Jazz mics


Active Member
What type of mics would do you all normally use to mic jazz bands? I was just asked to mic a jazz band, but I have never had to do a jazz band. I figured I would mic the set and the amps for the bass and guitar, the piano, 2 mics for the soloist, and maybe 2 other condensing mics hung above the group? Or insead of hanging the 2 mics, if i can get more mics, just have one for the trumpets and one for the T-bones and so on...
What do you all you? What type of mics do you normally use for this?
I was thinking Shure PG57's for the soloists,
PG52, 3 PG56's, and 2 PG81's for the set- though might use the PG81's somewhere else-
And I have 2 Audio Technica AT873R's for the rest along with a bunch of standard Shure PG58 for the rest, which is why I might not use the 2 PG81's on the set.
We have some amp mic's and piano mic's too, but I don't remember off-hand what they are.
Other than that, we don't have that many mics, just enough to get by.

How about you all?
for our jazz band we usually dont mic the set, bass or amps(good acoustics in our auditorium) we usually 3 mics for the saxs, 2 for the trombones, and 3 for the trumpets. we usually use shure SM-57's.
The biggest difference between doing SR for jazz vs. rock is jazz is cleaner. It's a lot easier for the most part, you don't have to deal with wet guitar signals throwing things off. As for the drums, do what you would normally do in a rock situation just something will be a bit louder. Most of the time I prefer not to mic the drums, unless it's necessary for reinforce it. Make sure you mic the high-hat, they used a bit more in jazz vs. rock. The snair may need to be a bit louder if the drummer is using brushes. I've found you capture the jazz drum sound very well from the overheads, with some extra reinforcement on the kick. If the ride is missing some ping it helps to mic it a bit a closer with a 57, just do it in a subtle manner. As far as the actually sound of the drums, try not to make it to direct and solid sounding. It should sound mildly ambient. I'm not saying drown it in reverb, so primarly use the overheads, a bit of kick, maybe some high hat (depending if the overheads pick it up enough). Lightly add on the other mics to reiforce the sound and balance the sound a bit more. Everything else in the band is fairly light and you won't have trouble getting the drums to cut through, maybe the horns but it depends how loud. Trumpets and T-bones are really your only concerns in keeping the mix balanced, they're the only thing really noisy that can drown on the mix.

I normally don't really use specific mics for jazz, I use what I have avalable. In jazz the ensembles should be able to practice acoustically, or with little reinforcement. That's where all the dynamics of jazz come from, straight from the band. In most instances the engineer doesn't need to mold the sound to wow the audience. Basically, it's how you use it, not what you have.

Keep in mind what I said above is for real Jazz. If it's a fusion band mic it like a rock band and use tons of reverbs and effects to cheese things up a bit. :lol:
Dynamic mics are your friend when it comes to Jazz soloists. I'm a fan of the SM57 for that purpose. You might have to ride the fader for Tbone solos, they can't see the mic that they're playing into so they might be a little far away.

For the kit: Depending on the size of your room do the three mic kit: 2 Overheads and a Kick. Put the kick mic back from the drum maybe a half foot and have the overheads kinda high (nice ambient feel). If the rooms kinda big you might wanna throw on a snare and HH mic as well, but the word to remember with Jazz is "sparse".
Dude, whats all this PG57 stuff.........keep you guys get some shure's? I mean realy.....Ok well.......I don't know how much needs to be renforced, how big is the room? what is the setting? from there i can tell you how much you need to mic and how so. Right away i'm going to be able to tell you that Micing the Drum kit is a slite waist of time.Drums alone can fill a room.Once agian i need detail on the room, and how loud you are going to run the system.
I use 2 AKG C-100S condensers for our 15 member jazz band

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