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Mic Placement

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Bassline1414, Feb 7, 2002.


  1. Hello all, I do a lot of home recording but am still getting a less than desirable bass tone when I record. I'm not sure if it's my settings or the way I place the mic, but I'm not sure. I use a Fender MIA P-bass and an Ibanez BTB and my amp is a Genz-Benz combo. I usually put the mic about a foot away from the speaker and a little to the right. I usually have my amp settings at 12 on my amp, have all the volume and tone up on my P, and the bridge pickup on my BTB with the mids, bass, and treble at 50 percent each. Help me! :D
    Oh, btw, I'm using an SM57 mic into my soundcard.
     
  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Try putting the mic very close to the speaker, if not right on the grille, slightly off center. The bass will punch through a lot better and you'll get better low end response from the mic. Just make sure you keep an eye on the levels.
     
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Is it lack of bass?

    The improvement in low-end response you get with an SM57 is also known as "proximity effect", and it only happens when the sound source is very close to the mic. In any case, the SM57 starts to roll off at 180 or so Hz, so if you have an amp that really can emit BASS, the SM57 won't catch it very good.
     
  4. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    I thought the SM57 is for higher frequencies than bass. It makes a great guitar mic. I think you need a special mic for bass.
     
  5. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    The sm57's frequncy response (-10db) starts at 40Hz.

    I've used it on several recording projects with success. Check out the SM57 user guide for placement with bass guitar: sm57 user guide (PDF)
     
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    -10 dB, yes, but read the freq. resp. curve... it starts to dive just below 200 Hz. Also, -10 dB at 40 Hz would make the SM57 pretty much insufficient for mic'ing bass speakers: if the speaker is already spec'ed down to 40 Hz at -10 dB, you wouldn't want another -10 dB on that!

    Well, of course it it works, an SM57 works with pretty much anything, but you won't get super lows from it, that's all I meant to say!
     
  7. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Proximity gives you 6-10 db boost at and around 100hz thereby negating the dip.
     
  8. Have you tried to plub your bass into a DI box, or used the DI out on your amp? I only occasonaly bother to mic the amp, and always use the DI, alone, or combined with the amp. Peace
     
  9. Can you guys explain db and hz? I don't know ANYTHING about mics.
     
  10. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    db is a way of measuring relative volume or energy levels. The thing about it is, its a logarithmic scale as opposed to a linear one (50db is not twice as loud as 25 db, it's way more). If you go to the amp forum and look for posts by Joris, he explains it all pretty clearly.

    Hz is the number of vibrations per second. A low note, like the open E, has 41 or so vibrations per second, while a higher note has more vibrations per second, more Hz.

    When someone says, the mic is -10db at 100Hz, what they're saying is that at notes that vibrate around 100Hz, the mic is going to be 10db quieter than other notes.

    This is sorta the simple version of it.... ultimately, you have to decide for yourself if the mic sounds good to you or not. I've found that the numbers do a great job of explaining how the mic will behave but not necessarily how it will sound.

    What are you recording onto anyway?
     
  11. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    Ok, I'm actually recording right now and our Keyboard/Guitar player owns the studio, so I've spent quite a bit of time over there and tried to pick up some knowledge. Try getting a hold of an AKG d112 or a Shure Beta 52, these are great bass mics. They will clear up some of your lower frequencies. Also place the mic within an inch from the guard, but not touching, and if it has a screen instead of metal make sure when you play the screen doesn't hit the mic. Also kinda try moving the mic, because every set-up sounds different, try putting it dead center or angling the mic to the middle. The room that you are replaying the sound in might affect the quality. There are soooo many different things that could affect your sound, but first I'd recommend getting a different mic and moving around the mic to find the sweet spot for wound in your system. If you wanna post anymore questions I'll try to ask around and find some answers from these guys that deal with mics everyday. Hope this helps.