Getting started on recording trumpet

Discussion in 'Brass' started by Grooveteer, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Grooveteer

    Grooveteer Guest


    I will be doing some vocal overdubs in my home studio with a female singer in about 2 weeks. I've just heard that she can play the trumpet as well. I think I can use a lil' trumpet in this track, and at least it would be fun to try it. However, most of the time will be spent on the vocals so I will not have time for a lot of trial and error recording her playing the trumpet. (I have never recorded any brass before) Some hints on where to start would be greatly appreciated.

    I have the following mics: AKGC3000, TB500 Ribbon mic (same as the Nady RSM2), Rode NT1000, some no-name SDCs, Senheiser 602 and an SM58, AKGD112.

    Pres: GT brick, ART TubeMP, pres on my Tascam FW1082

    I was thinking of using the ribbon mic through the Brick. Since I only have crappy outboard compressors (Behringer stuff) I will record without compresseion and use my UAD-1 plugs when mixing. I always record 44.1 / 24 so I do not have to record super hot; hopefully I won't have to worry about any digital overs.

    I'm planning on using an auralex expander behind the mic as my room is not all that great and the RB500 -being a ribbon- is a fig8.

    Does this sound ok? If I had more time I could experiment, but in this case I need a starting point.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    Ribbons are indeed standard equipment for brass. Do try that first. It is a good idea as you plan to dampen the back lobe of the figure 8, nothing much interesting is probably happening there. In a good sounding studio, that can add good things though.

    Move it a bit away, a meter at least (3 foot) to get the volume down a little. And on very close range the trumpet is sort of noisy (try it and you will see). In addition I would ask the trumpet player to not point the trumpet point blank at the mic, say the mic should see the trumpet 30 degrees off is a good bet. Looking straight into the the bell of the mic the sound is, in my ears, not optimal. From there you can start experimenting where you want to go.

  3. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    one word: "pad".

    although, with a ribbon, that might be a smaller word than the word I would use with an LDC.

    Ditto on the distance thing. A trumpet makes noise by exciting a column of air, its not entirely unlike an organ pipe in terms of the physics involved. (The taper does change the harmonic structure of course). but the long and short of it is that you're probably not going to be enthusiastic about the results if you're INSIDE that column of air, which extends out from the bell a bit.

    A harmon, cup or plunger would of course completely change that equation.

  4. Grooveteer

    Grooveteer Guest

    Thanks guys. That's exactly what I needed. :cool:
  5. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    It isn't Kami Lyle, is it? A lot of what you choose to use and how you use it gearwise with trumpet is very much a matter of the player's style/sound. Chris Botti and Maynard Ferguson are in completely different universes. If it's Kami you're working with, she's more like Chris than Maynard, and you won't have to worry about anything blowing up! :D All that being said, the ribbon, off axis and distance to mic tips are spot on. Just be sure to ask her to play as hot as she can when setting levels, so you don't have any surprises.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I have always loved recording trumpet, tight on a Beyer M160/130 OR RCA 77DX. In that case, use the pad on something like an API pre but the old Neves, were continuously adjustable and there was no actual " pad" switch.

    Many years ago, I was in involved with Maynard Ferguson in a studio date where he was tight on a U87, with its pad on, on the head of the microphone. He was fabulous! It sounded luscious through a Neve.

    Now stick that in your bell and smoke it!
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Well, I think you have your answer... :D

    I also agree - the ribbon would be the way to go. If that particular ribbon doesn't work though, you might want to try the 602 or the 58 next.

    In any case, use the pad as Dwoz states and if you do get the mic into the bell, use a windscreen with the ribbon. Hopefully you won't have a problem with excess wind, but it is possible.

    As for the pres, I would definitely go with the brick. An overloaded tube on a trumpet can actually sound quite nice. Don't overload it TOO much though. Slight overloading will roll off the top and saturate the middle/fundamental tones of the instrument and get you a very intimate, friendly sound.

  8. Grooveteer

    Grooveteer Guest

    Yup. Thanks a lot.

    BTW: It's not Kami Lyle. It's a Dutch girl. (Kami, if you read this; feel free to call! :wink: )


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