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Recording Double Bass - Avalon/Millenium Preamps

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by The Jazz Lawyer, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. The Jazz Lawyer

    The Jazz Lawyer Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Northern NJ
    I'm working on what I'm hoping will be a good demo recording of my double bass. I've been fooling around with a lot of gear and am beginning to come to the conclusion that a good microphone preamp will give me that final professional touch I am looking for (otherwise stated as good sound stage, detail, woody warmth, and presence).

    First, I am recording direct to hard disk using Pro Tools.

    For microphones I am down to: Audix cx111 studio large condenser mic and the AMT bass mic (condenser). I tried my Realist pickup but that just didn't cut if for recording)

    I have experimented with various mic preamps such as those that are onboard some gear I alread own such as my Mackie mixer, the computer's D/A, other small D/As, an Aguilar direct box, an Aguilar DB680 preamp, even the usual list of bass specific Direct Boxes we all have tried. Now, I want to look into a good professional preamp such as the Millenium mic preamp or the Avalon mic preamps (they make tube and FET models).

    I have heard alot about these pieces of equipment but would like to hear from a double bassist who has experimented with making his/her own recording using this type of similar gear. These are expensive pieces ($2000 +/-) and I want to be sure I have good advise before I spring for some good money. Of course all of the stores that sell these items say "bring your bass in and try it in the store" but it just isn't practical to bring in the bass, my microphone, and a laptop and all the associated extra boxes. Wouldn't it be nice if the store would say "here's the Avalon and the Millenium, take them home for a couple of weeks and let us know....."

    any help is appreciated.

  2. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    Well it seems you've crossed over into the world of high fidelity. Wheather it's for an instrument or a microphone the preamplifier becomes a very important component in the chain. What was thought of as an expensive preamp for stage use is mearly an expensive effects box in the recording chain. The microphone being used may have a great deal of bearing as to what preamp should be used.

    My advise would be to try and contact a top recording engineer such as Jim Anderson who recorded Patricia Barber at the Chicago Recording Company. The recording of Michael Arnopol's bass is one of the best ever using John Hardy preamplifiers. Another very fine recording of Brian Bromberg's "Wood" and "Jaco" who may be able to help you directly via email at A440musicgroup.com. While I'm sure there are many here who've been in the studio who may some good advise, the techniques and the equipment used in the recordings I mentioned have produced a new level of sonic realism in recording the double bass I find exciting. Wheather your looking to go this far is up to you but it can't hurt to ask the pro's.

    I have used both the Avalon and the Millenia in stage environments (Whappo Grande/Carver ZR amp) as instrument (Electric Bass) preamps and the Millenia is much more flexible. Sonicly, they're both so good you won't regret spending the long green on either one. The build quality justifies the cost of these units.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if you look on your newsstand, there might still be the BP issue on bass gear. they do a reprint of Terry B's article on a few hi-end preamps.

    as for the millennia, Terry comments that its the MOST transparent thing he's ever plugged into. practically changed him. :eek:

    btw, try this thread:


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