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Topic: OT-recording a real sax

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  1. #1

    OT-recording a real sax

    There\'s so much knowledge and talent here maybe someone can give me a couple of pointers on recording a real sax player. I\'m up to my ears in software, samples, plugs and all that good stuff, but the only mike I have is the Chinese Studio Projects C1 (not a bad mike).

    Will this work OK? The problem I forsee is movement. Should I maybe look at getting something different?

    Anyone? Hopefully I\'ll be able to post a few tracks as we progress. The guy is REALLY good.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Hey Sporter,

    Here\'s a quick rundown and some resources.

    Sax projects sound everywhere because the length of the pipe is constantly altered by the opening and closing of the pads. More sound comes from the bell than anywhere, but it is not usually mic\'ed at the bell (or at least close to it) in a studio setting. The reason is that when the player goes down to the bottom of a given tessitura, all the pads are going to be closed and the level of sound coming from the bell will increase dramatically. Pop and jazz players actually use this phenomenon all the time on stage to \"honk\" the mic on a low note, but usually in the studio you\'re not looking for that kind of \"crowd exciter\" effect, but a more true recording.

    The C1 won\'t be bad. If it\'s the only mic you have around, it will be perfect. Place it in front of the player, about a foot from him and about a foot above the bell, facing directly at him (not down into the bell). See how that works. If he\'s a \"weaver\" glue his feet to the floor and threaten to surround him with pointy knives. Everybody wants a good sound, he\'ll play along.

    One thing to be careful of...if your room has hard walls or floors, you might want to deaden up a bit. This is where the C1 is going to hurt you a bit, because it is going to really pick up ambient bounce, as opposed to an RE20, 421, or other dynamic that people might reach for when recording a sax player. This is why I included the link for the critical distance paper from Shure. Bottom line, you need to be within critical distance for YOUR space, but the one foot \"away and above\" placement may still get too much bounce if the room is live. If that happens, and you\'re getting a \"boxy\" sound, then you\'ll need to grab some blankets, packing pads...whatever you\'ve got that can be used, and deaden the room. You won\'t be able to get appreciably closer to the sax itself, because you\'re going to start getting too much pad noise and too \"flattened\" of a sound.

    This is Shure\'s basic studio mic\'ing guide:

    http://www.shure.com/pdf/booklets/mics_for_music_studio.pdf

    This is a publication on critical distance, and how it is determined:

    http://www.shure.com/support/technotes/app-critical.html

    Good luck...hope that at least gives you a starting point.

  3. #3

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Excellent Bruce...just the info I was looking for. A couple of the tracks are nice and intimate piano and sax...i really want this to sound good even if I go in the hole money-wise.

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Lol, I like the part about being a \"weaver\". I haven\'t gotten a chance to try the AMT Roam 1 /System 1 mics at all, but they are supposedly specifically designed for sax players--especially ones that can\'t stay still in front of a mic stand.
    They are clip on mics, (with the Roam 1 being wirelss) that are ENDORSED by quite a few pro sax players (Brecker, Lovano, etc...) But I am not sure exactly how good the mics are from experience--I have never ONCE seen an average Joe user advocate the mics, either in online forums or on their website. You may wish to check out www.appliedmic.com for more information.

  5. #5

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    hmmm the C1 is the only semi-decent mic I currently have as well, and I\'m working on a song right now where I recorded live sax with it...here\'s a snippet:

    Let Go

  6. #6

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Originally posted by David Abraham Fenton:
    hmmm the C1 is the only semi-decent mic I currently have as well, and I\'m working on a song right now where I recorded live sax with it...here\'s a snippet:

    Let Go
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Nice tune, good sound. IS that the C1?

  7. #7

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Originally posted by sporter:
    Nice tune, good sound. IS that the C1?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">thanks! and yes, that\'s the C1 recorded in my upstairs hallway [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    sax player is Carl Cox from South Jersey

  8. #8

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Originally posted by David Abraham Fenton:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Originally posted by sporter:
    Nice tune, good sound. IS that the C1?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">thanks! and yes, that\'s the C1 recorded in my upstairs hallway [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    sax player is Carl Cox from South Jersey
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hallway??? No kidding? Man, the sound is killer! Is the verb natural? The C1 should work fine from what I\'m hearing here. That\'s a million, David.

  9. #9

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    Originally posted by sporter:
    Hallway??? No kidding? Man, the sound is killer! Is the verb natural? The C1 should work fine from what I\'m hearing here. That\'s a million, David.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">the verb is partly Lexicon Pantheon that comes with SONAR3 Producer, if you don\'t use SONAR then you can likely get similar results with SIR and some of the Lexicon impulses.

    So far the C1 has been working well for me, but I realize that there are other effective microphones out there

  10. #10

    Re: OT-recording a real sax

    David,

    The sax sounds great and so does the rest of the song. Did you use the C1 on the vocals as well?

    I have two of them, and use them for just about anything. I record a lot of different acoustic instruments and have yet to find one where I wasn\'t satisfied with the sound.

    -- Martin

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