How To Mic A Trumpet or Trombone

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.

Mic Placement for a Trumpet or Trombone

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.

This is an excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Home Recording, a complete reference for the home recording studio by Mark Garrison. For more information about this book, please visit