Putting a condenser mic on a solidbody bass guitar for an "acoustic" sound

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by HaVIC5, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I'm not sure if anybody here has messed around with this technique, but I've been doing for a year or two now with some pretty decent results. Basically, you blend the acoustic condenser mic sound with the pickups for that "acoustic bass guitar" sound if you need it in recording situations. It's tricky, and not perfect, but definitely works in a pinch if you want to get that sort of sound.

    Anybody try something like this?
    Pentatonic and cadeallen like this.
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I've never tried it. My solution was to buy an electric upright and a hollowbody bass guitar :p

    I could see it working, but the tolerance for proximity to the mic capsule would be really tight due to the low SPLs. If I were going to do this in any serious capacity I would try to DIY a solution involving a large suction cup, or other means of affixing the mic to the bass, and might even find a way to do it on the back of the instrument which, to my ears, is the more resonant sound source.
  3. LowEndWooly


    Sep 3, 2013
    Seems like a bad idea just thinking about it, but I've never tried or heard of someone trying it.
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I've tried it but it just picks up so much finger noise. Maybe with Flats and a very light touch?
    mbelue likes this.
  5. cadeallen


    Sep 28, 2015
    Of course my phone doesn't have a huge capsule, but I found just fiddling with it acoustically the mic would pick up only the attack, and none of the note content or sustain. I think lots of gain and a large capsule would solve this, but I'm still not sure that you'd want to depend on it 100%. Really cool video, anyways!
  6. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Ever tape a dynamic mic capsule to to body of a solidbody, direct coupled. Nice sound to blend with the DI feed. Have to play rather evenly though, big digs can be buzzy
  7. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Fun and well made video! I might try this trick sometime, but I guess it won't be often.
    cadeallen likes this.
  8. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Yes, with either an SM81 or SM80. My fretless Wishbass has an interesting acoustic tone, but getting consistent bass response is tricky, as small movements shift the response. The omni is better in that regard, due to lack of proximity effect, so then it's mostly a slight volume change.

  9. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Sounds an awful lot like finger noise to me. I'm sure with enough time spent balancing technique between what sounds good via the pickup and what sounds good via the mic you could get some very dynamic tone combinations.
    Interesting idea. I'd probably want the bass secured to a stand for this.
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