[Dixielandjazz] Amplifying a Clarinet

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Sat Nov 3 11:04:56 PDT 2007

since a lot of the sound comes out of the finger holes most mike clarinets 
above the fingers and not out the end using a fairly hot mike.  This is 
because the B natural will blast the mike.  One system uses two mikes 
attached to the horn.  One is above the fingers the other is on the end.  I 
never liked it because of all that junk hanging off the horn and it's 

A barrel mike is great and Conn used to make one but you can't get away from 
it.  That's the problem with any mike attached  to the horn.  Horn players 
like to be able to get away from the mikes.  It also had that cord hanging 
down that was very thin and got in the keys and was also prone to damage. 
The mouthpiece or barrel was drilled and a special tube inserted.  The mike 
was about the size of a nickel and was held on with a plastic cap that went 
over the fitting and friction fit on the mike.  Worked great until you 
stepped on the cord or got it tangled and it came unplugged or the mike 
popped off.  Too bad they didn't have the wireless technology to get rid of 
it at the time.

You might put one mike on a boom for above the keys and another attached to 
the stand for the bell tones.  They would have to be carefully set to 
balance.  The top mike would be a lot hotter than the lower mike.

I have often thought about a mike that would be floor mounted like a 
standard mike on a low stand pointing at the lower bell.  The clarinet would 
have a wireless switch that would sense the movement of the keys for the 
bell tones.  This would be transmitted to a receiver that would damp the 
mike that instant and hold it until the key was released.  The volumes 
between normal and damped would be set with a simple balance control.  This 
would allow the performer to move away from the mike and still have the same 
qualities without the blast from the bell tones and best of all no wires.

I suppose the only reason, other than no one has thought of it, is limited 
sales and high development costs but this is something that a person could 
develop in his basement if he were knowledgeable about sound, clarinets and 

The world is waiting for a good clarinet mike............ Still 
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pam Munter" <pam at pammunter.com>
To: "Larry Walton" <larrys.bands at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 9:52 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Amplifying a Clarinet

> Anyone have any good ideas about miking the clarinet?  We put a mic in 
> front of him, but the sound is so diffuse it doesn't register at the  same 
> level as my cornet or the rest of the band.
> -Pam Munter
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