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Poor Man's Mic Setup - SM-57 & Four Elastics

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Sam Sherry, Oct 28, 2008.


  1. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Some folks asked about my "pennies on the dollar" mic setup. Here you go:

    The Shure SM-57 works well because it's ubiquitous, cheap, incredibly sturdy, cheap and probably the single most "known quantity" for soundmen in the world. And it's cheap too. Also, it's the perfect shape for running this particular dodge as you can see.

    Start by sticking two rubber bands around the body of the mic. Lift the butt up through the afterlength of the A and D strings. Wrap one elastic out around the G string and over the butt of the mic. Wrap the other elastic around the E string and over the butt of the mic.
     

    Attached Files:

    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Now get two rubber bands ready to wrap around the head of the mic, which will end up between the bridge legs.

    Wrap the rubber band around one bridge leg and back over the head of the mic. The mic will pull toward that bridge leg. Don't sweat it.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Now wrap the other band around the other bridge leg and back around the head of the mic. You will be able to adjust the height, angle and centering of the mic so that the head floats in a rubber-band shock-mount -- it will not be touching the bridge or the top.

    This system does not provide the flexibility of the AMT setup -- there's exactly one location you can put it. It does not provide the refined sound of a fine German masterwork microphone.

    But it sure (sorry -- no pun intended) does sound like you have a microphone on your bass. It is sturdy -- you can jump around like a wildman and it ain't gonna move. It is silent, noise-wise. It rejects other instruments surprisingly well. Best yet, even though it's hyper-close-miced there is noticeable "air" and it sounds good either mixed with a piezo or sent straight to front-of-house.

    Bottom line: About 85% of the sonic result of a spiffier setup for about 15-25% of the price. If you have been wondering whether a microphone would work for you this is a fine, affordable way to find out, and if you want to move up later you'll always find a use or a market for a 57.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. bribass

    bribass

    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    Simple and ingenius. Should work for other mic types as well, I would think.

    Thanks Sam

    BG
     
  5. Sam, that's very clever. Thanks for posting.

    It's interesting to note that Wally Heider, who made many legendary live jazz recordings on the West Coast in the 60's and 70's, used SM-57's and similar Shure dynamic mics extensively. I talked to one of Wally's engineers from that era on several occasions, and he told me they found SM-57's worked better and were easier to use than many other more expensive mics. The SM-57 is ubiquitous for good reasons.
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    An SM 58 placed between the A and D strings, resting on the tailpiece and angled up can work well, too. I'm not crazy about adding the extra weight to the bass though...
     
  7. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    Sam Sherry, YOU are the man.
     
    John Chambliss likes this.
  8. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
  9. Bass

    Bass

    Nov 10, 2003
    Canada
    Brilliant! Thanks for posting this.
     
  10. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    This is good, Sam. Thank-you. I'll try it!

    Someone else here had a clever way of converting a Fishman output jack clip to hold a regular threaded mic clip in the D and G after lengths. I haven't been able to find the thread, maybe it's been removed by the OP.
     
  11. bassist14

    bassist14

    Oct 17, 2005
    Germany
    do you mean this one?
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=433543 bridge%20clamp4.
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    The Rubber Band Man. Just wait till he starts to jam....
     
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Hand me down my walkin' cane
    Hand me down my hat

    **** I love the Spinners....
     
  14. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    I love the Spinners too! My wife has a big rubber band that she caught when the fellas tossed it out into the audience while doing "Rubber Band Man".
     
  15. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Brilliant.
     
  16. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    .......You've never heard a sound like the Rubberband Man.....guaranteed to blow your mind......

    James Jamerson did use to get ants to dance to his rubberband and stick in the ground, at least according to the Motown folklore. Bright Moments!
     
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Yeah... another thread successfully derailed... :oops:

    Damn... that's way too cool. I'm so glad that I grew up in the time of soul music in the 60's/70's. Imagine what that was like for me, listening to my AM radio, WLS outta Chicago, a little puny white dude in northern Wisconsin. I did not have a lot of friends who shared my musical tastes. No regrets.

    If you don't dig it, blood, watch it 'til the end, you'll get it. Rat own!! ::cool:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce8nfWyX7P4
     
  18. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I still remember my brother and I standing patiently in line around '76 outside the Peaches record store waiting to buy the new Earth Wind and Fire record that was released that morning. We rode away on our bicycles. The clerks even thought we were nuts.
     
  19. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    That **** is the best!
     
  20. Gornick

    Gornick

    Jun 23, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    That is an uplifter right there!!!!! yes, indeed I do love the 70´s! It´s funny trying to explain to younger folks how great the 70´s were, there is no doubt about it. I have used this song to demonstrate how great they were, though I am not sure they were convinced. We were able to impeach presidents back then, soooooo...

    ahhhh... Marcus Maybe I am wrong here and this is probably covered elsewhere, but the SM57 is more unidirectional than the 58, right? I use the 58 at times wrapped in a towel and stuck between the tailpiece. I imagine this might cut quite a bit of the drums out of the mike's pickup mix, especially if pointed straight at the top.

    You using a pre-amp before going to the amp? or is this for recording?

    I think Chis Fitz posted a similar setup for a Beta something or other... wonder how they compare.