Microphone for Recording Brass


New member

To record a trumpet in Ableton, I need to get it though the 2i4 audio controller.

Therefore, looking at purchasing an attachment for the trumpet and a microphone. The questions is, which microphone, and why?


Well-known member
You dont mention your budget. However mics traditionally used for brass include EV RE20, Shure SM7, Heil PR40, and my favorite, Royer R101


New member
Cheers Cavedog,

Budget would be up to $800, higher if it could be used for other instruments such as a 12 string guitar, or even an amplified electric guitar.


New member

Here are the apparent choices in my marketplace:

1. EV RE320 - $320

2. Audio Technica Dynamic Instrument Mic - $349

3. Senn MD421 II - $421

4. Shure SM7B - $479

5. Rode K2 - $500 (SH with custom 7m lead made with mogami cable & neutrik gold connectors)

6. Rode NT2000 - $550 (SH with quality stand)

7. Byere Dynamic M88 - $595

8. Royer 101 - $895

Hmmm.....Decisions, decisions...saving up my dollars now....

The BeesKneez stuff was way too pricy.
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Well-known member
The RE320 is more like an RE27 and both have neodymium magnets. The 320 also has a different eq curve on its switching and a different style capsule than either the RE20 or the RE27. A bit more sparkle to it. An MD421 is one I forgot to list. MANYMANY MANY horn tracks recorded with that mic. Many. The Rode K2 with all that extraneous stuff is a marketing thing. If you have a good cable it'll work. I think its kind of harsh and I'm not a fan of condensers on horns. Too much harmonic content for the condenser to sort through. You want flat response and something that will take a bunch of db's. The Beyer M88 is one of the best mics in the world. As is the Royer. The problem with the Royer is once you have one you'll want a bunch of em.

Jordan Appeal

New member
Personally, I love how ribbon mics capture brass. I'm not sure what AEA 84's or CLOUD JRS-34's go for used, but these are fantastic mice


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Agreed. Particularly for trumpet, a ribbon mic is a must-have, IMO.

Also, if you're talking about attaching a microphone to your horn, you absolutely do not want to place a microphone anywhere near a trumpet. Back off several feet for the best sound. I know you see a lot of people using clip-on mics at live shows, but that's because minimizing gain to avoid feedback is more important than getting the best sound when you're doing sound reinforcement. For recording, that's entirely the wrong way to do it.

A microphone close to the horn is going to get too much wind noise, valve noise, the musician's breathing, and other undesirable noises. Also, the sound of a brass instrument is complex, with different harmonics radiating in different ways. (My vague recollection is that, because of the curvature of the bell, the position at which the sound wave actually forms varies from one note to another and from one harmonic to another, but this is vague memory and may be entirely wrong.) As a result, the best sound comes a few feet away and off axis, as described in this article:

Recording Brass & Reeds

Personally, I don't put it quite as far away as the author of that article (more like a meter or a little bit over) or that much off axis (more like 15 degrees), but either way, six inches straight in front of the bell is right out. :D

Ah, yes. This describes how brass instruments produce sound, and my memory was pretty much on target:


Fun stuff.
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New member
If you're handy, you can do this:

apex 205's from ebay

Tranny's from samaraudiodesign.com

Corregated gears for rolling the ribbons: diyaudiocomponents.com/product.php?id=4

1.8 ribbon, larrys cool       larryk@larrykillip.com              just email him, he responds quickly, good ribbon
Roll your own ribbon, replace the ribbon and transformer in that Apex mic, and it'll sound as good as a Coles ribbon, if not better!