[Dixielandjazz] Recording Engineers

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Thu Jun 9 11:43:06 PDT 2005

Raising the clarinet from the traditional bell pointing down position you
raise the level that the sound is projected from by 18" or so up to ear
level, this assumes that you are on the same level as the audience. It works
the same way that raising speakers off the floor to head or above level does
and if it doesn't work that way and I believe it does, it sure looks cool.
The soprano sax is different.  I use the stand to muffle saxes if I don't
wish to project.  I'm talking about the choroplast closed up, box like,
stands which seems to work.

Everyone that has tried to mike a clarinet knows that there are complex
sound issues concerning where you mike it at.  Not so on a sax.  A mike
pointing at the bell (like the clip on's) works great except on the lowest
notes which most jazz players don't use anyway.  The clarinet on the other
hand has big problems with miking the middle range.  By the way I find that
the best place for the mike is about 3" from the bell on sax.  That way I
can move away like singers do and also play acoustically if I wish.  I
personally prefer a mike because it increases the possible dynamic range of
the horn from very soft to as loud as you can stand it.  That kind of range
isn't possible unmiked.  I find very few players that like or even know how
to use dynamic contrast in solos.  I think it adds another dimension to what
your are doing.  Most guys just wail away.  It's a lot like being screamed

If you don't think that sound comes out of a sax bell then you have never
played with the bell up against a reflecting surface pointed at your face.
They actually make such a reflector commercially.  I have a friend that uses
one.  they even make one that goes on a mike to bounce your sound toward
your face.  The sound coming out of a sax bell is huge compared to a
clarinet which does leak a lot.  Sax mikes also clip to the bell.  High
school band directors faced with a lot of sax players sometimes resort to
putting a coffee filter in the sax bells for recording and concerts.  Does
it work yes.  Should they do it? No because the kids need to learn to play

Projection of sound on a woodwind is not just a matter of where the sound
comes out.  It's all about air and to some extent concept.  If you play at
your feet that's as far as the sound goes but if you play to the back of the
room then you are likely to project there.  Listen to singers and public
speakers.  The old time singers like Ethel Merman had to develop outstanding
lungs to project from an un amplified stage.  Singers and public speakers no
longer learn to project.  A kid setting in a high school band doesn't learn
it either.

While it's unlikely that raising the clarinet up helps a great deal I think
it doesn't hurt unless there is an adverse change in the embouchure but even
if it doesn't help it's show biz.  If you ever notice that Ad's that feature
clarinets (Zaterand's for one) the clarinet is always raised.

It would be interesting to use a dB meter to see if there is an effect.
Maybe someone out in cyberland will try it and get back to us.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim O'Briant" <jobriant at garlic.com>
To: "'DJML'" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 8:04 AM
Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Recording Engineers

> Bob Ringwald wrote, in part:
> > Contrary to what a lot of people think, the sound
> > of a clarinet or sax does not come out of the bell
> > of the horn as it does with a trumpet or trombone.
> Amen to that!
> The only time the sound comes out the bell of a clarinet or sax is when a
> clarinet is playing low E or third-space B, meaning that all the tone
> are closed.  Same with a sax -- only the lowest note on the horn comes out
> the bell.  The rest of the time, much of the sound comes out the open tone
> holes.
> I discovered this phenomenon when I got an Ophicleide a few years ago and
> started to learn to play it.  As you change notes, the sound move around;
> some notes come out way up here, some come out down there, and so on.
> a really weird change, for a brass player.
> I think I better learn the Ophicleide better and see if I'm confident
> to improvise on it......
> -- Jim O'Briant
>    Tuba
>      (in BBb, CC, Eb or F)
>        & euphonium
>          & double-belled euphonium
>            & trombone
>              & valve trombone
>                & Ophicleide
>                  & serpent, but you don't really want to hear that.
>    (You may not really want to hear most of the rest of those,
> _______________________________________________
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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