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Bass section concert miking : orchestral
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Bass section concert miking : orchestral

With 5 double bass’ in a single line (not ranked), how would you approach miking these: a single or pair of section mics, perhaps omni or wide cardioid, elevated enough to get a blend of all…or would you focus on a single principal player and use that to represent the section ?

Would you tend to mic from directly in front of the instrument face….or (if aiming for sectional pickup) place a more directional mic at the front of the orchestra (located to the right of the RH flanker/outrigger stand) and aim at the middle player ?
I’m guessing this latter method is still going to focus (via proximity) largely upon that ‘first in the line’ bass, at least as far as bowing detail is concerned…

The Decca Book suggests either approach is valid...but what has been your experience in the field...er, hall ?

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 06:14 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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JCBigler's Avatar
 
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I use a large diaphragm condenser on a short stand with the mic about at the level of the f holes, set for the first stand between the first two players on cardioid.

I've experimented with a figure 8 pattern and setting the mic between the two players, but it's usually too close to their bowing and gets in the way of their playing.

For the spot mic, for me it's less about getting the full low end of the section, and more about getting the attack and definition. Usually the first two players will be the best for that purpose anyway.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler ➡️
I use a large diaphragm condenser on a short stand with the mic about at the level of the f holes, set for the first stand between the first two players on cardioid.

I've experimented with a figure 8 pattern and setting the mic between the two players, but it's usually too close to their bowing and gets in the way of their playing.

For the spot mic, for me it's less about getting the full low end of the section, and more about getting the attack and definition. Usually the first two players will be the best for that purpose anyway.
Thanks JC, that sounds like a useful compromise between individual and section miking...especially since I'm not certain how close the brass or percussion is likely to be in this setup. Cardioid or wide cardioid would seem like a good choice ?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
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JCBigler's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Thanks JC, that sounds like a useful compromise between individual and section miking...especially since I'm not certain how close the brass or percussion is likely to be in this setup. Cardioid or wide cardioid would seem like a good choice ?
Yeah, cardioid or wide cardioid would be my choice, depending on how far apart the players are from the mic position.

In our set up, the percussion are always on the far side of the stage (SR) from the basses (on SL). And there's plenty of space between the bases and brass section so there's not much bleed. But we have a fairly large stage. We usually have 7 or 8 basses for our big classics concerts also.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
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fred2bern's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler ➡️
I use a large diaphragm condenser on a short stand with the mic about at the level of the f holes, set for the first stand between the first two players on cardioid.
...
For the spot mic, for me it's less about getting the full low end of the section, and more about getting the attack and definition. Usually the first two players will be the best for that purpose anyway.
This is exactly what I also do, with a TLM67 in cardio.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Thanks guys, I've tried similar before and it's worked with ranked players (2 rows of basses)....but 5 in a line is a new context. I'll let you know how it fares Much appreciated !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Five basses is a bit of a tough split but I like one Gefell M930 pair pair of basses; short stand 2-3 feet away, pointed at the f-holes. I might use three on five basses. One on the principal and split the other four on two mics.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
With 5 double bass’ in a single line (not ranked), how would you approach miking these: a single or pair of section mics, perhaps omni or wide cardioid, elevated enough to get a blend of all…or would you focus on a single principal player and use that to represent the section ?

Would you tend to mic from directly in front of the instrument face….or (if aiming for sectional pickup) place a more directional mic at the front of the orchestra (located to the right of the RH flanker/outrigger stand) and aim at the middle player ?
I’m guessing this latter method is still going to focus (via proximity) largely upon that ‘first in the line’ bass, at least as far as bowing detail is concerned…

The Decca Book suggests either approach is valid...but what has been your experience in the field...er, hall ?
I’d either mic high and aim to get mostly the principal with a bit of 2nd chair for a focused but still somewhat soli sound, or I’d mic low on the principal for that guttural thing. If you have the extra channels, repeat between seats 3 and 4.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
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I forgot to ask if other spot mics were going to be used or whether your approach was going to be main pair/flankers and why the need to "spot" (near or far) the basses?

Kinda trained to think lately about spots on everything (blame video) but it would not be my normal (from before) method.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
on 5 basses, i'd use 3 cardioid's, wide cardioid's or pzm's - if lf extention is the only goal, i might use but a pair (or whatever is wide enough to capture them all) with a steep lpf.

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 3 weeks ago at 09:00 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
I forgot to ask if other spot mics were going to be used or whether your approach was going to be main pair/flankers and why the need to "spot" (near or far) the basses?

Kinda trained to think lately about spots on everything (blame video) but it would not be my normal (from before) method.

D.
Main pair plus flankers plus spots on basses, horns, solo singers, chorus, perc and woodwinds...so a pretty conventional setup. If the RH flanker plus mains pull in enough basses weight, then the spot will just be more for definition...as king2070lplaya has so aptly summarized the either/or scenario.

Until I get to the hall and start monitoring the mic feed and mix, it's hard to know how much 'load' the bass spot(s) will be shouldering, so it's more a case for preparing for whatever I might find on site.

Maybe one of these rigs could really nail it ...lol ! ....https://www.grasacoustics.com/produc...t/521-67ha-ccp
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
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Can't argue with 3.15Hz to 20khz.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Interesting that everyone's saying cards or wide cards; the Decca book's primary recommendation is SDC omni, and every session sheet in the back of the book shows omni (KM83 or MK2) on the basses.

What is it that folks aren't liking about small omnis on the basses?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
Interesting that everyone's saying cards or wide cards; the Decca book's primary recommendation is SDC omni, and every session sheet in the back of the book shows omni (KM83 or MK2) on the basses.

What is it that folks aren't liking about small omnis on the basses?
You've omitted the recommended height of said omnis as recommended in the book...for me that factor makes it too much of an open window for everything else flying around that part of the stage: rear of cello section, brass...sometimes percussion.

Something a little more directional closes that window somewhat, at the expense of a little bit of bass mass/weight. But then bass spots are often about getting a little bit more immediacy of the bow rasp and overtones and attack, rather than sheer LF extension... which the directional mics are quite well versed in.

I typically get enough of the bass weight from the main pair plus omni outriggers (which aren't too far away from the bass section either)

There's always deedeeyeah's solution...if omnis are used: "if lf extention is the only goal, i might use but a pair (or whatever is wide enough to capture them all) with a steep lpf"
However, I like less what low pass filtering does for basses..and prefer to avoid such treatment if possible
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