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Shotgun mic for upright bass
Old 20th June 2005
  #1
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Talking Shotgun mic for upright bass

Oh man, I love the upright bass. It has got to be one of my favorite instruments. But I can never, ever get the isolation I want live. If I make the bass sound good then everything else sounds like mud because of the bleed.

Has anyone ever tried using a supercartioid (shotgun) mic on a bass? I figure I could back it off about a foot and aim it so that the drums are about perpendicular.

Check out this beast- looks like it goes for about two-fity.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...f6b/index.html

Thoughts?
Old 21st June 2005
  #2
Lou Judson
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Supercardioid is not Shotgun. Hypercardioid is tighter than super, and shotgun is tighter than that.

I wouldn't us a shotgun, but go ahead and try it and see! I once used one on a voiceover talent, and it could "see" down her throat and you could hear her tonsils working! I think a shotgun would be too colored and unnatural sounding...

Try an Audix D4 on the bass, between the bridge and an F hole, or a clipon drum type mic attached the the bridge or frog near an F hole. Mix in a bit of DI if it has a pickup too for a bit more snap.
Old 25th June 2005
  #3
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I've heard an AKG 747 sound fabulous on upright bass but I much prefer a great condenser aimed well. I'd try something before you buy... I think that A-T is an electret-condenser, it may not have the detail you are trying to get.
JvB
Old 25th June 2005
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Also depends on the style of music. Most of the bluegrass type players use a Shure SM57 with a rag around it shoved in the bridge. This will certainly give you a very tight and isolated sound, but very dry.

If you are playing jazz, then you would want a more open, condenser sound. I have used several different mics for this prefering a Neumann U47fet. If you still need control and isolation I would suggest a DPA 4060 miniature microphone with the string mount. This is a rubber mount that clips to the strings near the bridge and will give you a very nice open sound that is still isolated.

I would never use a shotgun for this application, especially since shotguns usually have a pretty severe low frequency roll off because they are intended for dialog. If you really want a hyper-cardiod design then I would try a Schoeps with MK41 capsule.
Old 26th June 2005
  #5
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sonare's Avatar
I have used the 4061 on bass with good results. The dreaded cymbal leakage can be controlled somewhat by placing a baffle on a boom as close to the instrument as the player is OK with. Auralex foam on the bass side, carpet on the drum side.

Every bass player I have tried the "wrap it in foam and stuff it in the bridge" technique has hated how it made the instrument respond and sound.

John Patitucci favors a Schoeps MK41 and Kengo Nakamura likes the RE27 FWIW.

Rich
Old 26th June 2005
  #6
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sometimes i've found great sounds from a 451/ bridge /foam thing, but,
yeah, some bass players , don't want to do it,
one bass player talked to himself about quietly, although, obviously, i could hear,
he eventually raised the volume of his speaking voice and removed
the mic from his bass

- jack
Old 26th June 2005
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I hear you folks...

That's why we use two rubber bands instead of the foam or a bar towel for that matter. I like using that mic setup on bass solos or quite pieces. IMO, if it's your only mic, don't use the technique. That bridge mic rig is limited when everyone else is blasting way on stage.

Duke Markos has great success using a KM84 on a short boom facing into the bridge area. At least when everyone's blown you still have a decent sound to work with.

Here's a picture of a KM140 with two rubber bands at the bridge...
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Old 26th June 2005
  #8
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Judson
Supercardioid is not Shotgun. Hypercardioid is tighter than super, and shotgun is tighter than that.

I wouldn't us a shotgun, but go ahead and try it and see! I once used one on a voiceover talent, and it could "see" down her throat and you could hear her tonsils working! I think a shotgun would be too colored and unnatural sounding...

Try an Audix D4 on the bass, between the bridge and an F hole, or a clipon drum type mic attached the the bridge or frog near an F hole. Mix in a bit of DI if it has a pickup too for a bit more snap.
Not sure what shotgun mic you used that was colored but a small diaphragm about 12 to 18 inch's would sound like the instrument. Most clip on mics don't sound very good to me. A good upright bass is a real acoustic instrument, and it would sound better as far as what I have heard to capture the full sound.But as always its what your trying to do and it also sounds like isolation is a problem. A couple of good Gobos will help. I recorded a jazz group a while back and was concerned about isolation between musicians, and upright bass a few feet away from 2 horns players. It sounded pretty good, as with most good jazz players they played straight thru with no overdubs.
Old 26th June 2005
  #9
Lou Judson
Guest
The original question was for live recording. Ever used gobos on stage? looks kinda funny in a club or concert...

<L>
Old 27th June 2005
  #10
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Judson
The original question was for live recording. Ever used gobos on stage? looks kinda funny in a club or concert...

<L>

Yes I have. And it CAN look kind of funny but, I'm not the set designer so, I really don't care too much about that stuff. That's for the producers of the show to decide. I just like to capture the best isolation I can. If they let me muck up the stage with all that crap, so be it.

We have placed Tube Traps on the stage of the Blue Note Jazz club in NYC.
I've used sound blankets over and under acoustic pianos. We have covered guitar amps with blankets or case covers. I've also done this to other venues -- Anything is possible if the client and show producers don't mind the visual.
Old 20th July 2005
  #11
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
There is a nifty rubber holder for the small DPA mics that you can fasten at the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece.
As much as I hate to mic close, that setup comes out sounding quite good for classical spotmicing (sound reinforcement, not recording) and for jazz work if the instrument is good (old italian).

Kjetil Laukholm
Bassist Malmö Symphony Orchestra
CK Recording
Old 7th August 2005
  #12
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Matti's Avatar
True shotguns work by acoustically cancelling sounds coming from side,
so they aren´t directional at lower frequencies ( depends on the lenght of the
"tube" )
Regards Matti
Old 7th August 2005
  #13
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simonv's Avatar
 

shotgun mics do cancel a bit of the sound, but don't expect miracles, especially with drums nearby
Old 7th August 2005
  #14
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Matti's Avatar
Yes the capsules are typically cardioid or hypercardioid but the interference tube
doesnt work on lower frequences. And they are designed for outdoors use, they tend to lose some of their directivity indoors because of too many reflections from the walls.
regrads Matti
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