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How to Mic a Tuba?

I am Engineering a date in a few days and have been informed it is a Dixie land / Folk artist and there will be a Tuba. I have worked with large and small Orchestras which have included the Tuba as part of the Brass of Horn section but have never recorded the Tuba as a soloist.


Profile picture for user Davedog
Member for
19 years 6 months

Davedog Wed, 07/23/2003 - 16:56

Upright or forward bell? Tuba or Sousaphone?

I use a dark sounding LD condenser above the offensive things. An ADK A51 works well in this capacity.Compress it some going in.2:1 or 3:1 is enough.Be sure your Tuba player has good breath control and doesnt blast into the notes too much or you'll be there all day.

I record a tuba on a regular basis.

Live we have an Audio Technica Condenser inside the bell.

You want to find the tubas' sweet spot and have the player stay where he is in relation to the micing position.

good luck and remember, dont listen to it too loud in the phones as it will have a 'loosening' affect on yer innards.

Member for
51 years 5 months

KainselT Tue, 07/29/2003 - 20:14

Hey "Dave Dog"
Thanks for the the reply. The Session was on the 26th and due to other sessions leading up to the Tuba I didn't have time to log on and read your response in time. If you are interested here are the details of the gig. First it was an upright Bell (Tuba) and the player is part of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra so he was on top of his game. He was part of the basic tracking session which also included Drums, Upright Bass, Three Acoustic Guitars, Piano, Banjo, a Scratch Vocal and the Tuba. The Mic selection at the studio was good but with all that stuff going down live Mics go quick. The U-67's U87's FET 47's etc... were needed for other things so I used a Sony C-37A. I had the Tuba in an iso booth so I put the 37A about a foot and a half above the Bell at the edge of the rim tilted in toward the center of the Bell. I used a Neve 1073 for the pre and then to the Pul-Tech Program EQ. This was a Folk / Dixieland kinda Tune so I boosted 3K about 6db at a broad Q width which was perfect to get that "flap" that I would need once I got Horn section on the O/D that included a Trombone. I have not Mixed yet but if you would like I can let you know what I do on the final Mix.

Profile picture for user Davedog
Member for
19 years 6 months

Davedog Wed, 07/30/2003 - 08:34

Sounds like you covered all the bases there.A C37 Sony would be IMHO a very good choice for this application as would the Neve.I'm assuming the Pultec was a plug.And it sounds like the player was well versed enough to be able to cement a quality track and tone.I have found that there are so many overtones in a tuba that its hard to pick a few to suppress without deadening its life.Good luck at mix...