Recording Using an SM58 (and Some Extended Technique on Double Bass)

I was recently part of a session recording Brittany Studer's film score of "The Silence" and was recorded using a Shure SM58 more or less directly at or below the bridge.

The mic sounds pretty good, but is obviously not directional enough to create really good isolation between instruments, as you'll hear below. It also doesn't really bring out the best frequencies of the bass, particularly bowing it, though I think that is because of the bridge placement with nothing else to blend in.

These audio clips were recorded direct from the Shure SM58 into a Tascam DR-680 in a large venue with concrete floors and high ceilings.

Here are some crazy sounds I made at the end of the session. Any composers out there who are curious how I made them, feel free to ask below!

Recording Using AT2021's at Bridge and Shoulder

Here's a semi-update on my using AT2021's on my bass for recording. My last post on using the AudioTechnica AT2021's had me only using one behind the bridge, simply because I thought the placement was neat and wanted to show people. Now I'm here to deliver the goods (sort of).

For this recording, I set up the microphones as pictured to the right (ignore the mess): one underneath the bridge, between the bridge feet (better picture here); and the other pointed towards the shoulder of the bass, pretty much straight on.

These are excerpts of the final takes of a song I recorded for, whose track I'll leave anonymous.

Here's my signal path:

Seth Kimmel Bass with Pirastro Permanents  →  Audio Technica AT2021 (x2)  →  Focusrite Sapphire 2i2 USB Interface  →  Macbook Pro

These recordings were recorded direct, exported unmixed, normalized, then converted to 320k MP3.

(That last track I moved around and got a bit too close to the mic on the shoulder, so there is a volume swell a little towards the end.)

If you want to check out the raw individual clips, you can download them here: Bass Recording 12-2-14 - AT2021 at Bridge and Shoulder.

Thanks for listening, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Recording of AT2021 Placed Behind the Bridge

I just picked up some new microphones and other gear and wanted to test out how different recording setups sound on my bass in my room at home. I'll be posting different ones up once I figure out how all of this stuff works.

For this, I placed an Audio Technica AT2021 in between the bridge feet; it's suspended using two large rubber bands for microphones (thanks, Lance) and those are kept in place by bunched up smaller rubber bands.

Here's my signal path:

Seth Kimmel Bass with Pirastro Permanents  →  Audio Technica AT2021  →  Focusrite Sapphire 2i2 USB Interface  →  Macbook Pro

These recordings are direct into Audacity and unaltered.

— This is a pizzicato 2-octave chromatic scale from low E, followed by a 2-octave G arpeggio.

— This is an excerpt from a Paul Chambers solo I'm transcribing.

I've thought about what might happen in a live situation, as this microphone is tending to pick up a lot of background noise.  I'm excited to try it out on a coming gig in a notoriously loud space, so I'll be keeping updates on this blog.

I would love to hear any of your thoughts on the sound; all criticism is welcome and appreciated!