I would like some help to come up with a good mic setup to record solo trombone. I am not interested in the pop-brass-full-power kind of trombone playing needing a Shure SM57, but rather the sweet type stuff. Classical solo repertoire, jazz solos etc.

Judging from this video and some research on what people use in the studios in LA, it seems popular to use ribbons. The mics on the video are a Royer R-122 and a vintage Sony C-37A. Do you know why they have both setup simultaneously and what ratios they are using to achieve that great velvety trombone sound we hear on the recording?

Follow-up question - can I achieve a similar type quality on a much lower budget (these mics are crazy price)

Thanks for your help.

  • I'm not sure why the down vote. The question is well formed and the subject matter is on topic.
    – WLPhoenix
    Dec 5, 2012 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


As you mentioned, I have found that ribbon mics work very well for horns and woodwinds. They tend to sound very organic, and avoid the harshness you can get from some dynamics. You can also get very good results from a large-diaphragm condenser set in an omnidirectional pattern. If you do use the omni-pattern, you will need a good space to record, as you will have to worry a lot more about outside noise, as well as the room sound.

As far as cheaper alternatives go, I tend to always recommend Cascade Fat Heads for well priced ribbons. They sound fantastic on anything I've ever tried them on, and that includes horns, piano, vocals, and drum overheads. They're an excellent mic to have around whenever you record.

As to the LDC, if you can get access to an AKG 414 then I'd recommend it, but they're by no means cheap as well. I know I recommended an cheaper LDC on one of the other posts I made, but I can't remember what it was. I'll edit in when I remember.

  • Wow, I am excited about those fatheads, they look great! And cheap too if they now sounds that good as they say they do! What would you recommend running them through to get them into my computer? I know it depends on the sound you want and all that, by could you nudge me in the right direction?
    – Henrik Söderlund
    Dec 8, 2012 at 16:44
  • So let's say I am to record this solo flautist in a nice orchestra hall. I want to get nice and clean flute sound as well as some room ambient. Do I use a fathead on the flautist and something else for the ambient? Or shall I simply use a stereo fathead pair aimed at the flautist? I also read on the forum about Mid Side Recording, using a pattern 8 mic with pan and phase change for nice presence. I am such a newbie, help appreciated!
    – Henrik Söderlund
    Dec 10, 2012 at 5:49
  • I haven't really tried the FatHeads without a good preamp, but as long as you have something that will get enough gain you should be fine. There are several questions about miking into a computer around here. And if you don't find one that answers what you want, feel free to ask more questions. Same for flute question, it's better asked as a question than hidden in the comments.
    – WLPhoenix
    Dec 11, 2012 at 12:43

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