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instrument mounted mics

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by ctxbass, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Does anyone have experience with the SD systems LCM100HL mic for Double Bass?
    It costs more than the K&K but is still a good bit less expensive than the AMT S25B.
    I'm hoping to find an instrument mounted mike to use for a DB, grand piano, and drum (brushes) gig. My bass is almost loud enough (gut strings and fairly high action) but with piano in the PA and chatter in the room, I could use some help. I don't mind a pickup for dance bands or rockin' gigs, but in a trio I can hear all the nuance (or lack of it).
  2. basster


    Aug 14, 2003
    hi ctxbass and all the other bassplayers,

    i`m playing with mic only for around 10 years now and tried a lot of different types of mics.
    I checked this sd-systems mic for a while, and there are some pros and cons: pro: easy to use, con: a fixed position for the mike under the bridge, if this position is good for your bass, it`s o.k., but if it`s wrong, you can`t change it.
  3. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Thanks Basster,
    What mic did you wind up with and why?
  4. basster


    Aug 14, 2003
    Actually, i use two different mics. My first mic is an audix adx 20i which has a very good sounding capsule. I can handle two different miking situations with this one: mounted in a peace of foam and the peace of foam fixed on the bridge is similiar to the sd-systems mic-position. I use this fixing-way for smaller gigs where i could play acousticly, but there`s a house sound system and it`s maybe easier to know that they can amplify the bass. The position under the bridge is less boomier than the position near by the f-hole, but less louder, too. If i play in bigger rooms and/or with a louder drummer, i put the audix into the f-hole with another small peace of foam. The sound is more boomie but louder and better isolated. For hard-to-mike-situations i`m checking out an akg c411, they produced it for acoustic guitar, but it works very well for the upright bass. You need some hours to find the best fixing point on your bass, but you have a mic-solution without feedback and even as good as the very expensive Schertler dynB-system.
    Hobe you understand me, my english is baaaaad!!
    I try to post some pictures with my mic mounts here, maybe next week.
  5. I have been using one of these for about a year. During the year I've played it through a good house pa (Band on the Wall Manchester) and got complemented on the sound, with a big band and numerous small gigs. The reproduction on my bass is excellent and far exceeds the ability of the Shadow (a German made Underwood type pickup) I used before. There is no scratchiness, unwanted string noise, great arco and through an AI contra the best sound occurs with a completely flat eq. That suggests the mic is a flat as claimed. Also, NO mic induced boominess. The fact that it has its own pre-amp is a big bonus. It means you have access to any amp. I was worried about feedback. I now know that a crap amp makes this worse. However, I still coped with a big band. I've just now got the AI and filled a noisey pub without any hint of howl with no use of notch filter or eq. It sounds like my bass but louder. I now got no excuses for sounding bad except coughing to poor technique.
  6. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Thanks Mike,

    That sounds like a winner. My bass, just louder.
  7. atunbridge


    Apr 23, 2002
    Devon UK

    I was very interested in your comments about the LCM100HL.

    Where did you buy your LCM100HL? The only UK supplier I could find on the Internet was Bill Lewington.

    Also, when using it in a noisy pub through your Contra, where do you place your bass in relation to the amp? I ask because I use a Contra and usually have the Amp around 3 feet to my right, just level with my bass - I just want to get some feel for how resistant to feedback this thing is. I play in a lot of loud places. Does it it pick up much from the drums etc?
  8. I used to use the K & K Bass Max / Golden Trinity combo, until I came across the Fishman "Full Circle" which I found to be much better. For gigs, I mostly use the Fishman, either directly, (or through a Raven Labs PMB-1) to a Acoustic Image Contra, which I've found to be excellent in not being prone to feed-back. For recording, I've yet to find something which I prefer to a Neumann SKM-184 slung between the bridge with a couple of elastic bands.


    - Wil
  9. songdog


    Oct 9, 2003
    I am thinking that I would like to use a mic on a stand at the f hole on my bass. Anyone using this setup?
  10. That setup will certainly work, although you will have to be careful to keep the bass still with respect to the mic so that (1) you don't hit the mic, and (2) you keep the bass at a constant distance from the mic. Use a cardioid mic on a short stand, angled slightly down, pointing into the f-hole on the G-string side of the bass, at about the same level as the bridge (perhaps slightly lower if you're playing arco)

    Hope this helps -

    - Wil
  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    I do, but after a year of using a mic on nearly every gig, I think the F hole is not the best place. Believe it or not, you will get a clearer and more represenative sound live if you put the mic off axis in some way. For me, it is on the G side of the bass, about 12" in front and slightly below the F hole, with the mic angled just slightly up. I use a mini boom stand that doesn't take up much room on the stage. Mics too near the F hole can be boomy, which is why I couldn't really ever get happy with the short gooseneck on the Golden Trinity.

    Some bassists feel they move too much for a mic on a stand, but it is something you can get used to. I find myself less tired on a gig because I don't have all that extra movement, so I know the bass is comfortable from the start. Just take some time to find the right spot both for the mic and your body.

    This is all just my own personal experience.

  12. songdog


    Oct 9, 2003
    Thanks for the input. I know that Ron Carter used a microphone and I saw Dave Holland with Miles play with a pickup. I just have to believe that a microphone on a stand will do a better job if you have to amplify the upright. Again thanks for your thoughts on this. Regards, Mike aka songdog
  13. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I use the AMT mic with the tailpiece mount. I've also tried a number of mics mounted between the bridge with rubber bands (as well as stand-mounted mics). I know some others (such as Dave Holland) use mics mounted behind the tailpiece (the AMT mic mounts at the end of the tailpiece but has a long gooseneck to position the capsule much further up the table).

    I agree with Monte that the f-hole is not a good place for a mic. The sound is way too boomy. Certainly I don't think it's a natural sound. The benefit (and why some people do it) is that you can get a lot more volume before feedback but I don't see much point if it's not a natural sound. Even the AMT mic designer Marty Paglione says that although the AMT photos show their mic over the f-hole that that photo was setup by a non-technical person and that it is not a good place to get a natural sound.
  14. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Thanks to everyone for the input. I wound up getting the SD Systems bridge mounted mic. I hooked it up at a low volume and called my son
    (also a bassist) into the room to try it. At first, we thought it wasn't working. Excellent reproduction.

    What a pleasure it is to play without a pickup and still be heard.
  15. Glad you like it ctx.

    Someone asked me where the AI amp was in my earlier reply. Because as always seems to be the case in UK pubs I had no room to move it was 2 feet behind me to my right. This being less than ideal and if it was going to feed back that should have done it.

    I was interested in the pic of the elastic band mounted mic. The guy who sold and set up my bass said local pros he knows use elastic to mount mics that is tied between the tailpeice and the bridge. I can't imagine this.

    I got the mic in the UK from Johnny Roadhouse in Manchester, who ordered it from Bill Lewington. Bill L told me they don't sell direct but did tell me who their agents were.

    Next time I post a message I'll try to follow it up promptly. Happy new year folks.
  16. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I've noticed that if you stick a mic right at the f-hole you get a tight coupling that results in some unnatural resonances and phase cancellation that sounds like a comb filter.

    The mic-in-the-tailpiece method is really a good, simple way to go, and sounds better than a lot of contact mics. And you can plug right into the PA, too!
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Another good microphone i.e. frequency response, size and flexibility is the Audio Technica ATM35. It's comes with a clip on mount with a flexible goose neck.

  18. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Do you guys find that having a mic or other device attached to the tailpiece affects the response of the bass at all?

    I'd looked at the ATM35 myself several times, but never tried it because I was afraid that clamping something on my tailpiece would adversely affect tone.
  19. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't find any difference and the AMT tailpiece mount with a long gooseneck (mine is long enough to have the capsule almost reach the fingerboard) is not super-light - not that heavy either but it's not featherlight. Mind you, I also have a very light tailpiece. I had Mike Pecanic make me one out of Claro Walnut because it's a really light wood.
  20. I use the ATM 35 and find the sound to be very balanced throughout the spectrum. I'm sure there are better sounding mikes but not at the ATM price. Clipping onto the bass has been a challenge. My tailpiece is too fat for the small clip so I used to clip it to the plastic strap of the Underwood pickup jack mounted on the tailpiece. This location produced distortions at certain frequencies, probably related to sympathetic vibrations from the tailpiece or the jack. I also tried clipping to the top edge of the bridge which resulted in a weak and muddy sound. So, I moved the clip to the edge of f-hole on the G side and centered the mike under the bridge pointing upward toward the fingerboard. This produced an even sounding strong signal but there still were distrotions at certain frequencies. So, the mike location was good but the clip location needed to be isolated from the top of the bass to avoid distortion. Solution was to wedge a cork into the f-hole (gently) to damp the vibration from the top of the bass and then mount the mike on the cork. I used a fine single-malt scotch cork with a wooden top allowing me to mount two screws on the top of the cork for the mike clip to grasp. I wrapped a rubber washer (gasket) from a garden hose on the underside of the top to further isolate the wood cork top from the face of the bass. Use two screws to give the clip enough area to grasp (one screw is not stable). Total cost of the mounting device is either a few cents for a cork, washer, and some screws or 35 dollars for the bottle of scotch--depends on your accounting parameters. The cork works very well for live performance isolating the mike from the bass while still being gentle on the bass itself. For recording, I still find it best to keep the clip-on mike off the bass entirely. Best recording sound came from an expensive Neumann wrapped in foam and wedged between the legs of the brige. Best sound for loud gigs in a blend of the Underwood pickup and the clip-on mike. The mike can be cranked pretty loud if I roll off the treble knob on the mike channel to prevent feedback. The pickup transmits the treble and the mike provides a full bottom and presence. So, there's the whole mike saga. Try it. At the very least, you'll enjoy the single-malt.