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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?

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  • Mic A

    19 51.35%
  • Mic B

    4 10.81%
  • Mic C

    11 29.73%
  • Mic D

    9 24.32%
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Thread: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

  1. #41
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmell73 View Post
    So I think the results so far aren't really saying that listeners find Microphone A to be the best, but rather than Microphone A shapes your sound in the direction of the sound they like the most.
    I couldn't agree more. I don't think you're being a killjoy because I think we all know it's not meant to be an objective study in the "best" microphone. It's something I've done first for my own usefulness, and second because of another thread where someone was discussing cheap vs expensive mics (or bad vs good if "you get what you pay for")

    So in posting this I was interested in either confirming or disproving that supposition. But only to a very limited extent as it's not a perfect scientific situation. As you say, it should be relative to an uncoloured, unmiked sound. Which would also need to be with your ears at the same distance from the saxophone as the microphones to be a more perfect test, so that the actual room ambience wasn't colouring the sound.

    Still, at the end of all this, I guarantee it will have been a useful and for many people surprising conclusion.

  2. #42
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Well I for one feel like a child on Christmas morning. Common pops pleeeeaaase let us open our prezzies.


    The adult in me, if there is one as my wife doesn't think so, merely hopes it won't be too long. Thanks for posting this Pete. I think the results will be very educational
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  3. #43
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzaferri View Post
    Well I for one feel like a child on Christmas morning. Common pops pleeeeaaase let us open our prezzies.


    The adult in me, if there is one as my wife doesn't think so, merely hopes it won't be too long. Thanks for posting this Pete. I think the results will be very educational
    Stupidly i forgot to put a closing time on the poll, I didn't want want votes coming in after the identities are revealed. I have asked the admins to kindly close the poll for me, so hopefully they can do that and as soon as that happens I will post the mic names.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Stupidly i forgot to put a closing time on the poll, I didn't want want votes coming in after the identities are revealed. I have asked the admins to kindly close the poll for me, so hopefully they can do that and as soon as that happens I will post the mic names.
    Pete, I just closed the poll. Reveal all you want now !

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  5. #45

    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmell73 View Post
    Have you noticed that the English word "but" means: "Ignore everything I just said, here's my real point"?

    I don't mean to be a killjoy, BUT...

    As a way of testing microphones, there's a confound in this study. For example, one poster said that B lacks high frequencies. But it could be that your natural sound also mutes the high frequencies, which microphone A exaggerates.

    Without us hearing you play live, and then comparing microphones to the live sound, I'm afraid this test really boils down to "which microphone tends to slant the sound of a saxophone in the tonal direction you prefer?" A microphone that made Desmond sound like Boots Randolph would be just right for some people, because they like that sound better. In my case, I'd pay rubies for a mike that made everyone sound like Getz. But not everyone would agree. So I think the results so far aren't really saying that listeners find Microphone A to be the best, but rather than Microphone A shapes your sound in the direction of the sound they like the most.
    I agree that we don't know what he sounds like live. However, you can certainly tell which mic has a more natural, open sound. I have been recording saxophones for years and I can definitely tell when the mic is deficient.

    Mics B and C are definitely not conveying his natural sound. I agree that without hearing his sound, we can't tell if his sound is being slightly brightened or darkened by the mics, but you can certainly tell when the mic is picking up the full spectrum of frequencies.

    Mic B doesn't sound like a dark saxophone sound that could be natural. It sounds like a mic that isn't adequately picking up the upper frequencies. There is a big difference.

    So, I'm not saying that mic A sounds the most like what he sounds like live. I'm saying that mic A is giving the best representation for the full range of frequencies that he is producing. In other words, the flattest response.
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  6. #46
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    OK I have posted the answers on the page, click on the info buttons of the music player) you'll probably need to empty cache and refresh browser.

    http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-recording.html

    EDIT: Please give that page a Facebook "like" if you liked the test (and have Facebook) Thanks.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Very cool results. Exactly what I would expect. The AKG sounds great, the ribbon is much warmer, the dynamic is thin. Thanks for doing this, Pete!
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  8. #48
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Now that's a rather impressive spread of microphones to have no clear winner in sound!
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  9. #49
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Wow. That IS a surprise. Even though more people preferred the expensive AKG, many preferred the SM58. And almost as many liked the cheapo Radio Shack electret. The ribbon mic got the fewest votes but it was my fave. Very educational. It just goes to show ... I don't know what.
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  10. #50

    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    I must admit I've surprised at how good the electret sounded!
    Website: http://www.soulfulhorns.com
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  11. #51
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Well, the AKG is sort of clear winner, but how about 9 votes for the Radio Shack/Tandy (Realistic) Tiepin mic. That's the one I use for my "live" clip on. (see this page.

    Here are the four mics (you need to look hard to see the Tandy)



    The SM58 didn't do too badly, which I think should be useful for the other thread at:

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...a-pro-engineer

    (An SM58 is more or less the same as an SM57 in sound)

  12. #52
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMusicMan View Post
    The ribbon mic got the fewest votes but it was my fave. Very educational.
    Yes, ribbons are rather a specialist mic. I have a matched pair of those and tend to use them on piano, for which they get a great warmth. I might use one on a particular bright saxophone, or if I was after a very mellow sound, but I tend to mostly use the AKG and a low pass filter if that is what I want. Or maybe just practise some long notes.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    I knew one was going to be that Radio Shack mic, but I would have suspected it was C since that was the brightest... I was torn between A and D liking D a bit more for no apparent reason. ;-) very cool.

  14. #54
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Last night I listened to this via iPad and Shure very expensive earbuds which are great earbuds and I liked D the best with tossup between A and B

    This morning listening via DAW reference stuff I am leaning more to the A but with D still a little ahead of B in sound I like. I am absolutely blown away with how good that little electret sounds on tenor. What else does it work well on Pete
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  15. #55
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzaferri View Post
    What else does it work well on Pete
    i originally found out about it from a sound engineer who carried a few around and sued them on drum kits. Very easy to fit on, no big mics or stands to get in the way of errant drum sticks.

    I haven't used it anything else, but I wouldn't be surprised if a couple bunged inside a piano worked very well.

  16. #56
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Wow, where can I get one of this electret mics? Or 10?

  17. #57
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Thanks for the tip I'm off to radio shack
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  18. #58

    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Well, the AKG is sort of clear winner, but how about 9 votes for the Radio Shack/Tandy (Realistic) Tiepin mic. That's the one I use for my "live" clip on. (see this page.

    Here are the four mics (you need to look hard to see the Tandy)



    The SM58 didn't do too badly, which I think should be useful for the other thread at:

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...a-pro-engineer

    (An SM58 is more or less the same as an SM57 in sound)
    wow- quite amazing when you look at the price differential for the various mikes. I used to use a similar clip-on mike for many years live. It was a tip I got from a Sound Engineer working for Belgian Radio/TV. I ran it through a cheapo equalizer to compensate any perceived deficiencies in the tonal spectrum.

    DO you have any idea about the dynamic range of the various mikes? I'm not sure about the correct technical jargon, but do the different mikes perhaps display better performance over a wider range of decibels?

  19. #59

    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    (An SM58 is more or less the same as an SM57 in sound)
    mostly, provided you remove the windscreen ball from the 58.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Sax mic shootout: which do you prefer?

    I think quite a few listeners picked up on the noticable mid-range spike of the Shure mic.

    Fwiw, I used to use a cheap Radio Shack lapel condensor microphone quite a bit. It actually gets a nice sound as a room microphone if placed in the right spot.

    On the bell, my AT Pro 37R sounds much nicer with a more balanced, flat response. My SM57 is ok, if bright, but gets a bit heavy when attached to the bell.

    just for fun, this rehearsal tape was recorded with a single Radio Shack lapel condensor microphone a few inches below ceiling. I tried to position to get a "balance" based on where everyone was situated...
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