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Best Mic for recording bass?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Saint, Dec 1, 2000.


  1. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    What mics do you like best for recording bass from an amp?
     
  2. I use an AKG D112 right now... It'll close mic my SVT rig at full blast no problem. I've also found a Sennheiser MD421 works for close miking without distortion. Now I also use a sm57 for miking the horn on my rig.
     
  3. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks Croz. Despite the ability to record bass direct, I'm suprised there aren't more people who have views about what mics to use for recording through an amp.

    Doesn't anyone else have any wisdom to impart?
     
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Currently I'm using an Audio Technica ATM35, it's got a wide frequency response 30hz - 15khz and designed for high volume levels. It's a small clip on type and I use it for my upright and have recently used it during rehearsal sessions with a portable minidisc recorder and have gotten outstanding results with it.

     
  5. SACTOBASSMAN

    SACTOBASSMAN

    Jul 26, 2000
    I HAVE ASKED THIS QUESTION BEFORE TO SOME RECORDING INSIDERS, AND THEY HAVE TOLD ME THE BEST KICK DRUM MICS ALSO WORK GOOD FOR BASS RECORDING BECAUSE OF THE LOW FREQ. THAT ARE COMMON WITH BOTH AREAS OF RECORDING.. I ALSO THINK IT'S REAL COOL TO RECORD ONE TRACK DIRECT NO EFFECTS AND THE OTHER TRACK MIC'D WITH NO EFFECTS EITHER. YOU CAN ADD THE COOL REVERBS OR OTHER SOUNDS DURING THE MIX DOWN AND IT COMES OUT REAL SWEET.. GOOD LUCK
     
  6. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    Yes,but if you end up wanting to use both tracks,you have to be careful about phase cancellation 'cause usually the track from the mic'ed amp is a little "slower" than the direct track.If you have a 180 degree phase flip switch on the console this can help,or if your recording to hard disc you can move the mic'ed track forward a tad relative to the other track.You'll know if something's wrong 'cause the sound will be hollow and wimpy.
     
  7. puppeteering

    puppeteering

    Mar 16, 2000
    Don't be afraid to use a condenser mic on a bass cabinet. Ultimately, the full frequency response lends itself nicely to bass. Just make sure to back it off a few inches- like 12 or so!

    Now if we were to get picky (and pricey), a tube mic can do wonders for bass. There are some decent ones out there that don't break the wallet completely (relative, I guess), but the good thing is, after purchasing one, you'll have it for use on everything, and trust me, if you're using a digital recorder/DAW/PC-based system, you WILL want to use it on a lot.

    By far my tried and true favorite method to record bass is with one channel direct from my preamp (Aguilar DB680- gotta love it!), and one from a few inches out in front of the cabinet. Each speaker can sound very different, so spend some time with your ear in front of each speaker. Sounds silly (and dangerous), but you can learn a lot about how your cab reproduces frequency by truly listening to it up close and not from far back (within the context of a room). A Very good point made above about the phase cancellation, by the way.

    An AKG c3000 (large diapphragm condenser) is my fav mic for general purpose recording where a high frequency response/large dynamic range is desired.

    Hope some of this helped.



     
  8. I_Dream_Of_Bass

    I_Dream_Of_Bass

    Feb 8, 2001
    I agree with SACTOBASSMAN. I have previously worked as an engineer in a recording studio and we almost always used a D-112 and a DI to record. The DI usually ended up provided the initial punch for the bass and the 112 provided the sustain/distortion/reverb for the bass. I have also played around with using other mic's from different distances, but in general, didn't have the available tracks and time to get something that really sounded good. Also, the only effect that was ever usually recorded to tape was a compressor. And that was used sparingly, most effects should ideally be run on mixdown since you want to initially record pristine and clear bass tracks. You can always add more effect, but you can't take it away.

    If you can, try different things. I've used a $10 microphone from Radio Shack that sounded great for recording really distorted punk vocals and I've mic'd a guitar amp in a tub for some intense reverb. Who knows what combination(s) might work for you!!!
     
  9. OldMan

    OldMan

    Feb 11, 2001
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Hmm...interesting thread, as I'm presently in a studio recording some stuff.

    What the engineer/producer I'm working with is using right now is a combination of an AKG D-112 (seems to be a popular mic for low frequency stuff...he's got one in the drummers kick as well) and an Avalon U-5 D/I. WOW....I gotta give major huzzahs and kudos to Avalon, that thing is amazing (it was just reviewed in the past issue of BP, and they raved about it, justifyably so in my experience). The tone is thick, rich, full, and warm. We're just using the AKG for some "air" in my tone, because the D/I is so good....then again it may be the TubeTech compressors (one for each track of bass), and of course we all know tone starts in the hands ;) ..........
     
  11. Avalon....drooooooool. I dig the D 112 for bass because they have an upper midrange peak (1.5 -2k range) that makes for great clarity. Which, incidentally is the exact same reason I hate them in kick drums. I like kick drum attack to be a little higher than that. I find the D112 a bit "knocky" sounding in a kick. The md 421 works good as well, and I kinda like the sm57 too. Of course, what can't you use a 57 for? I like Countryman and Radial Engineering (passive or active!) DIs.
     
  12. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Wow. I haven't revisited this in a while, but it's nice to see the great response. Has anyone tried the Shure Beta 52? This was recently recommended to me at my local music store.
     
  13. BassDude24

    BassDude24

    Sep 12, 2000
    Yeah, with my bass I generally send a direct mic to the mixing board, it tends to work best for me that way. Only bad thing is that the effects don't come through all that well, but that is on my guitar players sony MD-8. When we go into the studio during the next couple of weeks I am going to give them clean and fresh tracks, that way they guys in the sound department can add effects digitally with computers and **** like that.
     
  14. BassDude24

    BassDude24

    Sep 12, 2000
    Yeah, my drummer has a Beta, and it is a great mic, we use it for our lead vocals during live performances, but when we record we use tube mics. (exept for me, I line in)
     
  15. Barrett

    Barrett

    Apr 1, 2001
    I can't spend alot on gear, so I'm always trying cheapo, jury-rigged ways of doing things. I have gotten what seems to be good-sounding results by miking my amp with an SM57into the recorder, while also running a line out of the second input on the amp (same channel), through a compressor, preamp & whatever, and then direct in. It saves having to buy a signal splitter. Maybe there's a drawback to this I don't know about, but it seems to work well.
     
  16. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    i use the XLR record out from my amp and a akg d112 on my cab and i can get it all !
     
  17. Don't expect too much from a low B string from a 57, You might want to try double miking the bass from the same distance with a condenser (neuman) and a D112 or SM 57 it can work wonders.
     
  18. Barrett

    Barrett

    Apr 1, 2001
    Thanks. I'm going to have to spend some money on better mics on of these days. Has anyone tried any of the Marshall condensers for bass? I've heard good things about them for vocals, especially the tube mic. Plus they're alot cheaper. What about the Shure KSM32? BTW, is it rude to ask a new question on another person's thread? If it is, sorry.
     
  19. i'm going to start recording and i need to buy a mike and reading this thread and people recomending all these mike but could someone tell me where to buy them from, if there is a website where you can buy them could you please tell me


    Thanx
     
  20. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    I use the XLR from the sans amp bass driver DI, mainly because I don't have a good mic for the 4x10.