Courtney Pine Debuts New Film Score with Custom EV Horn Mic

June 21, 2006

Courtney approached Shuttlesound to find a solution to the problem of miking his bass clarinet for the live performance. This particularly long wind instrument, which produces sound from top, middle and horn, should ideally be served by two microphones. However, as Courtney’s microphone of choice is an EV RE920TX condenser in conjunction with a RE1 wireless system, this would have meant two beltpacks strapped to the instrument, making it cumbersome.

“What stands out about EV microphones is their smoothness, says Reece. My musicians are all of a very high standard, and they need mics that are true to what they are doing.”

With less than a week to create a prototype, Shuttlesound’s engineers swung into action, hardwiring two RE920TX mics into one connection, enabling them to be used with one beltpack. According to Shuttlesound MD Paul Barretta, “the results are very satisfactory; there’s a lovely equal balance between the pick up on both microphones.“ Courtney is continuing to work with Shuttlesound to tweak and refine their creation, which will be of great interest to other clarinet and saxophone players.

For his last tour, Courtney Pine equipped himself and every musician on his stage with Electro-Voice microphones. The RE920TX condenser, which was designed especially for horns, was given a starring role on both of Courtney’s saxophones. “Jazz musicians are even more critical than classical musicians about which microphones we use,“ he explains. “We may be capturing a live moment but we’ve got ears like bats!“ Somewhat unconventionally, Courtney uses his condenser mic with an EV RE1 transmitter beltpack, strapped onto the bell of the saxophone, a technique that surprises even other sax players but which gives him complete physical freedom on stage coupled with optimum sound quality.

“Now I’m like a conductor with a baton, this arrangement has enhanced my live performance 100%. I play two or three instruments, so I fix a beltpack to each instrument; our set is a constant flow so it’s important that the mic is attached, I can just put down one instrument and pick up another mid-song. I don’t have to stand in front of a mic, so I can go to different places finding that sweet spot where the horns project best. It justifies what I’m trying to do - the horns are black, I’m wearing black, and I have this visual idea that all of the physical stuff will disappear and all that will remain is the notes, just the music.“

He praises the RE920TX for its frequency range, equally smooth throughout the spectrum from bass notes to falsetto. “Lots of people don’t realise but we resonate when we play. The vibrato is in the instrument, and if the stand or clip is affected, this will go through to the engineer.“

Attaching the mic and beltpack transmitter to the bell of his sax, or just above it when using the soprano sax, captures the instrument’s sound quality at its best and also frees up the player. “Because the wire is out of the way, Courtney isn’t restricted,“ explains Steve Reece, Courtney’s front-of-house engineer, “and he can change between his soprano and tenor sax, move across the stage or out into the audience.“

At Reece’s suggestion, Courtney has built on a long-standing love affair with EV’s RE20 cardioid mic, taking on an exclusively EV inventory of seven different microphone models to service his whole band. “What stands out about EV microphones is their smoothness,“ says Reece. “My musicians are all of a very high standard, and they need mics that are true to what they are doing. Also it’s great that EV has such a wide range, so we can find something for every different scenario. I can tell you that, on the sax, the RE920TX is just absolutely brilliant.“


Electro-Voice (EV), is a professional audio brand of Telex Communications, Inc., a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of sophisticated audio, wireless, multimedia, aircraft, broadcast and communications equipment for commercial, professional and industrial customers. Telex Communications markets its products in more than 80 countries under the brands EV, Telex, RTS, Dynacord, Midas, Klark Teknik and others.

Guy Low

Public Relations Producer

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3935

Fax: 952-736-4582

James Edlund

Public Relations Manager

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3901

Fax: 952-736-4582

Equipment List

RE-1 Bodypack
CSB-1000 RE-1 Bodypack Transmitter

RE-1 Receiver
CSR-1000 RE-1 Series Single Wireless Receiver

Broadcast Announcer Microphone w/ Variable-D

Horn & Instrument Microphone

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