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Recording Trumpet/flugelHorn

Discussion in 'Brass' started by OneMan, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. OneMan

    OneMan Guest

    What mic/mics and techniques are you using to record trumpet, flugel horn and sax? I am extremely
    happy with my vocal mic (BLUE BlueBerry) but it doesn't seem to cut it for trumpet. With a budget of about $500.00 ,should I be looking at large or small diaphram condensers?


    OneMan
     
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    . With a budget of about $500.00 ,should I be looking at large or small diaphram condensers?


    OneMan[/QB][/QUOTE]
    Get a Large Diaphram Condenser (w/that budget) that can be padded. I'f you could get a Ribbon that would be my choice.
     
  3. shermock

    shermock Guest

    I am a professional trumpet player and have played into many mics with varying degrees of success.

    I'll start with mics I haven't cared for, in no particular order: Shure 57 & 58, SM81, AT Pro37R, AT 3528, AT 4033, AKG 414ULS or TLII, CAD E100, and AKG C3000 (the original).

    For lead trumpet my favorites have been a Royer R-121, Senn 441, AKG C12 off-axis, AT 4050 and believe it or not the ATM25 large-diaphragm dynamic. Most large-diaphragm condensers can work, but they tend to be too bright and have to be placed anywhere from 1 to 3 feet away from the bell to handle the spl's. The Royer was by far the most realistic capture of my tone. It may be well worth saving another $400-500 for it.

    Lots of folks use the Senn 421, but it's too "honky" for my tastes. There's a nasal sound there that isn't it. For whatever reason I like those better live.

    Oh yeah- I also played into a Beyer M88 with good results. A little more top end than I typically like, but it worked in a dense track.

    Uhh, more brainstorming here...How about the Octava 219? I played one Pro Tools session where the Neumann 193 was crapping out and the Ocatva was brought in. Very nice sound and not too bright, and handled the spl's of a top-notch trumpet that can peel paint at 200 feet! I bought one after that experience for $99 at Guitar Center, and it sounds fine!

    The flugel is much easier to capture, because you aren't typically dealing with such loud volumes and high notes. The Neumann 87, M149 and such are great, but not in your budget. The AT 4050 is a great budget-friendly workhorse mic and sounds clean & clear, but I still think the best mic in my experience has been the Royer.

    I own an ADK A51TC tube mic, which I got for about $450. All the bad Chinese capsule stuff aside, I found a lot of magic to be in the tube. Ya gotta replace the cheap Chinese tube that's in there with either a NOS 12AY7 or 6072. I also tried and like the Sovtek 12AX7LPS or 12AX7WXT+. Once a better tube was in there, there was a bloom in the lower mids (compared to the stock tube) that allowed more of the character of the horn/guitar/whatever to come through.

    One other thought would be a Beyer 260 ribbon. Others who post/lurk here may have some experience with this mic, as I don't, and maybe can shed some more light.

    Anyone with experience with the new AKG line, like the 2000, 3000B, and 4000? They may fit the bill and the budget. I saw an ad at Guitar Center about the BLUE Dragonfly, $699 I think IIRC. A wee bit more than budget, but may be a winner.

    Hope this helps! :D
     
  4. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by OneMan:
    What mic/mics and techniques are you using to record trumpet, flugel horn and sax? I am extremely
    happy with my vocal mic (BLUE BlueBerry) but it doesn't seem to cut it for trumpet. With a budget of about $500.00 ,should I be looking at large or small diaphram condensers?


    OneMan


    It really depends on the style. My stand-by of sorts is the Beyer M-88. Seems to work on just about anything... Same with the Sennheiser 441 or 409. These will all keep you under $500. If you must have a condenser (I personally don't always use them on brass instruments), Look at the Neumann TLM 103. It is a bit over $500, though.

    Now, what I really like to use: Coles 4038 ribbon mic is smooth and dark on a trumpet. An original (non-modified) U87 also works beautifully. My absolute favorite is the Neumann UM 57, though....

    I used a UM 57 on Terrance Blanchard on a concert I just did sound for and it sounded like gold. It is warm and smooth and fat... He could blow into it as loud as he wanted and it still sounded great.

    --Ben
     
  5. PlugHead

    PlugHead Active Member

    Hello,

    FWIW, I would save a few more pennies and invest in a Royer R-121 - Coles 4038 is a bit too pricey, but the Royer is the best thing to hit the mark for brass: trumpet, trombone, tuba, as well as "THE" most kickin guitar/bass amp mic you can use today.period. If you can find a Beyer ribbon mic (500 - 260 etc.) that is in great condition, that'd be the next best catch, but unless you have thousands more for Neumanns or other car-priced mics, go for the beef with a ribbon - soundwise, you'll get an extra 40 lbs. around the hips with any of these mics, 'tho YMMV.

    Good luck,

    Jay
    PlugHead Productions
     

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