1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The best Mic for Bass amp ?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Bestushew, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Bestushew


    Oct 24, 2012

    I want to ask you which microphone is the best for Bass guitar's amp. I am looking something about 100$-150$.

    So far I heard about Audio-Technica MB2K and 2x more expensive Shure SM57 (but not sure if they are good for bass).

    If you got any ideas, experience with mics please post!

    Thank you. :bassist:
  2. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    For that amount of money your much better off with a good di. I really like a fet 47 on a bass cab, but you don't wanna know what that would cost.
  3. Bestushew


    Oct 24, 2012
    Oh, I never thought about some D.I. could you recommend something from it ? :D

    And Will I be able to record without any micro, just that DI ?

    one time I connected m bass with PC without any amp. Was kinda good but quality of sound a bit ******.

    Does it work same way with DI but you have good quality of sound ?

    Thank you. :)
  4. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
  5. You should go down to your local music store and look at preamp/DI boxes. That way you can control your sound to the board. They *at the mixer* SHOULD only adjust levels IMO.

    Some popular ones are Sansamp, Sadowsky, Ken Smith. I personally have a Sadowsky and love it, I use it for recording, on gigs I don't want to bring my amp or I'm playing my upright bass live. I think Sansamp has the biggest user base from what I see. But there are many out there and you need to find the one for you.

    All my studio time on bass they won't let me play through an amp, only DI. I'm sure that is just my experience but yes you can record with only a DI.

    Direct signal without any level controls can sound bad like you found on your PC.
  6. Generally with a DI you cut out your amp and cab, though you can use the DI out from the amp to get the preamp colouring (there are also some post-power section DIs too).

    They are easy to use and may or may not be to your taste.

    The other upside with DIs is that you don't need to worry about background noise! Plus you can always use software modelling to have an extra bit of control over the cleaner input if you want a bit extra colouring.

    SM57s are nice, but playing with LDCs or ribbon mics can also be fun to toy with. The joy of recording is that you have so many options to tailor the final product. To throw another spanner in the works, nothing wrong with a bit of mixing either. SM57+DI can give a really nice result, plus its robust enough to use live.
  7. I wouldn't say they should only control the level, sansamps certainly dont only adjust the level!
  8. I ment the people on the sound board should only adjust your levels. I have a long history of people messing with the sound I want to have from the board. Everything from someone figuring "it is a bass, so I'll cut all freq besides bass" to sound guys figuring I need delay, echo and distortion because they like that, I tell them just play with the slider and stay off the EQ/EFX.

    I wasn't clear with that.
  9. Ah, sorry, my bad!

    I do agree, some soundmen can have a habit of dialing in the suck!
  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If I'm mic'ing a cab, I like an RE20 or an SM7 back about 3' from the cab mixed and phase aligned with a DI track.

    I've used a U87, but only liked that with the mic about 5' back and in the context of something jazzy. I would not use it in a pop or rock context.

    Since you're concerned with the cost of an SM57, your best bet will be a cheap DI, or even cheaper would be plugging direct to your interface and tweaking everything in post. It won't sound like a mic'd cab, but it will sound better than a super cheap mic.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My favorite mics:

    EV RE20
    Heil PR40
    Sennheiser MD421
    Beyer M88

    Having said that, I switched to a REDDI earlier this year and I really don't miss the mic at all. But that's a serious $700 tube DI that sounds like a B-15 and not some $100 SS box that sounds like a SS amp. Had I not gotten the REDDI, no doubt I'd still be micing.
  12. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I've always favored running direct; it's easier to get a solid, clean bass tone that can be altered later if necessary. A mic certainly does give a more "open" and realistic sound, but there are mic'ing techniques that come into play as well - I could borrow a $3500 mic for the job, and the bass sound could still suck if I don't know where and how to place it (as well as how to condition the room, where to place the amp, etc.) For home recordings, direct is a better option for most.

    I've had a SansAmp for years. Rock solid, used on several studio sessions. Always a go-to.

    Sad to say, the Behringer knock-off of the SansAmp actually does a pretty good job too, for a lot less money (and build quality - but if you're very cost-conscious, it will do a decent job for cheap).

    If you can get a used Bass POD on the cheap, that's a good option as well.

    Finally, without knowing what you're recording into, you may find that a simple DI and a software emulator will do the trick - there are light versions of Native Instruments Guitar Rig and other similar software that simplify getting a good sound, if your computer can handle it.
  13. hazmatt


    Jun 3, 2012
    san diego
    don't over crank the bass on your amp, and an sm57 will be fine. you can find a used one for up to half off new price. they are built like a tank and will take all kinds of abuse, so a used one should still last for your music career with proper feeding and care. versatile enough to record other instruments/voices too.
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I would consider not cranking your low end a good practice for recording in general, but not necessarily a concern with the SM57. The combination of a fairly high roll off of the low end, and a fairly high dynamic range make it a good mic choice for sources that are really loud or have a ton of unwanted low end energy. That mic bad always been more of a concern on the preamp end of things rather than the mic itself with respect to low end and high volume.
  15. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Owner of seven basses - eligible for 44 TB Clubs Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Another option is a DI and/or preamp plus using modeling software such as Amplitube. You can easily model a wide variety of cabinets, mics, rooms, and mic positions to add whatever you might miss with a pure DI signal. You can do all the modeling later during mixdown if you want, and blend it with the DI track to taste.

    You can use modeling software to model just the cab, room, and mic if you want, or you can experiment with a multitude of amps as well - either when you track or anytime afterward.

    The best reason to use a real mic is if you really love the sound of your cabinet. But there is a reason why most studios have a wide assortment of mics on hand. The ability to try a number of different things is very powerful. Even then, half the time people end up loving their DI sound anyway and just stick with that.
  16. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you really like you cab, you can always take a Impulse Response of it and use that in your modeling software. Most IR's are done with reference Mics, the same one's you use for spectrum analysis

  17. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Heil PR40. That is the one I would select. I did quite a bit of research on mics for bass about a year ago. The Heil PR40 stood out as the winner, IMO.

    The three other mics that JimmyM listed in post #11 are good ones too. Can't go wrong with any of those!

    Whatever you do, don't let anyone talk you into believing that a mic that's good for kick drum is also good for bass. If you study the frequency response plots of kick drum mics, you'll know why they are not good mics for bass cabs.

  18. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    Different mics are going to give you pretty drastically different sounds. I've lately preferred a tube condenser, cause it just gets this smooth top and fat bottom that a dynamic doesn't give me. If it's a lot of picking, faster stuff, more midrange dirt, a dynamic like a Sennheiser 421 might give you the sound you're looking for.
  19. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    Also, don't discount kick drum mics on bass cabs! A Shure Beta 52 has been one of my favorite bass cab mics.
  20. Tuned


    Dec 6, 2007
    For fretted bass I use my Ampeg SVP-CL direct, for fretless I use my BSS AR112 direct. I think of bass cabs as things that give the bassist what they need to play, which isn't necessarily the tone to be projected to the venue or the recording.