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Best for mic'ing bass cab?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rockstarbassist, Jun 2, 2004.


  1. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Alright, before anyone gets in a hissy about doing a search for it, I did a few and couldn't find anything really. :p

    So, question out is, who uses what mic's for their bass cabs? Whether it be for live or studio use. I've heard Shure SM57's, Sennheiser 421's, Shure Beta57's and Shure PG52's are all decent, but just looking for some real-world feedback.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I like my AKG D112 a lot. There are more, but this one gives a lot for the money.
     
  3. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I think I've heard of that one before. What's the pricing abouts on them?
     
  4. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    An SM-57 has done just fine for me in the past, and is quite affordable. I currently use an Audio Technica ATM-25 (also my kick drum mic). Sounds loverly, and I seem to recall it's in the $200 range new. But don't mistake it for the crappy PRO-25.

    A D-112 should be simiarly priced, as will many of the ones you mention above (the shures): in the $200 area, new.

    The 421 is allegedly very, very nice, but I haven't been able to justify buying one as yet ($300+ I think)
     
  5. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Anyone have a PG52? They seem like a more bass-friendly version than the Beta52, and cheaper as well. Trying to decided between that and the AKG, as it just looks friggin' awesome.
     
  6. Hurley

    Hurley

    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    Does anyone have experience with the Audix D6? I know, it's a kick drum mic, but I've heard it works well for bass. It looks sweet, too. :)
     
  7. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Haven't heard much about the PG52, but I understand the D6 is great on a kick drum. And theoretically, I'd say if it kicks ass on a kick drum, it'll do fine/great for a bass cab.

    The freq. response, I suspect, is the key -- you prolly want around 30Hz-15KHz for good full range bass action.

    Checked harmony central on the PG52 or the D6? Do they even have mic reviews?
     
  8. Hello there:

    I'm pretty new at recording, and have interest in this question. I've learned recently, thru this forum, that it's best the record a somewhat noisy, mid-rangy/trebly, track, as that sits in the mix the best. I've only recorded direct in the past. So I'm just wondering why an SM57 wouldn't work as well or better than a kick drum mic (the 57 not picking up the low end as well, but that's OK for recording, no?). What would be the point of the mic picking up lows that will later be EQ'd out?

    The reason I'm asking is that I was planning on buying a 57 to record elec. guitar, maybe acoustic gtr, and maybe vocals (yea, I know a 58 is better for vocals, but I'm starting with 1 mic).

    Thanks in advance for your advice....

    Mark
     
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Not sure I agree with the noisy treble thing 100% but...
    ... why not have the lows as well as the highs? I've head the best luck by including the whole thing, then nudging frequency up or down depending on what else is present. Sometimes an entire track could use some more bass energy, where better to get it than from a bass?
     
  10. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Some of the pro's like the EV RE20. They say it's the best mic for the job! Very expensive, maybe if your lucky $400.00 off Ebay, $700.00 retail.
     
  11. Sennheiser 421, Audix D6, AKG D112, are my choices but you also need to know How to Record Bass properly.

    Bass recording techniques

    Recording Direct input (DI)

    The easiest way to record bass is by going direct from the amp into the board. This method will give you a natural tone with equalization flexibility. There are no speakers or microphones to alter the sound of the guitar. The only drawback of direct recording is that the sound may lack midrange clarity. In this case it is better to boost the mids on the amp instead of on the mixer since the amp's tone controls are more suited for bass guitar.

    You can also try taking a direct out from the Bass( I use a countrymen) to the mixer. This will give you a warmer sound with more low-end. However, I find that getting a signal direct from the bass amp will give me a cleaner sound and will punch through the mix.

    You may need a bit of compression for the bass guitar. Start with a 3:1 ratio and lower the threshold until there is almost always gain reduction. This will insure that the loudest parts of the signal will be affected and the quietest parts won't, which will keep your signals a few decibels hotter and preserve some dynamics. I then increase the ratio until I get between 3 and 6 decibels of gain reduction. The attack should be fast enough to catch peaks but not so fast that it cuts down the attack (depending on pick or finger style technique). The release should be fast enough to let go of the signal before the next note can cross the threshold. However, if your release is too fast, you'll either hear the compression or you'll hear the bass signal distort. I usually start with a 10 ms attack and a 250 ms release.

    Micing

    Another method for recording the bass is by micing the amplifier. When the bass player gets his sound, place a microphone (D112, 421, or an SM57, Audix D6) four inches from the grill of his/her speaker cabinet. Aim it where the dust cap meets the speaker cone. If the sound coming from the mic isn't what you want, try moving the mic. Moving it closer to the center of the speaker will give you a brighter sound. Moving it closer to the edge will give you a duller sound. Either way, try to avoid using EQ. Compression can also help with the tone. (I love the LA2A for bass).

    Combination

    Direct recording can lack midrange punch and using a microphone can lack low-end depth. So, another method of recording bass would be the combination of both direct and miced sounds. Simply split the signal after the bass and send one signal to the amp and one signal to the mixing board. This will give you the best of both worlds - the midrange punch of a miced signal and the low-end boom of a direct sound. Use the miced sound as your main sound and blend in the direct signal for low end. Try compressing the blended signals to help to further smooth out the bass sound.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
    Traps82 likes this.
  12. fastplant

    fastplant

    Sep 26, 2002
    Connecticut
    Go DI, so much easier and almost always a better sound. I use the BBE DI100x and I'm in love with it.
     
  13. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I went Direct for out last demo, and got nothing but low end a total lack of clarity. Whether that was how it was mixed or what, I don't know, because that's definitely not how it sounded when I was recording it. DI's for recording is fine, but this is mainly more for live applications, as I like the sound of mic'd cab better than a DI from my amp going to a mixer or something. Mainly what I was getting at in this thread, but thanks for the info so far everyone!

    I'm in between just getting the budget SM57 or the AKG, which would last me a while longer, but alas is of course more expensive. :)
     
  14. fastplant

    fastplant

    Sep 26, 2002
    Connecticut

    Then go with the AKG D112, I have both and the D112 is much, much better for the cab.
     
  15. Get the AKG D112, it cost a few bucks more but it can handle the low end of the bass frequencies much better than the SM 57.

    SM57's - Frequency response: 40 to 15,000 Hz
    [​IMG]

    AKG D112 - Frequency response: 20 to 17,000 Hz
    [​IMG]

    You can see by the frequency responses the D112 can handle more sound pressure than the SM57.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     

  16. um - I'm not sure that I understand exactly how the max SPL the mic can handle is related to the frequency response… …care to explain to this ignoramus?

    - Wil
     
  17. It illustrates the accuracy with which the mic converts acoustical energy into electrical signals with respect to frequency. It also shows the frequencies that the mic will change from acoustical to electrical energy.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I like Beta 57. Nan Nuys, Van Nuys.
     
  19. You're describing the frequency response curve. My question is how is that related to the max SPL which the microphone will handle? I don't think they're related. :meh:

    - Wil
     
  20. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Although the D112 is an excellent mic, for live situations the SM57 will be more than adequate. Save your money. In fact, in real world experience, the absolute best live sound I ever had was when the sound company used an SM57 aimed at one of the 10s in my Aguilar GS410 cab.

    As most non-sub bass cabinets have frequency ranges that don't extend below 40 Hz, the D112's 20 Hz range isn't really necessary.