Interesting DB amplification technique

Hey everyone,

The other day I was posting in a thread about a DPA mic and a art preamp for double bass amplification. So, it has inspired me so mess around with a mic. I have had a audix m1290 miniture condenser mic, for 4 years and never used it ever, well except for testing, and I have an old art studio mp mic pre.

So here is what it looks like on the bass:

I quick and dirty used a nylon screw through a tailpiece hole with 2 rubber bushings on either side of the tailpiece to isolate it from vibrations and to keep the weight down as low as possible. I then recorded it using audacity on my mac (sorry about the poor fade at the end) Here is the recording:

1st Try

The bass it an eastman 305.

Notes on 1st try:
I kind of like it. It has this pipe-organish sound. I have no idea how this would work on stage with a loud band and all, but I was playing through a small playback system in the live room and I had it pretty loud and no feed back. I know that isn’t a stage. I do suspect a low-pass filter would be essential for stage at the bare minimum, but neat.

Now, Second try:

I tried moving the mic closer to the top to extend the bass response. No workikie. When I get the mic close to the top, it gets really honky sounding. This is a supercardioid mic, so maybe that is why but it doesn’t make sense to me. If I lay the mic right next to the top, the bass doesn’t come up at all. Usually when you set a mic near a source, take it off-axis, proximity effect takes place. Not so with this mic. Neither “on” nor “off-axis” brought up the bass up close. I am actually baffled but I do know it takes some distance for low frequencies to come together. I’ve had this mic for probably 4 years and this is the first I have used it.

I did another recording. I altered the mic placement slightly. I moved it to the opposite side of the tailpiece and it now points to the inside back corner of the bass bridge leg. Definitely better as far as bass goes.

Pretty cool. And here I was looking for all sorts of pickups for the bass over the past couple of days and here I had something sitting dormant that I have never used. How cool is that.

Would love to get some opinions of the sound. I have a feeling a little high-mid scoop would finish it off quite nicely.

Hi Tom,

Interesting. Both sound quite good here. Because the riffs are different it’s hard to say which is better, but both sound full and rich.


I agree the third one (audix sample 2) sounds best. The other two don’t seem deep enough. I’m trying to remember who the famous jazz bassist was who simply stuffed an sm57 behind the tailpiece with a rag… couldn’t find the reference on the web just now.

Thanks for the listens. I have read about the sm57 stuffing and I have seen some real creative ways of using rubber bands with the bridge and after lengths! :laughing:

The first sample on soundcloud is from my bass that I sold. It was a room mic to get the overall sound of the bass. It is titled “romanian bass” I sold that one and now have a 1920s german and eastman. These samples are of the eastman. The German bass is a bit brighter with more mids with the same setup.

That’s not how you play “smoke on the water”, you dildo! :unamused:


Use your imagination :smiley:

Yeah, nobody is as stupid as those who do not want to understand. I could have figured out the yummy acoustic bass could be used for something very natural sounding in the future. But did I even try … nooooooooooo!
:blush: :laughing:

I’m trying to remember who the famous jazz bassist was who simply stuffed an sm57 behind the tailpiece with a rag…

Charles Mingus?

The reason I say this is because, some years ago, I recorded a Lionel Hampton album celebrating the music of Charles Mingus. Mingus was the bass player on this date and as I was setting up the mics, he handed me a small hand towel and said to wrap a 57 up and stick it in the bridge. Which I did. Never did that before and who was I to argue with Charles Mingus? That and the Neumann U-47 were what went to tape. When it was mixed, the 57 was predominant.

Ever since then, it has been my standard practice to towel up a 57 when recording uprights.