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Woodwind Instruments/Brass

Profile picture for user dabmeister music

Since it seems like everything is mostly based around the rhythm section or the recording studio here, I'd like to find out what would it take to record a decent brass/woodwind instrument or section (I'm a former saxophonist who had a chance to be tutored @ Tanglewood by world known sax man "Harvey Pettel" during the summer of my high school graduating year) and (this is a question for you sax players) what brand (like Selmer, Yamaha, Yanaqisawa) would one think would give you that sweet tone & intonation to compliment the recording process. This can also apply to brass. I'm looking for the best mic/pre combo for this task.


FifthCircle Fri, 07/16/2004 - 11:04

Yikes... Looking for all the answers aren't you.... :wink:

The answer of your question is "It depends." What kind of sound are you looking for? For saxes and brass, I'm a big fan of ribbon microphones- especially Coles and Royers. Beyer 160's also sound great on saxes (but unlike many others, I'm not terribly fond of them on brass). Some of the best sax and brass (especially trumpet) sounds I've ever gotten have been from using Neumann UM57 tube mics.

As far as approach goes- are you doing classical work (I know Harvery Pettel has one of the most beautiful classical sounds I've ever heard) or are you doing jazz or pop? Each style has their own way about getting the best and most appropriate sound.

Brand instrument? I've been partial to Selmers, but I've played some great Yamaha Customs and some great old Conns (but the intonation sucked on those). What mouthpiece are you using? You'll get more variety of sound from the mouthpiece than you will with the horn... Is it metal or rubber? Does it have a baffle in it? How open or closed is the facing?

Sorry to be vague, but the questions are rather vague too...


Profile picture for user dabmeister music

dabmeister music Fri, 07/16/2004 - 11:49

Thanks for the reply Ben. Yes, I know the mouthpiece is where the actual tone begins (I had a Berg Larsen metal mouthpiece w/ a #3 1/2 or #4 reed & no baffle) but I'm just curious to the fact because I have'nt played in eon's. I've been licking my chops for this lately so forgive me if I might come across a little vaguely. Oh by the way, I played a Selmer tenor and would like to explore what's availible nowadays as opposed to what was available 20 years ago.