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recording contra bass - need help

Discussion in 'Bass' started by musicsound, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. musicsound

    musicsound Active Member

    I am just asked to record a contra bass for some swing / Jazz music and I have never done that before.

    Anybody here with some experience or idea how to do this best ?

    which mic ?

    I have a limited choice (although all good quality), which is:
    - Brauner VMA
    - U87
    - Beyer M-160 ribbon
    - Shoeps MK4 (two of them for stereo recording)
    - SMS 57

    mic placement ?

    I don´t have any idea where to place the mic.
    Does stereo recording with my Schoeps make sence ? I often do that for acc. guitar

    Thank you for any proposal or advice
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Ribbon without a doubt. If that doesnt work, Brauner, if that doesnt work, U87 in omni, if THAT doesnt work, borrow an EV RE20....if THAT DOESNT WORK......shoot I forgot the question....... :roll:
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Mic position depends a lot on whether you want a lot of string/fingerboard sound. Experiment with a directional mic attached to the bridge pointed up at the fingerboard. Another mic about a foot from the bass pointed at one of the sound holes is pretty common as well for a more "bassic sound." Talkbass.com (acoustic forums) will have a lot of opinions.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    "Contrabass" is the name for a number of different instruments, most commonly the lowest member of the clarinet family. However, your reference to swing/jazz may imply that it is a contrabass trombone.

    Which instrument are we actually talking about here?
  5. Mandachuva

    Mandachuva Guest

    At least in Romanian, the direct translation of the word "contrabass" to the Queen's English would be "double-bass". I guess that's what he's trying to record.
  6. musicsound

    musicsound Active Member

    I am speaking about the string instrument which is one size bigger than a cello. Sorry for misunderstanding
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    OK, that's a "double bass".

    What are the circumstances of the recording? Is it live or studio? What sort of acoustic space are they playing in? Are all the musicians playing at once, or are you laying down a bass/rhythm track for the others to track over later? Have you got sound isolation between the double bass and any other instruments playing? Is the double bass fitted with a pickup? If so, does the player use an amplifier?

    I've recorded lots of double basses, but never in stereo. That's not to say you couldn't use a stereo mic or pair, but I never have. I often take two or three tracks from the bass (e.g. mic, pickup via DI, mic on amplifier), and blend at mixdown to get a sound that sits well with the rest of the ensemble.

    Instruments, players, style, venue all vary so much it's best move your head around to listen to the sound during rehearsal in the final venue. Choose a mic and position for it depending on what you hear and what you want the recorded sound to be.
  8. musicsound

    musicsound Active Member

    it´s in a studio and the playback is already there.

    Indeed the whole recording were already finished but the bass player has played with a electric guitar bass which we have recorded via DI and now he has got his new acoustic bass and we would just like to repeat the playing with the acoustic instrument and micing.

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