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Using two mics to record acoustic bass
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4ccmusic
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6th February 2010
Old 6th February 2010
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Talking Using two mics to record acoustic bass

Im using two mics to record acoustic bass. I mostly record bebop and modern jazz. I plan to bus them to 1 group track in cubase 5. Should I bus them mono or stereo

Thanks
Chris
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6th February 2010
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If you can get the sound with one mic I would do that. If you are panning them both to the same place in the stereo field buss them to mono. On upright I like a km84 or a wunder CM7. I'm not sure if you are talking upright bass or acoustic bass that you play like a regular acoustic guitar.
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6th February 2010
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jazz upright bass. I used a km84, it a little thin general. I maybe should be lookign at u47 clones. I have gotten a chance to hear a ol u4..amazing

so bus to mono right?
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6th February 2010
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Wow I have never had that experience with a km84. I still roll off some lows with the km84. The u47 is hard to argue with
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6th February 2010
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We talkin LIVE or studio (isolation) here? Because it is in the Remote forum I assume LIVE...
I have had good results with C414 in fig8 and RE20. I need to try a 421.
Very hard to keep the drums out of the way... seems I can get a very low thump sometimes but the definition of the upper freqs gets lost with drum bleed.
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4ccmusic
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6th February 2010
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talking studio, but those live comment where nice!
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6th February 2010
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I use an AKG C414 B-XLS by the bridge and an Oktava Mk 012 on the neck. I bus them to mono and pan from there.
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6th February 2010
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I used a re20 and a rode k2 tube. Its not really that great of a sound. I tried a the re20 and my buddy had the dpa clip on and that worked better then the tube mic. I have a aea 84 thats nice but i use that for horn.

Maybe save and get a u47 clone?
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6th February 2010
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I've had good luck with an AT 4047 about a foot in front of the bass.
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6th February 2010
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Find the one mic that gives you the sound you're after. Try as many as you can get a hold of that have promise in the areas you're pursuing. What about the DPA 4003 or 4006?
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6th February 2010
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For double bass U47s work great, been lucky enough to work with the Telefunken U47AE which is just amazing on EVERYTHING! Still nice with something on the neck for extra detail and dimension.
Also find that Beyer M88 is great for bass in the bridge region.
My DPA 4099 clip on is good for live but not worth much in the studio.. unless tracking d.bass in the same room as drums where the hyper pattern can help a bit with the isolation.
I love my bass
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8th February 2010
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I often record bass with 2 mics and blend them. Not stereo, just 2 tracks. I always set the bass player up next to the drums with a minimum of baffling because I don't like headphones. Everyone just plays better if your in a gig/rehearsal/jam-like setting.

I like a ribbon mic on the body of the bass usually under the f-hole on the G string side. Also, a SDC mic near the bridge pointing at the plucking fingers.

My first choice for a ribbon is an RCA 77. A 44 is good too but the 77 seems to get a bit more attack and less proximity effect. I'm sure Royers and Coles are good too.

For the SDC, I like a tube mic like a Neumann KM54 or Schoeps 221b. An AKG C60 is good too as is a Neumann km56. I'm sure some of the newer tube SDC mics are good too, like the ones from Peluso, Mojave, Chameleon labs, etc.

If you must use a dynamic, the Beyer m88, EV re20 and AKD D12 (NOT D112) all are good choices. I find the dynamics to be better than the ribbons when the player has steel strings, but the ribbons are better for a gut string player.
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8th February 2010
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I have had great success using the MT Gefel UMT 800. I also like this mic on cello. I usually pick a cardioid pattern. Exact placement depends on the player and the instrument, but generally on the treble side, pointed either at the bridge or the sound post.

Danny
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8th February 2010
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Something weird I have noticed lately... maybe some of you can chime in on why.
I have done several LIVE sessions with the fig8 414 angled up at the bridge a la some old photos I have seen. On these occasions I have gotten a great sound while some other sessions (either straight on or following the angle of the bass) results have been mixed or not as good. Now I would have thought with the polar pattern with it's strength angled down with the angle of the bass (full face) would get a better sound but this hasn't been the case.
Being a results oriented cat, I dig the facing up result.
Please expound
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8th February 2010
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One of the things that makes recording upright bass a challenge is that it has a large, relatively flat surface that reflects a lot of sound that might be coming from other instruments, especially drums, if in the same room. Another challenge is that the body of an upright bass is essentially a big amplifier. Try putting your hand on the belly of a bass when it is in the same room with other instruments playing. You'll feel it respond sympathetically. Working around these two conditions, reflected sound and amplified ambient sound, can be a real challenge when recording bass without isolation. This is part of the reason a good sounding (isolated) studio micing technique might not work as well in a live setting.

Similar to what others have mentioned, if using two mics, an LDC towards the bridge and an SDC pointing toward the plucking hand can blend together to yield nice results. If using a single LDC, I prefer something with a bit of a midrange presence, like an AT4047, U87, or KSM44. Another approach is to use an LDC along with a small clip mounted mic, such as an ATM35, if the bass player will allow you to mount a mic on the bass. I've also used a single SDC in live settings, like an MC930, about a foot out, pointing at the space about halfway between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard.
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8th February 2010
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Lately , I do it with 2 km 184 in ORTF in front of the bridge - sounds amazing . I will post some files later ...
I record it as two mono tracks and and send it to a stereo group channel . You can pan the mono channels little bit left and right to create a space for the bass , but not too much cos you can loose the clarity and punch ....

Last edited by bass man; 8th February 2010 at 11:20 PM.. Reason: I cant upload the files , something is wrong ... Moderators help !
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
Something weird I have noticed lately... maybe some of you can chime in on why.
I have done several LIVE sessions with the fig8 414 angled up at the bridge a la some old photos I have seen. On these occasions I have gotten a great sound while some other sessions (either straight on or following the angle of the bass) results have been mixed or not as good. Now I would have thought with the polar pattern with it's strength angled down with the angle of the bass (full face) would get a better sound but this hasn't been the case.
Being a results oriented cat, I dig the facing up result.
Please expound

Well not every player has the same sound , maybe that's why you have mixed results. Different instruments and strings will give you different results too but not as much as players action . Different room , the color of the cymbals ( cymbals are eating the bass ) drummer , arrangement etc ....
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13th February 2010
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Sorry I cant upload Mp3 , the GS is reporting file error for the last 4 days when I try to upload the mp3 ....
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14th February 2010
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I can say that my all time fav is a KM56 in omni mounted on the bridge with rubberbands and an M269 in the center pointing up towards the fingerboard, worked for Eddie Gomez, Rufus Reid, Dave Holland, LaSpina, Droesser etc... I mix them and get a little cream from a UA175, definition from the AM16s . Double Bass Heaven.
Live? pickup in the monitors and/or amp and omni in/on the bridge for FOH. Shoertler makes a nice contact omni that's wonderful for live. Charlie Haydn used one in 93
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14th February 2010
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You might try varying the pattern if you do not like the results. sometimes reflections from other instruments not only cause the bass to vibrate, but will of course get into the back of you mike, possibly even causing phase problems. You may find that other patterns on the mic might give better results.

If I am using a figure 8 on a single source, I will try to point the rear of the mic at a baffle. The off axis response of figure 8 patterns is almost a total null, (the better mics achieving a higher degree of null), so it is extremely useful for rejecting unwanted signals from the side. However that still leaves the rear facing lobe that has the same sensitivity as the front lobe.

Maybe a hypercardioid pattern will give you the result you are looking for, though here again a rear baffle might be valuable.

Also, you will notice varying results depending on what other instruments are present and where they (and their reflections) are in the room in relation to the bass. By the way, is the bass on a reflective surface or an absorbent one? Is the player seated or standing? How perpendicular is the instrument to the floor? Is the bassist bowing or using their fingers? You may be hearing the reflections from the floor. Depending on how the instrument is angled, those reflections will change.

Danny

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
Something weird I have noticed lately... maybe some of you can chime in on why.
I have done several LIVE sessions with the fig8 414 angled up at the bridge a la some old photos I have seen. On these occasions I have gotten a great sound while some other sessions (either straight on or following the angle of the bass) results have been mixed or not as good. Now I would have thought with the polar pattern with it's strength angled down with the angle of the bass (full face) would get a better sound but this hasn't been the case.
Being a results oriented cat, I dig the facing up result.
Please expound
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19th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
We talkin LIVE or studio (isolation) here? Because it is in the Remote forum I assume LIVE...<snip>

Don't assume it's only live...

This forum handle all acoustic music discussions.
Jazz, Classical, folk, and such are addressed in this lil' ol' forum.
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19th February 2010
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