Untitled Document
     
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!
     

Mic'ing a clarinet

#2
Both a microphone on a stand and a clip-on mic can work. Some things don't work great depending on the situation. I've used (and still use) both options and also a pickup.

There are many single clip-on mics, most are condensers, but some are made to resist feedback better than "regular" condenser on a stand. IME good ones are AMT, AKG and DPA. I've also tried SD Systems, which I'm not sure still make any, though only their bass clarinet double mic and not on a soprano clarinet. I think Shure makes a few clip-on mics too that I've found to work good on saxophones.

AMT also makes a double mic for soprano clarinet, which I have. It is excellent but much more expensive and adds a lot of weight too. Unless the kid doesn't mind the weight plus they are not going to need it for just a couple of concerts, then I probably wouldn't recommend this one.

The single clip-on mics can be very good, some even prefer them over the double mic. You'll have to try and check in your situation to know which model would handle best for eveness and feedback, depending on the organiziation of the PA and the rest of the players.

The purpose of the clip-on mics is usually to have a good tone while they are relatively close, which can have some uneveness. Again this depends on how much gain you can have without feedback.

A single dynamic mic on a stand can be very good, though for a very loud group it can have problems. It just can't capture the entire range evenly without feedback in that situation, most of the time. I once had a recording that had to be done this way for various reasons and you can actually hear some of the range almsot disappears because of that.

If the group is not too loud one dynamic mic can be great. I played with a small group of four relatively soft instruments and non very close to me (singer, guitar, bass and me) and it worked great. Put the mic about 20cm-40cm away from you, around the middle of the clarinet. If you don't need high enough gain that would feedback, this can be very good.

A lot has to do with the sound engineer. Some put the mic right at the bell (out of ignorance). this will not only get the E and B to scream (in comparison to the other notes) but will give a different type of sound. Some purposely want this but by far most clarinet players don't (if you're trying to get a sound that is more similar to the sound you gett withotu a mic).

A very good solution can be two dynamic microphones. One about 20cm-30cm away, more or less above the middle, the second one around the same distance near the bell (or sometimes the bell area, not necessarily directed towards the bell). I have even had good amplification this way for a bass clarinet.

Also remember that any condenser will need phantom power or a battery. This means a sort of preamp that you put somewhere next to you (or "wear" it) and without a battery, you'd need a phantom source. It shouldn't be a problem since pretty much every mixer/console will have it but just worth knowing (e.g. connecting the condenser to the regular computer input to record will need a sound card with the right connection and phantom).

So it really depends on situation, how much they want to spend, etc.
 
Top