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Double bass recording

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Tiny_Sounds, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Tiny_Sounds

    Tiny_Sounds Guest

    Hello, I'm Jack and studying a music tech degree in London. I'm currently working on my recording portfolio and am planning to record a jazz trio of double bass, guitar and drums. However, I dont have any previous experience of recording double bass.

    My first thought would be a condenser, possibly a U87(?!) around where the player plucks the strings (as I would like to capture the high-mid slapping nuances for their percussive quality). And also maybe a D112 (or is that a bit crap?! :roll: ) to capture the low end going into a TLA valve pre-amp for warmth, not sure what model exactly, sorry!

    My main concern is the mic placement, any ideas guys?
    I'm new to this site, looks cool though, that JP / McCheese thing was amazing, read about 6 or 7 pages. That dude really doesn't have a notion does he! :D Makes me feel a little lighter about my recording knowledge, sorry JP!
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RO, Jack! Dual mics on ANYTHING takes a great deal of time to learn. Whenever you place 2 mics (especially different ones!) on the same source, you are going to have to deal with phase relationships. You end up with a "trial-and-error" situation. I think that if you have access to a U87 for that bass, use it, and work on getting THAT placement right. Personally, I think that the D112 is a terribly overrated and limited mic, but that's just my opinion.
    As far as positioning is concerned....this is going to be deternined by the player and the instrument (naturally!). I would start off with somewhere halfway between the bridge and the "f" hole. The angle that the mic is positioned towards will determine how much finger "pluck" you get vs. the tone out of the instruments' body. Start with the mic approx. half a meter away from the bass, then move it in more as he/she plays. I have also had decent results with the mic maybe closer to the ground, maybe a half meter up, and then angled up towards the bridge area. and at about the same distance away. Like I said, trial and error. You Brits really dig that TLA gear, eh?
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Why not try an inexpensive small microphone, wrapped in foam and wedged into the bridge for a single channel and the U87 on a second channel? Print those to 2 separate tracks and then delay the bridge mounted microphone while looking at the waveforms of both. You'll see that you need to add a couple of milliseconds of delay to the bridge mounted microphone to align the time differential between that and the live U87 microphone for little or no time delay phase shift. Makes for great stereo and a huge sound. I also think the D112 is overrated and not a particularly good double bass choice.

    You've graduated with honors!
    The Queen (Ms. Remy Ann David)
     
  4. davedarling

    davedarling Guest

    fet 47, or a good ribbon (coles,rca) 8 inches in front, 3 or four inches above the bridge, and angled down slightly.

    If you're feeling frisky, add a small di (km84/451) in front of the left hand,
    and blend.

    If all you've got are an 87, and d112 - use 'em both side by side.

    If your tla is an eq-1 they work great for bass.

    cheers - good luck
    dave darling
     
  5. citrusburst

    citrusburst Member

    Hi Jack,

    I've gotten some great sounds off of upright bass by using a single tube large diaphragm condensor mic. The Mojave MA200 works really well for this application, but you may want to cycle through any tube LDC's you have at your disposal and see which gets the sound you like best.

    In terms of placement, moonbaby is right on: generally, a foot and half back (.5 meters) from the instrument, between the bridge and one of the f-holes will get a usable sound and provides a starting point for expirimentation.

    Also, depending on how much recording work your bass player has done, he/she may have an idea of what mic placement sounds best on his/her particular instrument.

    One other thing you may want to do is track a DI signal from the bass. Many jazz upright players have a pickup for their bass, and that signal can be useful for providing definition during mixdown.

    Hope that helps.

    Jed
     
  6. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    heres my technique:
    take one large diaphram condenser of your choice and place it about 1.5 feet away from the bass then move it down around 1 foot from the floor and aim it towards the bridge.
    then i take one foam wrapped sm57 and tape it underneth the fingerbaord over hang aimed at the bridge.
    (if you have a DI use it.)

    double bass is one of the hardest things to record, so take your time with mic placement and watch out for phase.
     
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Hasn't anybody been looking at the pictures on this site?? There is a bass with the microphone positioned as I have suggested! In addition to bat goal and head and put a microphone on the bass as well! That is the way to do it! So many beginners. So little time.

    Help me baby!!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Hasn't anybody been looking at the pictures on this site?? There is a bass with the microphone positioned as I have suggested! In addition to bat goal and head and put a microphone on the bass as well! That is the way to do it! So many beginners. So little time.

    Help me baby!!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     

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