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mic for recording bass

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Nutti, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Hi all!

    I'm saving up for a new microphone for recording bass cabinets and need some advice...I've seen people use all kinds of microphones on the net from ribbon mikes, condenser mikes, dynamic mikes to regular kickdrum mikes. But what would be a good choise for this? A sennheiser 421? A shure b52? A combo with a sm57?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    akg d12 is in contention too up close. i don't have access to a u47/67, but i'd try that in the room if i did. watch for phase issues between mic(s) and DI, if employing them.
     
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You seem to be on the right track searching for a mic. However, I feel that it's important in home studio recording to put some effort into your direct bass sound first. Bass speakers are almost always big and they are always putting out energy at frequencies that show all the defects of a small room. So by all means close mic the cabinet with an SM57 to start. But go searching for the best direct rig before you go searching for the perfect mic. Depending on how good your room is, the perfect mic may not exist. But you are looking in the right direction - high quality dynamics and ribbons. (The two dynamics that I'd try that have not been mentioned are the Shure SM7b and the Electrovoice RE20.)

    Lately, I've been recording my bass (P-Bass with TI flats) through the Hi-Z input of a Universal Audio 4-710d. It has an "1176 style" compressor circuit and a solid state and a tube preamp circuit that can be blended. That's working for me right now, but I'd really like to try the A Designs REDDI. One of these days.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's MIC not MIKE

    i like using mics on bass cabs because it adds an edge you can't get with just a di. too many recordist make the mistake of bumping up everything below 100 hZ on bass as well as kick drums but i have learned that pushing the area between 170 and 300 with a narrow cut notch @ 220 with a reciprocating boost for the kick drum (also @ 220) yeilds a well defined kick bass on almost any system even one that is bass starved. almost any playback system will get down to 170 hZ.

    my faves for bass cabs have always been Senheisser 421's and AKG d112's / d12's. anyway it's mic, NOT mike. Mike is a guy I know, mic is short for microphone .... see there's no "K" in microphone unless your speaking German and we all know where that leads you. lol.

    i thought we settled that years ago ...

    mmmmph! gahhhhh! suicide ahhhhh!
     
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Good choices all. I'll also add the ATM25 to the list. A bit more 'hi-fi' sounding that the AKG D112 as theres no 'scoop' in it. Not much can go wrong with a D12 on anything low-middish...I solve the 'too big bass cabinet' thing with a very high-end single speaker bass cabinet that allows you get into the bass heads' power section a bit. The combination of the DI and the MIC (note: not mike) can be a beautifull thing and two tracks allows you to go experimenting with different types of EQ's and compressions at the mix. Personally I dont ever use much of each but when I do, I always use a Pultec and a fast recovering comp. Although for the 'classic rock sound' theres not much to go wrong with a Fairchild for 'bigness'.........
     
  6. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    i like the RE 20, just always works for me.
    another mic i have used as been the soundelux U195.
     
  7. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    The reason for writing mikes is because I searched the subject at first before writing this thread and noticed alot of mikes in posts...I don't know if this is the uk english spelling of the word then? It's a bit hard to write in a foreign language that has two types of spelling (american and uk english) but the main point is that you guys understand what I mean. It's good to get corrected, otherwise you wouldn't ever get anything right :)

    I've been recording bass by mixing one DI channel and one channel with a crap t.bone kickdrum mic with the amp inside my vocal booth, haven't tried the recording room due to fear of having base going all over the place. So that's something that I need to try out as soon as I get the time. I just finnished building the studio about 6months ago, and with 3 young kids there havn't been time for all the experimenting that "should" have been done at this point.

    AKG D112 sounds interesting, that way I could also get a good kickdrum mic... two in one! And as a hobbyist that's something to prefer. It's got a very nice price also.
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    if you want just one mic i would recommend a sennheiser 421. it's a great all around mic.

    sorry (not really) :tongue: about the mike / mic thing. just a pet peeve of mine. another one is base instead of bass and symbol instead of cymbal.



    mmmmphhhhh! gaahhh suicide ahhhhh!
     
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member


    Although you've gotten some great suggestions on mics for the job, a bass amp in a small vocal booth doesn't sound like a winning combination for any mic. Do you have a re-amping box, so you could mic the cabinet later in a larger room?
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Okay, although I totally agree I also totally disagree. I'm going to dispute that and post this:

     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    don't write off booths. if constructed in the correct dimensions and the proper treatments are applied, a booth can actually sound quite good.

    F. Alton Everest has a very good book on studio acoustics. on the net search Sepmeyer Ratios, golden dimensions.

    5'x6'x9' is a good booth. get the mic close to the speaker and most room reflections are negated anyway. i feel there's far too much emphisas applied to deep bass. in the real world most playback is bass starved. anything below 100 is for the most part lost. the fundimentals of a bass guitar low A is about 220. how many bass players play in the low open positions? most i see are working up around the 7th fret. get it to sound fat by hitting 220 with a narrow boost notch. at the same time use a reciprocating notch cut on the kick drum to carve out some definition for the bass. it should be no problem getting 200 Hz to "play nice" in a restricted space like a booth as discribed.

    podcomplex-frequency-overview-chart.jpg



    mmphhhh! ghaaaah! suicide ahhhhhh1
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I all due respect Dave, this is no different for Bass or any sound source. Maybe not for everyone, but when you own a Bricasti, a perfect acoustic room becomes less important, if not moot. Yes, gear does make a difference. At least for a the new home and project studio's acoustically challenged including for most modern music. If I was doing the old school way, you are absolutely spot on.

     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    adding more reverb to a track that has undesirable artifacts from poor acoustics isn't going to help. that's something you just can't bury. sure you can record in a dead space and add verbs later but even with something like a Bricasti you will still not achieve what you can get from a good acoustical environment. i find things like high end verbs sound best when used on tracks that have been recorded in a moderately live room ... Chris: you'r big on hybrid electronics, why not hybrid acoustics? some real some recreated. imo, that's the best.




    mmphhhhh! ghaaaaa! suicide ahhhhh!
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Oh for sure, but hearing so many recordings from people with poor acoustics, that sounds far worse to me than had they been recorded in a dead booth or properly treated dead room and learned to use something like a Bricasti later. This I'm certain of.
    And, lets not forget to mention, this is always subject to the style of music being produced.

    Would a plug-in reverb replace a nice church setting for a choir, no. Would I replace the Metropolitan Opera being sung in a cathedral with a Bricasti, no. Would It replace a big band orchestra recorded at Carnegie Hall, no. Maybe Weezer, the garage band/ indie Rock band all setup ready to play all together, no.

    But I would use a Bricasti to replace most home studio closets, living rooms etc doing the one track at a time DAW dance! And I would use a Bricasti for most pop vocals indeed being sung in a vocal booth. And I would definitely use it for a large percentage of guitar, bass, drums in most modern recording learning towards anything commercial sounding these days. In fact, this sound is more appealing to the record buying public.

    So, depending on the type of music, I would or wouldn't rule either out. Over the last 12 years here, we have been pushing live rooms and laughing at vocal booths. There's more ways to skin the cat.

    So, I'm merely giving us more to think about and presenting some alternatives that work if you do things for that app. We need to be more open minded around here. Times are changing. We need to be clearer when we give blanket statement and also to look for products that fit certain styles.
    No disrespect ( generally speaking for all forums) there are people with mass knowledge in specific old school area's that don't translate well for electronic productions.

    DAW, Plug-ins, are they really replacing the console and all that wonderful vintage gear, what makes a room any different? Why have 95% of all studios gone broke?
     
  15. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Personally I believe if you do not have or cannot record in a great room a dead room is better.
    I do feel correct dimensions should be followed as well as placement, there will be some degree of reflection.
    But, I would much rather work in or have a nice room treat to give the best.
     
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    cart before the horse?

    let's try to clear things up. if you have a room with the wrong dimensions, no amount of deadening / treatments is going to help. cubes or rooms with poor ratios will always exhibit comb filtering and problems with unpleasant reflections, even if you put six feet of ridged fiberglass on the walls. the solution is to build rooms that have proper ratios even if you are space restricted. this one reason why most big studios have very large rooms ... the larger you get, the more these little problems dissappear. If you make it big enough, even a cube can sound great! for more on that check out Manifold Studios, a new room that just opened.

    and i don't know about the rest of youse but i personally hate the sound of a completely dead room ... it just sucks all the energy out of a track. let it breath!

    i don't get why someone would want to invest in a Bricasti or other high end solutions when their live rooms / vocal booths are in need of attention. it makes about as much sense to me as wearing gym socks with a pair of alligator loafers.

    mmmmph!! ghaaaa! suicide ahhhhh!
     
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Don't think too much hehe. Or maybe rethink this again hehe. ( big hug)


    Okay,

    Are we talking about bass, vocals or tracking an orchestra? And just to have a little fun with us here. How many times do you think tracks are replaced with a sample ITB from a commercial success POV? I'm not saying you would do that but its really common from what I've heard in the cracks of commercial success and modern music. I started doing this in 1981. Is this cheating or brilliant engineering? shhh smoke

    I have to say this ( well I shouldn't really) and I'll shut up for an hour lol. A huge percentage of broke die hard engineers have spent the last 3 decades trying to get ( as one example) their dream kick drum to sound like (forgive them for they not know) a sample that replaced some valiant effort. These engineers, including me have our samples stored away in our private collection of tricks. And I'm not talking about loops or beats here. I'm talking about a certain kick that works. Add some verb and you are done.
    But I am talking about two different worlds all of a sudden. One is commercial and one is not much production involved, raw talent in the wrong hands.
    It is my opinion that engineers who doen't take advantage of this technology (at least some) are generally stuck in the world of music that doesn't get passed your neighborhood fan club. The kind of crowd that sits at wines about today.

    I'm really surprised how many recording engineers are so naive to all this. Or too proud. Keep trying to compete with the modern age using old school methods and I assure you, you will go broke trying to be a purest. Why do you all think computer generated music sounds so huge? If it doesn't, I don't care who you are, you will not attract the masses. Its too far into electron taste to go back to the sound of the Beatles. Do I like all this music on the radio? No! but I'm not stupid. I want to grow with the times and learn how to work on the top, not the bottom or somewhere in between.

    anyway,

    I agree with everything you said, but hearing is also believing. And virtual effects in your monitoring is also believing. Especially if you don't know any better and you choose the right mic and sing with some balls with attitude. Some people may be of a different era and not at all interested in certain methods. Good for you I say. But I don't for one sec think you need a perfect room for all types of music. We are in the age of computers lol. Its all about working with what ya got and learning the tricks of the trade.

    Fire away!
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Tree; please don't think i am trying to single you out. my remarks go way beyond that. (big hug back)

    good is good and sucks sucks. i don't care what the current crop is doing. i know what is good and most of them don't have the experience that some of the old geezers do. so why would one want to get into lock step with ignorance? just because someone has a bunch of hits and is the flavor du jour hotshot this week doesn't mean a thing. a lot of times it comes down to personalities, charm, image/appearance and young artists feeling like working with an older seasoned pro is not hip but instead, "creepy". if this were not true, there wouldn't be so many bad records out there.

    sure a lot of stuff these days is sampled ... and that perfect kick sample? well guess what? it sounds the same every time. BORING! some may like that but i don't.

    all i have to say is once a person gets the chance to work in well designed rooms, they will never be satisfied with less. oh yeah, they will try to get by with less as necessity dictates but deep inside they understand it's a compromise. there is no substitution for good acoustics, either in the CR or the LR.

    it's really that simple




    mmmphhhh! ghaaaa! suicide ahhhhhhh!
     
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    awesome. I hear ya.

    re samples: Its the boring ones or poorly programmed, tuned or edited that you only remember or notice as it being a sample.
    And, we have a preconceived idea of what talent is or not and also what a sample is around here.

    Reading forum comments on products and methods can be so misleading. So much out there that works for one and not another. No one way is right.
    I do believe great acoustics are the closest thing to always holding true but those rooms are few and far between. .
     
  20. pan60

    pan60 Active Member


    Ditto!
    But in a day when so much is done with the lack of a great room dead is the better alternative IMHO.
    Honestly which would you rather work with tracks exhibiting comb filtering and problems with unpleasant reflections, or, tracks that where dead and a Bricasti and / or other?
    I love seeing tracks that need nothing, but it just never is it seems.
    I say build it big, get the dimensions correct no matter the size, make it tight, and if its small deaden it.
     

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