Musician, not an engineer

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by contrabasso, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. contrabasso

    contrabasso Guest

    Hi Everyone, I hope this is not one of these "oh god where do I even start" questions, but I thought I'd ask. It is one of many that I have....but for now the most pressing.

    I play bass in a major US symphony orchestra and record myself for practice purposes and for the occasional project when time permits, just for fun. I recently purchased a "real" mic after hearing how great it sounded on a jazz recording and thinking that the preamp I use for live jazz gigs would be able to provide it with phantom power but found out that this preamp only provides 15v for the very small mic/piezo system I use.

    So having said that, here is my set-up for recording:

    -Windows XP Pro Machine, with Cubase SX2
    -Tascam us428 (no phantom power! grrr)
    -Audio Technica AT4033 mic

    In my field, the major cost is the instrument...and while I could have been a violinist or cellist and had to spend much more, my bass is worth roughly the same as my HOUSE. (six figures) It goes without saying that I can't afford to have the super-high-end recording setup I would like.

    I could just buy a phantom power supply, which I assume would be the cheapest route...but I was considering getting a mic preamp so that I could have more flexibility. One that sounded particularly interesting and fits in my budget was the ART Dsp II which has an spdif output as well as analog, and I can get it for under $250.

    Others have told me that I should buy a mixer with onboard preamps. I look forward to seeing what you think I should get! Thanks for any help!

  2. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    what kind of bass costs 6 figures :shock: ?? I want one NOW.
  3. Don Schenk

    Don Schenk Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Home Page:
    His bow

    From what I've learned about double bass, the bow alone can cost as much as a car!

    And we thought recording gear was expensive!
  4. PCM

    PCM Guest

    Hi Dave,

    well, first of all, I want to emphasize that your room is very very important for something like this. Especially when you're going to be recording an acoustic instrument.

    I've heard absolutely breathtaking classical recordings done in a well-designed concert hall with only the mbox's built in pres (which many people would deem unusable).

    Granted, I know you are looking for a quick answer to your preamp question- but I suggest maybe buying a decent pre and then trying to work your way into rehearsing and recording at the concert hall :) Either way, there are a few decent pres out there for under 500 bucks. This pre will in no way be neutral, but it's been getting a lot of hype around these parts: GT the brick.

    Don't really have expereince with the RNP either, but might be worth checking out even though some don't like it. From what I hear, it's pretty damn neutral and that might be good for what you're doing.

    The BAd news: increase your budget and a whole world of amazing possibilities opens up.

    Good luck.
  5. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Hey Dave

    Come on and join us in the Acoustic Music Forum. If you peruse the posts there, you'll probably find a number of common threads on how we do things... You'll find answers to a lot of your questions and a large number of fellow classical musicians (I'm a clarinetist, one of the other moderators is a French Hornist, we have a couple brass players, etc...)

    In short, what you should get will depend on what kinds of recording you want to do. You'll probably want a stereo pair or a stereo mic. In that case, you'll also want a couple of good microphone preamps as well. Decide on how much you want to spend, what kinds of recordings you want to make and we can help you get set up. Then, after awhile, you'll get the lust for gear and your investment there will equal your instrument :?

  6. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    if your bass costs six figures (which means it must be holding it's own in an orchestra full of stradivarius violins), then surely four figures for a good mic and pre amp would be money sensibly spent. check out royer, RCA/AEA and B&K/DPA mics, and maybe others. talk to some classical engineers. i'm not sure which pres would best suite you but these kind of guys will. anyway, you've obviously worked hard to get this far, so good luck!

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