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Recording Jazz/ Swing... May need help

alright, im recording our highschool jazz band (best in the state of arkansas). I have a multi track sound card, so each drum is on a different track and all that stuff and i wouldnt say that im limited by equipment by any means.

But to the point, if anyone has any tips/ techniques to recording Sax section, brass section, or on any aspect of jazz recording PLEASE POST THEM.

I figure drums should be pretty dry with alot of bleeding and guitar and bass have never been a problem.


pmolsonmus Thu, 10/05/2006 - 06:07

I saved this from an earlier post on this subject. But you should probably use the search function:

Sorry, I didn't save the author's name, but the ideas are pretty standard and concise. Thank you - anonymous source. My comments are in color

Horns, like sax or clarinet, are usually miced with LD condensers. Much of the sound of these horns emanate from the sound holes, not just the bell, so it's a good thing to have a mic with a larger pickup pattern, like Neumann U87's, U67's etc. An SP C1, C3 or B1 would work in a pinch ...
I like the B1s on saxes - great bang for the buck

Trumpets and Bones emanate most of their sound from the bells so a more tightly focused pattern is better. These instruments are usually miced with sd condensers like the AKG 451 . 460 / 480 or the Shure SM81 or the Neumann KM 184, or a sd dynamic (like a SM57). I like the 57's and even Senn 421, but be careful

For a DI... there are a lot of very nice DI's out there ... some costing as much as +$1000 .... for a good basic DI I go with the Countryman FET 85 box. Straight ahead DI that doesn't load pickups.

Neumanns are the standard for this kind of recording ... RM that would be Recorderman, a former frequent contributorpoints towards the 147/149 LD tube condensers (a nod to vintage offerings from Neumann). The Neumann 47 / 49 and the U67 (all tube types) as well as the AKG C12a and C12's .. (also tube) have been staples for jazz production for years ... so it's likely that any references RM made to LDs are an acknowledgment to these models.

Two alternatives to the 147 or 149 (on a budget) would be the Studio Projects T3 or the CAD M9 ... the T3 has switchable patterns while the M9 is a fixed pattern mic like both Neumanns. Both will offer similar (tube) characteristics but will not be exactly the same. Neumanns are best but the T3 and the M9 both offer a respectable performance to cost ratio and will provide a "kinda like that" performance.

For the kick drum the 421 is good good mic in some apps but not my favorite on kicks though .. for jazz I would look for an old AKG D12 or an EV RE 20 or EV PL20. The Audix D6 would work well in this app IMO. Something real "poofy" sounding. You don't want a lot of "tick" or attack on a jazz kick drum.

For small diaphragm condensers the current standards are the Neumann KM 183, KM 184 and KM185, the AKG 460, 480's and 451's and the Shure SM81.

If you can afford them, get at least Neumanns, AKG or Shure condenser mics ... There are better like the Scheops, Josephsone etc ... but the Neumann's, Shure's and AKG's are the standard staples.

If you can't swing that, the Studio Projects line of LD and SD condensers are the only Chinese mics I personally recommend. They are very good for what they cost and if used with reasonable care should last for a long time. If your looking at a great affordable tube mic, the CAD M9 really knocked my socks off! This is a killer tube mic at a very affordable price.

If your room is good, you can also try for a few spot mics on thythm and soloists and go omnis for the ensemble

Good luck and experiment

moonbaby Thu, 10/05/2006 - 07:02
I love recording and live mixing big bands, especially ones that are TIGHT!
What pmolsonmus said, and I would add:
E-V RE20s, Sennheiser 421, AT ATM25, and the Audix i5, all make great brass and percusson mics, especially in a less-than ideal acoustical environment. The i5 has a bit more top end than the veritable 57 and I have found that good for trumpets and 'bones.
You are a lucky, lucky dawg!