Reply To: Miking and EQing a double upright bass on live stage

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Dick Rees

with a dynamic mic such as the SM58 you’re going to be getting a “curved” response, coloring the sound of the instrument. That may not be that big of an issue here, but it can lead to feedback issues.

Quoted for context in replying.

Any mic (dynmic or condenser) with a significant “curve” to the response will color the sound of the instrument. Whether or not this is detrimental or useful regarding tone and “mixability” is up to the user. You may want a hefty proximity LF boost, you may not. You may want a 5K peak built into the response to emphasize the percussive slap of the strings on the fingerboard or an 800hz boost for mid-range punch.

In dealing with double basses, the most common feedback problem is sound reflected off the rather large, hard surface into the mic. I have a clamp-on mount with a mini-boom from Golihur music (bass hardware specialty store) which is great for holding an SDC right where you want it. But on a stage with drum kit, jazz guitar and B3, you’ll hear as much of everything else as you will the bass no matter where you aim the mic.

In my several decades working as a “dog-house” bass player (American stringband, bluegrass, swing and such) I tried many different systems of miking and transduction. As a sound provider dealing with such things “the day of”, I carry the following:

Foam block for cardioid dynamic handheld type mics, flannel cloth to wrap the foam (foam chemicals can react with instrument lacquer, so you must cover it) and Velcro cinch-straps to secure the whole shebang under the tailpiece.

DI’s of various types/impedances.

Generic instrument pickup preamp (BarcusBerry).

E-906 for under bridge mounting.

AT Pro-35 mini-gooseneck clip-on.

ADG C-411 surface mount condenser.

This in addition to the clamp-on mount and various SDC’s pretty much covers everything. If it gets really serious tone-wise, I have some KSM32’s, 44’s and 421’s and RE20’s.

Be prepared you Scouts…