need help!!! few questions about acoustic bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmasta05, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. bassmasta05

    bassmasta05 Guest

    Jun 14, 2006

    I've been playing bass for around 3 and a half years and Ive been writing a lot of songs lately, like light rock kind of stuff. I want to record myself and put videos online, but my video camera doesnt record electric bass to well... its just too distorted.

    My hopes to solve this problem would be to purchase an acoustic bass guitar and sing/play/record videos with that. Do you think a video camera would be able to record an acoustic bass better? or will it still be really distorted? My sister can record herself playing on her acoustic guitar and the quality is really good... can I count on the quality being good with an acoustic bass?

    and finally, If I were to purchase an acoustic bass, could any of you recommend me a good, affordable(less than $500, preferably $200-300) acoustic bass? I literally know nothing about acoustic bass guitars so any advice you guys can give me would be great... I mainy just want something to mess around with, but still sound good ;)

    am I better off learning acoustic guitar instead for what I want to do? (write, record songs on video) Id rather stick with bass, but just give me some advice :meh:


    1. Do you think if I were to record videos of me playing acoustic bass guitar(and singing) that the quality would be good?

    2. Could you guys recommend any affordable but still good acoustic basses? (less than 500, preferably 200-300)

    3. Am I better off learning regular acoustic guitar? Id rather not.. I hope recording an acoustic bass guitar with a video camera is possible, plus, Ive always wanted an acoustic bass :)

  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Here's feedback from someone with 20+ years of professional video production experience....

    A video camera is well named - it's for VIDEO, not audio.

    The microphones built into consumer and prosumer video cameras are adequate at best - they are not designed or intended to capture high quality sound, and they do not. All they do is capture ambient sound around the camcorder. They do a decent job of this, but quality audio - it ain't. And it ain't gonna be.

    However, assuming that you have a digital camcorder, the audio data capability of the camera is much better than the quality of the audio its mike can gather.

    If you want decent sound on that camera, you need a quality external mike that is placed in an acoustically favorable position relative to the sound source - whether it's a single instrument or a complete band.

    If you're playing amplified, you probably don't even need stereo or a condenser mike - a single decent dynamic mike can be connected to the camcorder's audio input and you will get much better audio than the built-in mike will capture.

    Even better, get a decent stereo mike setup - which can be two monaural mikes connected appropriately - and use it, provided that you have a stereo mike input on the camcorder. I personally prefer cardioid mikes (do an internet search for the term) for most applications, since I usually want to orient the mike such that I reject sounds at 180 degrees from the sound source. I do NOT like Omnidirectional mikes and I seldom use them.

    If you're going to sing and play bass, that means you need TWO mikes: one close-miking the bass (perhaps 6 inches away) and one for your voice. There really are no other options - one mike cannot capture the sound of both, unless you run both through an amplifier and mike the output of the amplifier.

    I'll let others who are more familiar with miking musical performances comment - that's not my strong suit. I personally think Audio-Technica mikes provide a lot of bang for the buck, but you're also getting into preferences about frequency response - a vocal mike isn't necessarily good for bass or for full-band recording because of its frequency response characteristics. Dynamic (non-battery powered) mikes are less expensive, and I consider them to be more rugged and durable, but they're not as sensitive as condenser (battery-powered) mikes.

    There's a complete online book you might read, titled Recording Music on Location found within Google books at:,M1

    If you want to consider buying an Acoustic/Electic bass (not an upright) there are a number of discussion threads here on TB you can search for.