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I am recording a live jazz quartet on Friday consisting of drums, acoustic piano, upright bass and either electric guitar or a sax (this will be confirmed tomorrow and I have no problem with these). As I have never recorded upright bass, I am lacking on miking techniques.

I have been researching into the subject but most places seem to be talking about when the instrument is isolated, and as I will be recording it completely live, some of the placements may not be ideal. I have heard of suspending an sm57 in the bridge with rubber bands but I'm not sure of the best way to achieve this. I am mainly looking to get a good sound out of the upright bass while minimizing the bleed from the other instruments.

Also, it will be plucked, not bowed.

Thanks, Oli.

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The SM57 in the bridge can work. A good quality capsule condenser (like a LAV) clipped to the bridge can also work well. Sure, it isn't ideal, but I haven't seen anything better for loud live environments.

  • Thanks, any tips on achieving this with rubber bands? I don't want to look a fool struggling to suspend it haha – Perceptic Oct 29 '14 at 16:23
  • No, that I can't help on, the player I did a full size mic with (wasn't actually a 57, but a similar shaped condenser) had a bridge clip that could hold the mic and folded some paper around the mic further up to wedge it in to the sound hole. – AJ Henderson Oct 29 '14 at 16:27
  • Also, would an AT899 work? – Perceptic Oct 29 '14 at 16:33
  • I'd guess you probably want something more like an ATM35. I would think that an omnidirectional pickup in the AT899 is probably non-ideal as it will pick up not only the bass, but also everything around the bass. – AJ Henderson Oct 29 '14 at 16:37
  • ok, thanks for the help. Just one more thing, will the single sm57 or condenser be sufficient to get a good sound or would you recommend another close mix? – Perceptic Oct 29 '14 at 16:41

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