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I have a budget microphone and a budget HD recorder, what's the best way to mic a sax, as in distance and positioning, and what about the input levels? I'm really ignorant, I need help to get the best sound out of my cheap setup. Thanks.

p.s. if I didn't make it clear enough, this is for recording purposes (hence "budget HD recorder")
 

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I usually put the mic about 8-12 inches off the bell, and slightly to the right (to capture the bell keys) and aimed toward the bottom of the upper stack.(mid horn)

As for levels, you want to get the most sound without clipping. (use all dem bits) Not sure what recorder you are using, but basically get to unity gain.

Set your input on the channel to 0, and the master to 0, then play and use the trim/gain control to bring you input signal up to 0.

it works for me.
 

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What Bill said....

Although, it doesn't hurt to experiment with mic placement--then you definitely know what DOESN'T work.:)

What is your recording setup? I'm wondering how you get from mic to line level for the input of your HD recorder. Does it have a mic input?

Also, most recording engineers put a bit of reverb, especially on saxes, to make them sound more 'natural'.
 

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I'm using a Boss BR1200-CD. Are you at all familiar with that?

Yes it has mic inputs. I'm using a "regular" mic. I have an akg condenser mic but it has a mini xlr so I can't use that until I get an adaptor. I'm trying to get the best sound out of my horn (unlike those people who are trying to get the worst sound out of their horn).
 

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Does your AKG have a battery compartment? If not you will also need a source of power (phantom power, how timely) for the mic in addition to the adapter.
 

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The BOSS 1200 D looks like a nice device. plenty of effects, phantom power and the like. You may want to mess around with using your computer as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) by exporting some things to your PC using USB. You can play with Audacity, which is a free download.

Have fun!
 

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Phantom power too? I've been thinking of getting a recorder. I'll have to look in to that. Thanks for the tipoff.



Nice unit, but not practical for my uses - needs more input channels to be useful. Good for one player work though...
 

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Pete's page (above) was a real help to me. I use a similar Zoom HD recorder and use the XLR input (with phantom power) with a Rode NT2A microphone

Take a look at my youtube pages, and you will get an idea of my mic placement, my room is bright so I close mic.

I am not saying it is perfect, but most people like the sound, if not the playing :)

One tip, getting good volume levels without distortion can be a problem, especially with the large dynamic range of sax playing (from quiet to loud). Trial and error has taught me to slightly reduce the volume of the other tracks, rather than trying to achieve a very loud sax signal (near-on impossible without clipping)

Or you could use compression........ but that is a whole different subject
 
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