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The acoustic string bass is one of the hardest instruments to record for a variety of reasons. First, the tone depends largely upon the player. Second, mic placement is extremely important, and lastly usually the bass is played in a live setting like a jazz trio where it's placed very close to other instruments. That means that there may be leakage from those instruments to contend with. With all that in mind, let's look at how to mic an acoustic bass. Mic position is everything when recording acoustic bass. Just like with an acoustic guitar close miking the f-hole makes the sound muddy with no definition.
So, another approach is needed. (music playing) Perhaps more than any other instrument the bass needs space to really sound right. Place a mic end below the bridge about 18 inches away. This should give you some nice definition along with all the body of the instrument.
(music playing) Also, try to move the mic a bit closer, and move to the position that gives you the right balance of body to definition. (music playing) What kind of mic should you choose? Ribbon mics and string bases seem made for each other, but a nice condenser mic also works as well.
Let's take a listen to how they sound. (music playing) Don't fret if you don't have any of those microphones. Any kind of mic will give you good results with the right placement. It may not have the same low end, but it can still get you a good recording. (music playing) That's one way to mic an acoustic bass.
Place the mic below the bridge of the instrument about 18 inches away. Move it in closure, a further away to get the best combination of body and definition. (music playing).
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