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Discussion Starter #1
Primarily looking for a live mic that I may use for recording from time to time.

I think I've narrowed it down to a Sennheiser 421 or an EV RE20. Anyone have any experience with these two mics and offer an opinion?

One thing in particular I haven't quite decided on is whether the proximity effect is a boon for dynamics or a nuisance. So far I'm leaning toward nuisance, as I've found attempting to semi-micromanage bari positioning while playing is annoying. While it is occasionally fun to blat out a low-A right into the mic for rare effect, I've found so far this happens more than I like unintentionally. I've considered a clip on for this reason alone (placement stays the same regardless if you move 6 inches this way or that), though I think I'd probably rather stick with a stationary mic (though if anyone has had a really good experience with a clip-on on a bari, I'd be interested to hear about it).

Sennheiser 421 seem to be a far more common choice and have a little more in the way of frequency response towards the low end far as I read. The RE20 though supposedly is pretty forgiving on proximity, so it seems that may mitigate some of the positioning problems. RE20's are a little more unwieldly though and I've never seen one used live on a sax I can recall, so I am guessing there is a reason for this.

Any thoughts opinions appreciated!
 

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These are both great choices in mics. If you worry about proximity effect, then definitely it's the RE20.

IMHO the 421 is a better all-around mic, and is certainly lighter than the RE20. The RE20, if I remember correctly, is around 2-2 1/2 pounds, and the holder is near the rear of the mic.

The downside of the 421 is that the clip is specific to the mic, and a bit more delicate than clips for sm57 etc., and if you break the clip, you are foobar.

You really can't go wrong with either of these babies soundwise, though.

Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! I do get the feeling either one would work out, but it's tough. You've confirmed my thoughts a bit - the 421 might be a little better all around in most eyes, but the RE20 does a better job on proximity effect.

So on that note, what are your thoughts on proximity and stationary mics with a bari in general? I guess really any sax has the same issue, though I'd guess the fact some of the tone holes get further away for the mic on bari might make a difference. That and the weight makes fine tuning your position a little more annoying. I joined a sort of rock band 4 months ago, and this is the first time I've really had to worry about it. I'm not sure I've really discovered the best mic placement yet (in the general range of middle C angled downward seems to be the best compromise I've found so far), so perhaps my troubles with positioning are in part due to lack of experience. Needless to say with a SM57/58 (which most clubs have) it seems I've had to pay more attention than I'd like to keep the low notes from being overpowering more often than I intend.

I will be doing some recording too, which is why I'm being a little more picky on the tone quality. In your average rock club with 90% of your volume through whatever PA, whatever differences in tone quality are going to be erased by the thousand other variables (I'm happy if the mix is decent). Yet I have and will be doing some recording (so far, with a 421 and it sounds good!) ... but dealing with proximity and placement is quite a bit easier sitting on a chair in a studio !

Anyway any more thoughts much appreciated!
 

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In the classic rock band I play with, I've been using the same AT35 clip on mic on both tenor and bari. I clip the mic to the top of the bell and aim it toward the lower G tone hole. This gets a pretty balanced sound from low Bb (not blatty, because the mic isn't aimed into the bell), up to F4 (It's the Lenny Pickett influence--chicks dig high notes:)).

In the studio, I always favored a 421 (for all saxes--maybe it's the sennheiser mystic, I don't know;)) a couple of feet in front and about head height. I also like to throw up a couple of large diaphraghm condenser mics to the left and right a few feet away, and mix and match, until I liked the sound.

It's always fun to experiment.

I also know there's some guys that have more experience than me in this. Maybe they'll comment, too.:D
 
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