New Trumpet Mic!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ALLCHOPS, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. ALLCHOPS

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

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    Nov 14, 2003
    Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
    In the past few years I have spent about $1,000.00 on a couple of Sennheizer Microphone's(421 and a 441)... I just purchased an AKG D-440 and much to my surprise is turning out to be the best one yet, not to mention the cheepest.. Specifically designed for the Trumpet it has a even tone throughout the registers.... For about $120.00!!!

    Just thought I would share!

    Happy 4th!

    Tony G
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    What's wrong with a good ol Shure SM 57? That's what I use for live sound, and it isn't because it's economical either - it's the choice of the band leader, who is also an audio engineer. For example, the front line of the band is using wireless Shure Beta 87 condenser mics for vocals.Except for one. She's using a wireless Beta 58 and I took her beta 87. These mics are NOT cheap.

    I'll look in to the AKG mic though.
     
  3. ALLCHOPS

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

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    Mic

    T.O.P is also using the D-440.. That's why I thought I'd try it.. I believe the mid frequency respose is better on the AKG...

    Tony G
     
  4. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    I don't play in to a mic often on gigs anymore. I always see people recommending the Shure. I bought and used one years ago and always thought that it didn't get a clean sound. I think that it isn't that mine is defective because I have heard other SM 57s with the same effect. Is it possibly mixer and speaker setup?
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    All I know is that sometimes the Shure SM 57 is referred to as "God's microphone" because in the studio, you can do just almost anything with it - vocals, instruments, drums, whatever. I'm not the first, nor will I be the last trumpet player to use the SM 57 in a live band situation.
     
  6. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Hi,

    I was in the audio business for several years and sold the Shure line, among others.

    Talking with the factory guys, I confirmed what I'd always suspected, the SM 57 shares the same mic element and electronics as the SM-58 vocal mic . . . only basically varying in the windscreen design.

    The SM57 and SM58 are functionally one-in-the-same microphone.

    That being said, they are BOTH great choices in a SUPER-RUGGED microphone which literally will NOT break, and this has been proven in over three decades of use and abuse in nightclubs, bars, studios and stages all over the world.

    They are also a great vocal mic because of TWO reasons:

    1. A deliberately rolled-off (turned down) bass response.
    This "trick" is necessary to compensate for the "proximity effect" that happens on any mic when a singer places their lips on, or just off, the mic. The "proximity effect" causes the bass to get real boomy when this happens . . . and the deliberately weak bass pickup of the SM57/58 is perfectly offset . . . yielding a "normal" low sound of the voice without boominess!

    For trumpet, due to its much greater SPLs (Sound Pressure Levels), the bell MUST be a few inches back from the mic or two things will happen that are terrible. First . . . you'll dent your bell! Second, the mic AND your mixer's inputs will overload and totally distort the sound.

    With the trumpet 6" back, as it must be, from a mic . . . the deliberately weak bass roll-off performance of the Shure SM57-58 will thin out the core fundamentally-rich sound of your trumpet!

    Boosting the bass tone controls on the mixer only adds the smearing effects of "Phase Shift" to the sound and introduces greatly the chance of low frequency feedback. Low frequency boosting also makes one's amps clip much earlier . . . and this can spell the danger of frying voice coils in your PA speakers. I could go on and on . . .

    BTW, lots of 57s are used on drum sets . . . set up very close. A 57 gets REAL punchy on the bottom when placed real close . . . and this is one of the real reasons you see 'em used in lots of recordings on drums. But . . . a bass drum ain't a trumpet either.


    2. A deliberate upper-midrange boost.
    This is to reinforce/enhance the weaker overtones in a human voice (to add "sparkle" and "presence").

    Well, if there's something that you DON'T want in a trumpet's sound that's being reinforced, is that thin, shrill, "razorblades-in-the-wind" sound . . . and that's what an upper midrange boosted, EQ'ed for vocals-type mic gives you!

    Combine that with the SM57-58's wimpy bottom end sound when the bell is 4" away or more, and you have some bad sound problems.

    Shure, (all puns intended) . . . lots of trumpets ARE sound-reinforced across the world tonight with SM57/58 mics. Why? Because they are cheap, dependable mics that populate all sound company's mic boxes in great quantities. HOWEVER . . . they are VOCAL mics, NOT instrument mics.

    There are mics that are made for the demands of a human voice, and mics made to make your trumpet sound incredible. No mic truly does both in a close mic'ing situation.

    I've used a pair of SM57s myself before, back around 1980 . . . but only because at the time I'd sold my BeyerDynamic ribbon mics to cover bills and I'd employee-purchased a couple of 57s to hold me over for awhile.

    I want a mic that will pick up, accurately, the exact ratio in the overtone series that my trumpet's tone is putting out there . . . to make it sound as if there's no mic on it at all! It must handle very high SPLs without distortion AND yet be able to delicately reproduce every subtle nuance of the sound at the ppp level too. Quite a demand . . . and one that the SM57/58 were never designed to accomplish.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Turner
     
  7. BPinard

    BPinard Pianissimo User

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    I just bought an SM-57 today. I have to bring my mixer downstairs, but I've been using an (analog) tape recorder to record with it so far. I like it.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Tom, nice post! The only thing that I would like to comment about regarding the 57 is that most of the time I see it being used as an instrument mic - snare drum, next to the kick beater to capture the attack, in front of a guitar amp, horns, etc. Most of the time I see Beta 58s and Beta 87s as live vocal mics.
     
  9. Don Herman

    Don Herman New Friend

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    Jun 18, 2005
    Monument, CO, USA
    The 57 is a nice, rugged "universal" mic -- but needs some EQ with trumpet, and as Tom says, for heavens sake don't stick it right in the bell or it'll overload. The response is a little different than the 58, due to the body and grill, but not much. I have used 421's in the past and thought they were decent -- what problems did you have?

    The D440 is nice, but like many (most?) of AKG's mics has a big peak in the treble around 6 - 10 kHz. To me, it makes the trumpet sound a bit "strident" or "edgy", but cutting down the highs a bit smooths it out nicely. I like the C1000 as a cheap condenser for trumpet, and it's pretty rugged. Not a 57, but not bad.

    I still love those big old condensers, or even medium big (and much cheaper) new ones -- I use a pair of C3000's quite a bit. Ya' want flat, pick up a Shure SM81, or something like my Earthworks instrumentation mic (omni, very flat, very pricey).

    I've always found trumpet seems to sound good with the mic at about a 45 degree angle just below or at the bell plane, and 12" to 36" away to pick up some ambiance. Closer live, of course. This puts some of the sound off-axis, which tends to help smooth the high-mid/low-treble boost in so many mics.

    Hey Tom (or anyone), what's your vote for best reasonable (say, under $300) dynamic live/road mic? I've found a few I like, but none have compelled me to buy, at least not yet.

    My 0.000001 cents - Don
     
  10. gchun

    gchun Piano User

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    Dec 10, 2003
    Trumpet mic

    I've done a gig where the soundman used a Sennheiser E609 dynamic guitar microphone on trumpet. The gig was a loud dance/motown gig and the mic worked decently. Since it's designed for micing guitar amps, it's able to take the high SPLs of a trumpet. For me, I think it works better than an SM-57. I was pretty closely miced, about 4 inches from the bell. It probably wouldn't work as well for a more subtle gig.

    The mic costs around $100.

    Garry
     

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