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Favorite double bass spot mic?
Old 3rd March 2011
  #1
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JonesH's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Favorite double bass spot mic?

I'm would appear to need a bass spot mic for orchestral recordings. Right now were using a pair of Violet design Black Knights and they're sortof OK.
What's your favorites?
I've been eyeing the TLM170 or U89 where I've rather liked the latter on bass instruments. Haven't used them as spot mics though but I can't imagine they won't excel at this.

Best,
Old 3rd March 2011
  #2
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
An omni is always employed here for oooommmmph and bow on string tone. The Schoeps CMC 52 does the job.
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've been using a U89 on bass for a few gigs now and love it.
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #4
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springer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Corran - U89 employed how? omni, card, etc... rolloff?
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've liked the sound from my Gefell M296 (omni, acoustic stage, rather quiet, in close) and Neumann TLM193 (cardioid, cheated toward the high strings, near the bridge, louder stage).

Sorry... just noticed this was a sectional thing... but I still like the sound from either of these...

Last edited by hbphotoav; 3rd March 2011 at 05:10 PM.. Reason: Oops...
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➑️
An omni is always employed here for oooommmmph and bow on string tone. The Schoeps CMC 52 does the job.
where do you usually place the mic among the group of bassists in an orchestra for an omni?

in my last recording with a chamber orchestra, i used an AKG CK92 just in front of the music stand pointing to the bridge of the bass principal. instead of hearing a full bass sound, i got a lot of leaks from the timpani and strings covering up the bass sound.
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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Marlan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love using one omni and one cardioid on bass. Lot's of ways to mix color and attack.

My favs are:

Sennheiser MKH40 or 8040
Schoeps MK2 or 2H
Sennheiser MKH20 or 8020
Audio Technica ATM 350

The Audio Technica is a very overlooked microphone in my opinion, and fantastic clipped on the bridge or Tailpiece and pointed towards the f-holes when used in tandem with another mic (preferably one of the above).

I tend to break from the norm and not usually use LDC mics as bass spots. With some instruments and players I find that they have the tendency to be a bit flubby and unfocused. This of course is not always the case and you should try both and see what you like best. I did a few jazz sessions in studios where we used an M49 on the bass and it worked beautifully so it just goes to show you that you shouldn't use the same method for every player or session.
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #8
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by springer ➑️
Corran - U89 employed how? omni, card, etc... rolloff?
Usually in cardioid for rejection and flat, but then I'm not recording in great acoustics or anything like Plush so take that with a grain of salt.
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite bass mics for section spotting is the SE Electronics Z3300A. It is a pretty limited use mic and I don't like it for sources that are too bright. That being said, one of my other favorites is the U47FET and it is about as close to one of those as you can get without spending the bucks on the Neumann.

If I'm not using that, I usually reach for something with a decent low end that doesn't get too woofy sounding. Mics that fit this description include several mentioned here- Sennheiser 8040 or MKH40 or 800, Schoeps MK4 or MK2 (or 21 sometimes), Neumann 131... A sleeper is the Sanken CU-31 which doesn't have a huge low end, but the clarity is startling and allows for a pure sound without much of that murkiness that so often shows up as bass...

--Ben
Old 3rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 10 years
+1 on the CMC52 - however I use the S version

For double bass section, in front of or over the principal - about 3m high. Important not to get too close to allow the sound field to develop from such a large radiating body.

Chamber orchestra with usually just one double bass (violone?) is a different matter. I often find that in this situation the single bass player feels a little overwhelmed and tends to play a little more energetically. What tends to be needed here is not so much low end reinforcement but an improvement in definition. Chamber orchestra is usually a single stereo main pair which gets the musical balance about right, so if a spotter is required it should be closer to the instrument and around bowing height, with a very light touch in the mix.

But then again I was briefly a bass player in a jazz band, so I'm prejudiced ...
Old 4th March 2011
  #11
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JonesH's Avatar
 
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Interesting posts from all!
I've used a pair of U87s in omni once or twice and that was great. The z3300 looks interesting. As does the prospect of the schoepses... And U89 of course. Hmm. Thanks for the input!!
Old 4th March 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use an mk2h when I have the basses in two rows. Low and in between the front stand instruments pointing back at the back stand.
use the instruments themselves as baffles.
This does not work as well with low output sections, in which case it is game over anyhow.
For a single row, I will use something like a pair of mk21 or a good omni without exessive high lift.
I find the 170 to lack the abitily to reproduce the blend and movement of air you get in a section of english or italian basses.
It tends to sound dull and scrubby.
Old 4th March 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope ➑️
Chamber orchestra with usually just one double bass (violone?) is a different matter.
Violones are low output gut stringed intruments of various sizes and tunings.
You will not find this in a regular chamber orchestra. It will be found in a period instrument ensemble as late as early Haydn symphonies (6,7,8 being the more notable) It is a different animal than a modern orchestral bass and as such requires a different approach.
Old 4th March 2011
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I am extremely fond of my MT-Gefell UMT-800 on low strings. I find that I do not have to do anything to the signal in post. It sits very well in a mix too.

I have a pair of MT Gefell MV-692's with M77 capsules that are spectacular.

I also like Neuman KM84's. Of course, they sound great on almost everything.

I am not all that fond of the TLM 170 on bass viol, as it seems to disappear into a mix.

Regards;
Danny

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH ➑️
I'm would appear to need a bass spot mic for orchestral recordings. Right now were using a pair of Violet design Black Knights and they're sortof OK.
What's your favorites?
I've been eyeing the TLM170 or U89 where I've rather liked the latter on bass instruments. Haven't used them as spot mics though but I can't imagine they won't excel at this.

Best,
Old 4th March 2011
  #15
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH ➑️
I'm would appear to need a bass spot mic for orchestral recordings. Right now were using a pair of Violet design Black Knights and they're sortof OK.
What's your favorites?
I've been eyeing the TLM170 or U89 where I've rather liked the latter on bass instruments. Haven't used them as spot mics though but I can't imagine they won't excel at this.

Best,
which halls are you recording orchestra in?
The northern halls have various bass issues that would make me deviate from my normal setup.
Old 28th April 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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recordinghopkins's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love the MKH8020 for this.
Also, shure SM80 is quite nice, but an unusual choice.
In addition, I have achieved surprising results with a modified SM81 (do a search) when extra rejection is required becuase of close proximity to a drum kit or something.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 10 years
In a different context (jazz band on a crowded stage) one can go with the bass player's on-board bug, but I prefer an external mic to get a better balance of body and string tone (definition). I have tended to use a long-cherished D12, but recently I have been more pleased with the results from an M88TG.

This only supplements my earlier contribution re orchestral bass.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Josephson e22S is extremely good on contrabass classical or jazz,
it is a slightly wide cardioid and has a punchy and present quality to it.
Bowed sounds are great on it too, and whats best the lows and highs somehow stick together.
Spill from other instruments also sounds excellent on that mic.

michiel
Joystick Audio
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 10 years
I would tend to second Plush's suggestion of the Schoeps MK2 omni for bass spots. If you need isolation on individual instruments you might consider ribbons like the AEA A440 (certainly great for jazz with huge bottom) or (considerably less expensively) the A840. It really depends on the stage, repertoire and the section one is working with.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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JonesH's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm ➑️
which halls are you recording orchestra in?
The northern halls have various bass issues that would make me deviate from my normal setup.
Sorry, I didn't see your reply until now, Kjetil!
So far it's the orchestra in UmeΓ₯ that I have been recording, in their concert hall. I would love to get your input on this hall.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #21
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That hall is a category 1 bathroom as you well know.
The bass is very unclear and boomy, with an unpleasant zing to it.
While I am a great fan of omnis and wides for spots, That hall would make me reach for tighter patterns for spots and mains alike.

The orchestra owns a Neumann stereo mic that actually sounds very good for that hall IMO. I would use MKH800 in wide, Km143, mk21h or similar for outriggers and the neumann strereo mic as mains.

For the bass, this would be a texbook RCA KU3 application IMO. (a 44 would be worth a try as well)

Otherwise I would do a combination of closemicing the principal (he sounds good and can be miced quite close) with an mk21 and a well placed mk41 for dryness and brass rejection.

Keep in mind that this orchestra routinely plays late romantic reportoire with 3 basses directly in front of the brass in a very reverberant and loud hall.
It would be fun to do a project there together one day. Plenty of unique challenges that I think you can only solve by trying a bunch of different things and thinking outside the box.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #22
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JonesH's Avatar
 
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Thanks!
It's a tricky hall to be sure. There are some really weird reflections from the edge of the balcony that can find their way into the mains. Still, I've mostly used my 4006s there, but I've been leaning towards using the 4015 next time. My experience with them is that they sometimes can make wonders happen with troublesome bass. Unfortunately it's ever always a very tight schedule with little time for testing...

I would love to experiment there with you, and/or to maybe assist for you on some other sessions.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #23
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes the oboe in particular has a bad slapback from the upper rear corners.
The radio has always used a very low trio of 4006, which is the last mic I would use on that orchestra in that hall.
4015s for sure IMO, cardioid flanks could be a thing to consider.
This is a hall where five 800 twins would be very useful.
Old 29th April 2011 | Show parent
  #24
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jnorman's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
have used AKG c481 and DPA 4011 with excellent results, but now use a DPA 4090.
Old 30th May 2011 | Show parent
  #25
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JonesH's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm ➑️
Yes the oboe in particular has a bad slapback from the upper rear corners.
The radio has always used a very low trio of 4006, which is the last mic I would use on that orchestra in that hall.
4015s for sure IMO, cardioid flanks could be a thing to consider.
This is a hall where five 800 twins would be very useful.
The first times I listened to music in this hall I rather liked the acoustics, and that applied to the first times I recorded there as well. It's gone downhill since then... It's interesting to read about the slapback that you mentioned which I also reacted to the last time I was there, as well as yesterday when our choir performed in the space. Tricky to say the least.

I did have time to experiment with 4015 vs 4006 last week and still ended up liking the 4006s more even though there are problems. The biggest problem at that time was the disability to handle loud trombone attacks which pop out like they're one inch away from the mics. Very troublesome.
Old 2nd June 2011 | Show parent
  #26
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nick-the-sax's Avatar
 
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I've had some great double bass experience with two mics in particular:

Earthworks SR77 and Sahiaman's Little BLondie mics (going through Daking Mic Pre One). I've found myself getting some very full and honest sounds out of these two mics. the Blondie's are a bit kinder and rounder to the sound, but the Earthworks gives a bit more mid-range punch (good for "twang" sounds!).
Old 15th September 2011
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
bump for some idea on my coming event.

Instead of spotting the double bass section, I would like to look for suggestions on miking solo violin + double bass in a duo concerto.

basically, i have SDC of any pattern from omni to 8 to choose from... should I go for the natural omni bass response, or get the proximity effect of directional mic with some rejection?
Old 15th September 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It is a completely different animal.
AFAIK all the concerto reportoire for solo bass and violin is scordatura tuning and as such quite bright and high in register.
I would approach this more or less the same as the Brahms double, but allow for the possibility that the bass will have problems projecting.
Old 15th September 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm ➑️
I would approach this more or less the same as the Brahms double, but allow for the possibility that the bass will have problems projecting.
This is quite true. So what is your approach?
Old 15th September 2011 | Show parent
  #30
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by claying ➑️
This is quite true. So what is your approach?
Who are the players, what mics do you have, what are the acoustics, how large is the ensemble, and what is the reportoire?
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