The tone of a saxophone or clarinet is created along its entire length, from the mouthpiece, bell, and keys of the instrument. A good starting placement is a wide-diaphragm condenser or ribbon mic directed at the midpoint between the bell and the keys (see Fig. 143). For modern musical styles, 1–2′ is an appropriate distance, while classical music usually calls for a greater distance of 4–8′. Close placement can result in picking up the clicking of keys during the performance. This can be remedied by moving the mic farther from the instrument.
For clarinet and soprano sax, where the bell of the instrument points away from the keys, using two mics, one over the keys and one at the bell, is also an option.