Many of you reading this may not be recording a trombone anytime soon, but I thought that this comparison of 9 different mics was interesting nonetheless. Paul The Trombonist played into a number of mics that varied greatly in price so you could hear the difference between them. There’s no conclusion on the video about which one sounds best (more on this in a moment). The mics include:
Shure KSM 27 condenser
Shure SM 58 dynamic
AEA R92 (front and back) ribbon
Audio Technica AT 3525 condenser
Audio Technica AT Pro 35 condenser clip-on mic
Canon Rebel camera mic
iPhone built-in mic
Zoom H5 stereo condenser mics
While this is a pretty good comparison on this instrument, one of the things I didn’t like was that the level of the the different mics weren’t balanced against one other, so there were jumps in gain in some cases. That said, there’s a big difference between some of them, as you would expect.
Here’s the thing about mic selection though – if you choose a mic that makes the instrument or vocal sound good on its own, it might not work in the track. That’s why it makes sense to make your choice based on how it fits with the other instruments. Just like soloing when you EQ, something that sounds great on its own might be totally lost or out of context when the other instruments and/vocals are added.
Another thing to consider is that so much of the tone depends upon how the microphone is placed. Distance is one variable, as a microphone that sounds great at a distance (12 to 18 inches) might not sound nearly as good up close (2 to 3 inches).
The same goes for if the mic is placed off or on axis. Sometimes just by moving the mic slightly off axis can change the sound from bright and splatty to more natural.
This comparison is pretty useful in that you can hear that sometimes the cheapest mic in your locker can sound pretty darn good under the right circumstances.
People also ask:
Usually a ribbon microphone is chosen due to its smooth and mellow response.
Again, a ribbon microphone is usually chosen due to its smooth and mellow response.
Modern microphones by Royer and AEA, and vintage microphones by RCA, or often favored.
Most brass instruments benefit from a little distance (12 to 18 inches) and placement slightly off axis.