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Mounting microphone under tailpiece

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Wil Davis, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. I thought I'd try moving the mic back from the bridge (easier to set up) and here's what I came up with. It will be interesting to hear how it compares with the mic being right under the bridge.

    - Wil

    Attached Files:

  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Interesting. Have you tradiionally used a mic instead of a pickup/preamp Wil?
  3. I've used mics on the bass, for recording both in a studio and live (where the main problem seems to be feedback). I've also used mics on stands for both recording and live, but there's always the problem of the player moving away from the "sweet-spot", especially when using a hypercardioid mic - that, and the extra gear to carry tends to make me take the easy way out, and leave the mic at home. The foam block is really easy to take on and off and I think I'm going to use this wherever I can - although I still have the Fishman FC for those occasions where I need extra volume. As I said before, you can't beat the mic for both arco & pizz.


    - Wil
  4. Looks interesting! So, you bought a Neumann K185, Will? Good choice, if I may say so myself!

  5. Yup - I've a pair of 184s - they're great for most things, but the 185 is much less prone to feedback when used with the bass - and as I said above, a hyper. on a stand is a very small target for a moving bass… Thanks for the tip, BTW ;)

    - Wil
  6. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    this is not related to the topic, but your bass has some real nice trim around the edges, and the wood and finish itself looks real sharp. :)
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just checking in - I wanna hear how this turns out. Nice mounting method, BTW. I should have thought of that.
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    There's a certain sound company that services many bluegrass festivals in the SE US, and that setup is what he uses to mic bass players who don't have a pickup. He doesn't use anything nearly as nice as a Neumann, though...usually something smaller, but I've heard even SM57s sound pretty decent like this.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    At Cleopatra's here in NYC, they have in-house the remanants of what could have been an SM58. What a lot of guys do is un plug it, stick it through the after-string between the D and A and plug it back in so that it's aimed roughly right between the feet of the bridge and about a 45 deg angle. Works pretty well and is a helluva lot better than dragging an amp on the subway (to a room that sounds like butt anyhow :))
  10. The first pic of my original post shows two foam blocks, the second of which has the hole cut at a slight angle (much less than 45º - you can see this from the pic) and that's the one I'm currently using.

    - Wil
  11. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The technique I described only works with a mic that has a ball end and a body that's wide enough to wedge into the strings. I guess I could have mentioned that before...
  12. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I use a Shure Beta 98 HC that clips to the bridge for recording. That keeps it in position no matter what, and gives me a few more options on placement. Your Neumann is probably a way better sounding mic, but this one is not bad by any means. Here's a picture of the mic:
  13. Interesting looking arrangement - I've seen such a device used on horns, but I think I'd be worried about loading up the bridge. I wonder how much the clip thingy acts like a mute? It looks too solid to me. I had similar thoughts about the rubber-band arrangement (see threads passim) - although the rubber-bands do a great job of decoupling the mass of the mic and cable from the bridge. I have a DPA 4061 which is tiny, and can be put just about anywhere without loading it up with extra mass - it also has a very light cable, but the big disadvantage is that it's only available as an omni. I can use it in a controlled setting (i.e. studio) or at a very quiet live performance, but anything which requires volume, forget it!

    I'd also considered the damping effect of the foam block on the tailpiece, which is one of the reasons my second attempt is slightly tapered, so that it isn't quite such a tight fit.

    - Wil
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    And so....how'd it work?
    What were the circumstances of use? Big venue, small venue...did you run this into an amp, or the pa? Did you loop it back into stage monitors for you and the band to hear?
    This, or variations of it, is how I've seen most 'grassers and xxxx-a-billy players around here approach this...almost invariably they're using an sm57...
  15. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I just noticed my earier post said I use it for recording. I use it for live sound too.

    The mic is ultra light and the impact on the sound from being clipped on the bridge is very minor. If you were playing alone in a room, you may hear a difference. Amplified with other musicians, I don't think you would. For that tradeoff, you are able to move freely with the mic securely in place.

    The sound works great for me. As always, mic placement is everything. I have not yet encountered any downside. Recently, I played an outdoor gig with a huge sound system and loud monitors and had no problem. I also played a similar show in a large theatre, again no issues. On my New Year's gig, it seemed boomier than usual, but that was a smaller room. I didn't really need the mic except that being New Year's Eve, the large drunken crowd was louder than usual.

    In a nutshell, I only use it when there is a PA taking my sound to the house. I don't trust a soundman to EQ a direct signal from the pick-up. I don't need a lot in the monitor because I have my pick-up / amp near me, and I keep plenty of headroom there with my SWR SM900 and Bergantino cabs.
    Remeber, it's a condenser, so you'll need phantom power.