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Recording a horn section is a lot different from recording just a single instrument. The temptation is to place a mic on every instrument, but this may not be an effective solution, since you may run out of mics or inputs, and the chances of having our old nemesis phase shift appear become a lot greater. In this movie I'm going to show you an approach to miking a horn section that works really well. Sometimes it's best to record a section with as few mics as possible, and it's a lot easier to do than you might think, although the approach is different in the studio from a live performance. Where two or three players of the same family of instruments, which means brass instruments like trumpets and trombones, or all saxes, place the players about 3 feet in front of a single directional mic.
(music playing) Balance the section by moving the softer horns closer to the mic and the louder ones farther away. Sometimes an omni can provide a lot better balance. Have a listen. (music playing) If the section has more than three players, have them position in a circle around an omni-directional mic.
Balance the section by moving the softer horns closer to the mic and the louder ones farther away. You can try the same thing with the mic with the Figure 8 directional pattern, like what you find from a typical ribbon mic. That's how to record a horn section with a single mic. (music playing) Place the players about 3 feet from a directional mic and move each of them backwards or forwards to attain the correct balance.
For more players, use either an omni or Figure 8 mic and place the players around the mic in a circle. (music playing)
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