mics for upright bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Robert Strickland, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Looking to mic my upright bass for gigs to get a more natural sound. I like a warm, airy sound with some bloom in the low end.

    Suggestions on mics?
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Rope Puller,

    For convenience and tone the DPA 4099 B is a great microphone, however it's $559.00 and it needs a phantom power supply. Personally, I only use it for FOH sending it to the P.A. It has great feedback suppression, provided you not standing next to your amp. In that situation, there aren't any microphones that won't eventually feed back.

    If your preference is mic only, the solution seems to be, using the DPA in conjunction with a QSC K10 (or K8) and mounting it on a stand so it's "out of the line of fire" and easier to hear. This is just one possibility, other players have used Audio Techica Mics and even Shure SM 58's. Unfortunately, the QSC, Preamp, DPA setup is over a grand. For me, it's a whole lot easier to use the Ehrlund Pickup and Pre Amp.

  3. I'm happy with my old ATM 35 which I got used a few weeks ago, but haven't used it in a live group situation yet.

    I would use it for PA, perhaps live recording or stage amplification in louder acoustic (means mostly unamplified) bands, but not for amplified bands (i.e. with medium to loud electric guitar) where is might feedback.
    I heard at least one of the newer ATM (350 and 35 Pro) is not as good as the old one, but both are cheaper than the DPA.

    I ordered a DPA holder for the bass, hoping I can use it with the ATM 35, but found that I need to put a (metal) clamp over the goose neck holder to enhance the pressure on the goose neck and avoid rotation.
    The holder fits even fine into my 5-string. Kind of poor man's DPA...

  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I like my Sennheisser MD409-U.
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    When I used a Fishman Bass Blender. I bought one of the early ATM 35's. I liked the mic, but I couldn't find a suitable way to mount it on to the bass. As I remember, it was fairly prone to feedback through an amplifier, and as I wasn't playing through house systems at the time, it wasn't loud enough to replace a pickup.

    I've never heard the new ones, but the 350 is a lot less expensive mic. I guess they just made a less sensitive version of the original mic, because they look the same visually.

    You're absolutely correct about the prices the 350 is @$180.00, and 35 pro is $280.00, while the DPA 4099 B is
    $550.0. Since none of those mic's are really meant to be used with a bass amp, it makes sense to start out with the more affordable ones.

  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Rope Puller,
    Since the DPA 4099's hit the marked, quite a few AMT SB25's have hit the used market. I've seen several for almost half their original price. If you're looking for a mic that you can use through an amp, and send to the house,the AMT's do that pretty well.
    The tailpiece mounting system, removable cable, and pre amp construction are professional grade. The design of the DPA isn't as sturdy, nor is it as easy to repair.
  7. Hi Ric,

    I should take a photo of mine (perhaps in a few days). I only had it that way about a week, so I cannot tell you much about real use that way. The ATM 35's goose neck is a bit short, so there is more or less one position to use it (or I need a different goose neck for it).
    I used a clamp for the DPA BC 4099 bass holder (the BC 4099 is made of rubber, I paid about 23 Euro for it) to be able to remove the mic for use with other instruments in case I want to use it there. For the clamp I used a rest of a sheet of 1mm aluminium, cut and folded twice to a clamp. I thought I might use some office accessory, but did't find one at home, so I went the DIY route.

    BTW, I also used the AMT 35 clamped to the lower bass side f-hole before I ordered the BC4099. I just didn't like that the finish might be damaged by the clamp (and also the body air resonance frequency gets detuned a bit that way). DIfferent position but not bad either. (It was close to the position many people put the Ehrlund bass pickup.)

    I have also seen others screwing a (thin) piece of metal on the underside of the tailpiece. Doesn't interfere with the underlengths, but also doesn't look that nice. Might also be a bit dangerous.

    That's true, but don't expect any mic to do that. The best you can do is get several different mics for tryout, compare them and take the one which feeds back last (or none of them).

    I'm pretty sure I read somewhere in a DB forum (maybe here) that the cheaper of the newer ATMs is not as good as the more expensive one. I think for sound/sensitivity but also for feedback resistance, but I'm not sure. I think a search on this forum for 350 and 35Pro might help.

    The mic's used for recording are also not made for a bass. It doesn't matter. I have the impression that in the nearfield use the bass frequencies are too loud on any microphone, getting a boomy sound. Some of these mics (i.e. ATM 35) have a high pass filter that could be switched in. Maybe a little bit too high for double bass but at least useable for stage amplification, I think. The PA could reduce the bass on the mixer, the musician on his main amp or preamp. A FDeck HPFPre might be good as high pass too.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I mount mine on a bridge adjuster wheel pointed at the top between the bridge feet. Works really well live and in the studio.
  9. I tried that because I have seen you did this, but since my bridge is rather thick, it didn't hold very well. May work for others.
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Are you sure you have large diameter wheels? Mine are around 35mm.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    You know, when I had the ATM 35 I never once thought to mount it to the adjusters. As I have the DPA now, it's really easy to take it on an off if I need to go into the house. It reaches right to that sweet spot you mentioned between the bridge feet. Since most of the gigs I do are local the Ehrlune pickup works exceptionally well. Thanks

  12. @ Eric Hochberg:
    My old brass adjusters are 30mm the First Circle are 35mm. Maybe I tried it with the old brass ones. I bought the ATM 35 together with the First Circle used, so I might have tried the ATM 35 first.
    But even with the First Circle I'm not completly happy. May work in most cases, but I'm a little bit happier with the DPA BC 4099 and the clamp.

    Some photos of the ATM 35 with the DPA BC 4099 holder (and the clamp I made):

    Attached Files:

  13. And some more pictures putting the ATM 35 + DPA BC 4099 on my bass, one of them with the holder close to the tailpiece one of them a bit higher on the afterlength:
    (I clip the cable with the ATM clamp to avoid moving the microphone when pulling at the cable by accident. But after use I remove the cable from the clamp to avoid permanent deformation of the cable.)

    Attached Files:

  14. ivanbass


    Oct 15, 2006
    Pamplona (Spain)
    There´s no doubt that the H-Clamp has opened new chances for mic.ing the double bass. Since then, I´ve played with some dynamics as Beyer M201 (good off axis) and shure 58. Now I´m playing live with the Sennheiser 421, that has a very good feature: a 5 position bass roll. In some big stages I´m able to play with full bass, but in small bars I usually cut 1 or 2 possitions. Have someone checked the beyer m88? Any other dynamic?
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I like it!
  16. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I liked that mic between the bridge feet. However, as much as I liked it at home and the occasional quiet gig it wasn't something I was committed to messing with so I sold it.
  17. I bought the mic mainly to have some good sound for the PA, not for me and probably also for recording to be able to move the bass a bit while playing. (It was cheap enough to sell it for the same price if I don't like or need it.)
    For quiet gigs where I just need a little bit more volume and no PA it should work. Speaker on a stand close to ear level to get it away from the bass body might also help avoiding feedback.

    The ATM 35 was much more feedback resistant than the Oktava MK012 capacitor mic with the amp, but the setup was not optimal (using a Behringer Shark feedback destroyer as a mic preamp). I think I read somewhere that the DPA has a better sound but the ATM35 was more feedback resistant. Must have been on talkbass or the german GeBa-online double bass forum.

    On stage I need to hear myself (mids and high for intonation) and supply some sound for the other musicians. To avoid feedback on stage I prefer a feedback resistant pickup. Don't like the bridge wing pickup if I bow, so currently I can choose between Full Circle or Shadow NFX (bridge foot). If it still feeds back on stage I need to switch to my Clevinger solid body EUB, but at this volume level it is no longer an acoustic sounding band...

    The Ehrlund would have been in between the mic and the pickup, but not enough for all situations, I'm afraid. So I might come back to it if I feel I might need it. Currently not, saving some money.
  18. jazzbassman2012


    Apr 30, 2012
    I've got AMT SP25B mic for sale if anyone interested. Based in the UK.
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Jazz Bass Man,
    I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post a for sale item outside the the For Sale threads in the Double bass classifieds. You should check with the thread moderator.

  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Double MIDI
    That is an interesting way to use the DPA Bass mount with the ATM 35. Unfortunately, the target area I need to reach on my bass inside the feet above the plane of the bridge, so I don't think the ATM's shorter goose neck will reach that far on my particular instrument. Your rig certainly a lot more affordable.

    I couldn't believe how expensive the 4099 B's rubber mount was, as I was an early adopter and they only had the violin and guitar mount when I purchased the mic. :eek:

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