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  #1  
Old 02-07-2010, 05:44 PM
Luke K Luke K is offline
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Default Tracking brass

Hey guys,
In the next week or so im going to be tracking some brass for a song.

Im thinking of either using a sm57 or my rhode NT1a..(i dont have alot more in the way of choices)
Can you offer any pointers about getting good brass tracks?
Will have trumpet,trombone and alto sax.
I will be recording them separately
Thanks,
Luke K
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:52 AM
trondned trondned is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Ideal solution: Track them together in front of the NT-1, take two passes, and pan slightly L-R. Good players blend together in a way that takes much work to imitate.


The 57 handles spl well, but has little high-frequency response. You'll have to eq quite a bit, but if your room-sound is not very good, it still won't affect the recording too much, since you can close-mic.

The NT-1 doesn't handle high spl very well, but it has the top-end you'd want on brass. You'll need less eq, but you'll need distance to the mic (one meter or so), so the sound of your room will be very obvious.

Personally, I would go for the NT-1 solution, but it depends on the sound/style of the music and the sound of the room. If possible, try the living-room, the hallway, the garage etc. Positioning within the room and dampening (blankets/duvets) also helps.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:05 AM
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Keybeeetsss Keybeeetsss is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Hey Luke, If u only have those mic choices, I would do as Trondned said, but along with the group passes, I would still track a couple of separate passes as well... I have never done it without doing passes with all players on there own mics so I would take this approach if this were the only choice I had...
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:17 AM
1ace1 1ace1 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Deffo the NT1.

If you have to do them seperatley heres a couple of pointers.

Watch the trombones levels (it has the largest dynamic range of all acoustic instruments)

Also when recording sax i like to have my mic/s slightly to the performers right side (FOH's left) and aiming at the neck of the sax (rather than the bell). Most of the sound does not come from the bell on the sax, unlike the trumpet or trombone.

Also it is important to spot mic rather than close mic so the instrument has a little extension. This can introduce a little room noise/ambience.

The only other advice I can think of is to stop them moving when recording, sax players can be especially bad at standing still, but all three piece brass sections that I have recorded suffer from this (a hang up of being on stage).

Happy tracking

A:)
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:42 AM
BradLyons BradLyons is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Well is this LIVE or in the STUDIO? And if in the studio are they playing with a band, or is this over-dubbing style recording? OR is it an ensemble that you're recording?
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:40 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Put a Cascade Fathead II on your wish list. And register your email with the company to get notices on special pricing several times a year.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:37 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Use both mics, the 57 closer, the Rode further away. You may be able to use both, or you may decide one is better and choose it, but at least you'll have the choice. Neither is a very good choice for the job, unfortunately. A pair of Neumann U-87s or similar would be good. Or ribbons. Or AKG C-12s. But if it is what it is, you can make it work.

I totally agree with tracking them all at once. Even though you'll have less control over the sound, the musical result will be vastly superior, and that's what it's all about. If it's good music, too much roominess will sound like cool roominess. If the sound is nicely controlled but the music sounds pedantic, it won't sound cool.

The 57 will have to be far enough away to be more-or-less equidistant from each player. It won't be able to be too tight. Get them to sit/stand in a semi-circle around it. It will probably end up being no closer than two feet from any of them. Finding the right compromise height will take some experimentation. Not directly in front of any of their bells, since it will need to capture them all with equal presence. And of course you'll have to figure out how to fit music stands (or at least one) in the scenario without blocking the mic and without it becoming a reflective surface that causes phasing.

The Rode can be perhaps twice as far away, maybe more, because it will tend to distort with those kinds of SPLs coming at it. If your room is large enough that it can be, say 12-15 feet away without being too close to a wall, it will be able to provide ambience without degrading the sound through phasing. Or it may need to function as an alternate mic rather than a supplemental one.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:10 AM
formfunction formfunction is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Quote:
Originally Posted by daeron80 View Post
The Rode can be perhaps twice as far away, maybe more, because it will tend to distort with those kinds of SPLs coming at it.
Good to use both.. and I would move the Rode further, just to avoid some phasing issues as well as spl. That ol 3:1 rule comes into play..ff
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:58 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Quote:
Originally Posted by formfunction View Post
That ol 3:1 rule
Oh, interesting. I'd always thought of that in the context of spacing stereo pairs left to right. But maybe you're right that it would work similarly on a front-to-back arrangement, too.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Tracking brass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke K View Post
sm57 or my rhode NT1a..(i dont have alot more in the way of choices) I will be recording them separately
Neither mic is optimal for this. Anyway to borrow or rent a high-end condenser? Brass is tough to get right - I've gotten great results with U87's (or even TLM103's) but, as said above, give it some distance. Use some reverb and compression, maybe a high-pass too. If you go with the NT1A, you might want to subtract some upper mids a little...
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