Saxophone Forum


by blizward
(3 posts)
5 years ago

Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

Hi there.

I need your opinion to solve issues with a baritone sounding uneven in a loud setting.

It's for a friend of mine who plays a Yanagisawa B 992 with a Berg Larsen mouthpiece. He's got an Acoustic Image amplifier along some effects (reverb and octave) and he struggles to get an even response from his sax.

The main problem is that it sounds too loud in the lower register which doesn't allow it to blend with the other instruments (Fender Rhodes, analog Synth and drums).

Is it the saxophone? Is it the microphone? Is it playing technique? What do you think?

He's not e beginner and his sound is nice when playing unamplified.

He's also blind so that doesn't leave much options for mic placement as he has to rely on a clip on system.

Thanks for your time.

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  1. by GFC
    (794 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

    My guess is that it's an issue with mic pickup.  You might want to help your friend experiment with mic placement to see if that can alleviate the problem.  Other options include using an equalizer or trying a mic with a different response curve.

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    1. by blizward
      (3 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

      Original Quote:

      "My guess is that it's an issue with mic pickup.  You might want to help your friend experiment with mic placement to see if that can alleviate the problem.  Other options include using an equalizer or trying a mic with a different response curve.

       Thanks for your answer.
      What kind of EQ would you use? 

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      1. by GFC
        (794 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

        I don't know.  It seems the big thing would be compatibility with the mic input and the amplifier.  Otherwise, the requirements for that particular situation would be pretty rudimentary.

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    2. by micguy
      (1 post)

      5 years ago

      Re: Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

      I'm not a sax player, but I do have a Bari Sax player in a band that I play in.  I'm also the live sound engineer and studio engineer for the band.  I've found that larger instruments with as wide of range as the Bari Sax often require multiple mics to really get a proper balance.  

      Using a single clip on mic around the bell tends to get one of two results.  1- If you angle the mic into the bell (typically off to the side a little bit) you will end up getting a great representation of the low register, and depending on the dynamic it will get the higher register pretty well too.  But the middle of the instrument's range will be lost.  2- Clip on but not place it intot he sound hole.  You point the mic above, below or to the side of the bell, not actually in the bell at all.  This way you can get a more focused sound either on the upper/mid tone holes, or the mid/lower tone holes.  

      With the Bari player in my group, I have a standard clip on mic attached to his bell pointed at the tone holes on the upper portion of the bell, and the upper portion of thd body while a second mic is on a small mic stand near the bow pointed at the lower tone holes of the body and bell.  This way you get even coverage of the whole instrument.  

      In your friend's situation, you might be able to design some sort of attachment for the second mic.  We are working on a way to design an alternate key guard for my player that is capable of holding a clip on mic.

      If you are in a situation where you NEED to use only one mic, I'd experiement with different placements of the mic.  If you point it into the bell, realize that the higher frequences put out by the upper tone holes will be able to penitrate so if you piont angled down a little bit that might be able to get you a more even sound.  Or place it off to the side of the bell, angled down to try and pick up the mid and lower frewquences; again the high frequencies will cut through on their own.

      It's a place to start anyway. Good luck.  

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      1. by blizward
        (3 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Getting the best baritone sound in an amplified band

        Awesome. What you described might be the problem: uneven sound accross the Bari range because of mic placement. It needs to be really precise. Do you use a bit of EQ live? Compression? You know, treat the saxophone as a singer. Albeit a loud one :)
        Thanks 

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