The french horn is generally played with the horn facing backwards so the sound reaches the listeners by reflecting off of the rear wall. This presents a couple of good options for mic placement. One is to seat the performer 6–10′ from the wall and place an omni or bi-directional microphone halfway in between, catching the direct as well as the reflected sound. The other option is to place a cardioid, omni, or bi-directional mic in front of the performer to pick up only reflected sound (Fig. 142). In either position, wide-diaphragm condensers or ribbon mics are good choices.
When miking a trumpet or trombone, a standard mic choice for the studio is a wide-diaphragm condenser mic. Ribbon mics are another popular choice, though care should be taken because the thin diaphragm of many ribbon mics can be damaged by quick blasts of air.
Modern musical styles tend to favor a distance of 2–12″, whereas 3–4′ is more common for classical music. To avoid distortion from gusts of air, the mic should be placed off-center from the bell and can be turned slightly off-axis (see Fig. 141). A pop filter can also be placed between the horn and the microphone to further protect from plosive blasts of air.
￼When miking a horn section or ensemble, the performers can be placed in a semi-circle and miked with a single mic or with a stereo pair of mics in an X-Y or Blumlein pattern.