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Re: Yet more on...Re: Most natural sounding p/u & amp?

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Posted by Jim on November 16, 2001 at 04:03:46:

In Reply to: Re: Yet more on...Re: Most natural sounding p/u & amp? posted by Monte on November 15, 2001 at 10:05:17:

: Try a Schertler Dyn-B. It's a contact mic. I A/B'd it with my AKG D112, and on tape you couldn't tell which was the mic.

OK, I'll check it out.

>>>I think the Realist tries to approximate this by amplifying the top of the bass, and the result is often an unclear sound.

Not on my bass. It just made it more even and closer to a mic sound than any other PU I'd tried. But it is an exceptional instrument.

>>No one YET here has answered my question; have you ever listened to your Realist from 50' away?

Yup, I've had guys sit in and I was surprised, it was actually louder and clearer out front than I expected. But as I said, it depends how they play. Other guys that sat in with "finger tip" technique made it sound weak (& they probably play low action instruments with loud amps...)

>>Just because it's gut string and a mic does not mean a muddy sound, it means a less sustained sound, which I prefer.

Absolutely, that's the sound I fell in love with many years ago, the gut sound Ray, Scotty, and PC were getting in the 50's & early 60's (and someone was aluding to being thumpy and dated in another post this week). I was using mics back in the early 80s when most guys were still having love affairs with their Underwoods.

>>....We're the heartbeat of the band and (hopefully) important time keepers, at least I try to be in the music I'm involved with, mainstream jazz.

: And this can't be done with being able to hear individual pitches?

It would be preferable, of course. But like I said, the trend has been to make the bass sound as clear as a horn out front with PU's like the Fishman, which might be nice for soloing (for some), but it's not a natural sound and doesn't swing or kick a band in a rhythm section to my ears.
Like you, I prefer to dig in with an acoustic a sound as I can get. I try to do that with no amp (preferable) or a little bit of amp in a small club. If it's a noisy club with a loud drummer I lean on the amp a bit more, and that's when I get into trouble with the Contra. In the concert hall I use a mic through the sound system and the amp /PU for a bit of monitor (usually after a heated discussions with soundmen who, of course, all want a direct signal off the pickup). Sometimes this is successful in getting the bass clearly heard out front, sometimes it's not. I've witnessed this with other guys like McBride. Some concerts he's buried, others he's very clear. Sometimes it's just the room. Or the soundman...

>>>>....someone else plays it and it sounds like a wet sock and dies 10 feet away?<<<<<

: Are you saying you don't know anyone who plays better and projects better than you?

No, just that it's unlikely the piano player or drummer are going to play the way I do to help me judge my sound out front at a sound check. If someone that can really play comes and sits in on the gig, that's when I can check it out, with usually the results as mentioned above.

>>>Twice in the past year I've had situations come up where the amp lost all power or I forgot to plug my mic in for the first song. The band didn't know because I knew how to dig in and get through it. Until about 2 years ago, I relied on amps for my volume and sound. Now my gear is as nuetral sounding as possible. I want the last table at the back of the club to hear me as clear with the same sound as I hear in my practice room.<<

We're essentially on the same wave length here. But as much as I would prefer it, I don't worry too much about being absolutely crystal clear all the time out front. I'm more involved with listening to the music & everyone else in the band and trying to make everyone sound good, with hopefully the results of some good music, and some smiles and toes tapping,... fun. I would hope that's why were all doing this first and formost.

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