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Mics for bass

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by lowendblues, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Is a kick drum mic a good choice for sending your signal through the PA , or would something like a 57 be better??
  2. Jpat


    Mar 13, 2005
    Leonardville Kansas
    I would put my money on the 57. A kick drum mic isn't designed for a bass guitar. Different dynamics. However I haven't tried it..... :eyebrow: Try this on for size. I've seen it done by the bass player from the Black Peppercorns w/Kevin Prosch. Use a 57 to mic your amp, AND run dirrectly into the board. You get a good blend of sounds and increase tone options when you have a good balance. ( :bassist: That's what he told me anyway)

  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I know a lot of bassist who D.I. and mic. To answer your question, anytime I mic'd I used a 57, cos it's all I have, and it sounded just fine. I'm certain there's better though, just wait for the pros to chime in.

  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I really prefer recording direct with a REALLY good preamp. Recently I was using a Masenburg and really loved it. I don't mic in the studio and cannot really be of too much help

  5. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I'd say it depends on the kick drum mic. And of course, the positioning and speaker it's in front of!

    My drummer uses the Beta(either 52 or 56, I can never remember), and it sounds great on his kick, but a bit scooped for bass. I have an Audix D4, which sounds better on my vintage Slingerland Radio King drums (18" jazz kick or 26" BIG kick) and on my Ampeg B15. For most modern kicks, the Audix has a bit too much mid-bass ('round 300-500Hz), and requires too much EQ for my taste.

    My point is that it really depends on the mic. Kick drum mics vary wildly in their frequency response by nature. As a rule, I would think that you would want to avoid recording the bass with the same mic used to record the kick drum, as it would tend to create a situation where they have competing frequencies.

    A 57 and DI combo can be very useful. Rely on the DI for a clean low end, and use the 57 for its natural mid range peak.

    My choice lately is a close large diaphragm condenser (Alesis/GT AM11 Class A FET) with DI(Radial J48).

    Naturally, your mileage will certainly vary, but I hope this offers you some perspective.
  6. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Which kick mic were you thinking of using?
  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Try to check out the Audix i5. Although a large diaphragm condensor works great in the studio, unless you're on a large stage, they'll pick up EVERYTHING around them in a live situation. The Shure SM57 is tried and true for all sorts of things, but is also 30 year old technology. The i5 has extended low frequencies, no midrange hump, takes higher SPLs, has a metal diaphragm cover, and is all of $10 more. Blended with a DI, it should sound killer, depending on your bass, PA, etc. As always, this is just my opinion, and when searching for a mic, checking various models in person and with your own ears is always best. Also, I know of a couple of guys who love an AKG D112 kick drum mic for their bass, but I prefer the DI built into my amp if I'm going through a PA, myself.
  8. I hope this is related- does anyone here ever use just a mic live? I have never had an amp's DI work well for me, though I haven't used a huge variety of amps. I've tried an Ampeg SVT-3pro(which is suspect in general), an old Peavey Alphabass tube head & a Hartke Kickback, & always had to go through an external DI. The problem has always been noise; sometimes only pretty annoying, sometimes very nasty. Am I cursed, or are all amps' DIs poo-poo?
  9. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Well, I myself have never used a built-in DI as a player, but I'd assume that they are not a priority in most amp designs. Decent passive DIs are cheap, and good DIs of all sorts can be had for not too much more. They are worth it, IMO, and I'd never walk into a gig without one.

    I did use bassists' built-in DIs back when I was doing live sound, and they were pretty much always useful. I do recall an Ampeg, but I don't recall the particular model. Sounded pretty good, though grindy, as he was sending me post-preamp signal, I think.
  10. I've never been 'stranded' by not having one; there's always been one 'lying around'. I think I'll make it a point to grab at least a cheap decent one, just in case. It's about the only thing my man-purse/gig tool-bag doesn't have.
  11. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    A lot of problems with built in DIs have to do more with a club or PA or amp grounding problem. Also, I think the extra knobs and buttons, often with little or no explanation in the manual as to where they fit in an amp's gain structure, how hot the output is, or what the impedance is, cause lots of players and engineers to just drag out a simple and familiar box, and understandably so.

    Didn't Radial recently introduce a bassists' DI that would take a mic signal and blend it with the DI signal before it hits a PA? Does anybody know anything about it or maybe has tried it, etc?
  12. I wonder if that could function as a preamp for a piezo & mic equipped upright.
  13. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I think Radial has something like that. They do make an excellent product, so check their website if you are so inclined. I know Fishman has one. Their preamp for the upright piezo works pretty well for me. I've used it as an electric pre with good results as well.