobian

    adobian Guest

    MXL V6 vs V69

    Has anyone compared the MXL V6 with the MXL V69 ? Which one would you prefer ? Do you think the V6 is constructed better ? I think with all the extra stuff included, the V69 might be a better deal, if they both sound the same.
  19. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Re: MXL V6 vs V69

    Well, the V69 is an out and out tube microphone, and it's going to have some different characteristics, no matter how well designed the V6 is by contrast. The V6 is solid state, although the circuitry IS designed to emulate the tube sound. I'm guessing they're close, but there are probably subtle diferences. I would guess you'll find similarity in design and slight differences in sound from model to model, similar to the 4000 or 3000 line of mics from AT, etc. Each has their uses.

    The V6 is MFSR at $349; I suspect the V69 (Mogami edition, too?) is at least twice that. The V6 is PERHAPS more rugged in that you dont' have to worry about damaging a tube inside, and it makes it fairly roadworty. (I've been using it on live gigs and remotes since I originally got it from MXL. I love it upright bass, and mostly Saxophone. (The V6 is just gorgeous for most tenor saxes.)

    I've had the V6 apart, all the way down to the capsule, and it's built quite solidly. Haven't had my hands on the V69, though, so I can't give you an actual comparison.

    I'm testing something from MXL now dubbed the M3-B, another LD mic in the Silicon Valve series, aimed specifically at vocal use. It's too new to be much more than a prototype, but so far, it's been blowing me away with what it sounds like on big singers with luxurious voices. It seems to make normal folks sound "good"and puts better-than normal folks into another place entirely.

    I think they've got a few serious contenders with the entire line of these mics, regardless.

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