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Hey all! Looking to purchase a microphone for home use (saxophone recording) with a budget of around $300. I did some recording at my buddy's place with a Carvin CTM100 tube condenser and LOVED the way it came out on both alto and tenor. I'll link a couple of those recordings below so you can hear them. I found the same Carvin new in box for around $250 so that's right in the budget. I have also heard that the Audio Technica AT4040 and Rode NT1A are decent in the price range for recording saxophone (between $250-300), but I just want some opinions on any of these if you have some experience with them. Thanks in advance!


 

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How noisy is your room at home? Mine is a bit loud so I found that a LDC mic (Rode NT1) picked up too much room. I opted for a dynamic which was much more isolating than the condenser. I opted for an SM7b which is non traditional for sax, but it works for me.
 

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AKG C214. This the “cardioid only”, single capsule version of the famous C414. $289 at Amazon.
 

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Sennheiser MD421 - IMHO the best sounding dynamic mic for saxophones ever made. And they are road-worthy/bulletproof.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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The recordings sound great on my iPad - but still there is a little ‘resonance’ that can be heard....but I’m not sure it is the mic. Rather than spending more on a mic, consider putting up some sound absorption material around the room. That is going to really help you get a recording that can be played loudly on high fidelity equipment. If the room becomes too dead, your sound management software can always add the effects....but hard to pull it out if it is already there.
 

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Got another thread about microphones that might have some more good suggestions on it:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ment-to-record-saxophone-in-your-studio/page2

Personally, I've had amazing results with the Audio Technica AT-4033, I think it's the best LDC mic in its price range by a LONG shot. (The AT-4040 you mentioned is great as well.) Audio Technica tends to make extremely good stuff for the price and they compete with mics costing several times as much handily.
 

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I forgot to say. The playing sounds great. Mic is definitely very capable. I played it back at home on the PSB speakers......things to consider are: Sound isolation in the planned room and better mixing software. The guitar overpowered your Amazing sax playing, as the sound from the guitar was reverberating all over the place. Maybe some of your high notes were clipped a bit on the sax in the recording, but that is being darned fussy.

The mic is going to record you better if there is only one instrument in the room.
 

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I forgot to say. The playing sounds great. Mic is definitely very capable. I played it back at home on the PSB speakers......things to consider are: Sound isolation in the planned room and better mixing software. The guitar overpowered your Amazing sax playing, as the sound from the guitar was reverberating all over the place. Maybe some of your high notes were clipped a bit on the sax in the recording, but that is being darned fussy.

The mic is going to record you better if there is only one instrument in the room.
I'm pretty sure the guitar was recorded direct, or via amp sims. If not, it's close mic'd, and therefore not really impacting on the alto sound. I'd agree that the balance could be a bit more skewed toward the alto, but that's a mixing thing, not mic pickup. Otherwise, why would the players be wearing cans?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the responses! I really appreciate it. The room of those recordings was my buddy's house (not mine) and I'll be mindful of the sensitive nature of the mic when recording in my room. Stay on the lookout for the recordings with the new equipment on my channel!
 

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I'm pretty sure the guitar was recorded direct, or via amp sims. If not, it's close mic'd, and therefore not really impacting on the alto sound. I'd agree that the balance could be a bit more skewed toward the alto, but that's a mixing thing, not mic pickup. Otherwise, why would the players be wearing cans?
You got it- guitar was direct.
 

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The recordings sound great on my iPad - but still there is a little ‘resonance’ that can be heard....but I’m not sure it is the mic. Rather than spending more on a mic, consider putting up some sound absorption material around the room. That is going to really help you get a recording that can be played loudly on high fidelity equipment. If the room becomes too dead, your sound management software can always add the effects....but hard to pull it out if it is already there.
I don't understand how adding sound absorption material will make a room sound less dead rather than more dead. It's soaking up sound.

I specifically put sound treating in my studio space so it would be less live sounding.
 

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I don't understand how adding sound absorption material will make a room sound less dead rather than more dead. It's soaking up sound.

I specifically put sound treating in my studio space so it would be less live sounding.
I think he meant that it's GOOD to be more dead because you can add reverb after, and that's it's BAD if you have room reverb because you can't take it out of the mix (if I read that right).
 

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Dave, which mic did you end up getting? I just ordered the AKG C214, seems like good value.
 
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