The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Microphone for Acoustic Bass Condenser Microphones
Old 14th October 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Microphone for Acoustic Bass

It's time for me to consider a mic specifically for acoustic bass. As my Avatar attests, I record a good deal of acoustic bass, double bass, upright bass, call it what you will.

I record in a small room in which there is a grand piano, drums and usually a horn or two all happily playing together (usually).

I cannot eliminate bleed because I cannot isolate the bass player. Soft players get more bleed, louder player a bit less. There may not be one microphone for all players and all circumstances but I hope to get one that can cover most players and most circumstances.

I am wondering what others have used and what their experiences were.
Old 14th October 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If he's in the room with the drummer, I recommend at least a gobo between him and the drummer, and put him close to the drummer so the bleed is dry and clean. Re20 or 421 here. I've gotten good tracks with an mk41 schoeps here as well.
Old 14th October 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Or r84/rca44/ku4/royer ribbon/coles4038 but the reflections in the room need to not make it back into the rear of the figure8 too hot or trashy.
Old 14th October 2017
  #4
I really like SDC in this application. Tight and focused and a high quality piece like a Schoeps, Neumann or Josephson will take EQ well if you need more lows or more string presence.
Old 14th October 2017
  #5
A DPA 4099B with the double bass mount or an Audio-Technica ATM35/ATM350 work well for live recording. Between the two, I've had better results with the Audio-Technica. Coupled with a gobo, you should get good results.

d:vote™ 4099B Instrument Microphone for Bass
Old 14th October 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
In some circumstances, I like a U47 Fet on upright bass. Otherwise, most often a Schoeps CMC5/Mk2s (or Mk41 if bleed control is an issue). Both full, forward and detailed.

Depending on the material and/or the player I have occasionally used a dynamic, typically a Beyerdynamic M380 or AKG D12E, which can fold back into the mix nicely.
Old 14th October 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 

Well, I didn't record the upright, but for a live musical theatre show, I used an RE20 with great results.
Old 14th October 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
Sennheiser 441 might be a good option, I like it on upright, and in a live situation it has good rejection.
Or perhaps a clip-on mic such as DPA or similar.
If you're really embracing the bleed, maybe an omni pattern is worth considering. Another mid-budget mic I like in this application is Shure KSM 44, deep clear lows with good detail IMHO, although I haven't used it in a live tracking situation so can't attest to the bleed. It sounded great in omni though. My 2c. Good luck.

Last edited by edva; 14th October 2017 at 03:49 PM.. Reason: ++
Old 14th October 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Powell View Post
A DPA 4099B with the double bass mount or an Audio-Technica ATM35/ATM350 work well for live recording. Between the two, I've had better results with the Audio-Technica. Coupled with a gobo, you should get good results.

d:vote™ 4099B Instrument Microphone for Bass
I've used the DPA 4099B with good results in a number of live off the floor recordings. Sometimes with gobo, sometimes without - better results with gobo.

Mike
Old 14th October 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingstonmike View Post
I've used the DPA 4099B with good results in a number of live off the floor recordings. Sometimes with gobo, sometimes without - better results with gobo.

Mike
If drums are in the room, this. If the bleed is too much an ATM25.
Old 14th October 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Vintage Neumann U87 (non AI version) or Neumann KM 84.
Old 14th October 2017
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
...I am wondering what others have used and what their experiences were.
While nothing beats a 47 on bass (imho), in the circumstances you describe I would always have a DPA4099 on the instrument. It's not as open sounding as a good mic in front of the instrument, but with other players in the room, it will be the most useful.

My standard ac bass setup is a DI (for emergencies), a DPA4099 with bass clip on the instrument, a U47 in front of it, and if there's a lot of solo-istic material I'll have some kind of good quality stereo pair in front or a side mic added to the 47.

best,
rich
Old 14th October 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 

You might also want to experiment with an Expander / Expansion (soft gating) to shape mic bleed.
Old 14th October 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
It's time for me to consider a mic specifically for acoustic bass. As my Avatar attests, I record a good deal of acoustic bass, double bass, upright bass, call it what you will.

I record in a small room in which there is a grand piano, drums and usually a horn or two all happily playing together (usually).

I cannot eliminate bleed because I cannot isolate the bass player. Soft players get more bleed, louder player a bit less. There may not be one microphone for all players and all circumstances but I hope to get one that can cover most players and most circumstances.

I am wondering what others have used and what their experiences were.
I love the AEA44 on the lower part of the bass and an SDC on the fretboard. When the AEA is not available I use a Beesneez Trib3 (47FET style) and it sounds pretty good also. I'm in a single room also, though generally do country folk kind of music, and positioning the players is key to controlling the bleed.
Old 14th October 2017
  #15
Gear Head
 

I typically put up an LDC in cardioid and a ribbon (fig 8), on top of each other pointed towards an F-hole. The off-axis rejection from the ribbon always gives superior isolation as long as you're aware of the placement.

If you can put a chest-high baffle between the bass player and the drummer, that'll help.

You can get great isolation with an omni mic (Avenson STO-2 here) velcro'd below the bridge onto the A/D strings, but the resonance of the instrument does suffer a bit for it. Still better than using a pickup. Since omni's have no proximity effect, the frequency response is really even.
Old 15th October 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
positioning the players is key to controlling the bleed.
Absolutely agree with this. I have tried all sorts of positions for the bass player. A lot depends on the bass player.
Old 15th October 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
nothing beats a 47 on bass (imho)
I have a Flea 47 which I like a lot but it is often used for the lead instrument and not available for the bass. I also like the way an 87 sounds so I'm wondering if I should go for a 47 FET.
Old 15th October 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
Vintage Neumann U87 (non AI version) or Neumann KM 84.
I do like the way an 87 sounds on the bass. Definitely a contender.

Tired after a gig tonight so I will think about this tomorrow. Also AES coming this week. Chance maybe to see what else is out there. Maybe see this new Bock 67 or other 67ish offerings. Kind of like that flavor too but have never used one for bass, only heard it.
Old 15th October 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

I have a single R84. I'm thinking of adding another R84. Could be a good move. It will free up the Flea 47 for bass and allow me to interchange a pair of 414s and the two R84s between drum overheads and horns, particularly when there are two horns - which is pretty common around here.

Later down the road I can add an 87 or 47FET. That should pretty much do it.
Old 15th October 2017
  #20
Out Of The Box Ideas

There are of course a lot of tried and true suggestions posted on this thread for mic-ing a stand-up bass, but here's a couple of off-beat ideas that I have had good success with:
Idea #1 ) the Audio Technica 5045 ribbon. You really must hear this mic on a string bass to know what it can do for the sound. It's a different sound from a U47 (for example), but soooo smooth and with great balance.
Idea #2 ) a Sennheiser MKH416 shotgun. (I'll wait until you stop laughing.) No, really, this mic brings a punch and depth to the instrument that you've likely never heard before, especially with "slappy" players. Just be sure you put the mic about 12" off and about 1/3 the way down the neck pointing down toward the bridge.

So these are non-traditional ways of capturing this instrument that will produce a different sound than what most are expecting to hear, but it just may be "the winning sound" that defines the recording. Highly recommended if you have these mics to play with. Good luck.
Old 15th October 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 

The first consideration is the sonic difference between plywood VxS solid wood stand-up bass construction. The Kay basses made between 39-59 are highly preferred plywood producers of the "melodic thuds" anchoring Rockabilly & Bluegrass, however classical performers generally favor solid wood basses. This is a reflection of the role bass occupies in these specific genres consequently mic choices need to be commensurate with the sonic envelope dictated by the arrangement. The two mics I use to capture upright bass are an RE20 (that is great for the "melodic thuds") or a Peluso P12 if more mid/high mid arrangements are to be miced.
Hugh
Old 15th October 2017
  #22
It really depends a lot on the vibe you are looking for. I tend to switch between a vintage 87, a fet 47, a coles a josephson e22s and a km84 depending on what I'm shooting for. The positioning of the player in the room and the mic positioning is incredibly important to reduce bleed but also to get the tone you are shooting for.
Old 15th October 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
The first consideration is the sonic difference between plywood VxS solid wood stand-up bass construction. The Kay basses made between 39-59 are highly preferred plywood producers of the "melodic thuds" anchoring Rockabilly & Bluegrass, however classical performers generally favor solid wood basses. This is a reflection of the role bass occupies in these specific genres consequently mic choices need to be commensurate with the sonic envelope dictated by the arrangement. The two mics I use to capture upright bass are an RE20 (that is great for the "melodic thuds") or a Peluso P12 if more mid/high mid arrangements are to be miced.
Hugh
Great description. And while I haven't used the RE20, specifically, in that role, I agree that a dynamic can be more appropriate/apt for the timbre of the ply basses.
Old 15th October 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
It really depends a lot on the vibe you are looking for. I tend to switch between a vintage 87, a fet 47, a coles a josephson e22s and a km84 depending on what I'm shooting for. The positioning of the player in the room and the mic positioning is incredibly important to reduce bleed but also to get the tone you are shooting for.
I have worked along these lines too. What I like is not the thud type bass sound of rockabilly or bluegrass. That sound has its place and use but for me I like a more "stringy" sound, deep but with plenty of mid punch and high end definition.

My wife thinks we should just get another Flea 47 and call it a day. Whereas I love the idea, I think getting another flavor would be a good idea too.

I have not had the opportunity to use a 47 FET. What can I expect from this mic? Of course I will try it in my room with my rig before I make up my mind but just in general I wonder how close it is to the sound I described.
Old 15th October 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
I have worked along these lines too. What I like is not the thud type bass sound of rockabilly or bluegrass. That sound has its place and use but for me I like a more "stringy" sound, deep but with plenty of mid punch and high end definition.

My wife thinks we should just get another Flea 47 and call it a day. Whereas I love the idea, I think getting another flavor would be a good idea too.

I have not had the opportunity to use a 47 FET. What can I expect from this mic? Of course I will try it in my room with my rig before I make up my mind but just in general I wonder how close it is to the sound I described.
FET 47 is a very sweet mic. It will give you both the low end, mid growl and string definition. In your situation, going for that kinda vibe, and knowing I had some problems with bleed, I might reach for the josephson e22s first though. And it has the benefit of being a real swiss army knife. Mine get used all the time (I have three)
Old 15th October 2017
  #26
If the player is isolated, a 47 FET flavor is the best I've found.

Never been able to get it work w/drums in the room though, just too much bleed.
Old 15th October 2017
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Whatever you prefer. Plus a Copperphone on another fader.
Old 15th October 2017
  #28
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Hello,

The Neumann TLM67 is not often quote on this forum, of course it's a Neumann...
but I had really good results with a TLM67 for these instruments.
By the way I find this microphone really good on Ctrbass, cello and even on viola.

Cheers from Bern,

Fred
Old 15th October 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
What Nathan said above - a Schoeps CMC64 is a perfect mic for this application.
Old 16th October 2017
  #30
You should definitely try a sanken cu41. I've never tried a real u47 like another poster said it's the best, however I can say is that a cu41 is absolutely incredible. I have a pair of r84's and tried lots of condensers and the other Mics mentioned and the cu41 has always been chosen by me and everyone else who was with me. I love the r84 as well but can get a little boomy. The dual capsule design of the sanken works wonders for bass, that's where the capsule design shines imho...

Edit*** I have not tried a Schoeps CMC64
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump