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Dynamic mics, anyone? What`s your best bet for double bass?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Reiska, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hi, just ordered a H-clamp for my bass but I don`t have a mic for it yet. I`m about to experiment with dynamic mics first for various reasons. I`m borrowing a bass drum mic ( can`t recall which one ) and a basic Shure SM58 to try out first. Our singer has also a basic Audix vocal mic, which has worked really well with my DB in the past. I`ve also heard my teacher playing thru a tom mic, that sounded really good.

    So, there are plenty of options. Which dynamic mic do you use and why?

    Thanks, Reiska

    Edit: The signal path will be mic - small Behringer mixing board - powered monitor on a pole
  2. Sennheiser e609 Silver.
    No particular reason, just found one on eBay.
    I can get the most volume before feedback with this mic than everything else I tried before.
    I place it behind the tailpiece, between two sponges.
    I’m not using my H-Clamp.
  3. The e906 works pretty well for DB, but like Francois I ended up with it mounted on the tailpiece. I used some tubular foam-rubber water pipe insulation. Mounted on the H-clamp with the Sennheiser original clip I found too much vibration was transmitted to the mic. Vocal mics usually have protection against 'handling noise' so that may not be a problem. The e906 and e609 are nice and light, which allows you to extend the H clamp arm fully to reach more spots without dreaded 'mic droop'.
    longfinger and Reiska like this.
  4. Beyerdynamic M88 is a popularitet choice. Not too big and heavy like a Re-20. I have however not had the best results, probably because I pointed it at the deck, which gave it a very dark tone. It should be directed more towards the strings I guess.
    Kickdrum and Reiska like this.
  5. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks for the tip on weight and the handling noise! I`m a total noob on this stuff.
  6. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Sennheiser MD421
    AKG D112
    Shure Beta 52
    Shure SM57
    Shure SM58
    Audix D6

    be a good start - you might get lucky and like the Shure your trying out
    Reiska likes this.
  7. I'm not using microphone live and for recording I use condenser. But I found a nice overwiev of many picking up options here.

    The next might be valid with my old carved bass only: I feel the task is to grab the mid frequencies most precisely, let's say 120 - 2500 Hz. Frequencies below 120 Hz are plentiful naturally and close miking makes them stronger than (my) ear hears, so I usually end cutting them down a bit (or, rather, I position the mic further from the bass, which sadly you can't do on a live gig).
    What I want to say with this? Prepare for the oportunity that you might be disapointed with what the kick drum microphone gives you. In my limited experience, the most natural mid instrument mic would be SM57. SM58 is similar, gives a bit less sharp sound, and probably would be more suitable for close miking with H-clamp as the mic has a wider polar pattern. It's quite heavy though. When trying the microphone, try not to succumb to the first impression and if you can, wait for a few weeks with the verdict. What seems more vivid at first often turns to be less natural after some time.

    Which H-clamp are you buying, the german or the US one?
    Reiska likes this.
  8. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    +1 Sennheiser e609 Silver for a light weight dynamic mic.
    longfinger and Reiska like this.
  9. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ -- Endorsing Artist-- ---3M Dual Lock--- Supporting Member

    I already have the Fantastic Chuck Israels Signature Mic ($1000), BUT wanted to try an inexpensive dynamic mic for times when I might not want to bring/use the Chuck for whatever reason.

    I just ordered a Sennheiser e609 Silver from Woodwind and Brasswind for $79.99 (on sale) less 15% for a 'call-in coupon.


    Total with tax was just over $72. Returnable if I don't like it.
  10. Barcza

    Barcza Supporting Member

    May 1, 2005
    Beyer Dinamic M88 TG is very god for DB, not too much bleed! Audix D4 also very good, and mount friendly size and weight....
    Reiska likes this.
  11. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hi jj.833 and many thanks for your advice and in depht post! The kick mic is some form of Shure, either I or my brother from whom I borrow it remembers the model. I`m actually getting both SM57 and SM58 to try out from him too. I`m also most convinced on the 57 or 58 beeing best for my use and not dreaming about the drum mic too much. My bass is pretty low end -heavy to start with as I use guts or synthetic Evah slaps for strings.

    I ordered ExploreAudio H-clamp from Bassico, Germany that is. Took the super size model for my deep shaped bass.
    jj.833 likes this.
  12. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    So far, SM57 or 58, Sennheiser e609 or e906, Beyerdynamic M88. My eye caught the latter in the Thomann cataloque, but it`s over twice the price of 57`s and e609`s.
  13. The e609 has a lower bass response than the e906, and it is less expensive.
    John Chambliss and Reiska like this.
  14. Matthias Hacker

    Matthias Hacker

    Apr 8, 2018
    I´d be interested in how you mount those mics. My experience is especially with dynamics that they pick up a lot of handling noise, so isolation from any instrument´s vibrations is the key I guess, or the mic has an internal isolation, handhelds do so. I never used a H-clamp, but I guess it has it´s own frequency response wich is picked up by the mic. I had that with a regular mic stand and a dynamic...
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    Reiska likes this.
  15. We used Shure beta 52A - it has blue rubber band around the big grid - for kick drum in our band. Later we found out that it's not very nice even with kick drum, as it's too bassy and don't deliver much of the 'tick' that our music (funky, fusion) wants. We started using Beta 91A, the black rectangle. Way better, I feel it can pick all the higher frequencies with much stronger clarity. But it's not dynamic. We don't have problem with feedback (in kick) with this mic. If you can get your hand on it, might be also worth a try.
    Reiska likes this.
  16. Reiska

    Reiska Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks for the tip!

    I`m a drummer and double bassist myself and have had success recording with that Shure kick mic, both on huge 26" with both heads on and inside a standard 20" bass drum. For it`s natural application on bass drum I recall it beeing like a 57 on snare, set it and forget it. But on a H-clamp on a double bass, it`s possibly a tad different story...
  17. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    I will swim against the tide here. I own quite a number of great dynamic and ribbon mics. IF I want "my bass only louder," the best of the bunch is the omnidirectional Electrovoice RE55. Nothing else comes close.

    All of the mics discussed above - and some are very good for other things - are directional and therefore have issues of proximity effect and off-axis response. When you get a directional microphone close to its source, it is picking up a small area and emphasizing the low frequencies. The omni provides virtually flat response regardless of proximity to source.

    Unfortunately, the RE55, despite its excellence, is no longer made... but you can pick them up used. And there are a few good alternatives in the dynamic omni universe: AKG D230, Beyerdynamic M101, Microtech Gefell MD120. Another possibility is a lavalier mic, having the advantage of small size but the disadvantage of needing the power pack and interface to XLR.

    If you are fixed on a directional mic, the best placement might be the old "wrap it in a towel and stuff it under the tailpiece" approach. That way, because of the angle, it picks up a large area of the bass's top table.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    Reiska likes this.
  18. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ -- Endorsing Artist-- ---3M Dual Lock--- Supporting Member

    That's the nice thing about Talkbass. You can swim in any direction you want. LOL.

    Being a 'Gear Junkie' I enjoy messing around with lots of different gear. The e609 arrives tomorrow and I am looking forward to messing around with it.

    I had already planned on putting it under the tailpiece. I think it would be kind of cool if I could make it a 'Stealth Installation' with nothing showing but a couple of inches of mic cable coming out of the bottom of the tailpiece.

    I'll post results when I have them.

    So much Gear, so little time (and money).
    J_Bass, warx, Reiska and 2 others like this.
  19. ericsmith


    Dec 22, 2008
    I've used the M88 with the H-clamp a few times. To FOH , a few times blended with a pickup. A little problematic on the treble side since it tends to loosen the clamp (or mainly the part where the mic adapter joins the clamp.) and fall to point downwards. Doesn't happen on the bass side.

    I think the M88 worked pretty well... Depends on the soundperson as always!

    Also played the Troll a lot but it needs fixing now. I bought the cheapest Thomann ribbon and tried it on a stand to the Grace preamp, that was just a quick experiment so I don't know how that would work. It's quite heavy anyway...

    Edit: sorry the ribbons are off topic, forgot it was about dynamics !!
    Reiska likes this.
  20. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Technically, ribbons are a form of dynamic microphone... so no apology needed!

    The M88 is a great microphone, but it is by no means sonically neutral. Sonic coloring can be good, or not.
    Reiska and ericsmith like this.

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