Guidelines for miking the bassoon with DPA Microphones.
Close- or spot-miking a bassoon is very similar to that of the soprano saxophone, clarinet and oboe: Aim the mic at the fingering holes, a third of the length up from the bell, at a distance of 15-20 cm. Use a 4006A Omnidirectional Microphone or a 4006C Omnidirectional Microphone, Compact when possible. If more separation is needed, or you want less of the room to blend in, you can also use a 4011A Cardioid Microphone or a 4015A Wide Cardioid Microphone. If you want to take up less space, consider the compact 4011C Cardioid Microphone, Compact and 4015C Wide Cardioid Microphone, Compact as a convenient and elegant option.

In an effort to seek separation, engineers might use very directional cardioids instead of omnis or wide cardioids, which provide a better overall sound. They should aim to capture a rich and natural bassoon sound, not necessarily without anything else. High directionality microphones are often too focused and less natural to blend in for these purposes.

If you are in a multitrack orchestral situation and the orchestra has two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, and two bassoons, an off-axis omni or wide cardioid microphone technique will work very well. Place the microphone between the two instruments, at about head height, and point straight down at the floor, which should not be carpeted. This technique will eliminate "keyboarding" and the bizarre polar patterns of these instruments will find their way into the microphone. When panned correctly in the stereo image, time delayed into the main microphone array and mixed in to the rest of the orchestra, which will not demonstrate that "too close" sound that you should try to avoid with this type of recording.

Alternatively, place the microphone in front of the players, in between the two, again at head height and angled a bit downward. This offers a richer sound, with more bassoon core sound.

Woodwinds are never in the front of an orchestra. With this spot mic technique, you must place the woodwind section into the mix with pan pots, faders and possibly reverb, to the position and depth that they physically occupy.

If the bassoon is to be used in situations with lots of background noise or bleeding PA speakers, the only choice is using very a close microphone such as the 4099U Instrument Microphone. With its simple but brilliant hook-and-loop fastener strap, the 4099U can easily be fixed around the bassoon at the top, close to the bell, but not necessarily pointed into the bell! Point it downward, toward the keys instead. This way the mic—being close to the bell but pointing at the tone holes—will pick up a blend of the two.


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In Microphone University we have loads of content that could be relevant to you. Learn more about how to mic various instruments in the articles below.



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