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best mic choices for miking acoustic DB?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by peteroberts, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. I want to record my DB, and get a blend of the Realist through a preamp, and miking the f-hole. What mic do you use for that? I did some research and someone suggested an AKG C3000... I was planning on using a Sennheiser MD 421. What do you use, and why?

    (This is for a home studio application, not live)
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    What kind of setup are you going to be recording into? I'm asking because if possible, you want to run your Realist and mic signals into different channels so you can decide later what sounds best.

    As far as mics, your best bet is a large diaphragm condenser. The make and model are up to you, but most people seem to prefer either a cardiod pattern or omni if your mic has that option. Personally, I've never had much luck putting the mic on the f-hole, as it always comes out too uneven and boomy when I try that. Just for the hell of it, try experimenting with placing you LD condenser anywhere from 9-18 inches directly in front of your bridge. Angled down, you'll get a darker sound, and angled up gives you more finger/string noise if you like that.

    As far as mics go, the best sound I've gotten so far was from a Neumann U87, but that was in a commercial studio (that mic is a bit out of my price range for my home setup). At home I use an MXL V67G, which is a large diaphragm cardiod condenser. Good luck, and let me know if I can help.
  3. thanks Chris...I will be building a setup w/a Wintel machine and most likely ProTools...I want to get 2 mics at least. I think one will be either an AKG D112 or Shure Beta 52 (for miking bass guitar cabs), and either an AKG C3000 or a Sennheiser MD 421. I will mostly be recording guitar amps, bass amps, and acoustic bass. Given that, what mics would you choose? (I am doing a solo project and will most likely do electronic drums)

    Oh, and I have a mixer, one of those Spirit by Soundcraft boards.

  4. Buddy Lee

    Buddy Lee

    May 5, 2002

    I wonder why you haven't called him "HETEROBERT"... :D

    BTW: Why the hell are you actually called DURRL?
  5. HighFive


    Jul 27, 2002
    My current home studio setup consists of 2 MXL 2003 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mics and a Behringer mixer. The sound quality on the MXL 2003s is incredible. I use them for recording cello, bass, and my jazz combo and they sound fantastic. I got them from zzounds.com for cheap- $150 each with shockmount.

    I agree with Chris a large diaphragm condenser is definitely what you want.

  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I also have a Souncraft board - an M12 - and I think it's a great console for home studios. As far as mics, I have tried a bunch of things, and for what I'm able to afford, I like the MXL stuff pretty well - to the point where I can't tell the difference between it and the stuff that costs twice as much. (Just avoid the MXL 2001 like the plague). For small diaphragm condensers, I really LOVE the MXL 603's...and at $80 a pop, you can't go wrong. If you want, I'd be happy to send you a copy of some recording I've done using these (see the "Johnson Chronicles" thread in Misc if interested). Sadly, I finished that recording project before I had the V67, so all I can give you is my word on that one. Basically, the mics you listed are all good mics, I just wonder if you couldn't save some money there, is all.

    Also, be sure to check out some of the recording BBS's before you try to go Pro Tools into a Wintel machine. Some people love it, but I see a lot of threads about crashes and freezes that make me nervous about that. Right now I'm running a MOTU 1224 into Audio Desk (Digital Performer) on a G4, and it has performed flawlessly. In fact, in 12 years of usig the Mac platform, I've only had ONE crash, and that was when my 8 year old hard drive on my old SE 30 gave up the ghost. I'm not trying to start any flame wars, just reporting my own experience. YMMV.


  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    That's a long story, but basically it's Ed's way of calling me a hillbilly dumb**** from Kentucky. It cracked me up, so I adopted it as well.
  8. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    If you can pick up the AKG C3000 used, they are a good mic which I use live a whole bunch in hypercardiod for close miking, but it is wonderful in a studio as a cardiod mic as well. Take note, it has been replaced by the C4000b; the C3000b is not the same, as it doesn't contain they hypercard capsule. I found mine on E-bay ~$200.

  9. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I also have a couple of AKG C3000...both cost me about 200.00 used. They sound good on upright, but are very useful elsewhere as well. When I mic up a drum kit, both studio and live, I use one on each side of the kit, panned hard left and right, and one kick mic (D112). My drummer and I both think it's the best, most natural drum sound we've ever gotten. They're also pretty good for recording vocals.
  10. I guess no one likes the Sennheiser??
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Somebody should also email or PM dhosek tp give him a heads-up about this thread. He's even deeper into the recording thing than me, and I'm sure he'd have a lot of valuable input. Anybody?
  12. pea


    Aug 10, 2002
    south west england
    i have seen mics zip tied to the tail piece

    not heard them though, any thoughts?!
  13. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Stuffing a mic (Shure SM58 or similar) behind the tailpiece has been done by many players over time. It's not an ideal way to amplify the instrument, but in a pinch...
  14. pea


    Aug 10, 2002
    south west england
    Would that cause feedback problems or not?

    Whats the best way to find out what pickup is the right pickup for my bass, without spending loads of money and having like 20 pickups lyin around!!??
  15. I'm looking for a good mic to record DB with into ProTools by miking the f-hole. I have a David Gage Realist, but I want to mike the DB as well, and have choices during mixdown. I'm thinking the AKG C3000, as it sounds good and could be used for other things as well. I am also thinking SM-57, but I don't know about miking DB with that?
  16. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    I would like to know if somebody uses the mxl 2003 live and how it sounds...thanks in advance.

  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The bass parts of both of my "Johnson Chronicles" CD's were recorded on an SM58, and it sounds pretty decent for the price. The 58 and 57 are the same mic with different tips (the 58, being a vocal mic, has a round end with built in windscreen, while the 57, normally used as an instrumental mic, ends with a flat surface). Both mics have a bump in the frequency response of the low mids, which can be both pleasant and annoying, depending on what you're going for.


    The MXL 2003 is a pretty nice mic, but it's more for recording purposes than for sound reinforcement. Large diaphragm cardiod condensers tend to feed back like a m*********er in live situations. It should sound great in the studio, though.
  18. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Another option is the Audio Technica ATM35, it's a clip on type so you can position at numerous places on the bass to capture the sound that pleases you the most and you don't have to worry about freedom of movement since it's attached to the bass.
  19. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi all,

    I've been on the mic search for a while now as well. Here's my story: D112 -nice low end, got fairly loud before feedback, but lacking intelligibility. Audix D4 -very small, fairly flat, low output, not enough gain before feedback. Rode NT3 -recommended to me as a competitor to the C3000. I like that this has 9V power, it's inexpensive (why pack a Neumann in a bass bag?), is quite flat down to 20 Hz, and has good gain before feedback (Hypercardiod pattern).

    So far I am sticking with the Rode. I used it last night on a big band gig (guest stars included Toronto singer Carol Welsman, Vancouver's Cam Ryga on alto, and sax greats Bud Shank and Phil Woods -whooee!). CBC picked the show up for radio broadcast. They took a send from my Raven Labs MDB-1 mixing the NT3 and a K&K Bass Max . They also tried a KM 84, and then an ATM 85 clip on. To my ears, my rig sounded the best. I have quite an old bass with helicore orch. strings, so the sound was very "old school". I had no problem hearing myself through the Woods amp and 2 EA CXL-110's I use.

    I think I'll keep trying this mic for a while and report back after a few more different gigs.

    Laurence Mollerup
    Vancouver, BC
  20. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas

    I have to somewhat disagree with this statement. It depends on the mike. While I prefer a large diaphragm hypercardiod mike for live, I've used the AKG D112 in many live situations (prior to getting my AKG C3000) and you almost can't make it feed back. I'm not real familiar with what the Rode that Laurence mentioned can do as there were none around to try when I was picking up mics to try, but my friend that owns Palladium studios compares the NT2 favorably to the Neumann U87 at a fraction of the price. We will be using one Wednesday and Thursday on our vocalist/ pianists recording for the vocals (I'll send Durrl a copy for the Johnson Chronicles), so it will be a chance to see one close up. I'll use one line from my AKG C3000 and another from my Schertler Dyn-B as an emergency backup, as we are recording in an environment similar to a live concert (small concert hall) with no isolation.

    I used the AKG C3000 at the Oklahoma City BallonFest Saturday at pretty high volume (lots of people and a big stage) with no problems, despite the fact that we were facing a 50 mph headwind..............


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