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The 'Recording Secrets' Library Of Microphone Positions:
Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones

The following audio examples were recorded with talented composer and multi-instrumentalist Christian Bolz in his home studio, a carpeted 4x5m room with wood-panelled walls and ceiling. The microphones used were Avantone CK1 small-diaphragm condensers.


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MULTIMIC SETUP 1

This microphone setup used five Avantone CK1 microphones (with their cardioid capsules) to record the vertical dispersion characteristics of four different saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone.

  • Vertical Dispersion On Axis: For these audio examples, all the mics were set up around 20cm from the instrument at different heights. For each instrument, one the microphones was deliberately aimed directly into the bell of the instrument, as indicated in the table below.


(For a higher-resolution image, click here.)

Mic Saxophone Type Position
Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
A WAV/MP3
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At eye level pointing downwards towards the instrument
B WAV/MP3
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WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
At chin level pointing slightly downwards towards the instrument
C WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
At chest height pointing slightly downwards towards the instrument
D WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
At waist height pointing towards the instrument (and aimed directly into the instrument's bell in the case of alto, tenor, and baritone saxes)
E WAV/MP3
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Pointing upwards towards the instrument from below (and aimed directly into the instrument's bell in the case of soprano sax)


MULTIMIC SETUP 2

This microphone setup used five Avantone CK1 microphones (with their cardioid capsules) to record the horizontal and vertical dispersion characteristics of the same four saxophones as in Multimic Setup 1.

  • Horizontal & Vertical Dispersion: For this set of audio examples, the microphones were set up in a cross-shaped formation, with all mics pointing inwards towards the instrument from a distance of around 50cm. Mics B, D, and E were on-axis to the instrument; Mic A was around 40 degrees off-axis to the player's left; and Mic A was around 40 degrees off-axis to the player's right.


(For a higher-resolution image, click here.)

Mic Saxophone Type Position
Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
A WAV/MP3
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40 degrees to the player's left, pointing towards the instrument at elbow height
B WAV/MP3
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WAV/MP3
On axis to the instrument, pointing towards it at elbow height
C WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
40 degrees to the player's right, pointing towards the instrument at elbow height
D WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
Pointing downwards at the instrument from head height; all saxes miked on axis except baritone (10 degrees off-axis to the player's right)
E WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
WAV/MP3
On axis to the instrument, pointing upwards towards it from below

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