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Discussion Starter #1
Okay. I'm in need of a mic for recording purposes for my solos, and etc. Can anyone give me a recommendation on what would be a good recording device to use? It could be a portable or microphone.
 

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Your computer is a good recorder. I would recommend something like Blue Yeti usb microphone.

For a digital audio workstation (DAW), I recommend either Reaper (free to try, $40 to register), or Audacity (free).

If you feel the need to be portable, you might look into the Zoom H1,2,or 4.
 

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Many choices out there, and it depends on your preferences as far as quality, functionality, and in the case of mics construction and type.

I use a small "lipstick" condensor that has fairly flat and wide frequency response with good high end. It's lightweight, so if you use it on your bell it's not noticably heavy. Audio-Technica DR3700/Pro 37R (about $130-$150). It does require phantom power.

I think condensor mics seem to work well for sax, and some also work with an internal battery in case you don't have phantom power available. There's also some nice USB condensor mics around if you're primarily using with computers.

I've also used a Shure SM57, they're nearly indestructible dynamic mics and don't require phantom power. However, they have a noticable spike in the midrange which brightens the sound. I prefer the flat sound of my other one.

If you play a lot with the mic attached somehow to the bell, there are also a number of micro-sized condensors that have great sound but may be a little pricier than the lipstick condensor I'm using. I haven't looked at those lately, so I'm not familiar.

I use an inexpensive Behringer mixer and can either record via computer digitially (a track at a time, as I don't have a full-duplex sound card) or when I just want to do something quick and dirty I record analog via an old Nakamichi BX-1 casssette deck and then digitize using my PC.

A lot of people love the Zoom recorders if you need something portable. For something higher quality and portable there are a lot of possible solutions from portable digi multi-track studios to a laptop set-up using a high quality digital audio interface.

Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I looked at the PreSonus 1Box. Do you how good the mic quality it is in that package?
 

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Still one of the best choices and $99 the Shure SM57. I liked it so much I had it chopped in half so it could go on my bell and plugged into my wire-less system.

At home I use an AKG S1000 condenser, works really nice for sax. Any decent vocal condenser will make your sax sound pretty warm an full... the bigger diaphragm the better.

Still, don't over look the 57... I've been in large horn section sessions in the studio where the producer would have a Neumann U87 which are about $3000 on one horn and on another horn he'd have an sm57 and it wasn't because they didn't have any more Neumann's!

Also for a couple ideas on cheap recording packages check here:
http://yourhomerecordingstudio.com

good luck!
 

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Your computer is a good recorder. I would recommend something like Blue Yeti usb microphone.
We've just got one of these. If you have a laptop, it's a lot simpler and probably better quality than any alternative.
 

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h1 or h2 - portable. Just turn on and record.

My zoom h2 has been very useful.

No need to boot a laptop or computer and fits in your case.
Can also work as a mic/audio interface for your computer (on mac ,windows or linux) via usb.
Works well with audacity or garageband.
 

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There are better option than any of the posts above - IF you have a budget in the thousands. How much would you feel comfortable spending?

Also - Does it need to be highly portable?
What kind of space (room) will it mostly be used in?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are better option than any of the posts above - IF you have a budget in the thousands. How much would you feel comfortable spending?

Also - Does it need to be highly portable?
What kind of space (room) will it mostly be used in?
Not too pricy. It does not have to be portable, and it'll be used in my room majority of the time.
 

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@Saxjohnny: Seriously, an SM57? Does an SM57 have a much better sax tone than a SM58? Because I despise the sound of my sax through an SM58, but I haven't tried an SM 57. It can't handle the volume, it chops of certain frequencies, doesn't pick up the nuances of attack and release, and distorts heavily even with state of the art sound equipment. Frankly, it makes my sax end up sounding like a harmonica. I know the SM57 is supposed to be instrumental and 58 vocal, but as much as I hate my tone through a 58 I can't imagine a 57 could be that much better. I am a huge fan of the Neumann's for recording, but for gigs I get by with my Samson copy of the ATM clip on condenser. The tone is not as good as a Neumann, but at least it does justice to my tone, doesn't distort, and is able to handle all the volume and power of even the extreme altissimo range.
 

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@Saxjohnny: Seriously, an SM57? Does an SM57 have a much better sax tone than a SM58? Because I despise the sound of my sax through an SM58, but I haven't tried an SM 57. It can't handle the volume, it chops of certain frequencies, doesn't pick up the nuances of attack and release, and distorts heavily even with state of the art sound equipment. Frankly, it makes my sax end up sounding like a harmonica. I know the SM57 is supposed to be instrumental and 58 vocal, but as much as I hate my tone through a 58 I can't imagine a 57 could be that much better. I am a huge fan of the Neumann's for recording, but for gigs I get by with my Samson copy of the ATM clip on condenser. The tone is not as good as a Neumann, but at least it does justice to my tone, doesn't distort, and is able to handle all the volume and power of even the extreme altissimo range.
No - A 57 is not much different than a 58 but it sounds like you are doing something wrong with your 58. You should not get the unpleasant distortion you mention unless your gain is set too high. Your mic may be broken or you have a user error problem. The Shure SM58 (and 57) are real "workhorse" mics - not the best but certianly durable and with a very passable sound.
 

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Best bang for the buck would be the SM57 or 58 (same element) because you can use them for recording and also in a live situation, something that would be tough with a USB powered microphone. A small inexpensive mixer would also help bring your mic level up to line level and get a cleaner sound into the Computer. Use the current soundcard for now and upgrade that when you have more bucks or need to.
 

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No - A 57 is not much different than a 58 but it sounds like you are doing something wrong with your 58. You should not get the unpleasant distortion you mention unless your gain is set too high. Your mic may be broken or you have a user error problem. The Shure SM58 (and 57) are real "workhorse" mics - not the best but certianly durable and with a very passable sound.
+1 very difficult to give a dynamic mic too much signal, the issue is in another part of the signal chain.
 

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Whatever the reason, I've played on dozen's of SM58's over the past 15 years, through amazing sound systems with many different experienced engineers running sound, and the end result is always the same. I end up hating my sound through the SM58 so much that I just finish the gig with no mic at all, relying on my trusty metal jazz mouthpieces to give me all the volume and projection I need without any amplification. This was my experience until I got my ATM-35 clip on condenser. To my ear, the ATM condenser renders the sax tone much more accurately. I've read that dynamic mics don't respond fast or sensitively enough to capture the subtle nuances of attack and release of the complex tone of a saxophone, and that a condenser mic is much better suited to the task. This has certainly been my experience.
 

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Guys. We're talking recording. Recording sax and amplifying sax are two different things.
 

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Thanks Hak, these threads always go astray regarding recording versus playing. In my experience the Shure's are a fine performance mic. I really like the Sennheiser 421 for recording. It very accurately reproduces the sax. Does an even better job on flute., for about $300.
 

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Thanks Hak, these threads always go astray regarding recording versus playing. In my experience the Shure's are a fine performance mic. I really like the Sennheiser 421 for recording. It very accurately reproduces the sax. Does an even better job on flute., for about $300.
My favorite recording mic for flute is the Beyerdynamic m 160 ribbon mic placed about a foot to a foot and a half above the flute, aimed directly between the hands (really nice, because you can put the mic stand behind the player.

Needs a good sounding room, though.
 

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I took the OP's question as that coming from the position of wanting to do a little recording and not spending much, not setting up a full fledged recording studio. I took that information from the fact the poster asked about a mic or portable recording unit. My suggestion would enable someone just starting out to get the best bang for the buck, getting a mic that would work in multiple settings.

for that I apologize to those with more innate knowledge of the OP's intention.
 

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Guys. We're talking recording. Recording sax and amplifying sax are two different things.
I have to agree with Bill - We never did get a budget other than "Not too pricy." For me that might mean $400+ for a recording mic, but I'm guessing the OP may feel differently. The 57 may still be one of the best viable options. Keeping it around $100 I'd vote for owning a 57 over the Zoom H2 and I love my H2. It's just that the 57 can be used in more ways than one..
 
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