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Best Mic for mic'ing bass live

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by 74rickbass, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. My dad is gettin sick and tired of the wimpy sound he gets going direct. So he wants to Mic his cab next time he plays to get some Girth to his tone. Would just a simple sm57 do the job well?

  2. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    The best is a RE20. But maybe not the most practicle. A d6, or Seinhouser(sp?) most bass drum mics work fine. Check out Prosound.web for micing suggestions and techniques. Better yet do a search and you will find a dozen threads on this topic here on TB.
  3. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    The better of the mics is the Sennheiser MD 421 but it isn't cheap.

    I just use a Shure 57 along with my DI.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Someday I'll figure out one of the greatest mysteries of the world...GIRLS

    Good luck with that. I don't know any male that has yet ;)

    A better DI can help a lot, too. I'd recommend the Audix I5 over an SM57 for mikes. Same basic sound, but no midrange "hump", lower lows and higher highs, and a METAL grill rather than plastic, for about $10 more.
  5. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    AKG D112. It'll kick the bottom out.
  6. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    agreed. i use the D112 on my GS112...coincidence? i think not.

    but i'll mic my GS210 with an SM57 in addition while recording though for a slightly different EQ signature.
  7. AKG D112
  8. Another vote for the SM 57
  9. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    In my book an SM57 is one of the best mic's...to record/mic a guitar cab. For bass it doesn't have the ability to handle or capture the entire spectrum like the AKG does...
  10. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    The MD 421 and the RE20 are two of the best for the low, rich tones.
    The SM57 is a great everything mic though it seems to be brighter sounding than others.
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It really isn't necessary to do "either/or" - adding a miked signal to a direct one often yields the best of both worlds - in which case an SM57 should work just fine...

    Yeah, you can use a quality bass drum mike to capture the full spectrum. But the Shure will still capture everything down to and including the low mids & high bass frequencies - which are usually the most "girth-producing" frequencies anyway - leaving the direct signal to capture the pure, clean, round low-bass frequencies, which it should still do without any trouble...

  12. That's excactly what I do.
  13. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Another vote for the Sennheiser 421. Particularly good for capturing the growl of a jazz. The Audio Technica ATM25 kick mic is a good cheaper alternative for a big and mellower sound. If you mix the sound with the di make sure you try flipping the phase on one channel to get the fattest sound (due to the 1~2ms delay of the mic compared to the di).
  14. rkatapt


    Jun 7, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    +1 the i5 is indestructible over the SM57 plus it sounds much better, the lows are lower and the highs are higgher not as muddy as the sm57. I have both and the i5 is superior for just 10 bucks more. But if I was mic'ing the cab I use an AKG D112 kick drum mic or any other decent kick drum mic.
  15. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    the SM 57 is a good all around mic, and its frequency response just perfectly suits electric guitars cabinets and snare drums, and is also flattering on a lot of acoustic instruments. It has a tendency to slightly colour and compress the signal (being a dynamic mic).
    Also it is very prone to proximity effect. There is a boost in the lower frequencies if you position it close to the sound source. That could be an issue if you use it live on a bass amp (bass boost + bass = muddy sound) However, I've captured a good slap sound with it, punchy and treebly.
    I use this mic a lot, but for miking a bass amp, I use a RE 20. It's much more expensive, but if you buy one of those it's a solid investment on your sound and your recordings. Just a fantastic mic. Pure Class sound on bass, Bass drum, upright, sax and trumpets, but it can do amazing things with some vocals, percussions, guitars... Very quiet, a very detailed, rich and warm sound.
    As said earlier though, the option of DI + mic will get you the best of both worlds.
    Good luck with your recordings,
  16. The SM57 has very little low end response , a scooped midrange and a very dramatic presence peak.It's really not well suited for the low end that basses put out.it can be a good secondary mic when double micing however.

    A mic that is better tailored to this job that is similar to a 57 would be a Senheiser E609.It picks up a little more bottom end and has more width in the midrange than a 57.

    A sleeper mic that few guys know about is the Audio Technica atm29. It handles lows better than a 57 and has a smoother connection to its high end capture than the 57.

    And as the other guys mentioned already, the Sennheiser 421 and AKG D112 will work extremely well. The D112 will sound more EQ'ed however (mid scoop)where the 421 will have more of a midrange boost. And the 421 has a 5 position roll-off switch to cut low end if you are getting too much.A very useful feature.So you can either use it or leave it alone for full range.
  17. daveonbass

    daveonbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    Waupun, WI
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    I use a Shure Beta 52 for live and recording as well as a direct line: http://www.shure.com/microphones/models/beta52.asp

    I WAY prefer the sound of the mic in my in-ear monitors to the direct sound - much warmer... The combination of mic/direct gives the FOH guys and/or recording engineers a lot of options...

    I did do a recording recently where the only mic available was a Shure SM-57 (one of my all-time favorite mics, but not one I'd usually select for bass)... I have to say I was impressed by how well it worked for bass - a very pleasant surprise!

  18. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    I used to use an ev RE55. You might want to check those out if you can find one. Ugly, but super nice mic for this purpose. I also own a sm58 and an sm57 among others. neither of those quite did the job as well imho.