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Good mic for a clarinet?

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Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:09 pm

Hi all,

First time for me tomorrow for recording a clarinet, along with 3 other musicians on instruments I'm more used to. I've picked up from Hugh's article where to locate the mic, now I'm wondering which of my mics would be best to use.

For SDC's I've got NT5's. My KM184's are spoken for on the guitar and mandolin but one of the band has a KM184 that he's promised to bring along so if he remembers I'll have that to use. For LDC's I've got a TLM193, a U87 and an sE Titan.

At present I'm rather leaning towards the TLM193 but what would you use?

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:16 pm

Maybe a decent dynamic like an M201?
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby The Elf » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:27 pm

If I had a U87 without another job to do I'd likely go for that.
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:00 pm

blinddrew wrote:Maybe a decent dynamic like an M201?

Thanks for the thought but this is for tomorrow so the choice is what I've got in.

The Elf wrote:If I had a U87 without another job to do I'd likely go for that.

On the basis that you can't go wrong with a U87? I can see that.

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:13 pm

My vote would be for the TLM193, i.e. characterful neutrality ;)

Position to suit and you should be good to go.

Maybe the U87 should you need figure of eight pattern to control bleed.

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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Sam Inglis » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:15 pm

The one time I tried a U87 on clarinet it was a bit honky, I preferred a C414. So the 193 would probably be my first port of call.
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:15 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:My vote would be for the TLM193, i.e. characterful neutrality ;)

That was my thinking. Thanks also Sam for a bit of actual experience.

Actually, if I was just recording the clarinettist alone I'd probably go for an Earthworks QTC1 some feet back, but it's going to be a quite crowded room tomorrow and omnis just won't do, sadly.

Cheers,

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Ariosto » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:34 pm

I've recorded classical clarinet successfully with an AKG D202 (dynamic mic), concerto with orchestra, and also with string quartet (Mozart Clarinet Quintet). But that was a long time ago and I'm sure it's irrelevant to your current mic's - but maybe a modern dynamic might work.
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:56 pm

If spill wasn't a problem I'd agree with the TLM193 choice too, but if there's a lot going on in the room at the same time I fear the spill picked up on any LDC might be a bit too coloured in the mix... In which case the extra KM184 (or the NT5 if not) might well sit better in the mix.

Clarinets also tend to be pretty loud and carry well, so some (makeshift) acoustic screening and careful mic positioning around the quieter instruments may be worthwhile.

H
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby The Elf » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:19 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
The Elf wrote:If I had a U87 without another job to do I'd likely go for that.
On the basis that you can't go wrong with a U87? I can see that.
U87 is my go to for sax, so I'd certainly give it first chance. From my own collection it would probably be C414, but you have to work with what you have.

I'd agree with the above that it's the off axis spill that might make the choice.
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:02 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Clarinets also tend to be pretty loud and carry well, so some (makeshift) acoustic screening and careful mic positioning around the quieter instruments may be worthwhile.

It is a concern of mine so I'm going to try placing the clarinet ("clarionet" as we like to say in folky circles) at one end of the room by me with everyone else up the other end ...

Thanks everyone for the advice. Good stuff, as ever.

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:31 pm

In the event the TLM193 performed handsomely. We're all pleased with the result.

Cheers,

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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:12 pm

:thumbup: 8-)
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:45 pm

Excellent. If I won the lottery, a pair of TLM170s would certainly be on my shopping list...... a multi-pattern version of the TLM193 would be a wonderful thing......

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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Aural Reject » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:16 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:Excellent. If I won the lottery, a pair of TLM170s would certainly be on my shopping list...... a multi-pattern version of the TLM193 would be a wonderful thing......

Bob

They're reet nice :D
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:38 pm

Um ... thirded.

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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:48 am

Did it (for a ballad) a few years back. A flat cardioid will do fine but even if there's a bit of a presence bump it doesn't really harm. Dont remember what I used but it wasn't anything special or esotic,

What I noticed back then, was that the instrument was seriously loud (way more than I expected) and that the mic positioning was extremely important.

Something I had to work with what the fact that player was raising physically the instrument on certain notes.

The result was nice. Actually, too nice - for the song I needed a spooky effect so, in the mix I ended up adding lots of air (the player was pretty good, so you couldn't hear any in the takes), a flanger and a little distortion. Didnt sound much like a classical clarinet after that, but the original takes, to my surprise, did :)
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:42 am

CS70 wrote:What I noticed back then, was that the instrument was seriously loud (way more than I expected)

Um, it's all of that. We all knew that spill to the other mics was going to be an issue and decided simply to ignore it. I had the clari player back alongside me to counter the off-axis spill issue that Hugh mentioned. Moving him further away (for instance into a neighbouring room that has a connecting door) was never going to happen. Like all folkies things like click tracks are anathema to them and they rely on eye contact to keep together - especially for a tune like this one that speeds up toward the end (boy! did it speed up).

I must emphasise that this is only a first mix and there is still quite a bit of work to be done on it but if you're interested, here's the recording. The band is Lightgarden and the tune is Minka:-

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rpgsa2sdh9wbh ... a.mp3?dl=0

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby John Willett » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:57 am

Only just seen this and I'm glad it went well.

I like a good neutral mic. on a clarinet and of the ones you have I would also have put the TLM 193 as first choice. :thumbup:

But I do agree with what Hugh said.
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby Ramirez » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:29 pm

Very enjoyable!

FWIW I had nice results on a clarinet with an SE R1 ribbon a couple of feet back. Lovely mellow sound, but not at all lacking in detail/"under a blanket" as the R1s can sound on some sources.

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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:45 pm


Nice! Is that a harpsichord?

You can hear my mangled clarinet at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lml8mwZiHoA. I was actually half drunk when I wrote that song, and couldn't play more than three chords :D
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:02 pm

Very nice that CC, bit more variety on the tune than i was expecting (for some reason).
CS70's clarinet sounds more like a synth to me though :)
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:39 pm

CS70 wrote:[Nice! Is that a harpsichord?

No, it's a pair of bouzoukis. It does rather sound harpsichordy, I must admit. There was a lot of overdubbing, which contributes to the variety.

CS70 wrote:[ I was actually half drunk when I wrote that song, and couldn't play more than three chords :D

On the other hand that means you must have been half sober when you wrote it, a pleasant and useful state of mind, I've always thought. I enjoyed it. I agree with Blinddrew, that clari's been through a bit of processing there.

Cheers,

CC
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:59 am

Really enjoyed that! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Good mic for a clarinet?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:24 pm

On behalf of Lightgarden,

Image

CC
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