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mixing acoustic bass help please
Old 18th January 2007
  #1
mixing acoustic bass help please

ok, so its the first time ive mixed one of these and its proving rather more difficult than i thought.

the project is acoustic folk

drums - quite a tight brush kit sound
acoutic guitar - quite a bright taylor
acoutic bass

the sound i want is EST ish. the sound i really want out of the bass is that really nice upper mid sound, the kinda nicer part of a freetless electric sound. waaarrrrp. but i just cant find space for it, in isolation its fine but in the mix you just get a subby sound.

it was recorded with a M49 and an 87 (neve desk) both at the f hole, live with the drums (the spill is crazy from the drums). i have the facility to re-recored with a better recomendation for mic placment but my mics/pres suck compared to above, im mixing ITB in Tools

any thorts/help out be great

it seams to sound much better uncompressed

dont know where to begin with the EQ as it already sounds ok, just not great

thanks
Old 18th January 2007
  #2
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HEADROOM's Avatar
 

One mike at the F-hole (what a nasty word) One at the bridge (close)



www.nickoosterhuis.com

"All you can do is ruin things to varying degrees " originally posted by dbbubba
Old 18th January 2007
  #3
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7 Hz's Avatar
I think you need to get further away from a double bass to give the sound room to converge... getting close is just focusing on one part of the sound, always sounds unnatural to me. 6 feet wouldn't be unsupprising.

Need a great room to do this, otherwise it sounds like someone farting in a wardrobe in a cave.

One of the hardest instruments to record properly IMHO.
Old 18th January 2007
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
ok, so its the first time ive mixed one of these and its proving rather more difficult than i thought.

the project is acoustic folk

drums - quite a tight brush kit sound
acoutic guitar - quite a bright taylor
acoutic bass

the sound i want is EST ish. the sound i really want out of the bass is that really nice upper mid sound, the kinda nicer part of a freetless electric sound. waaarrrrp. but i just cant find space for it, in isolation its fine but in the mix you just get a subby sound.

it was recorded with a M49 and an 87 (neve desk) both at the f hole, live with the drums (the spill is crazy from the drums). i have the facility to re-recored with a better recomendation for mic placment but my mics/pres suck compared to above, im mixing ITB in Tools

any thorts/help out be great

it seams to sound much better uncompressed

dont know where to begin with the EQ as it already sounds ok, just not great

thanks
I have found you just have to mess with it, EQ, compression and so on.. BUT the biggest factor with the upright bass is all about the player. He (or she) is really going to set the tone of the sound.. YES YES YES micing and so on is very important, but If you can't "get it right" in the mix then I would rerecord it and make them do it till it sounds great. Then you can do little things at that point.

Glenn
Old 18th January 2007
  #5
Gear Guru
The f-hole is a bass port. That's where you get the subby sound. For the sound you want, try putting the second mic where the neck meets the body on the treble side at least a foot away aimed at the where the right hand hits the strings. And I've had good results using bright mics like the 414 for this. Then you can "EQ" by balancing the two mics.

If it's already recorded, the solution is probably to carve out lo mids. And possibly a shelving cut at 80 or 100.
Old 18th January 2007
  #6
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HEADROOM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz View Post
I
One of the hardest instruments to record properly IMHO.
Absolutely right, and I agree a big room and distance can help.

But on top of that I would always record the bridge as well , because it is the most precise position.

It depends on the context of course.

If you re not sure I would record it with 3 mikes (bridge, f-hole and room) and find out what works best in the mix.

And with most players you have to compress it pretty heavily....

www.nickoosterhuis.com

"All you can do is ruin things to varying degrees " originally posted by dbbubba
Old 18th January 2007
  #7
thanks guys,

i recorded the neck and f-hole and after quite a lot of EQ (much more than im used to!) it finally sits in the mix.

to help me i used filters on the master output to just listen to bands of the mix and was really able to find areas that were not working and needed attention.

slutz rock
Old 18th January 2007
  #8
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
thanks guys,

i recorded the neck and f-hole and after quite a lot of EQ (much more than im used to!) it finally sits in the mix.

to help me i used filters on the master output to just listen to bands of the mix and was really able to find areas that were not working and needed attention.

slutz rock
thumbsup thumbsup Accoustic bass is one of the more difficult instruments to record. Unless you've got a really great player, then it's bit easier.heh
Old 18th January 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
...If it's already recorded, the solution is probably to carve out lo mids. And possibly a shelving cut at 80 or 100.
You will probably be surprised at how much you will need to carve out. And what you have left will want to compete with the guitar, and then you have arrangement concerns...

I know nothing I have said is helpful... keep working at it, good luck!
Old 18th January 2007
  #10
Here for the gear
 

acoustic bass micing

I've been recording acoustic jazz lately for my own project with 2 different acoustic bass players. I've used 2 mics (heil 40 close near bridge and peluso 2251 ~4 feet away). I'm a novice engineer but 2 things I noticed are:

1) there is a huge difference between the sound of the basses and of the players. HUGE. One guy has an amazing instrument and classical training so the tone and intonation are awesome. I like the other players groove more though. I want to splice these guys together. There are positive aspects to each but it sure is easier to mix the guy with the sweet bass.

2) The players tend to move around when they solo so the levels on the close mic vary and tend to go down when they solo.

Definitely a challenge though. Also, I think you have to experiment with the individual player/room as it is hard for me to see getting a recipe that is gonna work for 'acoustic bass' since there is so much variability between the instruments and players.

Another thing to try, which I have not, is to run a line from the acoustic bass pickup (or amp) if they have one. This would be in addition to the mics.

Last edited by kweis7; 18th January 2007 at 08:19 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 18th January 2007
  #11
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HEADROOM's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=kweis7;1077918].

2) The players tend to move around when they solo so the levels on the close mic vary and tend to go down when they solo.

QUOTE]

Once recorded an upright player who hummed along while playing....like :ooomph, oomph, oooopmh.....
Old 18th January 2007
  #12
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funny

Quote:

Once recorded an upright player who hummed along while playing....like :ooomph, oomph, oooopmh.....
Maybe I'm lucky then heh. Then again, Keith Jarrett has been moaning and grunting his whole kick ass career!
Old 19th January 2007
  #13
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Heil PR40 and Peluso 2251 sound like good mic choices. Both aren't shy with the midrange. I've used a Charter Oaks 538b, up closer to the end of the fingerboard, and that seemed to work well. No matter what you do there's going to be plenty of 'woof'. The trick is finding the tone that cuts through the mix, and it seems like that tone lives in the midrange.
Old 19th January 2007
  #14
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massimo's Avatar
 

The best combination I have found over the years - surely nothing new or original - is a Schoeps CMC5 with 4 or 21H capsule near the neck/body joint, and - most importantly a Sennheiser 441 set vertical pointing upwards, below the bridge. Experiment a lot with positioning this as it's supercardioid. The Senn gives the main punch, and the Schoeps provides that fingerboard noise detail that I like personally. 441 into Great River and Schoeps into Millennia HV3.
Just my view

best regards
Massimo
Old 20th January 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 

[QUOTE=HEADROOM;1077982]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kweis7 View Post
.

2) The players tend to move around when they solo so the levels on the close mic vary and tend to go down when they solo.

QUOTE]

Once recorded an upright player who hummed along while playing....like :ooomph, oomph, oooopmh.....
Was it Ray Brown? heh
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