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vote a microphone

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by tito mangialajo, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. tito mangialajo

    tito mangialajo

    Feb 1, 2006
    hi everybodys,
    I wish to add a microphone into the signal chain of my doublebass for live amplification. actually I have obligato strings with G oliv and I'm satisfied of my acoustic sound. I use an Underwood pick-up into a Solstice and an old GK mb200.good enough, but I wish a more natural acoustic sound (my bass but louder), especially in small combo (piano or gutiar trio, duo db-voice, quartet and with quiet drummers).
    after reading many many posts I'm still confused. I can't invest money in many trials, and i prefer to spend money in a "winning horse".
    can you suggest me a solution? what mic? (amt, akg, neumann km 184 or 185, oktavia, sd system, atm 35,... on a stand or on tha directly on the bass...)
    I wish mix both signals (mic an underwood) with the Solstice, that is a great piece of gear.
    Please, vote a mic for live situation, especially if you have tha same gear of mine and is passed in the same troubles.
    thankyou, tito.
  2. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    My first recommendation would be to see if you can try a different amp, like an AI combo. The GK is an old standard, but it is a very non-HiFi amp.
  3. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    tito, I'm sure you've already read lots of positive reviews of the AMT for live use. In my case I think I am getting good results using a Solstice to blend an AMT mic with a Rev SOLO pickup into an EA Wizzy combo.

    The DB sound I strive for when amplified is "natural" (of course), and is probably best described as "old school." Think of Ray Brown with the Oscar Peterson Trio on We Get Requests or Night Train, or virtually anything with John Clayton on it.

    I have used the K&K Golden Trinity mic too, but I like the AMT better. I don't have any experience with the Neumanns (I wish!), or the GK amp.
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I've never been happy with the sound of a mic through an amp. I've never used a mic preamp, so maybe that would change my mind. If I can't do the gig acoustically and if there's gonna be even a crappy PA, I put my mic (Sennheisser MD409) through that. I also tend to move around some when I play, plus I like the sound when the mic is in between the bridge feet, so I vote for having the mic on the bass and not a stand in front. I wrap foam around the mic and that holds it in the arch between the bridge feet.
  5. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    Adding a mic takes some time to find what works for you, but worth the effort in my opinion.

    Ed's point is correct about moving around, having a mic on the bass has its advantages. I sit, so I don't move around - and I've found dynamic mics on a stand more to my liking. Right now I use a Beyer M88, and I am currently waiting on an EV RE20 to be delivered. (I record alot so I don't mind having a bunch of good mics).

    If you get a condenser, make it a hyper-cardioid patten. A dynamic will help reject bleed as well. I think getting your amp off the floor will help a lot too.

    At the risk of angering some loyal users, I am going to suggest that the AMT bass mic is just a small condenser with a factory-set EQ filter that dials out the frequencies typically not associated with bass. It rolls off the highs starting around 6khz*. Other than that, it's just a small hyper-cardioid mic. I really think that you can achieve the same results with just about any decent mic and an EQ for a lot less money. Maybe I'm wrong - I have not tried it. :bag: If you move around a lot, maybe it's worth the money for the mounting system they have.

  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Hey Larry, you might be absolutely right. I dunno. I have only tried the AMT and the Golden Trinity. It sounds like you have much more experience with recording and with a much wider variety of mics than I do. Points well taken. And thanks.

    I have to admit though, my bandmates were totally mesmerized by the little red light in the AMT that indicates it is on. :)
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I can' speak for the exact frequency points, but after speaking with Marty on the phone, that's exactly what it is. As my wife is fond of saying, "what you're paying for there is the convenience"... of having a SD hypercardiod condenser with a mounting system and preamp with preset EQ that are tailor made for your instrument. Sure, you could put together your own system, but you'd have to put in the time in "R&D" to find out what works and then refine it until it was usable. There's nothing terribly special or magic about the AMT other than the fact that this has all been done beforehand by people who know what they are doing, which allows you to just plug and play. :)
  8. Basshole

    Basshole Inactive

    Jan 28, 2005
    I'll put in another good word for the EV RE-20

    It's my "desert island" mic.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    What the hell would you need a mic on a desert island for?
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Obviously, you've never been stranded on a desert island. :eyebrow: :D
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    "Hey good-lookin', we'll be back to pick YOU up later!"
  12. Basshole

    Basshole Inactive

    Jan 28, 2005
    Aha...but that's just it.

    If I was going to an island, and someone told me I could bring only ONE mic, I'd bring that one.

    That said, I haven't the foggiest idea what use I'd ever have for the darned thing, but rest assured, if a use should ever creep up, I'm fairly confident that the RE-20 would handle it with considereable aplomb, thus it being my choice for "desert island" status mic.

    The real question here is "what one could use a DB on a desert island for?", and I'd have to say "boat"...in which case, you won't need to mic it anyway.
  13. vier-personen


    Apr 10, 2006
    I use a Neumann Km184 between the bridge feet when there is a good pa or the concert is being recorded. This is the sound that comes the closest to what I hear from my bass when I play unamplified, both arco and pizz. While in a studio one may choose to record the bass with a mic on a stand and 1m away, this is not an option onstage, too much of the other instruments will get into the mic and I also like to move around.
    I have used an old Schertler pickup for a long time. This sound was very mid-y, with a hard attack and strange timing (I think the sound came faster from the amp than I would have heard it unamplified) and I was never happy with it. I never cared to try another pickup on my bass, because I from what I heard on other basses this would only mean a little improvement.
    A good compromise between this two things is the AKG C411 contact mic (it´s about 70€ I believe). I put it on the top below the bass-leg of the bridge and fixed the cable with gaffa-tape behind the tailpiece. I´ve played several concerts with this and I quite happy, both arco and picc.
    Hope this helps.
  14. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I am sooo excited about this mic coming. I've been wanting one for a while; just always had something more important to buy. Finally pulled the trigger.

    Do you use yours for live sound or just for recording?
  15. Basshole

    Basshole Inactive

    Jan 28, 2005
    I've used it for everything. Kick drum, Marshall cab, Trombone, Sax, male and female voice (I actually prefer it to my Neuman U87a for a great number of voices).

    Some have dubbed it the condenser killer. An awful lot of DJ's use them across the country on radio. Warm, wonderful intimate tone for a dynamic mic. It makes things sound good.:smug:
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Just to muddy the waters a little bit, Neal Miner prefers a Shure SM 57.
  17. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Great mic, and not expensive at all!

    The best mic I've ever used was the one that the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra owns for their bassist. It was a really big mic, and they put it about 6-8 inches away from the strings right above the bridge. I've been trying to figure out what that microphone was for almost a year now. Maybe I should email Carlos Henriquez, he might know....
  18. joe_sorren


    Apr 7, 2005
    This is one of the best sites on the web for hearing and learning about all sort of different mic's from the last 70 years or so. Check it out:


    It helped me to decide on 2 of the RCA BK-5 Ribbon mic's and one RCA Type SK-50 Varacoustic Ribbon Mic. This site does not offer them for sale, but often has lots of info about each mic shown, including manuals, pics and audio samples of each microphone. When I received them I found the audio samples on this site to be very similar to the sounds I am able to get from the microphones. The RCA bk's, in particular, sound amazing on the bass.

    Here is a couple of photos:

    Attached Files:

  19. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I got my RE20 today. Just recording my bass by myself, I like my Beyer M88 way better. The M88 is tighter & more punchy (by far). I'm hoping the RE20 provides value to me by its good off-axis performance. I need the drums that bleed in to sound good. I can only get that with a good omni condenser, which lets too much drums bleed in. We'll see.

    Tito - did not mean to hijack. Any thoughts on a mic selection?
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC

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