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Micing a bass cabinet live

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Subculture13, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I didn't know where else to stick this, so I'll ask it here.....

    Speaking from experience, not industry hype, what does everyone think is the best mic to use to mic up a bass cabinet. I am sure there is some sound guys or girls out there that can field this one. I have been miked up with everything from a Shure SM57 to a Audio Technica kick drum mic, and am trying to get a consistent sound, so I want to buy my own mic for my shows.
  2. After all is said and done, I don't think you can go wrong with the SM-57.
  3. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I just mic for mid-high end (lows from DI) and a 57 works just fine... :)
  4. while usually a broadcast mic, I find the sennheiser 421 capable of reproducing the lows far better than the 57, which is actually kind of tinny to my ears. Of course, the best judge is yourself - try a few out first (Guitar Center 30-day refunds make an excellent rental!)
  5. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    How good do you want it to sound? I use a D112. It blows away the 57 I used to use. It is a little bit more money, roughly around 60 bucks more but you notice the difference.
  6. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Well put :)
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    While I thoroughly respect and appreciate the all around workhorse ability of the mighty SM57 (and indeed I own a bunch of them), I, too, have found that at D112 is generally superior for live mic'ing of my cabs. Though the SM57 is fine for adding some cut and bite to a DI signal. Ideally, though, I'd love to have an EV PL20, which I have only used in the studio so far, but which I think would be a great live bass rig (or kick drum) mic. I did recently pick up a Sennheiser e602, which I prefer to the D112 on kick drum. Haven't tried it on my rig, yet, though I suspect that it would work pretty darn well. Some of the Audix drum mics may also be good choices.

  8. Does your amp have a DI? If it does, then my recomendation is to just use it and not have to deal with the hassle of miking your amp.
  9. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    It's a good idea to do both if you can. With miking you get a lot more character than the sometimes sterile direct. Depends on the head and DI box.
  10. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Really depends on how much cash you wanna drop.
    57 is cheap, though I'll be damned if one ever goes on my cab.
    As stated earlier, the 421 is definately a good choice. D112, Beta 52 and the D6 will all give good results at about the same price. If you can spring for it the Shure SM7 is bad ass.
    I used a Beyer M88 with good results in the studio, I'd use it on stage too.
  11. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    Don't forget to check out the Audix D4 or even the D6... excellent mics for low end reproduction!
  12. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Thanks alot guys, the D112 is looking like the leading contender for sure. I will have to go check one out.

    I prefer to mic and DI as I use alot of FX and DI'ing never really gets the right sound going, especially with overdrive.
  13. IMO, the kick drum mics (D6, D112) are not suitable for electric bass, because these mics are heavily scooped.

    Remember that distances closer than 1 meter boost the proximity effect. This will significantly boost the bottom end, perhaps far too much. This happens with all directional mics. I own multiple Shure SM57 and they roll off in the bass range.

    I record with ATM25 on electric bass and get a huge, fat sound. The Audix D4 is perfect for bass cabs, as it has higher frequency response than the ATM25. The Sennheiser MD-421 is an excellent mic, but quite pricey. It also has a 5-way low frequency rolloff, and might be just what you need to control excess bass response.

    Based on price, my first choices would be the Audix D4, then ATM25.

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