recording a SAX, what interface and mic?

Discussion in 'Brass' started by aaamaximum, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. aaamaximum

    aaamaximum Active Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Hey all,
    I've known about this forum for a while, and though i'm not a recording artist or audio or master engineering, I've got the kind of personality that completely engrosses themselves into something that I have a hint of interest. I've recently become quite serious in knowing more about audio after I broke my cheap headphones and a friend of mine recommended a pair of sennheiser to me. I was first annoyed at what I first thought was a lot for it, and afterwards more annoyed that I've been listening to my CD's and MP3 in such an inferior way up until now. The difference was just to obvious I couldn't ignore, and since then I've been learning more about audio devices, recording techniques and so on.
    I've met a few audio engineers and session musicians to shine some light my way, but my knowledge is still incomplete and i'm hoping that the forum could help me out.

    I'm looking to record my sax. I currently bought a shure pg58 on recommendation, but I have access to a shure sm58 which is apparently first pick in this forum. What I really want for a sax though is an AKG c519ml for my sax, especially when i buy my new tenor.
    AKG C519ML Miniature condenser clip-on microphone, B 29 L battery power supply, AKG WMS Series bodypack transmitters | Pro Audio Systems

    I've done a few jazz improvs and wrote a few solos, and i'd like to record them at some point, just for the sake of saying I once did, to add to my music collection. Currently reading a few books someone recommeneded to me on high end audio by Robert Harley for some high end audio, order a few books on PA systems and even thought about mastering, but i wouldn't go that far into audio since I don't plan to do this as anything more than a hobby.

    Used a friend's "mixer", but found that my recordings sounded better from the mics on my laptop pc.
    After looking around, I think an mobile interface is a better idea, since I'm possibly ordering some KRK speakers, and they require an XLR connection to use. I could also record my sax directly with since it'll most likely come with its own preamp.

    So my question is, what would be a decent interface to get?
    A friend of mine has an m-audio fast track pro which he swears by, though he does say they are a few things he'd like it to have.
    I've also been looking at the cakewalk(like the name) UA-25 ex, which is within my budget, and its older brother, the fa-66, which is appealing, but just not possible right now.
    Also found a Presonus firebox, though that's been replaced with a more expensive version apparently and Alesis, which doesn't go down well with some of this forum.
    I'm looking for something that can handle at least 2 xlr OR 1/4 connections, output should be 1/4 or rca if possible, and uses MIDI(just incase, but not high priority). Firewire would be a bonus for me, but the only one I can think of is the bidirectional playback and record, not too fussy about the speed since, once again this will probably remain at hobby-level for me.

    My budget is £200(I'm in the UK by the way) below for the interface alone, £250 for some speakers, doesn't have to be monitors since i'm not a mixing stage yet(probably extend my budget for those speakers next year to less than £1000) and at most £130 for a sax mic(most likely next year as well).

    I'm hoping I can get some better advise with some real world brands do what I'd like since the books I've got don't really say what brands are good for what.
    Thanks again, and sorry about the long post, it'll be my first and last(not last post forever, just for one this long as its my first).
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    I think for tenor sax that (while a SM57 is a great mic) you'd be better served with an Electro Voice RE20. The PG58 is definitely not as good as the SM58 which is basically a 57 with a windscreen.

    As for interfaces, there are some by EMU which might fit. I'm not sure what prices transfer over to the UK but there are some mods here from your neck of the woods.
  3. aaamaximum

    aaamaximum Active Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Thanks for the mic info. I've looked at the RE20, and although I'm guessing its a higher quality mic for recording a woodwind instrument such as a tenor sax, I'm not into full time recording, and I'd rather have something that can be mounted to my sax directly for live stuff rather than studio stuff. I'll keep the idea in mind though. My uncle has some EV stuff he uses for his club, so maybe i'll if I can check out his setup.

    I've heard of the EMU 1820 but cant find a retailer in Britain and shipping costs quite a bit from the US here. I'll keep looking around, but any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
  4. aaamaximum

    aaamaximum Active Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    After doing some more research on an interface, I think I'm ready to buy one. Although I'm only at a hobbyist level, I want something substantial so I won't need to upgrade unless I decide to take recording much more seriously in the near future. I'm trying to limit myself with a budget, and have expanded my budget to £170($280 roughly). I'm considering these 3 interfaces based on a few pros and cons I've done some checking up on. Also to add, I might be recording the output from a mixer as well from a mic from my sax, but not at the same time.

    1:presonus Inspire
    2: Cakewalk UA-25 Ex
    3: M-Audio Fast Track Pro
    4: EMU 0404 USB Interface
    I'd like to go for the Presonus FireStudio, but my budget can't reach over in the UK. I'd still like to use my interface for recording from a mic, playing out into my speakers, possibly as a headphone amp and possibly even to play vinyl from a turntable(don't know if the last 2 are ideal). Thanks in advance for the help
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