Recording Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Discussion in 'Brass' started by ErinSmith, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. ErinSmith

    ErinSmith Guest

    I am recording through my Digi 002 and my best mic is a MXL V69 tube (mogami edition). I also have a presonus "Blue Tube" stereo pre.

    First, should I use the Blue Tube pre or the 002 pre? If I use the Blue Tube, how do I achieve a rich tone (warm)?

    Second, any placement and setting tips for getting a rich sound. So far all is too thin . . . .

    I am using PTLE, but am just getting started. My first goal here is to get my horns to sound the way I like them. Thanks for any info you can share.

  2. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    I recorded trumpet a couple of days ago, I started off with my mics
    fairly close then realized there was way too much articulation goin' on, i found that once i moved it away it sounded a little nicer.

    Hope this helps!


    Its topics like this that give me the horn!!hehehe
  3. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    Hi Erin...

    I am not familiar with those tube mics, but I have a Neumann tube mic and a digi 002.

    I am confused about your pre-amp question. Usually tube mics have power supplies, but not pre-amps, You need the power supply no matter what, and you would plug that into the oo2. If you do have a separate pre-amp you can use that as well, and go in to either the low or high impedance jack. I generally try to stay low impedance (xlr) when possible.

    I was using a pre with my tube mic & digi a few days ago, but it started acting up so I bypassed it and went straight in to the 002 and was pleasantly surprised.

    Anyway, the true answer is "whatever sounds better" to you. The 002 has decent mic pres built in, but you can choose to use outboard ones as well. Try it each way and see what sounds cleanest.

    I look for a pure trumpet tone. Often trumpets/flugels are pretty brassy instruments with high sound pressure level, so it is sometimes better to go with the mic that is not so bright. You also might even need to use the pad (listen for a harsh distortion sound - clipping, while tracking) that is built in to the mic.

    I would probably start with the better mic you have, and see if you can get it to sound good (ie: work with the pads & pres). If not go to the other mic.

    I have even gone off of condensors to use dynamics and ribbons with horns sometimes, because they are too bright (once again, that harsh distortion).

    Good luck.
  4. ErinSmith

    ErinSmith Guest

    Thanks for the input. I have always been on the player side of the mic. I am experimenting now to see what happens to the sound as I adjust different levels. Very random, but I'll learn.

    I have a great horn, and in an acoustic setting, my tone is quite dark. A lot of guys naturally have a thinner sound, or they have equipment designed to project the sound.

    My Blue Tube Pre has gain and drive knobs as well as phantom power and "pad" buttons.

    how do the gain and drive levels work? (excuse the newbie in my question). Which is generally set first etc. . . . I guess I get the gain idea . . .to avoid clipping right?, and to achieve the best sound to noise ratio possible without clipping . .

    how about the drive?

  5. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    if your mic has a power supply don't send 48v out of the pre (by hitting the button). This will cause sierous problems

    Can I suggest using a Sennheiser MD421 to track that trumpet? The thin sound is most likely coming from that mic.

    Plugging a 421 into the 002's pre's should work nicely.....
  6. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    I've never had much luck recording trumpets (or trombones for that matter) with condenser mics.
    The best kind of mic to use is a ribbon. But if that's not an option, then a quality dynamic like the Sennheiser MD421 will do the job.

    But I will also stress that the room acoustics play a huge part when recording horns. If your room sounds like $*^t, then it doesn't matter what mic you set up. The other important factor is the quality of the player.

    Oh, and the 002 preamps are heaps better than those nasty noisy little presonus units.
  7. ErinSmith

    ErinSmith Guest

    I have a couple of Dynamic mics I'll try. On stage I use a "Blue Ball" phantom powered dynamic mic. I'll give it a try next.

  8. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    "On stage I use a "Blue Ball" phantom powered dynamic mic. "

    I think they are condensors, dynamic mics don't use phantom power. I would like to try to Blue Ball mics, I hear a lot about them. I wonder if they got the name from reading Olde English sex novels?
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The Blue Ball is a phantom powered dynamic mic ... they run it through a small amp to keep the impedance at 50 ohms ...
  10. ErinSmith

    ErinSmith Guest

    Yeah, the Blue Ball is a phantom powered dynamic mic.

    I really like it on stage, it is supposed to be a decent kick mic too.

  11. ErinSmith

    ErinSmith Guest

    So I ordered an MD 421 and found some settings for recording trumpet as far as EQ etc.

    most books I've looked at suggest a large diaphragm condencer mic for trumpet (about 12-18 inches from the mic). One suggested an off axis angle to get a less strident tone.

    I am going to compare the Blue Ball, the MXL V69 tube, and the MD 421 and see what sounds most like me.

    Back to it. Thanks all!
  12. sign

    sign Guest

    The MD421 is a pretty hot sounding mic and I think the V69 sounds a lot bigger on trumpet, although the mic is very bright, but you can EQ some of that high away.

    The 421 is a great mic for many applications, but it's not my first choice on trumpet, it's great on trombones though. The MD441 is a better mic for trumpet, but still quite hot.

    A ribbon may be a better choice, I use a combination of the MD441 and a LDC on trumpets.

    The V69 will also do a great job on saxophone.

    And don't mic the trumpet too close and a little off axis.
  13. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    Use the 002 pres...the blue tube sux... :wink:
  14. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    "The Blue Ball is a phantom powered dynamic mic ... they run it through a small amp to keep the impedance at 50 ohms ..."

    I stand corrected, that's a new one for me. Unfortunately, as much as I love mic selection, I am only doing home recording now, no live drums, and I have my one mic (Neumann U-67) that I love and it's all I ever use. I have missed out on a lot of new mic developments in the last 10 years since I came back to the recording world.

    Also mic pres - FWIW. When I was doing recording they were ALWAYS built in to the console and we didn't think about them that much.
  15. Ollie1

    Ollie1 Guest

    Ribbons sound great on trumpet and brass. Royer 121 Beyers AEA etc

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