#1
My band is planning on recording some new demos soon - our bassist now has an active bass, and overall his rig just sounds like we want it to sound, so we don't want to use a DI for these recordings.

Of course, this is on a budget, but I have two mics at my disposal - a large diaphragm condenser, and a cardioid dynamic. I have a preamp to record the both simultaneously.

The bass cab is an 8x10.

My first thoughts are as follows - the dynamic mic cuts off at ~80Hz, whereas the condenser records (allegedly) down to 20Hz. Whilst these are not all necessary frequencies, we use a deep and fat sound (think maybe a dub/reggae style bass) rather than a midsy one, so we definitely want to capture some of these sub 80Hz frequencies on the recording. Ideally, the condenser mic would capture the low-end and warmth of the tone, and the dynamic will pick up the punchier more percussive sounds.

My question is, from your experiences, what distance, angle and axis (relative to the speakers) should each of the mics be placed at for this effect - low-end from the condenser, punch and mid frequencies from the dynamic.
#2
be careful with the condenser mic, the air being moved by the cab could damage the diaphragm. if i use a mic for a bass recording, i use an akg d112 for the lows - its a kick mic primarily but works excellently for bass, and a dynamic like an sm58 for the higher end and blend the two signals.
i'm pretty sure you could rent a d112 for near enough a tenner and imo its well worth it. if you have to use the condenser, start about a foot away from the cab and move it around, being sure that you aren't damaging it, until you reach a point where it sounds how you want. same with the dynamic, but you could probably go a bit closer as they are often alot more durable.
DONT RISK IT, BUY A BASS AMP
#3
Quote by moody git
be careful with the condenser mic, the air being moved by the cab could damage the diaphragm. if i use a mic for a bass recording, i use an akg d112 for the lows - its a kick mic primarily but works excellently for bass, and a dynamic like an sm58 for the higher end and blend the two signals.
i'm pretty sure you could rent a d112 for near enough a tenner and imo its well worth it. if you have to use the condenser, start about a foot away from the cab and move it around, being sure that you aren't damaging it, until you reach a point where it sounds how you want. same with the dynamic, but you could probably go a bit closer as they are often alot more durable.


A condenser mic will be fine. There'd be reason for caution if it were a ribbon microphone, but the notion that you can damage a condenser microphone by using it to record reasonable volumes is largely paranoia.

An AKG D112 (also a dynamic, by the way) is a very "cardboardy" sounding microphone. Often when used on the kick drum it's used for the "snap" of the beater and something else will capture the air outside the drum. It's a decent choice if you're just using one microphone. However, on bass, I find it usually sounds a bit scooped and generally less desirable than many other options. This is just my experience though, YMMV. If I were to pick a microphone out specifically for capturing the lows of a bass cabinet, the Beyerdynamic TG-X 50 would be my choice. However, in this case it seems that acquiring more microphones isn't an option, and good results should be attainable with the equipment at hand.

Quote by ab ovo
My band is planning on recording some new demos soon - our bassist now has an active bass, and overall his rig just sounds like we want it to sound, so we don't want to use a DI for these recordings.

Of course, this is on a budget, but I have two mics at my disposal - a large diaphragm condenser, and a cardioid dynamic. I have a preamp to record the both simultaneously.

The bass cab is an 8x10.

My first thoughts are as follows - the dynamic mic cuts off at ~80Hz, whereas the condenser records (allegedly) down to 20Hz. Whilst these are not all necessary frequencies, we use a deep and fat sound (think maybe a dub/reggae style bass) rather than a midsy one, so we definitely want to capture some of these sub 80Hz frequencies on the recording. Ideally, the condenser mic would capture the low-end and warmth of the tone, and the dynamic will pick up the punchier more percussive sounds.

My question is, from your experiences, what distance, angle and axis (relative to the speakers) should each of the mics be placed at for this effect - low-end from the condenser, punch and mid frequencies from the dynamic.


Honestly; I'd really encourage you to rethink your stance on the DI. If you can record a DI; you should. You don't even have to include it in the final mix, but sometimes it's invaluable when mixing (sort of like recording a hi-hat). It's worth noting that while his rig might sound as you like it now, it won't sound that way when you've imposed the frequency response of a particular microphone on it.

In your shoes, I'd leave the condenser out of the picture. Record the cabinet with the dynamic microphone, and take a DI feed at the same time. You could low-pass the DI feed and just use it to introduce those missing frequencies which the microphone can't capture. The mid/higher frequencies are determining the vast majority of the tonal character you're hearing, the lowest frequencies (< 100Hz) aren't going to sound particularly different no matter how they're recorded.

Regarding mic positioning, my preference for a bass cab tends to be no more than 2" away from the grill, positioned roughly halfway between the edge of the cone and the voice coil, angled slightly off-axis. Use this as a starting point and experiment based on your sonic preferences.
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Last edited by Ziphoblat at Dec 2, 2013,
#4
Thanks for the in-depth replies. I understand the potency of a DI but it is something that has never worked for us - when sound techs have DI'd our bass (either straight from the bass, or post EQ on the amp) at gigs it has always sounded grotty and gutted,with a lot of string sound, when we run a very smooth and clean amp tone. Heck, even in our time at a studio, where they had a nice Tech-21 DI box, the tech and I both agreed that the DI signal was pretty trash, and he ran a bunch of mics on the cab instead. I think this is probably an issue from somewhere in my bassist's setup (most likely an active bass).

But aside, seeing as I can only record two sources I felt I might get the most useable two with the two mics. I have looked into some kick drum mics that could also work on bass, in the low price range it seems to be between an Audix D4 or AKG D112 as mentioned. Such a purchase won't go unused... but I won't be the one buying it either, so that'll be another discussion. Thanks for the in-depth replies.