9 Mics Compared On The Trombone

trombone mic comparison

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:

What microphone do the pros choose to mic trombone?

Usually a ribbon microphone is chosen due to its smooth and mellow response.

What type of microphone is best for brass?

Again, a ribbon microphone is usually chosen due to its smooth and mellow response.

What microphone is best for trumpets?

Modern microphones by Royer and AEA, and vintage microphones by RCA, or often favored.

How do you mike brass instruments?

Most brass instruments benefit from a little distance (12 to 18 inches) and placement slightly off axis.

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