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All-round bass instrument mic ?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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All-round bass instrument mic ?

I'm looking for recommendations for an all round bass instrument mic: tympani and double bass in orchestral as spots, bass guitar cabinet and kick drum for rock sessions.

The latter 2 uses are close-miking and high SPL, the former are more distant and lower SPL...is there a single mic that might fit all of these ....Audix D6 for example ?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Sennheiser 441
Beyer M88
AKG 414 (in hypercardioid)
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

Nope.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
Nope.
How about one for each of these 2 major food groups, then ?
Old 1 week ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
How about one for each of these 2 major food groups, then ?
Nope.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
How about one for each of these 2 major food groups, then ?
OK, OK, I'll be nice.

You'll do well with a Schoeps mk2 and a Sennheiser 441. Or a Beyerdynamic m88 instead of the 441. (441 is probably a better all-rounder but I like the m88 better on kick.)

Is bass really what you need more of with a timpani spot? Probably usually better to go cardioid for more definition back there.

So, again, the answer is really no and it's a silly question—why do many of us own dozens of microphones if it were so easy?

Do please put up an Audix D6 on an orchestral bass section as a spot mic and let us know 1) what kind of funny looks you get and 2) how it works out.

All of the sources you mention I really consider to be full-range instruments, by the way.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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a kick drum and an electric bass cabinet ...full range instruments ? If that's the case, then why is a D112 such a common mic for these and not an SM57 or 441, or any number of condensor mics ?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
a kick drum and an electric bass cabinet ...full range instruments ? If that's the case, then why is a D112 such a common mic for these and not an SM57 or 441, or any number of condensor mics ?
Mostly because people like the hyped response, for better or worse.
Trust me, for your intended use, a SDC with a flat response that can take a lot of level is what you want. I love the lowly AT 4041 on such multiple low end sources. Try it, you'll like it. Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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I have never used the AT 4041, but Edva knows what he is talking about.
An RE-20 came to my mind first. The 441 is also a good choice. Both are huge mic's that can be difficult inside a small kick drum and not good choices for Orchestral stuff

Orchestral stuff is the difficult case where a small condenser like the 4041 will be a better choice than a dynamic.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Thanks Ed and elegentdrum, I think moderate to high spl capacity is what's required for kick drum mainly, and the AT4041 seems like a good choice
Old 1 week ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Mostly because people like the hyped response, for better or worse.
Trust me, for your intended use, a SDC with a flat response that can take a lot of level is what you want. I love the lowly AT 4041 on such multiple low end sources. Try it, you'll like it. Good luck.
While I enjoy your posts here and have noted that you and I seem to have similar tastes and sensibilities when it comes to many things audio–do you really use the 4041 as a sole inside kick or bass cab mic?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
a kick drum and an electric bass cabinet ...full range instruments ? If that's the case, then why is a D112 such a common mic for these and not an SM57 or 441, or any number of condensor mics ?
Why do millions of people eat at McDonald's or buy Britney Spears albums? I haven't a clue.

As for the D112, see the attached frequency plot. There's a +7 dB boost at 3kHz. Or if you want to look at it differently, at a distance of about 4 inches there's an almost 10dB dip over about 4 octaves centered around 700Hz or so. What does this have to do with "low frequencies"?

I don't know about you, but most of what I do with kick drums or bass cabinets is boost treble or upper midrange.

Anyway: what single mic do you use for sources that have treble? Or what single mic do you use for sources that have midrange? Answer me here or you're full of it.

When I want phat bass I often use a Coles 4038. Today I used a 4038 on cello and a second one on flute. But if I didn't have the 4038 mics I could have used my 441 or ksm137 mics and it still would have sounded great and given us all the feels because the players were world-class and the composition was super dope.

As my rhetorical questions above get at, I still see your initial question as quite flawed: why would you ever assume that one mic works for all sources that have bass?

A better way to approach it would be this:

What do you find lacking in your current mic collection for your needs? (What is your current mic collection? What are your needs?)

It may require more than one mic. I'd also like a pony and world peace for Christmas. Life is not always the easiest or exactly what we want it to be. It's still pretty cool, though.

In the meanwhile, let us know how the 4041 works for you as inside kick and how the D112 works as timpani spot. Report back with sound samples, please.
Attached Thumbnails
All-round bass instrument mic ?-screenshot_20170414-231100.jpg   All-round bass instrument mic ?-img_20170414_160659_870.jpg  

Last edited by grrrayson; 1 week ago at 05:37 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Thanks Ed and elegentdrum
And not me after I wrote you a long, detailed response? If all you want is confirmation bias rather than the edification that comes from different perspectives I'll be sure to not waste my time answering your posts in the future.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
And not me after I wrote you a long, detailed response? If all you want is confirmation bias rather than the edification that comes from different perspectives I'll be sure to not waste my time answering your posts in the future.
I'll happily take wisdom wherever I may find it, and it's in abundance on this forum...but I'll admit I found your " Nope" and "OK, I'll play nice" responses to be simultaneously offputting and evasive,which devalued my response to what might have ensued.
Also, was not your "Do please put up an Audix D6 on an orchestral bass section......" an invitation to bring ridicule upon myself ?
Style and grace have some purpose...as well as meaningful content.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
was not your "Do please put up an Audix D6 on an orchestral bass section......" an invitation to bring ridicule upon myself ?
I have never used an Audix D6.

You're the one who suggested it, not me!

You never know until you try, right?
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
your " Nope"
Wisdom often exists in concision.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
While I enjoy your posts here and have noted that you and I seem to have similar tastes and sensibilities when it comes to many things audio–do you really use the 4041 as a sole inside kick or bass cab mic?
Thank you (I guess, haha), and yes, I love the 4041 on bass cab. I have a ton of mics, including 441, RE20, 141(multi-pattern variant of 137), and many far more expensive, but on bass sources such as cab, upright, piano low, timpani, etc., the 4041 still usually comes out on top. There is something to be said for the way a fast, detailed, rather "hard sounding" SDC, with a full and mostly linear frequency response mates up well with slow-ish, deep bass tones. Works for me and suits my ear anyway. I will confess, I don't use it on kick drum. But, given that it is rated for 145 db SPL, I'm pretty sure I could, and it would probably shine there too. For multiple bass sources as was in the OP's post, at a very reasonable price to boot, still my strongest recommendation. Over the years, I've bought three of them myself, mostly for use on bass sources, if that counts as further endorsement. And before anyone asks, I am not affiliated with AT. I just really like this mic for those purposes. Thank you for your question.

Last edited by edva; 1 week ago at 01:06 PM.. Reason: +
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
I love the 4041 on bass cab.
Very interesting! Thanks for the elaboration. I've not tried an SDC on bass cab yet.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
Very interesting! Thanks for the elaboration. I've not tried an SDC on bass cab yet.
Your 137 would probably work well there too, as you know it is also a very "fast" response design, with good transient detail. 4041 is still my preference though (over my 141's). Something truly special about the way it captures low frequency information, along with the transients, that really appeals to me. YMMV. Good luck.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
Very interesting! Thanks for the elaboration. I've not tried an SDC on bass cab yet.
I have used Sennheiser MKH 8040 or 8050 on bass cab and all kinds of drums
and they have plenty of tight bass
with great transient response.
In recording the Wanamaker organ,
(the largest fully functioning pipe organ in
the world) 2 pairs of MKH 8040's along
with a single pair of DPA 4006's are used.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Thread Starter
I've often wondered why for bass cabinets and kick drums, SD omni mics aren't more often recommended ?
Is it because they typically have less high-SPL handling ability than dynamics, or because leakage from nearby instruments is a problem, or because the proximity effect of a cardioid trumps the inherent bass extension of a typical omni mic ?
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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E/V RE-20, Sennheiser MD421-U4, Heil PR40, Earthworks QTC40. Depends on how you want it to be placed in the sound field.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I've often wondered why for bass cabinets and kick drums, SD omni mics aren't more often recommended ?
Is it because they typically have less high-SPL handling ability than dynamics, or because leakage from nearby instruments is a problem, or because the proximity effect of a cardioid trumps the inherent bass extension of a typical omni mic ?
Good questions. Probably some degree of "yes" to all of them, but I would say leakage is probably the biggest concern.
Whether is is leakage from other sources, such as other parts of a drum kit, or if tracking live, other sources in the room, like guitar amps; or, even if tracking bass cab solo, leakage from the room itself, which is rarely desired with low frequency sources.
A few more random observations - In a studio setting, omni's are great when you want to get really close to a source without getting proximity effect, such as an acoustic guitar; or, when you want to capture a bit of room, say on a vocal in a good sounding space. And of course often used for classical music, or with other types of music as "room mics", at a distance, again if the space sounds good.
Bass cabs typically "roll off" somewhere above the very lowest frequencies anyway, and kik drums can be tuned to put out so much low energy that they then don't need much added emphasis in that region.
Good questions though, and I'm sure someone has tried it. Maybe they'll chime in.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I've often wondered why for bass cabinets and kick drums, SD omni mics aren't more often recommended ?
Is it because they typically have less high-SPL handling ability than dynamics, or because leakage from nearby instruments is a problem, or because the proximity effect of a cardioid trumps the inherent bass extension of a typical omni mic ?
I've seen and heard an SDC used on kick once, on a high-end session in my early days as an assistant at a big studio working with engineer John Goodmanson. He's a fairly well-known rock guy and I enjoy some of his work a lot.

He had a typical inside kick mic (I think a D112) and a U47 FET on the outside kick but wanted more attack so he added an AKG 451 on the inside of the kick close to the beater head pointing right at the beater contact point. It definitely gave it some more slap! But even with cardioid proximity effect it would not have given a full enough bass response alone.

So, to answer your question, I think the answer is mainly proximity effect, or—thought of another way—simply frequency response. I don't think recorded bass drums sound good to us "flat" upon playback.

I just now recall another case of condensor use on kick: I worked on a session with Grammy award-winning engineer Jim Anderson on the Patricia Barber album of Cole Porter tunes. Jim used a Sanken MS mic (which I think probably uses small diaphragms) on the kick. (Also another over the kit and 4007 mics on toms.) The other mics like omni SDC choices on toms sound very flat but usable whereas for me the kick sound on that album is a bit too flat. You can listen to it yourself.

In short: people don't usually like flat kick drums. (I think this is more the case with kick drums than most instruments.)
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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Studer, take a look at the Mojave 101FET. I use them to spot upright bass for jazz and they have a super fast transient response, full sound, and I believe have a decently high SPL rating.

They aren't the most slutty mics out there but they come with omni and cardiod capsules.

Here's a bass solo from a jazz performance i recorded (bowed and pizz). The 101 FET is a punchy son of a gun. These are the cardioid capsules. The Mojave is turned up quite a bit so you'll get an idea of the sound.

I also attached the raw mono spot file


Attached Files

Bass_solo_spot.wav (9.09 MB, 225 views)


Last edited by shosty; 6 days ago at 04:46 AM.. Reason: Added video and clip
Old 6 days ago
  #26
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Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
In short: people don't usually like flat kick drums. (I think this is more the case with kick drums than most instruments.)
Yes this seems to be the case with mics marketed particularly for that purpose...they seem to not be designed for either flat (or even extended) bass response, but rather to be hyped in the area of perceived maximum impact. Of course this is quite dependent on placement as well !

See examples from AKG: http://cloud.akg.com/10968/d112_mkii_qug.pdf

and to a lesser extent RE-20: https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r...Ig-4H12zybvZVg
Old 6 days ago
  #27
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Originally Posted by shosty View Post
Studer, take a look at the Mojave 101FET. I use them to spot upright bass for jazz and they have a super fast transient response, full sound, and I believe have a decently high SPL rating.

They aren't the most slutty mics out there but they come with omni and cardiod capsules.

Here's a bass solo from a jazz performance i recorded (bowed and pizz). The 101 FET is a punchy son of a gun. These are the cardioid capsules. The Mojave is turned up quite a bit so you'll get an idea of the sound.

I also attached the raw mono spot file
Yes that certainly captures a lot of the lower end punch (the mono spot) as well as the bow and pizz with good detail...seems like a good all-rounder ? Did the YouTube video combine the 101FET with the bridge pickup, as the sound there seems rounder ?
Old 6 days ago
  #28
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Sennheiser MD-421, Beyer M500, Shure SM7 or SM57, Sennheiser e609 Silver and Telefunken M82 are all good microphones for the use intended.

FWIW
Old 6 days ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Yes that certainly captures a lot of the lower end punch (the mono spot) as well as the bow and pizz with good detail...seems like a good all-rounder ? Did the YouTube video combine the 101FET with the bridge pickup, as the sound there seems rounder ?
For the YouTube the spot is combined with two Royer mains in Blumlein. I didn't spot the bass cabinet or plug his pick up into a mic pre. The bass cab may or may not be turned on, hmm can't remember...

Btw, it has an internally switchable -15dB pad allowing for 135dB SPL.
Old 6 days ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Sennheiser MD-421, Beyer M500, Shure SM7 or SM57, Sennheiser e609 Silver and Telefunken M82 are all good microphones for the use intended.

FWIW
How many of these do you use for an orchestral bass section spot?
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