Acoustic Bass / Bass Violin

Recording the Bass ViolinIn discussing electric bass recording techniques I failed to mention the acoustic bass. Also known as the bass violin, the acoustic bass is used quite a bit in jazz, country and bluegrass genres.

In the studio put the bass in a separate isolated room if at all possible, with the exception of acoustic country and bluegrass styles. For a jazz group while it is advantageous to keep all the players together there usually is too much bleed from the drums and piano.

You can get a great sound by using two mics. A large diaphragm condenser aimed at the lower body of the instrument below the “f” hole and a small diaphragm condenser aimed above the “f” hole sort of at the fingerboard. Both of these mics are about 12 -18 inches away from the instrument.

Roll a little of the high frequencies off on the bottom microphone and just a smidgen of the low frequencies off on the top microphone. Record on separate tracks and blend to taste in mixdown.

If recording a bluegrass group or one with no piano or drums you can get away with having the bass musician with everyone else in one larger room. You can also use gobos (go betweens) to help isolate the sounds while still keeping the group together in one area.

What are your favorite acoustic bass recording tips?

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .
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