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Re: Mic bass with Shure 58 or 57?

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Posted by Brad Maestas on October 10, 2002 at 19:14:13:

In Reply to: Re: Mic bass with Shure 58 or 57? posted by Barefoot Larry on April 15, 2002 at 04:46:10:

: : I tried this for the first time last be fair, first time, and the rehearsal room is small, but it was terrible from my perspective, using either my amp or the PA. Anytime I achieved any volume, I had terrible feedback problems.

: : But a player here in town swears by it, so what do I know?

: An SM57/SM58 are GREAT stage mics, and if you're having feedback problems, it's a matter of adjustment/placement more than anything, or simply a matter of trying to get too much volume out of a pure-mic situation. Even with a hyper-cardioid Golden Trinity mic, there is a limit to how much gain you can throw on it without getting feedback. If you're playing with a really loud band, a piezo pickup may be the ONLY way that you'll get the volume you need without getting feedback.

: The Shure SM-57/58 the only two mics that I use onstage, if I can help it. They're rugged and they sound good over a wide range of applications.

: The drawback to using them is that your bass will hit frequencies in the neighborhood of 30Hz, and those mic elements won't pick up sounds below 40Hz. You will miss a little of your low-end when using them.

: The audience may not hear this... indeed you may not even hear it, but it IS something that exists.

-When trying to amplify LIVE most systems are barely capable of reproducing such low frequencies let alone your bass. You should only be concerned with the frequencies between 50 and 200 Hz. These are the ones that cause problems and also the ones that let people know that it is a bass that they're hearing. I play bass, mandolin and guitar (preferrably without pickups) and my bluegrass band is convinced that for intimate atmospheres that are NOT outside condenser mics are the way to go. Now if you have a noisy crowd then I would recommend a pickup/mic combo to get the headroom. The SM57 is my choice if those two are your choices. It has a considerable depth to its pattern. It has a relatively flat response which will not color your bass sound too much. It will "hear" more of the top AND the back. I responded to a very recent posting about placement and you should check it out for some ideas. The SM58 has the same capsule as the 57 except it is optimized for vocal reproduction. The response curve of the 58 has some specific treble frequencies boosted to help hear the singers breath and diction. I find that these frequencies do color the sound but nevertheless I have used both of these mics frequently in situations I thought would be hopeless. The 58 hears more of just the top. Another thing is that with the 57 you have a greater room for movement without noticable falloff of volume. With the 58 if you're singing into it it's only good from a couple of inches to right in contact with the windscreen. Should you move your bass out of this effective range there is a noticable falloff effect. I would definitely NOT get a unidirectional mic unless you plan to put it in the middle of the band and use just one mic. It will pick up your bass out of one side and the audience out the other. Some of the budget cardioid condenser mics work great for bass. As long as you or the engineer remove those problem frequencies you should be able to get a great bluegrass sound. Part of "the sound" in my opinion is the lack of fidelity and just the presence of the thud rather than the overtones.

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