help teaching double bass online

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by zj215, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. zj215


    Apr 9, 2020
    Hi I'm not very technically minded and struggling with working online, or rather I'm not sure I'm there yet. Can I ask for opinions as to the best set up to capture sound and visuals to teach double bass online.

    I've got a 3/4 bass, it does have EMG pickups. I'm hoping to teach online some of my students. I do have a digital camera and I do have mic on a stand and a digital camera on a tripod. I'm not sure the best way to combine the two. I assume I'll use an interface then into my pc for the sound and a video feed into my pc for the video. I'll also need I think a lapel mic for voice.

    I know I need to use some sort of platform like zoom.

    I think this is how to do it. I'm wondering whether there are any tips or suggestions as to the best mic, not sure mine is that good. or whether there is something better than zoom?

    thank you Ian
    Eef Weenink likes this.
  2. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    You are on the right track regarding gear. I’ve been using Zoom, and this video is a “must watch.” Make sure both you and your students have Zoom audio set up according to these instructions.

  3. This is a nice video as well.

  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    @Michael Drost Jason's video is very good and I agree with the gear recommendations, but I don't think it addresses how to get the signal from the H6 into your phone and out to the student on the other end, and also how to plug the audio from the student into your headphones. The nice thing about the H6 is that it's a stereo recorder with a built in 4 track mixer and recorder, and having that interface with the video source is a crucial component.

    One thing that is important is that for most smartphones/mobile devices, the headphone jack (or dongle on an iPhone...thanks, Apple:rollno:) accepts a TRS connection for most stereo headphones, but in order to feed a microphone info into the device, a TRRS connection is necessary. This excellent video explains how to do it; although it is focused on video/audio recording, the same is true for video conferencing:

    I can confirm that the Zoom H6 X/Y mic does a great job of recording the acoustic sound of the bass, and I used it in one of my upcoming videos because it's so easy and idiot-proof. I also like the way it has a stand mount on the bottom, which is really convenient.

    I don't much care for the dynamic mic on a stand option shown on Jason's video, though. It is tried and true and works great, but I start to feel like a Borg when there is a mic up in my face. I also dislike using a lavalier mic when shooting video or teaching by the same Borg principle above, although again they work great and are tried and true.

    Another option for this is a shotgun mic like the RØDE Videomic. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to use, sounds great, and can pick up your voice from a distance. It can be used in a "Keep it simple, stupid" kind of way where you mount it on the same stand that is holding the H6 to pick up your bass, but have it pointed at your face instead; or it can be done in a more professional manner where you place it on a boom stand closer to your face but still out of the shot.

    I used the KISS method in my ISB video from last summer - H6 on a stand in front of my bass, RØDE shotgun on the same stand and pointing at my face, with its inputs feeding into the H6. I really liked not having to wear a Lav mic. I did not feed them directly into the iPhone I was using at that time because I had not yet played with the adapter option, but I may well try that for my next video because it eliminates the need to sync the separate audio and video tracks later in the process.
    Michael Drost likes this.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sorry for all the words today, but I'm also not sure how, if you were using a microphone into the phone as described above, you would even hear the student on the other end since the headphone out jack would be getting used for the microphone. I haven't run into this because I teach from the giant iMac on my desk, which runs audio out through the sound system built into it and allows me to use an antiquated-but-perfectly-functional USB mic for my end of the audio. I'm sure there's probably a solution for this, but I'm not sure what it is.
  6. Thanks for this. This gives some great info. Much appreciated.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  7. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Don't forget that you can have a really state of the art setup for optimum sound and video, but your students are probably just going through their phones so that is what you'll be dealing with. So far I've been using my Macbook camera and mic and Facetime and it is adequate. I didn't find Zoom to be more effective than Facetime, and more hassle.

    I recently got a USB interface and did my last couple lessons using a condenser mic and didn't get much of a reaction regarding quality from my students.
    Ric Vice and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  8. Happy Steve

    Happy Steve Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Mel-burn, Ore-stralia
    Facetime is OK if all concerned have Apple products. Zoom is more operating system agnostic, although I have to start my laptop up in macos to get the essential 'use original sound' option in zoom (not supported yet in Linux).

    I have good results using my zoom H5 as a USB interface and selecting it for both input and output in the system audio settings. Then I can mic my bass and voice separately and balance the levels. I plug my headphones into the H5 headphone socket. The laptop camera and screen take care of the video, and I can get back from the camera to get a wider (taller) image of me playing.

    We are lucky to have all this tech available in these times!
    Take care, Steve
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  9. Eef Weenink

    Eef Weenink

    Jun 7, 2014
    Hello Ian,

    You allready got a good answer for the use of Zoom (In europe we use it less and less because of privacy issues). Skype is OK too or microsoft teams etcetera. But zoom seems to have the best way to do settings to get as low latency as possible (that is what you want :))

    I play/study double bass. I have a H6 Zoom recorder (mostly the same as the H5).
    The zoom has XY mikes. I have placed the Zoom at the level of the F-holes. They pickup the low voices (do not use low cut filter in the Zoom, you would loose the best part).
    I bought a condensor mike on a mike-stand. In front of me besides the musicstand. It picks up the sound in the room + my voice (Use headphones !). Mix the sound in the Zoom to get a really fat double bass sound.

    The zoom is connected to my macbook with the USB. In the mac the input and output are connected to the Zoom (system preferences Sound). And there you go.

    I tried it also with my ipad and iphone (for whatsap). This did not work here. It falls back to the internal speaker and mike of the ipad. Now I made myself a replacement for the headphones cable. Directly connected to input and output of the H6. This works OK. If you want I can explain what to do (costs about $ 15 and you have to solder yourself).

    In the lessons do not play + talk at the same time. Gives a big mess. One at a time.
    I ended up working in another way now. I (student) make videos of the things I rehearse or want to discuss. Send a link to the teacher. He watches this in advance. We discuss it in the lessons. And the results are used for next time. That way there is not much double bass playing in the lesson it self.
    PS: Important that both have same music sheets etcetera to avoid long searches and explanations.
    Cheers, Eef
    Ric Vice and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  10. Skype or google hangouts is fine for pretty much any bass lesson. Use your eyes as well as your ears. Online lessons are fantastic for addressing form and posture - possibly better than in person.
    You will be able to hear if they are playing in tune, getting the fundamental, etc. You don't have to play so much, either. Keep the tech simple and your students are more likely to actually make the lesson!
    Too much tech on either end and it gets in the way. If you fumble with tech for even a few minutes the lesson can loose focus.
 and Eef Weenink like this.
  11. Eef Weenink

    Eef Weenink

    Jun 7, 2014
    But not directly with iPhone or iPad. (recording video/audio is OK, but no 2-way communication via the Lightning/USB connection.
    Do not use the USB but the headphone connector (See images).
    (With lightning <> headphone adapter also possible for newer iphones).

    A phone jack for iPhone (TRRS) splitter (used to split signal into microphone and headphones)
    something like this :

    is soldered to a 6,3 mono jack (for input in Zoom Recorder).,3+jack+solder&qid=1588483002&sr=8-7

    A 3,5 mm TRS Jack is connected to headphone-output of Zoom Recorder
    something like this:

    - Cut the headphone side of the splitter with enough cable (to be re-used).
    - Connect the splitter side to mono-jack. L+R go to the tip (turns stereo into mono INFO: 2-way communication is mono)
    - Cut the microphone side of.
    - This side PLUS the re-used headphone side go together into new TRS-jack.
    + The microphone side wire (probably red) goes to the Left of the jack
    +3 The L+R wires of the headphone go to the Right of the jack (making mono into stereo)
    Connect ground wires of all 3 cables just as usual to the ground contacts of both plugs.

    SETTINGS in ZOOM Recorder.
    - Connect MONO jack to Input 1 (example)
    - Connect (optional) mikes to the ZOOM
    In the Project Mixer ->
    - PAN input 1 completely to the RIGHT, so the sound goes to Right of headphone out, and can be heared in the headphones of both sides (see above +3)
    - PAN (All) other Inputs to the LEFT, so this sound goes to the Left of the headphone out, goes to the iphone and can be heared by other side. (The iphone will turn the mono into stereo again). (and you will not hear yourself)
    NB: When using the XY, you will only use the LEFT one so turn it a bit so it is pointed to the F-holes.

    PROS: Works fine. Good sound quality, also on iPhone (Whatsapp video-call are possible). Cheap (material all together about $ 20)
    CONS: You have to solder yourself. Not really hard. But you need some equipment. And work carefully figuring out where the wires go, etcetera.

    Regards, Eef

    Attached Files:

    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
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