[Dixielandjazz] Mic for a clarinet

Paul Edgerton paul.edgerton at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 17:13:36 PDT 2007

Steve (Hoog),

Clarinet sound emanates from every open tone hole plus the bell. The
bulk of the sound pressure level comes from the first open tone hole,
but different frequency ranges radiate in different directions, so
close-miking will never provide a balanced pickup. Who listens to a
clarinet from a point a few inches above the player's left hand? Only
a microphone -- and the audience, I suppose.

Proximity effect is really a minor factor for the clarinet. A 58 has
built-in bass roll-off. It's pretty deficient in bass unless it's
placed closer than six inches. And bottom of the clarinet is about 140
Hz, so only the lowest few notes are in the range of proximity effect.

We clarinetists perform on hundreds of stages, and if we get a mic at
all, it's usually a 58. Most jazzers learn to work with them. We take
advantage of the fact that our sound changes as we work closer.

-- Paul Edgerton

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