Recording clarinet

Tapehead

Member
Any recommendations for a good mic to record clarinet? Or alternatively, mic placement? Or both? All my mics (SM 58, AKG C-1000S, AKG C535EB) give the intrument a harsh reedy sound around in the mids which I had to eq severely to smooth out. (Yes, I'm sure a Neumann U87 would sound great, but...) Obviously their presence peak is working against the recording in this case. I realize the clarinet is a slighly edgy instrument, but the sound was harsher than it needed to be. Once you have to eq by cutting a full 15 db when you're trying for a natural sound, that tells me something is wrong! I tried various mic positions; the best seemed to be around 6" below and facing into the bell. Ideas would be welcome.
 

jnorman

New member
you are going to need a large diaphragm condenser to approach doing a clarinet justice. to record classical instruments properly, the quality of the microphone is paramount. the less expensive ones such as the akg c3000, the rode nt-1, or the at 4033 will do an adequate, but not great job. record in stereo if you have access to two mics. use minimal, if any, compression. expect to use a fair amount of EQ - A/B your recording with a commercial CD and fine tune your EQ to match. you will likely have to EQ on a clarinet no matter what mic you use. a better entry point might be the at 4050, but for professional results, you should consider the neumann tlm103s. another alternative is a ribbon mic - they have a warmer sound than condensers, and can give you a more unique quality. as you move into the more transparent higher end microphones, it becomes more and more important to use high end mic pre's.
 
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