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Remic vs. Fishman Full Circle? Classical playing?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Riley Z, May 29, 2019.

  1. Riley Z

    Riley Z

    Nov 27, 2015
    Hello everyone!

    I posted earlier about how to amplify/mic a classical double bass duo (primarily using bow, only two of us with no accompaniment) and I got a lot of responses that were helpful. Feedback is a big concern of mine so we have decided to go the route of not using a microphone, so that we would not have to worry about picking up too much room noise.

    Many pointed us in the direction of the Remic Red (or green). After doing some research they seem like a very good option for our chamber ensemble. That being said they are kinda pricey!

    I have a Fishman Full Circle on my non-orchestral bass, and I generally like how it sounds with the bow for solo/chamber playing. I guess what I'm asking is what would we miss out if we decided to go with Full Circles instead of the Remics? Obviously Remics are a better product for this sort of thing, but really how much better is it? Why?

    Any and all feedback is appreciated! I'm still trying to learn about what I need to learn about. Thanks for the help!
  2. My guess is no one will say a Full Circle or any piezo will sound as good as Remic or any mike bowed. I have tried neither (lost my bow long ago). But piezo might sound "good enough" for you, getting "the message across". Are you playing chamber music in discos? (Sorry, had four glasses of red wine).
  3. A mic sounds a lot more natural than a pickup. The pickup cannot transduce the high frequency content well, it more or less gets lost, often described as air that is missing.
    For amplification you either need an amp with a mic input (and preferably a full 48 volts phantom power that should be switchable) or an external mic preamp (with phantom power too).

    You do not need to buy a Remic to find out the differences between an amplified mic and a pickup. Any cheap condenser or maybe also a better dynamic mic (the you don't need a the phantom power but a higher preamplification that often generates a lot of noise) will do. Do that with two people one playing and one listening in several meters distance.

    The Full Circle might need to be tuned soundwise by turning it a little bit (the whole spectrum lies inside a quarter turn). Also it might sound a bit harsh with the bow. A (double) full parametric equalizer in the effect loop can be set to eliminate a lot of the bow noise (and a bit of the piezo quack).
    Do the two people thing acoustically and amplified. Let the listener change the EQ or let him say how to set it. Try to get as close as possible to the acoustic sound. Write down the setting, then do the same with the mic. Write down the setting too. Then compare the best settings of both by using the written setup instructions. Then decide if it is worth to use a mic.

    Normally a mic is only used for FOH. You only need an amp for yourself if the venue is rather loud, not in a listening kind of concert situation.
    Hoyt and unbrokenchain like this.
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    There is no pickup, that will reproduce the nuances of exposed Arco passages in a chamber ensemble. Double midi is correct, the Remic is expensive, however it does

    what it claims to do, and there are several in the TB classifides as we speak. What you would gain from the Remic's is ease of installation and great sound. If you want to hear various pickups

    I'd reccomend a site called the Pickup Test. There is a fee for using the site, but it's reasonable. As of yet there are no Double Bass tests, but the Cello samples will give you a pretty good idea

    You can compare two different units to each other. Just my take however.
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    The Realist pickup and other body mounted units are superior for Arco than bridge pickups, IME.
    salcott, unbrokenchain and lurk like this.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You may want to try a high-quality omnidirectional lavalier mic. The Audio Technica 803B and Shure MX183 come to mind. Use DoubleMIDI's advice to determine best placement of the mic and any tone-shaping needed in amplification.
  7. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    You're obviously willing to accept some compromise in tone, or you wouldn't be considered a pickup at all. I like the Audiosprockets Tonedexter quite a bit. Not quite a mic sound, but pretty close and much less feedback. There's a long thread about it on this forum if you're interested.
  8. Depends what you are going for. I have a group where I am expected to use the bass bowed creating sound scapes, through effects, crazy effects like a ring modulator and feedbacking delays and yes a digital whammy pedal. I use a BP-100 for that. It can also sound like a baritone sax bowed and that's the sound I am going for.

    The remic red is nice . I have to say that the green is not flat and you are better off with a Full circle or some other pickup if playing loud. Remic would hate me for saying that. For recording the red is good but a good even Chinese condenser is going to sound better. But if you are your own engineer or have to track "live", the remic red is very useful because you get an even sound. Also if you are not crazy about sibilance and the air and bloom of a condenser. That is why some people say it excels in recording. For me I'll have a condenser set far away with the red.

    I use the Red live but have a wind screen over the second element to prevent feedback and sounds better than the green in my experience.
    Hoyt likes this.
  9. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I've been using the Realist copper on both my basses with good results, not as defined pizz as FC but doesn't need a different EQ setting for arco in my experience. Still no match for a mic though.

    It's hard to imagine that you need a lot of stage volume for two double basses.. ? FOH sound with a mic can get pretty loud as long as the stage volume stays low.

    Not classical, but I recently saw a Sam Bush Band show where I watched the first part from out front, and the rest of the show from sidestage. Bass player had a mic/pickup combo from what I could tell. It was a festival, FOH volume was deafening, but standing on the side of the stage I could plainly hear the band members talking to each other without yelling (it can be done :) Stage volume is different from out-front volume is all I'm saying. Pickup is great if you need stage volume, but mic's the way to go for arco and classical in general imo.
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I would think in a Double Bass duo without any other instruments that the Remic Red would be ideal for that application. IME two Double Basses playing concert chamber music through

    Fishman Full Circles would not sound that great. You also might consider the Ehrlund EAP, but with the Ehrlund Pre Amp, you're getting pretty close to the cost of the Remic. I've definitely heard great condensers that would

    sound nice. I have a pair of really inexpensive CM3's from Line Audio that only cost @$150.00 each. I have no idea if they would work live, but it's a possibility. They are really tiny. You

    could buy one and try it out, using the Explore Audio HClamp.
    kkenda11 likes this.
  11. Just my two wooden half pennies, but you could always run a piezo to your own amps behind you and a mic of your choosing to the FOH. Where feedback becomes an issue is when the monitors pointing back at you are too boomy, or you’re running a microphone to your amplifier/cabinet behind you (or in the monitors AND behind you).

    That way you can hear yourself with minimum feedback but the audience gets the natural acoustic tone.

    On the cheap, you’re still going to need a preamp (or amplifier with a sufficient input impedance) so you should factor in the cost of those as well.
  12. Like others have said the Realist Copperhead can get a pretty good arco sound for a piezo pickup. But nothing beats a microphone. For what you're doing you need a microphone. A piezo is only gonna hold you back sonically.
    Reiska, Povl Carstensen and Hoyt like this.
  13. kkenda11

    kkenda11 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    I’m using a Line Audio CM3 (which is now replaced by the CM4) on the Xplore Audio H clamp for live sound and am really liking it so far. Sounds good through the EDB-2 and the clamp stays on my bass all the time now.

    I mix it with a realist lifeline as needed, but usually I’m playing with almost all mic.
    Ric Vice and Hoyt like this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 1, 2021

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