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Found my go to mics for recording solo bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jun 28, 2017.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    After having recorded a bunch and trying a bunch of different mics here at my home studio, I've finally found the recording mic setup that I think I'll keep for a while. The pleasant surprise is that it's really cheap as far as such things go.

    A friend at my university is into recording in a big way, and does a lot of professional recordings, including the Louisville Orchestra, all of the school ensembles, and a bunch of contract concert location work. He's a nerd about recording gear the way the TB folk are nerds about bass gear. He's been bugging me to try these new small diaphragm condensers he's been using for a while now. They're from a Swedish company called Line Audio. The SDC's he's been raving about are called the CM3 microphones, and in addition to being really cheap (about $100 each, once you convert from Euro to dollars), they are also incredibly small and light - about the size of an XLR connector. He kept telling me how he couldn't really hear any difference between these and a pair of Schoeps mics he used that cost about $1500 apiece; I'm not enough of an audiophile to comment on that, but he's not usually a person who is effusive with his praise.

    But the best thing is, for recording, a pair of these tiny little wonders in X/Y configuration sounds better than any other mic I've used here at home, and in my opinion also better than most of the large diaphragm mics I've used in the studio. They have a wonderful openness to them, and they spec as almost completely flat within the useful range of the bass. I wouldn't recommend trying them live onstage because the cardio pattern is wide, but for solo bass, they sound amazing to my ears. I ordered a pair of CM3 for the bass and a pair of OM1 (omni version) for the piano, and until then I'll be using the borrowed ones.

    Just thought I'd pass along this info in case anyone is looking for some nice and affordable recording mics.
     
    Levin, Leo Smith, Rattman and 7 others like this.
  2. mikeGJ

    mikeGJ Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Grand Junction, CO
    I was just following some threads on homerecording.com, prompted by your comments about MXL 603s/603/606 in another thread.

    I was thinking about MXLs, but looks like further investigation is in order!
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm keeping my 603 pair, as I have gotten a lot of good use out of them and the duo album I'll be releasing in a few weeks was recorded largely with a pair of them. The Line audio mics are just the next level up - less hyped in the upper mids, and smoother overall, meaning less EQ rolloff/adjusting in the mixing stage.

    I know most people prefer LDC mics for bass in the studio, but I'm going to take a pair of these to the studio next time I'm there and tell the engineer to set up what he would normally use and then put the stereo pair up and behind whatever he chooses. We can compare what's on the tracks later.
     
    mikeGJ likes this.
  4. Their preamps don't seem bad as well.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  5. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Lalalalalai'mnotlistening!!!!

    -repeats to self "I need no more gear. I am happy with what I have."


    -----I'll tell you what I think when I get mine.
     
  6. Small diaphragm condensors actually have a more accurate low frequency response and can pick up lower frequencies better than ldc mics because of their increased signal to noise ratio. stated by Steve albini in the recording engineers handbook.
     
  7. All Three

    All Three

    Jun 19, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    The CM3s sound very promising, I think I will pick up a pair. I haven't ever thought of recording bass stereo, although it sounds like a natural, especially for recording more intimate music. (In studios I've always been given one mic and sometimes sent the pickup signal as well).

    Concerning the X/Y positioning, I think the obvious default would be L-R, but it also occurred to me that an up-down axis might give an interesting result, or maybe a combination of the two..... (like left up some and right down some)

    I also agree that large diameter condensers are NOT the way to go for bass. My semi-nice large diameter condenser that worked so well for vocals produced way too much mud... I went to a medium, as I didn't have any good smalls.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  8. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    A pity it won't work in a live situation, although the mic is advertised as being suitable for studio or PA. Unfortunately I couldn't separate a cardio pattern from a two-headed hammer, but the price point is such that it might just be worth a suck and see. The small size and compactness are certainly appealing for tailpiece mounting. You could get the mic up to the bridge.
     
  9. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Per the same threads mentioned above, I went ahead and ordered a single MXL 606 to start experimenting, but I've bookmarked the Line Audio site for when the next bout of GAS inevitably rears its ugly head.

    @Chris Fitzgerald, what's your setup in terms of DAW, interface, software, etc?
     
    Vince Waldon likes this.
  10. And, if you don't mind sharing Chris: microphone clamping and positioning. :)
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    My setup is pretty simple: Presonus Firestudio project into Logic Pro. The mics were in x/y positioning on a short stand about 18" in front of the bridge.

    This is the clip I recorded with them:



    It's obviously compressed a bit by youtube, but even so it's a much better sound than the other videos in the same series.
     
    quickervicar, Marial, wjl and 4 others like this.
  12. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nice! Sounds great, Chris.

    I'll be picking up an Apogee One I found on craigslist, and will either use Garage Band or Pro Tools (which I'll grab using the educator's discount). If I feel up for it, maybe I'll even post some recorded results.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks! And please do post results when you get something you're happy with. I know I started this thread to be about the mics, but in truth recording the bass - and recording in general - is such a huge subject that mics are only a small part of it. I have very limited chops on Logic or any recording platform and am still at the basic stage of just trying to get the basic signal chain of mic placement-->preamp level-->stereo field--->basic EQ frequencies together. Would love to hear what other bassists are learning from their recording experiences.
     
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  14. Kristian

    Kristian

    Dec 5, 2008
    Turkey
    My solo album "winter games" was recorded using only one cm 3 on the bass. We where all in the same room, I stood 1,5m from the drums.
    Have a look here if you want:
     
    Levin, Marial, Max George and 3 others like this.
  15. MrMyopia

    MrMyopia

    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR
    I wonder how these would do as overhead drum mics? Thanks for the heads up on these, Chris. At the price, I don't see any reason not to have a couple for the studio.

    Their ordering process is a little awkward, but they are very responsive and quick with communication.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  16. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Hi Chris,
    I have written 3 emails to info@lineaudio.se with absolutely no response. I tried to order 2 CM3's. Is their response generally this slow?


    thanks of your help
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  18. MrMyopia

    MrMyopia

    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR

    Try this one:
    roger@lineaudio.se

    My CM3s arrived on Friday. I can't recommend them enough, especially at the price. They sound great in XY, ORTF and NOS configurations on everything I've put them in front of.
     
    wjl and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  19. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    Thanks guys. I was considering a pair of NT5's. But this solution sounds way better.
     
  20. MrMyopia

    MrMyopia

    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR
    I've had the NT5. Believe me that these are worth the wait. Like Chris said, it is a one man show and he makes the mics when you order. It took Roger about a week or so to ship mine once he confirmed my email order. Shipping was much faster than I expected too.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.

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