Help me to choose my first microphone

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mister Cbass, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011

    I use actually a kk bass bassmax with a preamp.
    I would like to buy my first micro and make my first experience.

    1- Thomann t bone cc75 - 38 €
    the t.bone CC 75 – Thomann France
    It's a trumpet micro, but the same fréquences response as the t bone cc 100
    The clamp looks good for an easy fixation.

    2- superlux prad 383 - 58 €
    Superlux PRA-383D XLR – Thomann France
    I found a lot of positive comments on various instruments.
    + Battery box ( good point)

    3 - Thomann ovid cc 100 ( 74 € bass bundle)
    I think everybody knows this pickup.
    the t.bone Ovid System Bass Bundle – Thomann France

    4- prodipe bl21 - 82€
    Amazon prodipe
    Looks similar to the ovid cc100

    All need a phantom supply.

    The outsider a dynamic
    Superlux pra 683 - 38 €
    Superlux PRA 628 MKII – Thomann France

    A good copy of expensive micros.
    No phantom support needed.
    But maybe more difficult to fix on the dB

    That's all folks

    Thanks for you advices.
    I wish you a pretty Sunday.
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I have a Ovid T Bone. If you lived in the U.S. I'd just send it to you for the shipping + a nominal price. Frankly, the adaptor on mine quit working not to long after I purchased it. I had to source a new one which I now have.

    The string mount is difficult to use and it doesn't sound anything like the DPA 4099B that it's supposed to be "referencing" Frankly I wouldn't waste time on it. You'll be better off gettin' one of the AKG's that Rick Wolf demonstrates

    in a different thread here on TB.
  3. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011

    I live in France, here I've found a lot of positive feedback on the ovid. Only the strings mount have negative opinion, the mount received is for cello....

    I will check the akg
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Perhaps I’m to critical of their product, for how little it costs, but compared to other small microphones at the same price, I think their are better options.
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    For what purpose?
    Live sound blended with your pup?
    Live sound alone?
    Mister Cbass and AGCurry like this.
  6. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    Yes maybe You're right, that's why I've requested your help :)

    And when I see the cc75, 38 €, with the same frequecies response etc...
    I think that we pay too much the ovid ( just for the string mount, and long gooseneck).

    I've at home two superlux microphone ( cheap but nice contruction), first a singer micro, the second a snare microphone ( thank my drumer).
    I've made some test with the second, not bad, but not really good for the bass ( quick larsen, but maybe it's due to my home gear).

    So If you have other suggestion, you're welcome.
    I'm not pro, I don't own an old DB with a great tone .
    So I'm looking for a friendly priced microphone. In my case, an high end micro would not be justified .

    Hello / Salut François

    Actually I play with a kkbassmax + tc bodyrez.
    I would like to try to get a better ac sound ( everybody here wants that :- ) ).
    So instead of an other piezzo pcikup, I'm looking for a microphone.

    Not for recording, I will use it with the band in our work sessions and mhy not on stage.
    Blended with / or not the bass max ( depending the result).

    I play in an semi acoustic rock / alternatif band, I use usualy my bass guitar. But since few work session, I like use the db, and other bandmate like that too.
  7. Beware of belief that you can choose a microphone by reading the specs. It is logical, but somehow it does not work. You have to try, only then you will hear. If you can borrow any mic from somebody, try it before buying.

    There's a good chance any microphone you choose will NOT work. Depends mostly on how loud is your band. The bass mic suffers from the noises from other instruments quite a lot, because the bass is silent and low, whereas everything else is loud and high, blending easily into the mic signal. If your band overall loudnes is, let's say, bluesrock trio with mezzoforte drums, you will probably have to solve this by standing far from the drums, or by using dampening boards and alike. Generally, I would recommend to start by checking whether your band situation is mic friendly, by using any vocal or instrument mic on a normal stand (Shure SM57, SM58 would likely be available at your practise room). If it works, then you might have a success with a cheaper bass microphone. If not, I'm afraid there's no chance to do it without much bigger investment than you are planning.
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    While I simply love the sound you get with a decent microphone, in live performance, they are a "mixed blessing" at best and the well thought out ones like the DPA 4099Dvote, Remic's, Nadine et. al. are expensive. All those mic's sound great

    and have well thought out mounting systems. With everything else you have to either purchase a additional mount, like the H Clamp or come up with something on your own. It's easier for me to have a pickup like the Ehrlund EAP that's consistent from gig to gig.

    The Ischell Contact microphone has many supporters here on talkbass and it's affordable.
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  9. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    SM58 or 57 on an H-Clamp has worked well for me and is a good way to dip your toes into live micing without spending a fortune. You can also find some creative ways to mount the mic without the H-Clamp but having the clamp is pretty convenient to achieve a variety of different mic positions.
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  10. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  11. Happy Steve

    Happy Steve Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Mel-burn, Ore-stralia
    Mr Cbass, have a look at this recent thread for an inexpensive mic mounting idea..
    Thanks rick wolf!
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO the reason to use a mic is if you have a nice sounding instrument.

    Also as @jj.833 it's very challenging to use a mic in a live environment. The upright is not a very loud instrument acoustically compared to other instruments you are likely the work with. A microphone will focus on the loudest sound it hears. So if the sound of cymbals is louder at the mic capsule than the sound of the upright, the mic will pickup more cymbal than bass. Also if the sound coming from the amp is louder at the mic capsule than the acoustic sound of the bass, then the mic will feedback through the amp. Some people use a piezo for their amp and send the mic to the sound system.

    In order to use a mic in a noisy environment, the mic must have a tight polar pattern and be brought very close to the bass. But using a mic this way may not sound very natural. First you are only picking up sound from a small part of the instrument, so you have to find a part of the instrument that produces a nice authentic tone. Another problem is most directional mics exhibit something called proximity effect. Proximity effect means that as the mic is brought close to the sound source, the frequency response changes; meaning the lows become emphasized.

    One thing you can do is use gobos or sound shields to try and keep as much sound away from the mic as possible. Of course using gobos may be realistic in a well equipped recording studio, but it's typically not for live gig.

    The bass specific mics that I can think of that work best are the Xlson Chuck Israel Signature mic, and the DPA 4099-B Core. But these are both expensive and have their limits in loud environments.

    For the record, the only mic I ever seriously tried to work with was the AMT S25B. It sounded fabulous when just the bass played, but was unusable with an amp, even when mixed with a piezo contact pickup. I also felt the signal from the AMT picked up too much bleed from the drumset in a big band setting to be useable for the PA mix.

    If your goal is to get a better arco tone I suggest trying the following: 1. Make sure your piezo pickup is plugged into something that provides an appropriate high impedance load. If the input impedance is too low, piezo pickups tend to produce a quacky sound in the upper mids that sound really awful with arco. The absolute lowest impedance is generally 1 Megohm. The optimum impedance varies with characteristics of the pickup. 2. Use EQ to smooth out the critical upper mids. Something like the Empress Para-EQ would be ideal, but even a graphic EQ pedal could be potentially helpful. 3. Choose and adjust your speaker so it works well with arco. Many 2-way bass speakers have uneven frequency response in the 2-4khz range. This range is critical for arco playing. If your cab has an adjustable tweeter, play some full range program material through the cab and try to adjust the tweeter to sound as natural as possible. You may find the tweeter needs to be rolled off a bit to eliminate phasing between the tweeter and woofer.

    You are likely to find it is a matter of balancing out the frequency response of the bass, pickup, amp, speaker, and a utility EQ. The idea is no component in our signal chain is ideal, so you have to work out a compromise that allows them to work together to produce synergy. Achieving this is not necessarily an easy or intuitive task.

    I don't think the KK BassMax is by any means ideal for arco, but you would probably be suprised how good you can make it sound if you address all of these issues. As an example, I used a Fishman BP100 for several years, and it sounded awful with Arco as well, but I was able to trick it into sound nice.

    If you have not picked up on this fact, @rickwolff has done a lot of experimenting with different mics. He has also posted a lot of video comparisons and reviews. I suggest searching through TalkBass using his user name. The image he uses for his avatar is the his Xlson Chuck Israel Signature mic. Perhaps he can suggest a low cost mic that will meet your needs.

    If you have access to any decent mics that can be mounted on a stand, I suggest you do some experiments to confirm that a mic is going to give the desired results. In other words, don't buy a mic unless you can confirm it will actually be useful.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  13. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I have the Sennheiser E609 Silver, which has the same shape as the one shown in the link.
    I’ve mounted it under the tailpiece, and got a surprisingly high volume before feedback through my amp.
    As described in @Wasnex post, it can show a strong proximity effect though.
    But it’s quite affordable and also tested by @rickwolff in some posts.
    rickwolff and Wasnex like this.
  14. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011

    Thank's for your answer.
    It's helpful.
    I don't use the bow, only for the intonation practice.

    For the pizeo I use a preamp ( fishman BII) so , it's ok with the impedance.
    I was interessted by a microphone because I was really happy with the sound I could get from the snare micro ( for my first test). A cheap superlux used by the drumer.
    The DB ( or myself :cool: ) sounds so good.
    I've at home quick larsen, but I'm pretty sure that's due to my gear. I've made the test with my computer sounds interface ( Steinberg c1 ) , and with my litlle amp work .
    I'must do the same test a the band practice room.

    I thought a moment to do something with some foam and this pickup like the bassball
    the t.bone CC 75 – Thomann France


    But maybe I must give up the microphone .

    I thought a moment buy the KNA-b1 ( @rickwolff have a good opinion and tested it), often compared to the kkbass max, but more natural.
    Why not, and blend the two piezzo, but for I need a 2 other preamp. ( 2 channels)

    @Francois Blais

    Hello, the superlux pra 628 is often compare to the senheinser E609 or to the SM57 .
    It's not expensive.

    What do you think about my idea to use a cab microphone mount ( less expensive that the H-clamp)
    here with a gooseneck
    Millenium Amp Clamp – Thomann France
    Wasnex likes this.
  15. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Can't comment on the amp clamp, sorry.
    Mics are often placed under the taipiece or sandwiched in the bridge.
  16. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    After a pretty long period of futzing with a mic and a mic blended with a pickup, I ditched the whole thing because I found myself worrying about tech and being distracted from music making. About 18 months ago I got a Tonedexter and am very happy. For now anyway.
  17. You need to check the mics on the bandstand or practicing room at the same volume level in amplification as needed for the loudest band output.
    The problem comes from the feedback from amp/monitors.
    Forget a mic for a loud band. You cannot isolate it from the others and your own amp output enough to avoid feedback.

    As for cheap mics, any peak in the frequency response of the mic (or speaker or amp) is the frequency the feedback starts. The higher the peak the earlier the feedback starts.

    A good solution for medium loud bands is a contact mic that is placed onto the top. Isolation is much better (but less good than with a bridge mounted pickup).
    One problem is that you I lay get the vibration at a certain point on the top, so you need to find a position where all frequencies are represented similarly than in some distance from the top, where you get a mix of all positions on the top. Typically they can be found close to but not directly on the bass bar or the soundpost.
    But if it gets really loud, the top acts as a receiver of the amplified soundwaves and going as close to the bridge/strings with a pickup is the only solution with a DB. Next would be changing the instrument to an EUB or BG.

    For the contact mic I really like the AKG
    411 with the B29L battery adapter/amplifier. Not too expensive, I like it better than the Ehrlund EAP (but this might be my taste) and maybe not as good as the Ischell, but you don‘t need to care for an airtight putty ring, just apply it with a thin sheet of putty (not AKGs, use the white Faber-Castell that is used for the Ehrlund).

    I dislike the BassMax a lot, the synthetic/rubber coating is bad for the highs. If it needs to get loud you never get a realistic DB sound.
    Best pickups for loud situations might be the Full Circle, the Yamahiko, maybe the Lifeline or a Wilson K1 or K4/5.

    BTW, for a small diaphragm condenser (SDC) or similar built mics there is the four rubber band mounting method through the underlengths pointing at the middle of the bridge feet. I think Paul Warburton mentioned that originally on TalkBass. I used that at home with an Oktava MK-012 with hypercardioid or Omni (cardioid sound worst, omni best, but hypercardioid was close to omni). The bass weakness of the Oktava was compensated by the proximity effect of the hypercardioid capsule.
    Not the best mic in the world, but reasonable in price and flexibility. Being a condenser, it needs phantom power.

    So be prepared to get a mic pre with phantom power output too, since the signal of dynamic mics is much weaker than a pickup signal and even the condenser needs some amplification and phantom power.
    Wasnex and Mister Cbass like this.
  18. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    The string matrix guy has done a bunch of great mic comparisons. Here's the clip-on mic video and theres more on his channel:

    IMO the T-bone gets the job done but sounds like its price compared to the others.

    I've used an SM57 with great results. Fits perfectly with bungee chord tied around the bridge feet and the end sticking though the sting after length. The capsule sits about an inch from the top angled up toward the neck and gets a nice focused, warm sound. Very easy set up to deal with.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  19. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    thanks all for your answers.

    @DoubleMIDI I will check the akg 411 ( a lot of positive comments)
    @basss thanks for the video, Herve Jeanne do a great job. I will Watch that this evening.

    The ovid is a bargain, top price quality, but the prodipe is only 82 € for the moment. And It looks better.
    There also the KK golden bullet, but I don't find a lot of review / information about it.
  20. I can remember that I read that one of the cheap gooseneck mics didn’t work long. Cannot remember which one, but it was distributed by Thomann.
    So keep that in mind, do your research and better don’t go too cheap or it can get expensive in the end.
    I have an old ATM-35 that I once used with a big band, but since I stood close to the drummer the sound technician told me afterwards that there was too much bleed from the cymbals and I should better not use it again. BTW, that was FOH only, for my amp I used the pickup.
    Wasnex likes this.
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