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Dark Realist

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by kwd, Jul 15, 2003.


  1. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I'm playing a Realist through a Polytone amp. I've found this to be a satisfactory set-up for my needs. However, if I try to record 'direct-in' from the Realist the recorded sound comes dark and undefined. I think I could remedy some of this by recording from the line-out of my amp.

    What I'm wondering is what effect different strings would have on the amplified sound. Since piezo type pickups work from the pressure differential caused by the vibration it seems to me that the string tension would be the biggest factor. That said, does a bright sounding pizz string necessarily give you a brighter amplified sound?
     
  2. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Are you using some sort of preamp to match impedances between your Realist and the mixing board? Or are you just plugging into a line in, or a mic in? Proper impedance matching can have a huge effect on frequency response.
     
  3. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I'm not using a preamp. It was my understanding that the Gage pickup didn't require a preamp. I know I've read at least one post in this group where someone was using the pickup without a preamp and getting a good sound.
     
  4. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Going into an amp in one thing, and going into a mixing board is another. I suspect you'll get better results if you add a buffer/preamp of some sort to get a better impeadance match.

    However... as has often been noted here, the best way to record bass is with a microphone.
     
  5. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Thank you for the reply. I kind of figured as much, but I've been loathe to spend the extra $$s. With our primitive set-up we're also having a hard time mixing the inputs as the guitar output is hotter than the bass. I think that having a preamp could help in this regard too.
     
  6. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    after a lot of monkeying, I have been able to get a reasonable, but lo-fi sound with a realist and a sansamp acoustic di, also works ok live in low volume settings.

    lo-fi means ok for an ok demo
     
  7. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    I agree with mje in that a microphone is the best way to record the upright. Well, at least if you've got a Realist (which is what I've got). I usually run the realist through my preamp and also a good mic. Then I can boost the realist in the mix to get more drive out of the sound if I'm playing rock and roll or something, without completely losing the upright sound out of the mic. It has worked pretty well for me. But as always, I don't claim to be an expert and YMMV.

    Jason
     
  8. I have found that the best way to get a good recorded UB sound is with a large diaphram condensor mic. Some of the china cheapies sound pretty good. The NADY and CADs, for the money, sound great. I have found the recorded sound of a pickup to not be very real, pleasent or good.

    Place the mic 18 to 24 inches in front of the G side F hole. Then play around with placement; up will give more string noise, down more boom, centered more low strings. If you don't have a condenser play with whatcha got.

    Also, location in the room makes a difference. Face the bass toward a corner to reinforce the low end; in the center of the room to reduce boom. Different rooms will provide different tones; carpeted deader, bathroom brighter w/ reverb. The thing with recording is it is an art; play around and see what ya come up with!
     
  9. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    There are some really nice large diaphragm condensor microphones that can be had really cheaply these days- like $69. Many are from Russia. I have an Oktava 319 I bought used for $50 that's great for guitar and UB. (As gusgoove notes, don't mike too close, or you end up getting a weird bass reverb effect.)

    But any microphone with a decent low end will probably work. The one time I played amplified DB with a group I used the traditional SM57 wrapped in foam and tied under the tailpiece- and you know, it sounded pretty good.
     
  10. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    This is a bass proximity affect, and some large diapragms, like the older AKG C3000 (my mic of choice for live) and the AKG C4000b which replaced it have a bass roll-off switch which will help. This is really nice when using it live as I can place it closer, and along with running it as a hypercardiod helps with bleed live.

    Monte
     
  11. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Thank you all for the posts. I just assumed that there were no reasonably priced options, but there are. This has been very helpful.
     
  12. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    On the sugject of the original post: dark realist, I've found the Realist sounds brighter on my bass that the bass sounds unamplified to my ears (very old Kay). I wasn't, and don't usually, use an amp. I typically just plug into a Countryman direct box and then to the board. I'd like to pick-up a Raven Labs or Presonus Acousti-Q but $$ is tight.
     
  13. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    all you have to do with a realist is roll off some of the low end and add some highs-sparingly though. i have been using on for a few years-it is one of the only pickups that you actually can subtract some low end to improve the tone. you don't necessarily need a preamp since it is buffered by way of two resistors in the jack.

    the reason a realist will sound dark is because it is far away from the strings. there is alot of wood in between it and the strings.