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Good clip-on mics for upright bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by hgrind, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    Here is a pic of a bracket I made to suspend an ATM 350 from my bridge. It is very light (aluminium) and works very well.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I'm sure the effect is minimal, but does the bracket have any damping effect on the bridge? I really like the AMT tailpiece mount, for just that reason, since it doesn't attach to a vibrating surface. Granted, my Realist is stuck right in the transmission path between the bridge, top, and bass bar, it has what seems to be a minimal effect, but it's definitely there. I guess ultimately there isn't any place you can mount a pickup or mic that doesn't interfere with the acoustic workings of a upright.

  3. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006

    I'm sure there is an effect, however minimal. In fact, since I recently purchased rather a good bass I have found that inserting an Underwood pickup in the bridge wing slots has a slight dampening effect - I never found this on an 'indifferent' bass. But as soon as you amp a bass outside of chamber or studio conditions you are accepting compromises to a certain degree.

    I use the ATM only occasionally, that is when there is a good FOH because, as we all know, the mic is prone to feedback when blended through the backline. From the posts on TB it seems that there is more of a FOH opportunity in US than in UK. I often come up against sound men who take a lot of persuading to even consider putting a bass through FOH - which is why I'd like to become a bit more independant and use my backline in the majority of cases.

    I'm very interested in the DPA 4099 which I hope will be a bit more feedback-proof. I've emailed the company and they assure me that it works well on a double bass. In fact, they will shortly launch a dedicated DB mount, so watch this space.

    And it was going to be a GASless year - some hopes!
  4. I just played an outside gig with my ATM350, it started out with a great sound through the foldback and all was good. My volume level seemed to disappear after a while, and later the sound man told me that my ATM350 was the cause of the wind rumble coming through the sound system - so I guess he turned me down.

    I had the 80Hz cut switched on, so I guess it could have been a lot worse? Anyway, I am wondering if the foam around the ATM capsule is supposed to be a wind screen, or if it is only to insulate the mic from body vibrations. Has anybody else had wind noise problems with the ATM models with the standard foam 'sock'?

    I am also wondering if the wind, which blew across the stage, was affecting the bass through the f-holes? - any other experiences or tips to report for playing outside in windy conditions?

    I might try some recording experiments with
    - an extra foam sock over the mic
    - blowing some air over the f-holes

  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Its a very sensitive mic and when the wind blows across it, there's a giant rumble! Sometimes you can rotate the bass to protect the capsule from the wind, sometimes you have to go to Plan B ie your Underwood or whichever pickup you prefer. ;)
  6. Brian K

    Brian K

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I find tucking the capsule pointed in at exactly the spot the treble bridge foot meets the top not only provides the best sound and volume to outside noise ratio, it also let's you use the bass and bridge to block the wind, i.e. if the bass is between the direction of the wind and the mic, wind noise is gone.
  7. thanks Jake and Brian,

    I did some rough tests using my breath to simulate airflow across the mic and into the f-holes.

    The foam on the mic reduces the (both max and average) level of noise by around 8dB, so I guess that answers one question reasonably well.

    I tried blowing into the f holes (directed almost parallel to the top plate) with the mic clipped on the bass and out of the direct line of airflow. The mic picked up a significant amount of noise, interestingly though the G f-hole was 11dB louder than the E f-hole. I guess the bass bar was acting as a baffle on the E side.

    If I had got some news of what was happening during the gig (instead of afterwards) I could have tried rotating the bass around for a quieter position, but I was staying still in a spot where I could feel the least vibration coming through the endpin from the foldback speakers, so that is an experiment for another windy day.

    I'm now wondering about investigating the market for 'dead cat' f-hole liners for folks playing in windy environments :D

  8. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Roger Davis: How did you make your mounting bracket? It looks like a clip from the underside of a kitchen sink.

  9. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    I fabricated it out of some aluminium angle I had around the place. I haven't any scanning facilities on my computer but would be happy to send you a sketch by post if you would care to PM me your address.
    Actually, we'd better hold that for a week or two because my arm is broken and I can't draw.
  10. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    With these new (to me) clip-ons: can I run them through my little GK 200? Also, can (should) they be used in tandem with my Dave Gage pick-up?
  11. juuzek


    May 7, 2007
    Th DPA and AT mics require phantom power, so you'd need to have a box that supplies phantom power before you go into the GK.

    They can be used in tandem with any pick up if you have 2 channels to mix them.
  12. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I'll be receiving an ATM350 this week. After reading about the various places that "sound the best" on different basses, I'm curious about the process you use to determine the optimal position for the mic.

    Jim Dombrowski
  13. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    [QUOTE a box that supplies phantom power before you go into the GK.

    Thanks. . .Now I have to ask one more question:bag:
    What is phantom power?
    Thanks again,
  14. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    you've heard of Google............;)
  15. A big driver will be where you can clip it on. I, like most I guess, have it on the treble adjusted wheel and positioned as close to the f hole as possible.


  16. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
  17. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    If you do this play with the phase switch on one channel to see which one sounds best. Usually the most defined bottom end is best. If your running into 2 channels on your GK (not sure if it has 2 and probably not a phase flip) maybe try eq ing each channel for different things, so maybe the really low bottoms from the mic and cut from the mids up and do the opposite with the pick up channel. Just a thought.
  18. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    The ONLY time I think I'm happy with my sound, is in a recording studio- using a condenser microphone. THEREFORE- after spending frighteningly stupid amounts of money on piezo pickups-
    I'm experimenting with an Audio Technica ATM 2050 stand mounted condenser mic. I got it on Craigslist here in Reno- dirt cheap- 40 bucks. Went to Guitar Center, got a simple boom mic stand and cable for it. I used it at rehearsal, and at a gig. WOW. There's three things here that I've learned. 1. A microphone works far better than any pickup- in capturing what any bassist's bass sounds like. 2. The tricky thing, is to stay in the exact spot where a stand mounted microphone is placed, and not have feedback, while staying in the spot that you are actually heard in the room. 3. A cheap, but very good little Behringer mixer has a couple of mic inputs with phantom power. Don't let anyone fool you- these Behringer mixers work very, very well. I have three of them, in varying sizes. The one I use is a ZENYX 802- both as my- on-the -road silent electric bass practice rig with my computer- and my pickup/ mic mixer for upright, cost me 40 bucks, in mint condition. It works like a Fishman Blender. Mic in one channel, pickup in another- mine is either a Full Circle- or a quickly removable old Underwood. I recently did a gig with my GK MB 150, with only the Full Circle. I forgot the mic. I was quite unhappy. I think the clip on mics are the way to go. I'm looking for one right now for my BI-YEARLY jazz gig! lol!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  19. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    What you need is an H-Clamp. That should solve that problem for you.
  20. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Depending on the sturdiness of your bass the ATM 2050 might be very slightly on the heavy side for an H-Clamp. On my bass to keep put a Heil PR 40 that's the same weight as the AT requires the H-Clamp be tightened more than I'm comfortable doing. That said anyone who's using mics should have one. For mics that work the thing is brilliant.

    Mark, have you tried the longer arm that would allow you to place a mic straight up vertically from the lower bout rather than horizontally from the side? That seems like it would put apply less leverage and require less tightening of the the clamp.

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