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Who here is actually 100% satisfied with their mic/pickup setup for live playing?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chickenwheels, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Happy

    28 vote(s)
  2. Working on it

    24 vote(s)
  3. Unhappy

    4 vote(s)
  1. I’m not, and never have been ever.
    Just wondering if others have found something that exceeded (or meet) their expectations for live sound. Something clean, natural and powerful without lots of gadgets and complications. Something that sounds good straight into a powered monitor.
    I’d be interested to see how you feel. Thanks!
  2. I never liked the way my bass is amplified. I stopped monitoring what was on the other end of the wire to at least keep my nerves. If possible, I ask for a microphone and believe that this is an honest way.

    Perhaps the amplifier improves the good player and worsens the bad. I am probably very bad. =)
  3. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    It depends upon how high your expectations are. If you expect MBOL every - even any- gig, you won’t be satisfied. But if you’re getting a clear ‘unboomy’ solid sound, without an exaggerated treble you should enjoy the gig, the appreciation of your fellow musicians and go home happy. The HPF is your friend.
    jallenbass, Kickdrum, Treyzer and 6 others like this.
  4. basster


    Aug 14, 2003
    Me. MBOL is something that i´m not looking for, it doesn´t exist. Going with a mic very close to the top or f-hole of the bass has nothing to do with the instruments sound in the audience. And that´s just the bass by itself, most bassplayers work together with other musicians in different rooms and with different kinds of music!
    I love playing unamplified, but most of the time, it doesn´t work. Next step up is using a mic, but you have to know the room and the soundguys, sometimes it works, sometimes not. That´s why i play most of the time amplified, using two systems: a smaller one, dpa d:vote plus wilson k1, mixed with the headway and amplified with the powered monitor i can find on stage or one of my qsc´s k8. A bigger one, same mic and pickup, mixed and amplified with the very fine AER basic performer. The Tonedexter i used to use for a while takes away too much pressure and power, it sounds very good in small settings, but then i can go mic only, and it sounds very unnaturally and unpunchy in louder settings where i prefer the pickup.

    All that said, i have to say: the really most important part of the chain is you and your bass. I own different ones and only one of them can be amplified in the uncomplicated way i described. I´s an old instrument, very even sounding, big low end, no deadspots or wulfs, it doesn´t care about the wheather and so on. Other instruments i use are way better sounding acoustically, very good for classical music, but can never reach the amplified qualities of that 80 years old german 7/8 monster. That´s what i learned over the decades: if you´re unable to get a smooth amplified sound out of the bass even with the most expensive stuff, go for another bass. There are instruments out there that need even with a cheap piezo in the bridge no equalizing, no compressing, nothing. Go for such an instrument, you will save lots of money!!
  5. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Me at 100%.
    I tried Dyn-B, Stat B, various pre and now i found the solution.
    A simply and cheap SM58 with foam inside the bridge or inside the tailpiece.
    Super natural sound.
    Sometimes we do not spend lot of money.
    I have a Kay with gut strings and i play loud so the gain of the microphone it's not so high so no problem w feedback.
    Reiska, Colyn, Rayjay and 3 others like this.
  6. The sensitivity of the mic has nothing to do with the sensitivity of feedback. The gain knob is simply set higher, the output is the same.
    Playing harder acoustically has a big influence on feedback. The amplification factor is lower and therefor the feedback loop is not created (unless you want it very loud). Feedback means some frequency of the amplified signal is coming back at factor 1 or larger (or very close to 1) so that the reinserted frequency component from the speaker is as loud or louder than it was inserted before. Less amplification factor in the complete loop gets rid of it. But be aware that there are several volume changing parts in that loop. The biggest problem are boosted frequencies in the feedback loop, so better cut than boost.
    unbrokenchain and SteSte like this.
  7. akrachanko

    akrachanko Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Western Pennsylvania
    I struggled with this for years when I begun playing, then I made a huge realization that some basses will just never sound good. I played a bass in high school, that no matter what, it wouldn't sound good, and it always had really bad feedback issues with any pickups, and mic-ing it didn't sound great either. I wish I remember what it actually was, but I do not.

    Fast forward a few years, and I bought a rebuilt Kay from my original bass teacher (someone had put steel strings on it,), and it plays, and feels like a dream. The best part is, it sounds good with the 2 pickups I tried. Personally I'm a pickup guy, so I won't have any mic opinions. I've tried 2 pickups that I liked. The copper version of The Realist, which sounded warm, full, and clear, and the Fishman Full Circle, which sounded like a very accurate reproduction of the basses sound. I have it setup with the height adjuster that's the pickup, pointed at about a 45 degree angle between the center of the bridge and the end pin. Both pickups resulted in good sounds, but the Fishman really delivers a transparent sound, and I really like that, and have been happy with that for years.
  8. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    My first choice for lower-volume gigs, where a boost is needed but the sound of the bass matters more, is my Electrovoice RE55 mic. Simple to use (dynamic omni) and it's My Bass Only Louder.

    For higher volumes, it's a K&K Bass Max pickup straight into bass amp. Yeah, it sounds a little rubbery/compressed, but good enough. Life is too short to obsess over perfection. Maybe I'll try another pickup sometime, but it has to be simple to use.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm happy.
    Michal Herman likes this.
  10. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    "Straight into a powered monitor" might be asking a lot, but I do run my Gage copperheads through a preamp and mixer in some situations. Otherwise I generally go straight into my Little Mark III and Wizzy 12 with no complaints.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Me, too. Fortunately for me the Ehrlund EAP works just dandy on my particular bass.
  12. I've been using the Troll. For lower volume gigs I just run it straight into my AI Clarus SL-2 & Barefaced OneTen and I get a sound that I can be happy with. For gigs with PA support it depends so much on the sound engineer, sometimes the Troll works like a charm and sometimes not. At times I've also had satisfactory results by blending the Troll with Full Circle. I've played a few gigs with no amp and just a Schoeps into the PA, that's something I'd like to get for myself.
  13. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I'm very satisfied with my amplified tone. I also have a very solid knowledge of my signal flow. If there is a sound issue, it's quickly and easily fixed on my end. Knowing what front of house engineers do in technical terms also helps a great deal. Being able to play professionally in situations where I can't hear or feel the bass as I would like is also part of the gig, and I know when to stop trying to "make it better." If the leader is getting what they need, that's what matters to me, independent of genre.
    powerbass likes this.
  14. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Sadly, only you and one other person in the audience even notices.....
    MLysh, dhergert, Dr. Love and 7 others like this.
  15. 210superair


    Sep 10, 2019
    I'm quite happy with my setup, but I'm probably not very picky compared to some. I'm in an old time/celtic band, and we play unplugged if at all possible, so I only have to plug in for bigger gigs, which was all summer this year unfortunately/fortunately. I'm running a realist, and the K&K rockabilly preamp, with the clicky pickup turned up juuuusssttttt a tiny bit, just enough to hear it a little, but not like a rockabilly player.

    I've been lucky this year to have some great sound guys doing all the work, with really top notch systems, so that's probably why I was so happy with my sound. Lol.
  16. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Yamahiko - the end (but check with me tomorrow)
    vanselus likes this.
  17. I don't think I'll ever be 100% satisfied, but I'm much happier, and wiser (hopefully...) than I used to be when it comes to my sound.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  18. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I realized a long time ago, after a lot of time and money invested in amplification, that from 30 feet way in a crowded bar, my tone(electric) was totally unimportant. I play blues and very early Rock n Roll. Once I sorted out the right strings, my Krivo allows me to play loud through just about any bass amp. HPF needed occasionally. With guitars, drums harp and vocals, most of a perfect MBOL would be lost anyways
    Dabndug likes this.
  19. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    Very happy. Mid-1800’s Tyrolean with Full Circle pick-up into a Tonedexter into an AI Clarus SL into an MAS 16. Tonedexter wave map made with AMT 25b, usually set about 80% mic 20% pick-up. For right now, for louder gigs an AI Ten2 replaces the Clarus, but considering going to an MAS 18.
  20. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I have six different mic and pickup combinations. They all do certain things well individually, but the problem is that I may be asked to play in 50 different rooms around town where they all react differently, the same as I have different basses I use for varied all acoustic gigs, depending upon the room. Often what sounds great at home or when demo'ing something is completely different on the job...

    As a whole, the crowd would much rather I have mediocre sound but have a big smile on my face having fun while entertaining people than another grumpy old white dude who sounds like my bass only louder....!

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