Micing with a bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mandobassman, May 16, 2012.


  1. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Hello, Newbie to this forum and I have a question about something I have been pondering for a while. I play in a all acoustic band and we use large diaphragm condensers for vocals and instruments, except for bass. I used a D112 kick drum mic for a long time and it sounded great, however because we don't use stage monitors, the rest of the band was having difficulty hearing the bass. I decided to use a pickup and bass amp. I have never liked the sound from most any pickup and have always preferred mics. Anyway, for the last three months I have been using a K&K Bass Max pickup and Gallien-Kruger Backline 112 amp. The band loves it but I hate the sound. I have been wondering about the feasability of using a dynamic mic and plugging IT into the amp instead of the pickup. I have hesitated to try it without asking first. My thinking is that it is a amplifier and so it should work the same as a PA amplifier, shouldn't it? Has anyone tried this and if so, how well did it work? Also I would like to hear some feedback about what mic/amp combinations people have used. I don't own a dynamic mic rightnow, only two condensers, so if I use this method, I will need to buy a mic. Another reason why I wanted to ask first. Thanks for any advice!
  2. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Wheatfield, NY
    I had the same problem as you. I really can't stand piezo tone. I've tried several of them, through seeral preamps, and several amps/cabs. Never happy.

    So now I'm running my set up like this:

    ATM Pro-35 condenser mic > ART Mic Preamp > Genz Benz 3.0-10T w/extension cab (or GK MB150).

    What I found (and others here helped me with) was that you need a good amount of db gain in between the mic, and the amp. Other wise your left trying to crank your amps gain, and you just keep discovering new ways to annoy yourself with feedback. The ART Pre covers that gain for me. It also has a phase switch which is helpful.

    This setup gives me a nice clean tone that sounds like my bass with very minimal eq'ing. It works fine for acoustic stuff.

    Running a mic straight into a bass amp didn't work out well for me. I tried an SM58, PRO-35, and some cheaper Shure (PG58?). I'm still toying with the idea of blending a mic with a piezo.

    Good luck.
  3. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I kind of thought I might need a preamp. I have a few questions. 1. What model ART Mic preamp do you use? 2. Where do you place the mic? 3. Do you ever have any feedback issues? I'm excited to try this. My bass sounds great with a mic and terrible with a pickup.
  4. wallawallabob

    wallawallabob

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Media:
    2
    Location:
    Walla Walla, WA
    7 - are you clamping the mic to the bridge or some other way?
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  6. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Don't know yet. I used to use a AKG D-112. I made a makeshift clamp using a short piece of a mic stand gooseneck that I taped to a couple of spring clamps that I bought at Home Depot. I clamped it to the tailpiece and placed the mic in front of the sound hole. That was on a old beat up bass and it scratched up the tailpiece pretty bad. I don't think I want to do that on my current bass, although it worked great. I actually have been thinking about using the ATM Pro-35 that was suggested in post #2. I know a few others who have used that and it sounds great, although I'm leaning more towards a dynamic mic and staying away from condensers. I mainly wanted to find out about plugging directly into a bass amp before I even thought about what mic to use.
  7. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Sorry, I just realized you were not directing that question to me. I'm looking forward to that info as well.
  8. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Wheatfield, NY
    I clamp the mic to a 2 dollar spring clamp from the hardware store, which is clamped to the bridge. I point the mic towards the top of the f-hole on the treble side. Then I took a piece of weather stripping and cut the center out to mount the power module for the mic. Some zip ties and velco - stuff it all into the tail piece.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I use the good old cheap ART Tube MP. I bought it because it was a cheap way to experiment with the setup - and much to my surprise it isn't bad for the money.
    http://artproaudio.com/art_products...hannel_tube_preamps/product/tube_mp-original/

    I can get feedback, but in general once it's set I'm in the clear. Don't get me wrong though - you can't peg your amp with this setup. It's probably only practical for acoustic stuff, or if your gonna use it as a monitor with a signal going to the PA.
  9. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I haven't used it but I have seen the ATM mic clipped onto the bridge adjuster.
  10. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    I borrowed a friends AKG D-112 today and set it up with my GK Backline 112. It sounded phenomenal. I cant wait to set it up properly. For the moment I don't have a way to mount it properly but I'll remedy that this week. I just wrapped the base of the mic with a towel, allowing the mic capsul to be open and not covered up. I put it between the bridge posts. No pre-amp or anything. I just plugged it straight into the amp with a low to high impedance adapter. For the first time since I bought this amp, my bass sounds like my bass, only louder, and not like a electronic reproduction of it. Have a gig next Saturday and I can't wait to refine and use this set up. I'll have to give this mic back eventually so at that point I'll try a few different mics for when I buy. Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions. I may never use my pick up again.
  11. GoranR

    GoranR

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    So, did you use AKG D-112 with GK on gig ? Impressions ?

    Thanks.
  12. farmerdude

    farmerdude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    Rural Kansas City
    IMOP....D-112 does sound nice but a PITA for live use and those fancy clip ons are expensive and too hot and crispy for bass and live use........I have been using one of these for some time now...cant believe it myself, but it works and works well. Plug it straight to the amp or to the board. It comes with its own power supply. I wedge one in the fhole with a piece of foam or whatnot. $32

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102927#
  13. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Farmerdude, you might be on to something here. I've sometimes thought about trying a dirt-cheap mic like this for live gigs. I'm guessing that it's not a super hi-fi solution, but maybe with an upright bass we end up having to EQ away so much anyway to get a sound that won't boom or feedback that going this route might be something to seriously pursue. So you say you just shove it in an bridge-hole? Does it pick up much of the other sound on stage, drums and stuff (not good) or do you get enough of just you to be happy? It's quite interesting timing to see and respond to your post today, because my bass at the moment is in the shop getting one of those little wedges put in the bridge hole that Schertler suggests for their Stat-B. I've had one on loan from a friend for a while and want to give it every opportunity to work it's best on my Gage C-E Bass. So far I've just been jamming it in my bridge hole kind of sideways so it won't fall out or work loose. But reading of your success with the Radio Shack mic makes me wonder if I should not have bought one of those instead of spending what I'll be paying my luthier here to alter my bridge to get the Stat installed per the manufacture's instructions. I would have spent less buying the tie-clip mic!
  14. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Farmerdude, just re-read your post...in an f-hole? Like pointing inside the bass or more across the top? Most of the time the f-hole brings a real boomy sound. Your Radio Shack mic sounds good like that? Dude, my people were farmers too, I had uncles in Illinois that made their livings growing corn and my late Uncle Cliff Carr once grew a watermelon the same size a Volkswagon so I'm really wanting to find my "holy grail" at the local Radio Shack or whatever it's equivalent is here in Hong Kong! Oh Lord, let it be true!
  15. farmerdude

    farmerdude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    Rural Kansas City
    About 1/2" inside the f hole pointed in. I couldnt believe it myself (way back when). I have 7 basses and it works great for each one. Arco/slap/pizz/steel/gut/from orchestra(im the only bass)-to stupid loud rockasilly ....even on the aluminum bass ...heck even on my snare attachment....while I'm at it- my guitarist uses one too.....:)

    I'm no spring chicken when it comes to bass stuff. Had various gear since 97'. Pickups suck. A mic on a stick sucks. The expensive clip on mics sound good but feedback easy and pickup EVERYTHING ELSE. This thing is tiny and cheap and makes my bass sound pretty close to my bass.

    Dont have any quality live recordings but here are a few from phones or whatnot....

    http://www.phantomsoftheopry.com/Sounds_and_Video.html
  16. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Tim, I looked at your whole web-site and listened to all the music you present and I must say in all honesty, I really like your group!
    Which tunes feature the tie-clip mic. What I saw was something attached to your bridge that stops right above your treble side f-hole, not inside. You get a good sound, sounds like a bass, that's for sure! That Kimberley, what a nice hunk of gal! Not like so many of these frail little things that I see on the streets here in Hong Kong. She rocks! Also good to see that you boys remember to remove your hats whilst playing in the house of the Lord too!
  17. Mandobassman

    Mandobassman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    When I wrote this I had only set it up in my living room and it sounded incredible. Since then I have only had one live gig. It was a wedding held at a wooden barn-like venue. Beautiful setting but horrendous sound. I couldn't even get a decent sound with the pickup. Ended up playing sans amp and let our vocal condenser mic pick up some bass. I'm looking forward to trying it under better conditions. I will report back when I can.

    Really tempted to try Farmerdude's technique. At $32 you really can't lose.
  18. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Wheatfield, NY
    Seeing farmerdudes cheap solution, and another classified ad with a similar home-made mini condesner....I've decided to take a run at making my own. Bought some condenser elements and currently have a collegue wiring up a couple of prototypes to run off of a 9 volt.
  19. farmerdude

    farmerdude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    Rural Kansas City
    Thanks for the compliments. You have a good eye. All videos and live audio feature "a" radio shack mic....(the one in a church was accoustic however). I had a homemade version of this mic that was used on most of the tracks. Somtimes i did clip it to just outside of the f hole. The two mics (homemade and tie) sound and act very similiar.

    sevenyearsdown- I prefer the tie version over the homemade one..it is smaller and (to me) sounds better....also, the parts for the homemade one came up to $50-$60.

    I guess the thing that makes these work is that they cover the frequency range well and you have to have them real close to the source. They do not pickup much of anything but the bass. I have had very little problems with feedback as well.

    Been preaching this rig for years...dont think people believe anything from the shack could work and they never try it........all I can say is that it works for me.
  20. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Tim, FWIW I want tell you about my gig tonight..used a very $$$ Stat-B. OK, not a mic really but very mic-like. Not in a big room, jazz trio with drums, digital piano and me. The house amp is an old SWR Workingmans 15. I know, not an ideal amp for double bass. The drummer kept telling me to turn up. A pianist that plays this venue often stopped by. He said I was not loud enough. In order to get a volume that made these guys happy I really had to crank it. At this point the Schertler sounded too tubby and was at the point where it almost wanted to feed-back. I had to be real close to the bass amp, so I'm sure that didn't help matters much. I like the Stat under the right conditions. I like the Realist that my bass came with too, again, under the right conditions. But I'll be looking to try something different, at least for the next time I do that gig. So I'll be on the lookout for a mic like yours to try. I'm sure I could find something very similar here in Hong Kong.
  21. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Make sure you have something to combine the signals with a variable (not just 180°) phase adjustment

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