Live Mics on a (tight) budget-uk bassists

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Thomas Stone, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. After accidently destroying my home made piezo pickup whilst preparing for a gig later the same day, I needed a way to get a signal from my bass to my amp fast.

    Being reluctant to take one of my lage condenser mics to the gig i thought i'd throw something together.
    At maplin (the uk version of radio shack i guess) i found one of those tie clip microphones for £10. it wasn't very sensitive but boasted a response as low as 20hz. I thought i'd give it a go as an experiment.

    I couldn't believe it! the sound was actually pretty good.
    It requires a fair old amount of gain and some could find the midrange a little clinical and you'll need to spend a bit of time fixing it to the bass without it rattling and constructing a baffle to lower the risk of feedback (its an omni directional mic so it will pick up sound all around it) but for TEN QUID its a steal.
    This would never be a replacement for ones usual mic or pickup but as a back up/emergency mic it is not a bad little item.

    if anyone else feels inclined to give it a whirl please add your comments.
    oh and if anyone wants a cheap preamp try turnkey in london as they have the berhinger mic 100 for under £30. forget the valve side of things, its simply one of the cheapest preamps around. again maybe best as a back up.
  2. Thanks for the heads up. £10 isn't even budget money in microphone land - it'll barely buy a mic clamp!

    You say you have difficulty fixing it - doesn't it have a crocodile clip arrangement that allows you to fix it to a tie? Unless it won't open wide enough, couldn't you clamp it to the bridge? Failing that, perhaps to one of the strings behind the bridge.

    As for the Behringer mike amp - that's a crazy price. You'd struggle to buy the parts for that money.
  3. Hello Doug

    I'll be quick as having to dash in a second.

    Yes you are right the mic has a crocodile clip. I clip it to my A string below the bridge pointing upwards ( ie parralel to the top of the bass pointing towards the fingerboard.)

    I tried clipping it it the bridge but found this position prone to picking up a lot of finger noise and the mic was exposed to a lot of rosin dust.

    the clip is firm but it will rattle when you really dig in, so i add a bit of neoprene foam to secure it. This has the added bonus of damping sounds from in front of the bass.
    You will need to experiment where you place your amp as there is no "off axis" position to speak of as it is an omnidirectional mic.

    Yeah that behringer preamp is studidly cheap.
    I've read reviews slamming it (some people find it noisey and hissy but that might have been specific unit problems) but i can't really say that much bad about it. I would definitely use something better for recording but live it is fine
  4. sorry i meant stupidly cheap

  5. So for £40 (tie clip mic plus the Behringer unit) you could be sorted for amplification if you already have an amp. Well, I'm tempted, even though I vowed the double bass was for acoustic work and if I needed an amp I'd play bass guitar. However since I met an experienced player who said no-one tries to do band work without an amp any more, I'm kinda re-thinking my position on that one...
  6. I too swore that my bass would remain acoustic, but after starting up my new band (drums, bassoon and cello) it was immediately obvious that some sort of amplification was vital.

    I'm in the process of turning my hartke cabs into something more suited to double bass ( i'm tempted to make a couple of 1x8s), but they will have to do for now.

    The cheapo mic does the job. I did some quick demo recordning with it the other day and this confirmed my suspicions. It does have quite good extension and will have no problem representing the fundamental of your bass (note represent rather then reproduce as it does have a £10 quality to it) but there is something a bit unpleasant about the hi mid and treble. It does require a good dose of gain too (which could get you into hiss territory).
    Ultimately it is loads better then a home made piezo pickup, but don't get too loud as feed back is a real issue (i was remined of this yet again in a small practice room the other day)

    £40 and you are ready to roll, £100 and you've got something better, £250 something better still. etc etc.

    It might be false economy to start with this since you'll start looking for improvements. but as a back up it is great.

    as for The behringer mic 100, it isn't bad. although i prefer my joemeek vc3 (i think this is now called the eq3 or something) but that is around £130.

    Hope some of this is helpful Doug, all the best with getting amplified.
    Will you be using your bass guitar amp?
  7. Hi Thomas, I would probably use my Ohm Tramp bass amp, which I bought years ago for practicing in the house. It's great on bass guitar, and has a 10" speaker so it might work okay for double bass.

    Recently I made the best no-cost upgrade to it I've ever done to anything. It has a headphone socket which cuts the speaker if you plug headphones in. This means that the speaker is being fed a high-power signal through a crappy 1/4" jack contact. I soldered a chunky piece of wire across it so now it doesn't cut out. The amp sounds SO much punchier I even had to dial some of my normal bass boost out. And instead of a headphone output which I never used, I now have a DI output. Result!
  8. For a tenner I'll get one as a spare - there's always those gigs where something comes unsoldered or in my case, gets an intermittent fault I can'nt quite figure out. Thanks Thomas!