[Dixielandjazz] microphones for clarinet

Paul Edgerton paul.edgerton at eds.com
Mon Nov 22 12:23:29 PST 2004

The best microphone for the clarinet is the one that's turned up the 

Okay I'm kidding about that, sort of. Really, there a lot of good cheap 
microphones. The overall quality and physical setup of the rest of the 
sound system is actually just as important. By that I mean, using a 
great  microphone won't improve a crummy PA, but using crummy mics 
guarantee that the rest of the system will sound crummy.

Look on the stage at any concert, big or small, and you're more likely 
to see a Shure SM-57 or SM-58 than anything else. If those mics are okay 
for a 50,000 watt stadium system, they are also be okay for an 800 
dollar portable PA. Those two mics are essentially identical except that 
the 58 has a pop filter making it more suitable for vocals. Both are 
widely available for $100 or less.

There are plenty of knockoffs of the same design under various names, 
including (believe it or not) Radio Shack.

My advice as a clarinet player and as a college-educated sound man is to 
buy 58s and pay attention to the rest of the system.

-- Paul Edgerton

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