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recording horns
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
recording horns

I'm recording horns in a couple of days. it's a trio of Trombone, tenor sax and trumpet/flugelhorn. It's horn parts on top of a full track with vocals etc. The music is a little old school. One song has a The Band "up on cripple creek" sound to it with "Meters" brass. The other one is more of a young Tom Waits ballad but with more guitars. I don't have a lot of time to set things up. So maybe you could help me out with some guidelines as I have little experience recording brass, except for the occasional saxophone or trumpet.

1. Stereo setup or one mic per instrument? or maybe even mono?

2. What's the best way to place the players in the room?

3. mic placement?

4. the mics at my place that come to mind are: Re-20 2x, T-Bone Ribbon mic 2x, Md441, md421 and gefell um70.

Thanks!
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
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NYCruiser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
If the horn players are good and can mix themselves well, you could use one mono mic on them and let them play to the mic. Sounds like you will be placing it in a busy mix.

I would probably try to mic each instrument with some isolation anyway to give some mixing options. Wouldn't bother recording them in stereo because of the busy mix.

Mic options sound appropriate. Ribbons and dynamics usually work well. Gotta try 'em and listen.

Hope this helps.
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
Old 16th September 2012
  #4
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Musiclab's Avatar
for the sound your describing I'd mic them individually in the same room, no double track, you're mic choice will be dictated by the sound of each player, although it's probably a good bet that your ribbons will be good for this.
Old 16th September 2012
  #5
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tpt and bone each on a ribbon, sax on um70. An overall stereo pair would be nice, room depending.
Old 16th September 2012
  #6
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Depends on the arrangement and whether you're happy to commit to their balances. I'd try mono for all of them, with a few likely mics up at the same distance, say a couple of meters out or three depending on room, aiming to select two that make a good blend of tone between them. Print separately for later balance/tone control between them, but pan the same. Maybe a ribbon and a dynamic.

If they usually play together what you get this way should make a solid entity. Then double and harmonize that, all playing together, obviously depending on how much and what is arranged already. I hate having loads of separate horn tracks and in a way if they don't connect between each other or one keeps fukkin up you're screwed anyway, so feck it I say, let them make their shape in one. Think drum kit is one sound, so is brass section. IMHO
Old 16th September 2012
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Horns are loud enough that there's no reason to use headphones rather than a speaker. I always try to liven up the room too. That way they won't play so loud that it castrates the horn sound. I like the players standing around one figure 8. That way you can improve the balance by having them take a step or two.
Old 16th September 2012
  #8
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🎧 15 years
To my ears horns love ribbon mics. If available, i would stay there on Mic choice.

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Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis ➑️
Tpt and bone each on a ribbon, sax on um70. An overall stereo pair would be nice, room depending.
so long as the sax player doesn't have a real edgy tone, I would agree.
Old 16th September 2012
  #10
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Hans ➑️
1. Stereo setup or one mic per instrument? or maybe even mono?
from how you described the tracks, my instinct would be to go for the mono, but cover my ass with a mic on each

I mean really 'go for' the mono, really work on it. As if you didn't have the close mics or any extra tracks.
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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12ax7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
Horns are loud enough that there's no reason to use headphones rather than a speaker. I always try to liven up the room too. That way they won't play so loud that it castrates the horn sound. I like the players standing around one figure 8. That way you can improve the balance by having them take a step or two.
This is good advice!
It also fits into others' suggestions for a ribbon mic (if it truly IS a figure-8).

If you DO decide to nix the headphones (and go with a speaker setup), place the speaker(s) in the null(s) of the figure-8. ...And verify that the speakers are actually in the null(s) by moving the speakers (and/or mic) until they nearly disappear on the feed from the mic. (Don't just guess.)

If you do this, you'll have about the same amount of (but "friendlier") leakage from the other tracks than you would normally have from most setups using headphones and close mics on the horns.

...Hard to believe, but it's true! (even in a pretty live room).

You'll also have the extra benefit of the horns blending more naturally, and you'll probably spend a lot less time in the mix dickin' around with processing to get the vibe you need.
.
Old 17th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm just throwing this out there, but I love the sound of brass through my RCA 77D ribbon microphones, especially when trying to reflect a sense of "old school".

Dennis
Old 19th September 2012
  #13
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks a bunch for the replies! I put up the Ribbon and the um70 both figure 8. Turned out they sounded really nice together. The um70 has the sheen and the Ribbon the thickness. We moved around a lot to get the balance right.
I actually really like both mics hard panned. Sounds really impressive.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Hans ➑️
Thanks a bunch for the replies! I put up the Ribbon and the um70 both figure 8. Turned out they sounded really nice together. The um70 has the sheen and the Ribbon the thickness. We moved around a lot to get the balance right.
I actually really like both mics hard panned. Sounds really impressive.
I bet they did.

Did you ever get an Ampeg?
Old 19th September 2012
  #15
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
not yet. But it is on my to do list. I'm fully into maintenance at this stage. try to get everything working without breaking down. Down the road I will get one of those for sure.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Hans ➑️
not yet. But it is on my to do list. I'm fully into maintenance at this stage. try to get everything working without breaking down. Down the road I will get one of those for sure.
Maintenance, lovely maintenace....lol. I sympathise greatly.
Old 19th September 2012
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
My group has trumpet, tenor sax, & bari and we recently recorded at Avast, in Seattle (great studio). We tracked with a Coles 4038 ribbon on each horn, about 4-6 inches from the bell. Sounds great. The room wasnt too big, but wasnt square and had 20 foot ceilings. In the future, I would want the trumpet a few feet away, so maybe put it in a different room (i'm the trumpet, so i'm being picky). We used headphones. The reverb on the track is a Micmix master room 305. You can hear the results on CD Baby, search for Cascadia '10 "The Secret Is Out". In a different band, I used an LDC (2247?) and it was pretty good. In yet another band 3 horns used a Royer (R12? -- their blumlein mic) and i didnt like the results because the horns just couldnt play dynamics together...the blend is bad. Unless you're the Dap-Kings or Tower of Power, a room mic could be problematic, but ymmv. Cascadia '10 is an instrumental band, so perfect balance of the horns was crucial, since they are "the singers". Please post your results sometime! Would love to hear it!
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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balanceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis ➑️
Tpt and bone each on a ribbon, sax on um70. An overall stereo pair would be nice, room depending.
yes
Old 2nd October 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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amanitas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
Tpt and bone each on a ribbon, sax on um70. An overall stereo pair would be nice, room depending.
Quote:
Originally Posted by balanceman ➑️
yes
Another yes. Generally speaking, ribbons for trumpet, LDC for tenor sax, either for bone.
Old 30th October 2012
  #20
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mingustoo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
ok, school me...
Wouldn't it be better to cover your bases and have, say, 421 on sax, 441 on trpt, re20 on 'bone, ribbons in a stereo pair in front, and ldc as a room mic?

Last edited by mingustoo; 30th October 2012 at 01:32 PM.. Reason: grammer
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