ProSoundWeb Community

Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Callan Browne on November 03, 2015, 06:07:23 am

Title: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Callan Browne on November 03, 2015, 06:07:23 am
Hi,
I normally use my PA for either my 5 piece band or duo (pop rock covers), but in a few weeks another band is going to come up after us and perform for about 45 mins using our PA, Drums & bass amp at a small street festival.
They are a 7 piece funk band, including Keys, a Trumpet and a Sax player.

I was wondering what this group might recommend for use as Mics on both the trumpet and sax.

We have available:
2 X SM58's
1 X Beta58 Wireless
3 X E835
1 X E935
1 X E945

From this list, I also need 3 vocal mics, in addition to the trumpet and sax.
I was thinking of using the 835's for the brass and the 3 Shure's on vocals, but open to ideas as I won't have a lot of time to try to many options.

Lastly I don't have a DI in my kit currently, so I'm looking to purchase one for the keys, but I want to get something that is flexible / suitable for both keys and acoustic guitar - (I often play acoustic and just go direct into the mixer, it's served me well so far)
I was thinking of buying a Radial JDI for this, but happy to hear any suggestions.

Cheers,
Callan
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 03, 2015, 08:40:20 am
Check with the band to see what they want/need, but you can probably get away with a single SM-57 on a stand in front of the horns. No need to get crazy.

Do your research on the DI, but Radial anything is a great choice.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Geoff Doane on November 03, 2015, 09:31:01 am
As Bob says, check with the band, but chances are, an SM58 will be familiar and will do the trick.

I've always been a bit spoiled in the horn mic department, with access to MD-421s and RE-20s, which have worked fine for me.  But one particular tenor player kept bugging me for a 58.  I relented on the last couple gigs, and gave him my go to snare mic, an SM58 with a Beta57 windscreen instead of the usual ball.  He loves it, and I have to admit, I can live with it too.  I find the 57/58 to be a bit jagged in the top end, but I'd rather have a happy horn player.  I still like the RE-20 for trumpet because its lack of proximity effect means it doesn't matter how close the horn is, it sounds the same.

If your acoustic guitar does not have an active pickup, you really want an active DI.  I've been very pleased with the Radial Pro48, in the $100 ballpark.  It sounds just like the twice-as-expensive J48, but omits some of the (troublesome) switches of the more expensive box.  The LED also stays on full time in the Pro48 to indicate that you have phantom power.  I picked up a stereo K-T active DI about a year ago (made in China by BearRinger), and it has worked out well too.  If you need two channels, it's a bit more cost effective than the Radials. 

The JDIs are great, but may have some limitations with very high impedance sources.  They also contain a transformer that costs almost $80 by itself, so they are going to cost roughly twice what the Pro48 (and ProDI) does.  For devices like keyboards, that are AC powered, I like having the security blanket of a real transformer providing isolation between the musician's rig and my console.  The fact that they drop the level 15 dB or so has never been a problem, and is often an advantage with hot outputs.

A number of other companies make DIs using the Jensen JT-DB-E transformer found in the JDI.  Whirlwind, Switchcraft, ProCo, and LPB come to mind, and there are likely others.  They will all sound the same.  Pick the form factor you like, and don't look back.  :)

GTD
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: David Simpson on November 03, 2015, 09:33:40 am
I echo Bob's comments about advancing with the band to be certain of their needs. Perhaps they have mics and a DI to add to your list.

The SM58's would be ok for the horns. I would say use the 835's for vocals simply because you would have matching set. That is helpful for consistancy and with monitors. In reality, you could get away with the either on the horns.

Lots has been written here about DI's so be sure to do your homework. In general, you will probably want an active DI since you are looking to use it on acoustic guitar. Radial is great. I just got a few of their StageBug DI's, I love them as much as their bigger DI's. They come in at a very nice proice point and size too.

~Dave
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 03, 2015, 01:32:10 pm
I would say use the 835's for vocals simply because you would have matching set. That is helpful for consistancy and with monitors. In reality, you could get away with the either on the horns.
+1  The Shures are a default but if you're mixing mics on vocals and only have one monitor mix, it will be easier to get it dialed in with one kind of mic.  Besides, I like the 835s unless you have a sharp soprano female vocalist.  Then the peak will cut a bit.  For an alto female they're fantastic.

For keyboard DIs the passive Radials are the way to go.  I have a stereo one I got for isolating laptops from dance troups but the two inputs are handy when someone has two keyboards and wants you to mix them (as opposed to keyboardists who manage their own rig and send you one signal).
An active or buffered DI will help with an acoustic guitar that has some sort of passive pick up like a soundhole or passive piezo.  The low end response is less important though compared to a bass or keyboard.  Acoustics get boomy and howl unless the low end is cut anyway.  I have a couple of ART active DIs that were cheap and sound fine.  I'll reserve the BSS for something important like the bass or a primary acoustic guitar in a quiet act where it's really critical to get as good a sound as possible.  For basic strumming, the ARTs are fine and have been totally reliable over the last 10 years.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Callan Browne on November 03, 2015, 07:57:22 pm
Great, thanks all for the input.

I'm trying to get information out of the band as we speak, but at the same time trying to also get prepared myself in case they don't have to much experience.

This is what they have said so far
Quote
Well need 1x DI for keys, 1x DI for bass, and 2 horn mics (1x trumpet and 1x Sax)

If I need to lead the blind because I'm the guy with the PA, then I want to at least start with an idea of what might work.
Hoping for the best - planning for the worst.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Steven Eudaly on November 03, 2015, 08:14:53 pm
Again, everything that's already been said is great advice. Using matching mics on the vocals is a plus. Radial DIs are sound great and are about as indestructible as they come. The little StageBug models are great for the price, and don't take up much space in the workbox.

In my opinion, if you've got the vox covered with the 835s, why not try the the 900s on the horns? Maybe 935 on the sax and the 945 on the trumpet.

While the 58s will work just fine for horns, and I've worked with several horn players that prefer them, the 900s are great mics and definitely look a little more "special" or impressive to the average musician which can go a long way to making them feel cool about the gig. I've thrown 840s on horns before when it was all I had to work with, and it worked just as good as a 58, if not better, so I'd like to hear what the 900s would do.

Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: George Dougherty on November 03, 2015, 10:28:25 pm
In my opinion, if you've got the vox covered with the 835s, why not try the the 900s on the horns? Maybe 935 on the sax and the 945 on the trumpet.

While the 58s will work just fine for horns, and I've worked with several horn players that prefer them, the 900s are great mics and definitely look a little more "special" or impressive to the average musician which can go a long way to making them feel cool about the gig. I've thrown 840s on horns before when it was all I had to work with, and it worked just as good as a 58, if not better, so I'd like to hear what the 900s would do.
+1, given how similar the 935 and 904 response are, the 935 should do quite fine on horns.  I've put 904's up for a horn section before and they loved what they heard back through their wedges.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Roland Clarke on November 04, 2015, 05:23:13 am
Hi,
I normally use my PA for either my 5 piece band or duo (pop rock covers), but in a few weeks another band is going to come up after us and perform for about 45 mins using our PA, Drums & bass amp at a small street festival.
They are a 7 piece funk band, including Keys, a Trumpet and a Sax player.

I was wondering what this group might recommend for use as Mics on both the trumpet and sax.

We have available:
2 X SM58's
1 X Beta58 Wireless
3 X E835
1 X E935
1 X E945

From this list, I also need 3 vocal mics, in addition to the trumpet and sax.
I was thinking of using the 835's for the brass and the 3 Shure's on vocals, but open to ideas as I won't have a lot of time to try to many options.

Lastly I don't have a DI in my kit currently, so I'm looking to purchase one for the keys, but I want to get something that is flexible / suitable for both keys and acoustic guitar - (I often play acoustic and just go direct into the mixer, it's served me well so far)
I was thinking of buying a Radial JDI for this, but happy to hear any suggestions.

Cheers,
Callan

58's (57's on trumpets if you have one,) are fine for Trumpet and Sax, however, I suspect the 835's will work ok too.  As for DI's, Radials are great, but for general Key's and acoustic guitar, the cheap Behringers DI 100's are just fine (sound's not a problem) and at $40 a shot you can afford to have 2-3 knocking around.  I've got 4 and they have never given me a problem, they will take a knock.  In the unlikely event one fail's they haven't cost you that much.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 04, 2015, 06:10:57 am
he cheap Behringers DI 100's are just fine (sound's not a problem) and at $40 a shot you can afford to have 2-3 knocking around.  I've got 4 and they have never given me a problem, they will take a knock.  In the unlikely event one fail's they haven't cost you that much.

I know it's popular to not like Behringer, but I agree.  The D100s are fine.  I have a couple - although I usually use my own home made DIs first.


Steve.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 04, 2015, 09:16:18 am

I know it's popular to not like Behringer, but I agree.  The D100s are fine.  I have a couple - although I usually use my own home made DIs first.


Steve.

Berry's cheap active DIs are the most failure prone item we've owned.  We have a stack of them (10?) that have been painted black and are used as monitor wedge angle adjusters.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Roland Clarke on November 04, 2015, 09:36:52 am
Berry's cheap active DIs are the most failure prone item we've owned.  We have a stack of them (10?) that have been painted black and are used as monitor wedge angle adjusters.

I'm surprised this has been your experience.  My 4 (and several other people I know who have bought on my recommendation) have been totally reliable.  At a UK price of around 20 they are a no-brainer Radials start at around 90 and the active J 48 is around 170.  I use Radials on a reasonably frequent basis on other peoples rigs and they have always been fine, but I've never had sound issues with the DI100 either.  I'm not a berry lover for many reasons, but I think that these are probably the best product they make.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 04, 2015, 02:03:39 pm
Worked for years with a keyboard player who had a pair of the silver BSS wannabes and he was constantly futzing with them.  Eventually I got the Radial and took the load off him.  I also have a real BSS and there's no comparison other than the shape.  Those and a couple of Behringer comps I had years ago (for a brief time) soured me on the brand long before I ran into all the internet pile on.  I've seen people successfully using B stuff since and it wasn't as bad as those things but as active DI's go, the ARTs I have sound noticeably better (although not like a BSS or Countryman) are smaller and never given me any trouble.  I also have various Rapco and Whirlwind passives that are fine.  They just don't have the bottom end or transparency of the Radial.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Roland Clarke on November 04, 2015, 05:44:58 pm
Worked for years with a keyboard player who had a pair of the silver BSS wannabes and he was constantly futzing with them.  Eventually I got the Radial and took the load off him.  I also have a real BSS and there's no comparison other than the shape.  Those and a couple of Behringer comps I had years ago (for a brief time) soured me on the brand long before I ran into all the internet pile on.  I've seen people successfully using B stuff since and it wasn't as bad as those things but as active DI's go, the ARTs I have sound noticeably better (although not like a BSS or Countryman) are smaller and never given me any trouble.  I also have various Rapco and Whirlwind passives that are fine.  They just don't have the bottom end or transparency of the Radial.

If he had a problem with keys through the Behringer DI100's unless his boxes were faulty, the problems with the keys.  There is a lot of rubbish talked about DI boxes, as long as Impedance is high enough there shouldn't be much in it.  It's like all those that get terribly disappointed when they compare 1,000 a channel esoteric mic amps to 5 chip ones and discover there is little or no discernable difference.  I've used all the above mentioned ones and the only times I've run into troubles have been with old BSS ar116's, unreliable,  fragile, pieces of crap, a couple of the newer 133 ones that were U/S when plugged in.  Radials work great, but the screen printing wears off as they are not built for being kicked around a floor as DI boxes invariably do.

My cheapo Behringers have been kicked, dropped, tossed into cases by people thinking they are doing me a favour, helping me clear.  I've used them on every imaginable acoustic guitar, banjo, violin/cello/bass bug, keys from late 70's to the latest greatest from Nord, Yamaha, Korg, etc, more basses than you can shake a stick at, ranging from vintage, Pre CBS Fenders, Hofner violin basses, to the latest esoteric active stuff and everything in between and not once have I had to stop and change because of "lack of bass", noise, hum, or sound quality issues.  Anything that performs that well is a pretty good product in spite of what name is printed on it.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 04, 2015, 06:23:34 pm
Mostly I saw him poking at the switches and wiggling cables.  Which led me to think that they didn't use very good components in them.  When I bought a couple of the comps and they sounded like blankets over the speakers I just figured it was one of those "you get what you pay for" things and dumped the comps.  Later I ran into the "reputation" on the net and so there may have been some confirmation bias.  I don't jump on every bandwagon I see on the net, but the comments pretty much mirrored my experience.  Since my day job is electronics manufacturing, I'm pretty familiar with different grades of connectors and switches at different cost structures.

I do agree about the silkscreening on the Radials.  Not going to last long unless you package them up each time.  The metalwork is pretty heavy gauge but the lips can be bent if it's thrown into a case with things.

For some reason, nobody seems to make a good form factor for a DI.  Things like the extrusion with fins on the passive Whirlwind are funny as it's just somebody's cosmetic idea.  Basic serviceable features like lips to protect switches, square shape for easy stacking, simple flat black color scheme, seem to be missing these days as people race to create the next iMac.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: George Dougherty on November 04, 2015, 10:49:48 pm
Berry's cheap active DIs are the most failure prone item we've owned.  We have a stack of them (10?) that have been painted black and are used as monitor wedge angle adjusters.
+100.  Want a cheap DI that holds up acceptably well check Audiopile.net
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 05, 2015, 03:25:47 am
+100.  Want a cheap DI that holds up acceptably well check Audiopile.net

I personally own 6 LDB-101 and the company has a couple dozen.  Great value, sounds good, very simple device.  Highly recommended.

We have other brands of active & passive DIs, but the EWI are the first choice for most applications.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 05, 2015, 03:49:16 am

My cheapo Behringers have been kicked, dropped, tossed into cases by people thinking they are doing me a favour, helping me clear.  I've used them on every imaginable acoustic guitar, banjo, violin/cello/bass bug, keys from late 70's to the latest greatest from Nord, Yamaha, Korg, etc, more basses than you can shake a stick at, ranging from vintage, Pre CBS Fenders, Hofner violin basses, to the latest esoteric active stuff and everything in between and not once have I had to stop and change because of "lack of bass", noise, hum, or sound quality issues.  Anything that performs that well is a pretty good product in spite of what name is printed on it.

Ours were relatively well treated, but after a couple years they quit responding to phantom power or simply didn't pass audio any more.  They didn't sound anything like the BSS unit they tried to look like but were acceptable cheap DIs for use in situations where they might not come back (which is why we bought them).

I'm glad yours have held up, but our experience is different.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Roland Clarke on November 05, 2015, 08:21:10 am
Ours were relatively well treated, but after a couple years they quit responding to phantom power or simply didn't pass audio any more.  They didn't sound anything like the BSS unit they tried to look like but were acceptable cheap DIs for use in situations where they might not come back (which is why we bought them).

I'm glad yours have held up, but our experience is different.

I think this is part of the problem, in that I've seen people have terrible problems with some Berry gear others not, perhaps manufacture is inconsistent.  As an aside, I had an 8channel headphone amp Berry again,  It was cheap and did a job, but relatively high noise for this day and age, the meters on the front were totally out of wack in that you could have the same level going into three channels and the meters were hardly registering on one and slamming on another.  Most circuit boards these days are all surface mount and largely manufactured in the same way.  You can buy wonderful AD/DA convertor chips for extremely low money, yet there are some older more esoteric, designs, that are fairly average performance yet still cost a lot.  It's more difficult to buy equipment that is costly and be guaranteed that it's really better or even more reliable and there is some fairly budget kit that does perform extremely well.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 05, 2015, 02:42:34 pm
They didn't sound anything like the BSS unit they tried to look like

That's true. In the UK, the BSS seems to be the standard.  It's rare to see anything else on stage.


Steve.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Callan Browne on November 22, 2015, 01:13:40 am
Hey all,
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone for their help, both directly and indirectly, and in this as well as other threads - it's really appreciated
The gig today went really well, my first time mixing such a big band (7 players) and first time having my PA set up outdoors.
I ended up going with the SM58's on horns, 835's on vocals and a JDI on keys (and my acoustic). All players were happy with this and the sound they got.

It's clear I don't have enough low end to put on an outdoor rock show, but the pair of compact VP7215's over a single PRX-618s-xlf was ample for the event today.
I would have liked (lots) more on the low end when the local dance school opened up the festival (EDM backing), but I think I still provided far more than they were expecting - I might have been the only person there who even noticed.

The 812P's make fantastic monitors. I haven't had to up the output using the compressor as yet - I had heaps of headroom out of the mixer for the level required on stage.

There was plenty of praise from the people running the event and the local shop owners, so it looks like I'll be back next year.

Sun was out too - it was a great day overall.
Thanks again
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Chris Hindle on November 22, 2015, 06:01:25 am
The 812P's make fantastic monitors. I haven't had to up the output using the compressor as yet - I had heaps of headroom out of the mixer for the level required on stage.


Please please please, no compression on monitors. EVER.
That's just plain bad Juju.
It has been talked about plenty, do a search.
Chris.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 22, 2015, 11:28:10 am
Please please please, no compression on monitors. EVER.
That's just plain bad Juju.
It has been talked about plenty, do a search.
Chris.

He's not going to compress the monitors, but use the compressor output level control to get an additional gain block to drive the internal amp harder.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Chris Hindle on November 22, 2015, 05:39:17 pm
He's not going to compress the monitors, but use the compressor output level control to get an additional gain block to drive the internal amp harder.
As in make-up gain ??  Gotcha.
Whenever I see "Monitors" and "Compressors" in the same sentence, I get the willys.
Carry on.
Chris.
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Callan Browne on November 22, 2015, 06:14:02 pm
As in make-up gain ??  Gotcha.
Whenever I see "Monitors" and "Compressors" in the same sentence, I get the willys.
Carry on.
Chris.

Hey Chris - sorry if that was misleading. No, there's no compression being used on the monitors.

Here's one thread where it was discussed to use compressor within the DSP to get more SPL from the SRX800 series, although not actually compressing the signal.
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,156078.0.html (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,156078.0.html)

I was referring to this technique and how for my scenario it wasn't need on this given day.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Mic for Trumpet/Sax / DI for Keys
Post by: Chris Hindle on November 22, 2015, 11:00:29 pm
No problem Callan.
I'm still pretty old-school in my thinking. I took a look at the thread mentioned, and remembered reading it. We all seem to have to be experts at "tweaking" to get the most out of our rigs.
Carry on...
Chris