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French Horn?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by TheAngryFedora, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. How would one go about mic'ing a French Horn? Just a dynamic, likely a 57, on the bell? Or, would a large diaphragm work? Or, ought I to just take a couple of small diaphragms and take the horn player into a good room and set those up? I'm not really sure, I've never recorded horns before (as I am just starting out with this stuff) and I don't know what I'm doing. I would experiment, but the recording is for a friend's college application... so, I'd like to do it well.
  2. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Dublin, CA USA
    Seems the first question is what kind of sound you are trying to achieve. If a 'natural' sound, consider where you normally hear this horn from in performance. Not the bell side, but usually from the player's front. If something else, then it is all up to artistic goals.

    This decision comes first, before mic selection issues, I think.

  3. yeah... I just experimented, put a large diaphragm on the bell, put a small diaphragm at about a 45 degree angle above and away from the bell, and one straight ahead, a few feet away, pointed at the lower part of the horn so as not to pick up too much key noise. Sounded all right. I just don't have anything other than those mics, which is sort of annoying, but it does sound all right, and the horn player was satisfied. Thanks, though.
  4. jahtao

    jahtao Guest

    did you pan the mics apart or mix them together? Check for mono compatibility?
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Okay - so, as a musician, I'm a horn player first (French horn that is, but the IHS has deemed the correct term to be horn, not French horn...) and a recording engineer second. I won't go into my horn playing resume, but I have played with a few biggies (Washington Symphony most recently).

    As a hornplayer, if a recording engineer were to stick a mic in my bell, I would likely take that mic and shove it promptly up his arse! (No offense, just my excessive hyperbole at play here... :D )

    The horn sounds like $*^t from the bell side of things. We (hornists) rely on the fact that we face the wrong way for our sound to warm up. More specifically, we rely on a good 20 feet of distance in a big reverbarent room to help too.

    The best way to mic a solo horn is to place the hornist on stage in a nice concert hall (never attempt in a recording studio - dead horn sound is just plain poop!) Place your large diaphragm mic about 6 feet out from the player and just above eye level. (Your hornist IS standing, right? If not, he may as well not make the CD as he shouldn't be auditioning for anything...sorry, hyperbole acting up again...)

    Then, use your SDCs in the hall in ORTF to pick up the remaining sound with ambience.

    Blend to taste and voila...
    beautiful horn sound... :D

    Good luck!

  6. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    They would have to get past your hand first...not that your hand is up your arse :) but as a horn player, you know what I am speaking of....

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