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bass clarinets and microphones...

Discussion in 'Bob's Room' started by juanturros, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. juanturros

    juanturros New Member Thread Starter


    I've just recently been experimenting with amplifying my bass clarinet. My results have been lousy. I've experienced feedback, volume problems, balance problems...you name it. I can't seem to get it right in a live situation. Sounds great at home though. Maybe my equipment is the problem. Maybe there are volume issues with the groups I play with. At any rate, I use the following:

    top mic (left hand): MXL V93M cardioid mic...studio style

    bottom mic (on bell): AKG micromicII...clip-on/gooseneck style

    I would greatly appreciate any info, as well as what it is you use in live settings.

    Sincerely yours,
    Juan Turros
  2. Bob Mintzer

    Bob Mintzer Moderator Yellowjacket

    Amplifying a bass clarinet can be a difficult affair. The only way I ever liked playing the bass in a live situation was with a contact pickup on the reed. It isnt the truest quality sound, but it feels the best. I know some guys like the SDS system from the Netherlands for bass clarinet. Also the company that makes the mikes that the three tenors band uses (Lovano, Breckerl, Liebman) makes a nice microphone. You might try that.
  3. juanturros

    juanturros New Member Thread Starter

    Miking the bass clarinet

    Ok, Ok...

    The pick up idea sounds pretty good. Would I have to alter the current state of my mouthpiece? For example, drill hole in it, like Eddie Harris? Or does this pickup attach itself to the reed?

  4. Bob Mintzer

    Bob Mintzer Moderator Yellowjacket

    I used to use a Barcus Berry pickup, which is a small contact mike that goes on the base of the reed with some gum-like substance, and is then held on with a metal
    piece that goes under the ligature, or, held on with a thick rubber band, which is what I used to do.
  5. KaLEl00

    KaLEl00 New Member


    I did play the same old Mark 6 tenor I'vew been playing for the last 10 years. It was gold plated back in 95. I'm playing on a Freddie Gregory ebonite mouthpiece, also same one for the last 11 years. Bob
  6. Deet

    Deet Popular Member

    What a coïncedence. I just wanted to ask Bob what he used on the Livewires recording, since I saw on the footage there was some kind of pickup/lavalier or something on the mouthpiece. Question answered! Only one question left for Bob (I might have to post this as a seperate question), was your tenor mic (RE-20 if I recall correctly) also used to pick up the "body" of the bassclarinet. That might be a nice way to go, for the overall sound, and then use the pickup for the "reed/breath/top end", and maybe for monitors. I amplified bassclarinet a couple of times, but since it had to be amplified quiet subtle, and didn't require a lot of monitor foldback, I just used a nice condenser mic, spaced somewhere between the bell and the upper part of the clarinet.

    Happy experimenting!

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