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Mics for recording shootout-- cut n' paste for posterity

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Standalone, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    This was posted by "Han" from the Netherlands on Homerecording.com. Thought it might make a good, if subjective, read for y'all.

    for more context:


    I've had trouble in my own little studio with this, but my selection is limited. I've been throwing a radio schlock electret on my beater Kay. Sometimes a cheap mic does the trick.
  2. Interesting - I would never record a bass with that mic placement (and I wouldn't use most of the mics in the list), but interesting nonetheless.
  3. !Rob!


    Mar 2, 2007
    I bought a Behringer C3 dual large diaphram mic

    I really like it!, it came with a hard plastic case with die-cut foam, as well as a mic clip.

    brand new: $89.99cdn....yeehaa
  4. I've had great luck with a Neumann KM184 pointed at the bridge from about 20-30 inches away.
  5. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I prefer a large diaphram mic 6-12 inches from the bass side f hole -- because my bass has a stronger top end and doing this balances the lows much better.

    I combine this with a skinny condensor mic off axis a foot or so from the end of the fingerboard for more growl and definition.

    I think the higher quality mic you use gives a better sound, honest to goodness. killer preamps and high recording resolution don't hurt either!
  6. I wonder why the tester above chose to use the "stuffed in the bridge" method of positioning for recording? It's useful and convenient for a live situation but I would never use this approach in the studio.

    >>Sennheiser MD421, boomy sound with lots of peaks and lots of bleed, unusable.

    The MD421 works great for upright in a more traditional position (pointed at the bridge or treble side F-hole). Also this mic has a 5-position bass rolloff switch, which is critical for this application. I typically use the middle position for best results (not sure what the cutoff frequency is). I record in a very small room and probably could use less bass rolloff if the room were larger.

    Thanks for posting this very useful info.

  7. ...and +1 on the preamp comment above. I'm using a FMR RNP. Good preamps make a huge difference with dynamic mics.

  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    ....and +1 on the RNP. Quite a bit of bang for the buck.
  9. This is going off topic a bit but I recently got the bright idea of using the RNP as a preamp to drive a QSC PLX power amp that I use for my live bass rig. The results were surprising. The RNP can easily drive the PLX to full power (something the Fishman Pro Platinum Bass preamp can't do) and the tone was wonderful. Paired up with fdeck's new HP filter box this would be a very nice preamp for the stage and opens up the possibility of blending multiple pickups or a pickup/microphone combination (the RNP is a two-channel device with a lin/mic input per channel).

  10. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Hm, that FMR is kinda interesting.

    Phil, Jeff, Dave, calivox, Jason .... anyone ... What are some of the other mic pre's that you guys really dig? For my current needs, I am thinking more of live use than studio.

    I have a Beyer M 88 which I plug straight into an AI Focus 2R SIII or a D-TAR Solstice.
  11. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I'm using a Rane AP 13 live. Voiced for guitar, but it has a TRS input to mix a piezo and a mic, seprate outputs for each, and a graphic eq for each. Only running a bp100 from my beater kay into it, but it is good enough to get a useable live tone.

    I agree with Dave Martin and others that the list is limited in scope, and odd in its choice of mic placement.

    I guess in a home studio like mine, with the whole band playing, the isolation might be useful, while a bigger studio would b equipped with booths and gobos to isolate some of the other suggested placements.
  12. My personal favorite mic pre for all around use is the Great River Electronics NV; At this time, I have 6 channels in the main room (and another 2 in the B room). it's great to use as a DI, too. Besides, Dan Kennedy (the proprietor of Great River Electronics as well as the designer of the NV) gives wonderful customer service. I ruly can't say enough good things about Dan or the Great River NV.

    Since there's a tendency on forums for guys to rave about the single piece of gear that they own (often because they have nothing to compare it to) I should add that in addition to my console preamps, I also have units from Vintech, Vac-Rac, Daking, UA, Drawmer, Manley, MTA, Studio Electronics, Phoenix Audio and some others, and have extensively used Neve, Focusrite and API preamps; I still like the Great River...
  13. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Dave, thanks. I was not familiar w/ Great River until now.

    Which model(s) do you have if I may ask? Looks like there are 3 different NV mic preamp models.

    Oh yeah ... And raving about gear that one happens to own ... Observed it. And probably guilty of it too I'm afraid. Your references to other preamps that you have experience with put your comments in context very nicely.

    I am new I guess to this (high end) mic pre world ... but eager to learn. Thanks again.

    Anyone else? What mic preamps really make you smile w/ DB?
  14. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Ready for a candy store? Click on the link.

    I use an FMR Audio RNP because it's transparent and has lots of gain which I seem to need with the EV RE20 mic I have. Also because it's inexpensive for what you get. If I had the funds to just toss around I'd probably be using a Neve design Portico 5032 or really livin' large a 5016 pre/DI with a 5033 EQ. I like the idea of sweepable EQ which is something I'm lacking in my current setup. If the RNP had that I'd be very happy with it. I should probably just buy an EQ.......

    Dave, have you used any of these Portico units and if so care to compare to the Great River? Great River is something I've heard a couple of people I work with speak highly of but I haven't run across one in real life yet.
  15. Three models? Really? Hang on, let me look... Oh, I see what you mean. The NV-1 is simply a single channel, while the NV-2 is a dual channel model. The MP-500NV is still the same preamp, but designed to fit into a 500 series API rack (a number of boutique audio manufacturers have agreed to use the API rack size, pinout, and power supply limitations as a standard rack mount for mix'n'match preamps, eq's, and whatnot - a cool idea, actually). So in the end, there's only one NV. (I also have a pair of Dan's earlier preamps - also very nice, but built to a different goal.)

    Essentially, the design goal of the NV was to have a bit of the characteristic of the Neve 1073 preamp, but without the low-mid cloudiness that's a characteristic Neve trait. The earlier MP-2 was designed for transparency.
  16. I haven't used the Portico enough to be able to have an opinion of it; the few times it has been around on sessions I've done, it's done a fine job, but when I'm tracking a full rhythm section, I don't really have time to ero in on a preamp - I just make sure that it's working and move on to the next task... :)
  17. BEEF


    Apr 16, 2007
    Naperville, Illinois
    I COMPLETELY concur with Dave's experience with the Great River MP-2NV.

    I've got a decent list to choose from also: Avalon, Amek, API, Manley, TLAudio, as well as a Groove Tubes ViPre.

    The Great River is usually 1st choice.
    (sometimes, the ViPre wins on bass for DI, sometimes not)

    Also, trying mics like the pasted above list happens a lot in studio recording (when time allows). The thing to note is that the EXACT same mics can be used on a different day and ANYTHING in the process could be different, and you're basically starting from scratch with your decision.
    (On occassion, I've even experienced this with same musician, same instrument, same amp rigs, same room even.)

    Everything affects everything.

    p.s. Hi to Dave Martin from the recording forums. Nice to see another 'recording guy' around DB forums as opposed to the recording forums.
    (Dave is more experienced than I, so if we post differently, take his advise first.)
  18. Howdy, BEEF; I'm trying to back away from the recording forums - they quite being fun - and concentrate more on being a bass player.

    In any case, you're right - especially with microphones. the setup that works great for my bass (AEA R84 and Neumann KM84) sounds terrible on Byron House's bass, and what works for him doesn't sound particularly good on Mark W. Winchester's bass, and that's diferent from what works best with Dennis Crouch. And even though I used the same mics for Talkbass forum membee Ike Harris' bass as I do for mine, the placement had to be different. Experimentation is the key to success...
  19. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Hey Dave-

    Thought I heard my name mentioned here! Anxious to hear the latest mix, I'm hearing nice things about it. All the guys are raving about you & the studio. Nice to see Joelton once in a while, too. Re: mics, can't forget the antique on the bottom side, what was the fingerboard one?

  20. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    One thing I've found is that recording gut string bass and steel string bass can require different mics and different placement.

    For gut, I like dynamic mics like the Beyer M88, Sunnheiser 421, EV RE20 or RCA ribbons (if you've got any). I usually will place these between the bridge and f-hole, or right in front of the bridge, but not directly on the f-hole.

    The same mics and positions will work for steel, but I've also had luck with condensers (Neumann, AT, Shure) placed higher, aiming more at the fingerboard and at the player's left hand.

    Also, more and more I find that a single source is better for gut, while with steel you can experiment more with DI and mic or 2 mics. You always have to check for phase cancellation with 2 sources though, and this seems to get even worse with gut.

    Everyone has different approaches for recording bass..

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