Ever need to record saxophones? Not the most obvious instruments.

Paul Johnson

Oct 27, 2012
I've been knocking on producing some help style videos for YouTube - mainly as a response to friends on forums, where being able to hear things makes more sense. One guy was asking about sax recording and it popped into my head that many people really don't get to record them that often, and when they do, get poor results because the damn things seem to defy common sense in some areas - as to where to put the mics, what mics might work best and the crazy issues you get with the instruments. I also discovered many people don't even know the differences between the types - so the video went from just some edited together samples into an explanation of how saxes work and what things frustrate you when you try to record them.

The first section is mainly about the different types and how they function and then the sample section features each clip with an SM57 and an AKG 414. Some positions the Shure seems to win, and other times the AKG - so position and distance make big differences, then you have the tonal differences to consider too.

Mats Fagerkull

Sep 11, 2015
Sm57 will work as usual and its hard to go wrong with 414. But I prefer the venerable Sennheiser 441( or 421) in the same positions as 414. Some have had good results with RCA DX77 or Beyer PL- series, have never tried either so cannot speak with experience. Good luck!!

Roland Clarke

New member
Feb 22, 2018
So many choices, but one or two microphones, two being over the keys and one on the bell, I personally prefer only 1. 414, U87, at 4050, royer, 4038 Cole’s a good choice. Dynamics, 57, 57 beta, Beyer 88, Shure 58, 441, 421. Best advice is to think of it like a voice and don’t just stick it down the bell. Clips can do well for live, DPA 4099, Beyer, Shure 98a, etc.