Miking and EQing a double upright bass on live stage

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Dick Rees Dick Rees 6 years ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #47340
    Profile photo of gilly
    gilly
    Participant

    Mamerica do you have a photo you could email me to show me exactly how you apply the towel. Do you wrap it around the body and wedge it in the soundhole or what??

    #47346
    Profile photo of Studiodawg
    Studiodawg
    Participant

    The Shure 57 or 58 (with cable attached) should be wrapped with a towel (or equivalent…foam for instance). With the head of the microphone facing upward gently, but securely wedge the mic/towel/cable between the tailpiece and the body of the bass. You will need to position the head of the mic up or down “to taste” and voila the old mic in the towel miking setup. (Edit)…an added benefit of the towel touching the body of the bass is that this will reduce vibrations that are associated with some feedback issues.

    #47347
    Profile photo of DoctorG
    DoctorG
    Participant

    It seems to me that using a good RTA to be sure you know exactly what frequencies the bass is generating and at which frequencies the feedback is occurring would help you know what measures to take. You’re probably already doing this, but just wanted to be sure. FYI – I use TrueRTA with at least 1/6th octave bandwidth for this kind of thing.

    It seems that the approach suggested by Dick is used in many places. However, 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.

    A condenser mic will have a flatter bass response in the bass region, but you’ll need to cut some very low bass and be sure most of the treble is rolled out. I have used a Shure PG81 just this past week for this purpose. It isn’t a highly sensitive condenser, but it works well and is inexpensive.

    These are just some suggestions — my experience here is very limited.

    #47349
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    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…

    #47362
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    An AT PRO35 “condensor” should smoke the sound quality of the Shure dynamic mic.
    Live or studio.

    #47366
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    An AT PRO35 “condensor” should smoke the sound quality of the Shure dynamic mic.
    Live or studio.

    Dan…

    I have used both, as a player, as a live sound engineer and as a recordist producing CD’s from live performance. As stated above, I also have the option to choose from a host of other mics. In my personal mic locker I have well over 100 different mics. I will use whatever makes the most sense GIVEN THE CONTEXT. But the bottom line is this:

    It’s not the hammer, it’s the carpenter.

    The OP has access to Shure dynamics and has been advised that they can work and how to do it. He does not have the Pro-35. That’s the context. Should he gain access to more mics in future he’ll know where to look and what to try. For now, let’s just say that a 57 or 58 will be fine.

    #47385
    Profile photo of Studiodawg
    Studiodawg
    Participant

    Yep, 57 & 58 are fine…it’s up to the carpenter.

    #47617
    Profile photo of gilly
    gilly
    Participant

    Hi again guys
    Well i done sound for the concert on Saturday with the double bass in it.
    I tried wrapping a 57 in small hand towel and jammed it nice and tight under/between the tailpiece and body as suggested. Initially it sounded good, better than the 58 i had pointing at body to left of f hole. But then we got rattely sound when he plucked the top two strings. I tried jamming towel in a bit tighter but still got that sound but only from two of the strings. I was going to experiment a bit more with different positions and with a 58 instead of 57 (as i thought it might be the loose head that the 57 has when touched that caused the rattling sound??) but he didn’t want that as practice was about to start so we just went back to the 58 pointing near f hole…

    #47618
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    Hi again guys
    Well i done sound for the concert on Saturday with the double bass in it.
    I tried wrapping a 57 in small hand towel and jammed it nice and tight under/between the tailpiece and body as suggested. Initially it sounded good, better than the 58 i had pointing at body to left of f hole. But then we got rattely sound when he plucked the top two strings. I tried jamming towel in a bit tighter but still got that sound but only from two of the strings. I was going to experiment a bit more with different positions and with a 58 instead of 57 (as i thought it might be the loose head that the 57 has when touched that caused the rattling sound??) but he didn’t want that as practice was about to start so we just went back to the 58 pointing near f hole…

    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.

    It could very well have been the ring on the 57 that was rattling. I prefer to use a 58 as the ball makes for a better ” wedge”. But I repeated my method above for future reference. Also, a small hand towel probably was not nearly enough padding when using only a towel. You need a good chunk of thick terry-cloth bath towel, not something with material like a T-shirt…although I’ve used several T-shirts in a pinch.

    The important point is that you learned how good it can sound. Swap in a 58 and you should be good to go.

    #47619
    Profile photo of gilly
    gilly
    Participant

    Yes Dick i do think it was the ring on the 57 that caused the rattling. Btw i used a standard thickness hand towel. It was definitely thick enough,a bigger towel wouldn’t have fit under tailpiece without risk of straining and damaging it. Yes i had a feeling the 58 wouldn’t have rattled,but the bass guy was impatient,his loss. If he hadn’t have turned up nearly 1.5 hours later than other guys for the final rehearsal just before the gig i would have had plenty of time to experiment. ………!!!

    #47620
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    See if you can find a foam insert the mics come in out of the box like I described earlier. that, some soft cloth and a Velcro strap will keep it in place with no rattles.

    Good luck.

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