The trombone is a really popular instrument and if you’re looking to take up this skill, the best microphone to buy is going to be dependent on what type of trombone you’re playing.
If you’re playing a tenor trombone, then the best microphone for that would be an AKG C451s.
You want to look for a microphone that has a relatively flat frequency response curve, which is going to give you the truest sound you can get.
This microphone can capture your instrument’s dynamics and nuances with ease and it’s capable of capturing even the lowest frequencies as well, so you won’t lose any of the power or punch that this instrument produces.
The C451s is another favorite of mine, it’s a larger microphone and it will be suitable for both tenor and baritone trombones.
This microphone has been known to capture the low end quite clearly, but it doesn’t suppress any other sounds that you might get in your playing.
It also has a number of other advantages over the smaller microphones such as the Superluxe M-50 or the Shure SM57, which are capable of capturing certain frequencies better than this microphone.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Choose a Microphone for Recording Trombone
- 2 6 Best Microphones for Trombone
- 3 FAQs
How to Choose a Microphone for Recording Trombone
The connector type refers to the type of connector used in a microphone. Two types of connectors are available which include XLR and TS. The most popular being the XLR connector, but some microphones have dual connectors which allow you to change from XLR to TS without switching cables.
Dynamic or Condenser?
Condenser microphones work best for applications where there’s lots of room noise that needs to be canceled out like large spaces, live performance halls, or studios; whereas dynamic mics work better when working with vocals in close proximity and detailed acoustic performances such as drums, guitar amplifiers, and pianos.
Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies that are picked up and transmitted by the microphone. Recording engineers use this as a guideline when recording.
Impedance is measured in Ohms and is usually represented by a Z or an omega symbol. It represents how much voltage your microphone will need to have before it can put out sound to your speakers or equipment.
Dynamic range refers to the ratio of the maximum amplitude that a microphone can pick up to the total noise level. An example may be if a microphone has a maximum sensitivity of – 18dB at 3kHz, 65dB at 20Hz, and 98dB at 20kHz, its dynamic range would be 65-18= 49 dB.
Polar patterns refer to the way the microphone is able to pick up sound. There are two main types of polar patterns available which include omnidirectional and unidirectional. Omni mics will pick up sounds equally from all directions, whereas unidirectional mics are able to create a more focused sound by filtering sounds in front of the mic while picking up less from the rear of the mic.
Frequency response is very important when recording trombone using a microphone as it determines a wide range of performance characteristics such as tone quality, volume throughout the entire suspension range, attack and decay characteristics.
Noise handling and sound suppression
Noise handling refers to how efficiently a microphone can deal with noise that may occur as a result of wind noise or other background noises that occur when recording. The more efficient the microphone will be in suppressing noise, the better it will be for trombone players who are recording their instrument.
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6 Best Microphones for Trombone
1. Shure SM-57
The Shure SM-57 is a classic choice for instrument miking. When you live on a budget and have to buy one or two microphones to cover the whole band, then this is for you. It is relatively cheap and durable.
In addition, the SM-57 does not require a lot of amplification to sound good. This mic gives you the classic mid-range, warm, and smooth sound that it is known for. You can get a bright tone out of this if you boost the upper mids.
2. Shure WB98H/C
The Shure WB98H/C Instrument Microphone – Wireless is a good choice for miking your horn section. This mic has wireless capabilities and is highly durable. Artists like Miley Cyrus use this as well.
The WB98H/C has a wooden casing that makes it even more durable with the right amount of feedback dampening inside the mic’s shell. You can use this with or without a cable depending on your needs, which is awesome!
If you want very warm tones from your trombone, then this will be perfect for you.
3. Samson AirLine AWX
The Samson AirLine is a good choice for trombonists who like to use condenser mics. They have a flat response so they can pick up the sound of your trombone and not amplifier frequencies.
In addition, they have a wide frequency range, which gives you more control over your sound. If you want to brighten up your tone, then this mic will allow you to do that with ease.
4. Sennheiser E609
The Sennheiser E609 is ideal if you want a more bright and airy tone. This is a dynamic mic that can handle high sound-pressure levels.
As far as durability goes, this is strong enough to withstand any amount of feedback, even if you are using it under the stage lights. It also comes with an XLR adapter.
Also, the mic can get really loud, though it may sound a bit distorted.
5. Marantz Professional MPM-2000U
Marantz MPM2000 is a classic mic for instrument miking and vocals. It has strong response and high SPL capability, which is perfect when you are in pressure situations.
Additionally, this mic has a cardioid polar pattern so it captures only one sound straight on, which eliminates any unwanted feedback.
6. Electro-Voice RE20
The Electro-Voice RE20 is a classic choice for instrument miking. It has a dynamic transducer that can handle high sound-pressure levels and is perfect for loud venues.
In addition, it has a high-frequency response so you can brighten up your tone when you need to.
However, it does not squelch out low frequencies as well as some other mics.
How do you mic a trombone?
There are many different ways to mic a trombone.
One way to do this is to place one microphone near the bell and one microphone near the mouthpiece. Another way is to place two microphones on either side of the bell while moving them in closer or farther away for a higher or lower sound in relation to each other.
The best mic placement will depend on what your goal is. For instance, it might be better if you were recording heavy brass or something with a lot of trombone in it and need that really loud sound, which would require two microphones as close as possible – but this location can make it difficult for other instruments that are playing at the same time like drums and guitar, so it might not be the best option.
Which microphone is best for speech?
The lapel microphone is best for speech for e.g. court room, conferencing etc. The lapel mic is best for this as it gives clear speech without picking up background noise.
What type of microphone is the most sensitive?
The shotgun microphone is the most sensitive because it is small, and the microphone inside is close to the speaker cone; therefore, it picks up more sound.