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Re: mic or pickup?

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Posted by John Davis on January 15, 2000 at 13:42:43:

In Reply to: mic or pickup? posted by Larry on January 14, 2000 at 21:27:37:

: I'd like to ask those of you who have been playing upright professionally which do you find works better for you, using a mic or pickup to amplify your bass?
: Thank you,
: Hound

Hey there Hound... it's a tough call. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A pickup will never be able to truly reproduce the sound of an
acoustic instrument moving air, but a pickup will be able to cut through a loud band without the problem of feedback. Many individuals, such as
Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and Marc Johnson, used the "pickup" sound to create a unique tone. That sort of sound is loved by some and hated by
others. A microphone is the way to get a truly accurate representation of your bass. UNfortunately, a mic is subject to bleed from other sounds
nearby and feedback. The best option, I believe, is a combination of the two, either using a pickup/amp onstage and a mic in the PA, or using a device
such as the Fishman Pocket Blender to combine a mic and pickup signal into your amp/direct line. I feel that the best pickup currently available is
the Realist from David Gage String repair in NYC. It is affordable and teh sound is pretty killin'. The people using the pickup speaks for itself:
John Patitucci, Dave Holland, Avishai Cohen, Ray Drummond, Michael Moore, etc... you get the idea. I feel that the best mic on teh market now is made
by Applied Microphone Technologies, a new company in NJ. It has sonic qualities similar to that of a great studio mic like a Neumann KM84, but it attaches
to the bass and has a tight polar pattern for maximum isolation. I engineer for John Patitucci, who is currently using one, and I was blown away by its
sound in a live setting. Any of you at Bass Day 99 heard it during his set, despite the horrendous acoustics of that room. I hope that helps. For my
bass currently, I'm using a Realist pickup, and I have an Audix D4 microphone that sounds wonderful with my instrument (a c.1970 Pollmann). Good luck!

John Davis

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