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Good clip-on mics for upright bass

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

  1. The FET is in the mic capsule.
    Inside the battery adapter is ... a battery ;-) and a resistor, a capacitor and optionally a switch.
  2. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    I don't see in this thread anybody reporting on how long the battery lasts in the RS clip mic? Will it make it through a 3 or 4 hour gig? How do you know when the battery is getting low -- lower output -- distortion -- other?
  3. No experience with the RS, but with electrets in general. Depends a bit on the type of battery, but generally they use a 1,5 V AA cell (or two) and sometimes a 9V cell. These would hold much ore than 3-4 hours, probably several times this timespan. If they use a lithium cell or a small alkaline cell, I have no idea if they hold the 4 hours, but I guess they do.
    It's similar to an impedance buffer like the HPFpre, only the output (!) penance is lower (600 Ohms), so it might hold about 16 times less than that (but don't forget that there is more electronics in the HPFpre, so closer to 5-8 times less), which is over 100 hours for the HPFpre, I think. But it all depends on the capacity of the battery used.
  4. Mandobassman


    May 16, 2012
    I have been using the RS mic for over 2-1/2 years and have changed the battery twice. The current one has been in for nearly a year. I play using the amp a couple of times a month for at least two hours each time. If you play more often than that you'll probably need to change it more often. I changed mine when I started to notice a decrease in output. There was no change in sound quality, only noticed I had to turn the volume up more. What I did on my set up was tuck all of the excess wiring under the tailpiece except for the battery compartment, which was taped to the front of the bridge. I cut off the 1/8" jack and hard wired the end to a 1/4" female jack connected to the string afterlengths. So it's a permenant set up where all I have to do is plug a cord from the output jack to the amp just as you would with a pick up. I just always remember to turn off the battery when it's not in use, even between sets. I keep a few spare batteries in my bass bag in case one starts to die. I have never had any issues with it.

    Here's a couple of photos of my setup. I no longer have the K&K pickup that is showing in the photo.
    Bass mic setup. RS mic mount.
  5. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Been lurking this thread for a while, even asking a few questions.

    My neighborhood RS is NOT gonna be closing, so I ran out and got "the" mic, and a female solder-on 1/4" jack. In the first 5 minutes of use, rolled in foam and stuffed in the treble f-hole, all I can say is WOW! I cannot wait to take it out on my next gig.

    Plugged into my AI/Coda, yes, I had to roll-off all the "bass" control. The volume seems bigger than my Realist/copper -- definitely way more natural sounding (and cheaper). Just like mandobassman sez -- I'm standing practically in front of my AI/coda, and no probs with feedback.

    Now I wish that I didn't sell my fdeck HPF because that's all this mic needs!

    Oh -- and arco is awesome!
  6. Here is a comparison of the Radio Shack clip-on to the original ATM35 clip-on. Each microphone is recorded when closely pointed into the G-side F-hole and also closely pointed at the table under the bridge (about 3 mm away each time). Bass is an old no-name carved top with Spiro medium E and A and Dominant D and G. Recording equipment is a Presonus Bluetube pre-amp with the tube knob set to "off" into a Presonus Firebox then into a laptop. The waves were normalized to similar levels after recording. Let me know what you think. I'll give my own impressions later.

    Attached Files:

    vin*tone likes this.
  7. ee-san: The ATM 35 sounds a little "richer" to my ear. But the Radio Shack mic is surprisingly good. The difference in sound is certainly not as wide as the price differential!
  8. Mandobassman


    May 16, 2012
    I agree with martinc's comments. In the f hole, the sound is pretty similar. The ATM a bit deeper and warmer. But those are not differences you would notice much on stage. Also, the lack of deep frequency response is partly why the RS is not feedback prone. It still is deep enough to make the bass sound natural. The RS bridge recording shows why the RS only works well in the f hole. It has very low sensitivity and needs to be very close to the sound source. That is another reason why the feedback is so low. Another reason is the relatively narrow freq response. The ATM and DPA mics have a much higher response and a crispier sound, which introduces greater feedback possibilities.
    Thanks for the comparison. That was great to hear.
  9. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    The ATM35 on the bridge sounds best I think.

    My best RS mic placement turned out to be, NOT clipped into the f-hole, but in a foam block between the bridge legs with the mic facing down at the top table and embedded about 1/2" in the foam block (sliced the foam with a bread knife). Plenty of gain-before-feedback, and I didn't have to roll the bottom out as much as when it was stuffed in the f-hole. Added benefit is that the foam block helps control over-resonance of the bass a bit and the overall result is very clean ... and it's a good wind screen for those outdoor gigs!

    Really the best piece of kit I've bought in a long time!
  10. DaveNinja


    Jan 25, 2012
    I picked up a RS mic this weekend. I need to get some foam to put it in since I got a lot of feedback just having it clipped and pointed into the G side f-hole. It was a small practice room where i couldnt get more than 3 feet away from a kick drum (which sounded great through my amp, haha) so i'll have to try it out in a larger setting. I'm hoping my friend with a studio has some leftover acoustic foam pieces so i can try it in the f-hole and under the bridge.
  11. Mr Ralph

    Mr Ralph

    Jul 12, 2014
    Hinckley Ohio
    there is a ATM35 on EBay this morning $115. Looks mint. I have one and I thought about buying at this price to have a spare. Great mic at a great price. I have a new mount for it that I made that I need to post pics of.
  12. I agree with the comments on my sample recordings. Thanks for listening. The real test of the mic, of course, is in playing live, not directly into a home recording. My first choice continues to be the ATM35 under the bridge but the Radio Shack sounds very good in a home test when fed directly into an Acoustic Image Clarus 1 connected to an SWR Bass Monitor 12-inch speaker wedge (my usual rig). Bass EQ was set at 10 o'clock to compensate for the boomy proximity effect. The mic does require a lot of gain, much more than the ATM35. Consider using a pre-amp. I pointed the mic directly into the G-side f-hole for my home test. I removed the alligator clip and went with a more solid attachment of the mic taped to a 10-centimeter piece of residential electrical wire (so I could bend it) screwed onto a whiskey cork that was wedged into the f-hole. I removed the alligator clip because it created mechanical vibrations that resulted in nasty quack distortions at certain pitches. Next step is to try the mic in a particularly uncooperative rehearsal room we use often. Stay tuned.
  13. Monki


    Aug 3, 2007
    Hi! Jumping in on this one... Have been thinking about getting a clip on mic, and looking at the DPA, wich I have used some times and is great, just don't own one (and a bit too pricey for me right now) and also the ATM 350 and Audix ADX 20iP.

    I'm wondering about one thing with microphones and frequency ranges though, and sorry IF this is a stupid question. The ATM and audix both have a range down to 40 Hz, and an low E is 41 Hz. Not specificly about those mics, but how will that work with notes lower than that? Like a low B or C, or in my case drop D tuning wich I use sometimes.
  14. There is not a total cut below these frequencies, just a bit less. This is good, even if the frequency is 70 to 100 Hz, because in the near field where the mic sits, the low frequencies have much more energy than in the distance of the listener.
    This happens because lower frequencies are radiated elsewhere whereas mid to high frequencies are more directed, so they loose less energy in the same distance than the low ones, if the listener gets the directional higher frequencies directly, which normally is the case.

    So don't care much about that low frequency. I used an Oktava MC-012, which is a bit weak in the low bass frequencies when used for room recording, but worked nicely for recording (only made one for testing) using the rubber ring mounting method through the after length pointing it directly to the top between the bridge legs. For a natural far field sound you need to attenuate the low frequencies anyway when using a mic in the near field.
  15. The low E is not just 41 Hz, its also 82, 164, 328 etc... Due to the harmonic content of the note. Check this freaky slow mo footage of bass strings in action....

    Which is why you can hear these lower sub-E notes even though your bass cab might be only rated down to 40Hz...

  16. ctrlzjones


    Jul 11, 2013
    Lemmi do some nitpickin' here:

    What is happing here is obviously not slow motion, it is real time. The effect you see is caused by the shutter speed the camera is set to.
    We all know this from still photography: the longer the shutter stays open, the blurrier the movement in the image becomes in the photograph ...

    To explain that for video I would think (not sure if it its technically safe to say): it tells how much of the time that is passing in front of the lens goes actually down in every frame that is recorded.
    The faster the shutter speed is set, the sharper every one of the 25 frames that are rolling by every second looks; because there is only a fraction of actual passing time going onto it. Its a kind stop-motion but in the other direction, it does not shrink time, it expands it ...
    Jake deVilliers likes this.
  17. It's the same effect as when you look western movies and the wheels look like they were spinning much slower than the waggon moves or stay still or even seem to spin backwards.
    ColdEye, Spaldo and Jake deVilliers like this.
  18. Monki


    Aug 3, 2007
    OK, thanks guys, it made me a bit clearer on this! Yeah, I did know it's more to it than just those numbers and stated frequency responses, and that the notes are not just one frequency, but with all the harmonics also. But I've wasn't realy sure about it all, if you get something lost in those realy low notes. So I guess it's a try-and-see-how-it-works-for-you thing then..
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I use an ATM350 on the bass with the low frequency cut and there's plenty of low frequency presence.

    Mostly what you're hearing is octaves above 41 Hz but your brain does its interpretive dance number and tells you what the fundamental should be. To be honest, most basses don't really make much fundamental right down at the bottom, anyway.

    Its very educational to plug your mic into a good spectrometer program and see what frequencies are actually represented when you play a given note. :thumbsup:
    martinc likes this.
  20. Monki


    Aug 3, 2007
    Interesting! :) I saw there have been some very good words here in this thread for the ATM 350. Sorry if this is already mentioned somewere, but does anyone have any idea how it compares to the DPA d:vote (wich I've tried)? And the less pricey Audix? At Double Bass Pickups there's the Audix with a foam ball, wich looks like a neat solution.

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