How To Record Woodwinds With the N8

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA N8

Detailed top-end and natural tonality make the N8 the perfect choice for capturing woodwind instruments like the saxophone, clarinet, or bassoon. Its traditional ‘figure-of-8’ polar pattern and far-field functionality will help you strike the perfect balance of direct sound and room sound.

Ribbon Mics
Close Miking

Woodwind instruments produce a comprehensive sound from the tone holes, keys, and the bell. The balanced response of the N8 between 3 and 4 feet from the instrument makes it highly capable at effectively capturing a woodwind’s full range of tonality. If necessary, one can temper the N8’s pronounced proximity effect by moving it further from the source, or having the instrumentalist move the instrument forward or back based on the notes they play.

Ribbon Mics
Distant Miking Wood Sections, Quartets, and Orchestras

The far-field N8 delivers a balanced treble/bass ratio from as far as 20 feet away, supplementing the direct sound of an instrument with expansive, dimensional room sound. Recording an entire string section is made simple by fixing two N8s in the Blumlein configuration or ORTF and perching it 6 to 10 feet in front of the instrumentalists. By moving the N8 or N8 Stereo Kit array closer or farther from the source, one can find the desired treble/bass ratio as well as balanced direct sound/room sound.

In many instances, a pair of N8s positioned in Blumlein configuration or ORTF from 10 – 20 feet away from an orchestra is all that you need to really capture the sound of the musicians in the room. This setup with N8s has become a staple in Hollywood when recording movie scores.

In the following video, Kaleidoscope, an incredible conductorless chamber orchestra, performs a breathtaking piece by Prokofiev with only a pair of N8s in ORTF positioned 10 feet above the stage. In this video, only the N8s are heard.

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