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  1. #1
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    just how does one amplify a bass clarinet?

    Hi everyone,

    any suggestions from the pros for a punk band using a bass clarinet instead of a bass?

    our recordings are no sweat using good condenser mics, but onstage we're forced to stick piezo foil/contact mic under the reed because the levels needed to compete with drums and distorted angry guitar (we run the bass clarinet out of a big bass amp on stage) give us nothing but feedback when we use one of those clip-on condenser mics especially for woodwinds.

    the piezo is loud enough, but it makes the clarinet sound like a synthesizer.

    would we have any luck trying to EQ the feedback out or using one of these feedback suppressor pedals, or is it just insane to try to plug a condenser mic into a bass amp? if EQ/pedal is the solution, is there a simple and affordable option? we are poor and only amateur sound engineers.

    thanks!
    winning suggestion gets a free copy of our new CD out in december...or january...

    chris // no nebraska!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2007
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    West Lancs UK
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    Would it be amiss of me to suggest you turn down the drums and guitars

    Seriously though, it seems that 70% of the sound from a clarinet comes from the uncovered finger holes, and not from the reed or the bell, so it might be worth playing around with the positioning of the mic you already have

    Do I win the CD?

  3. #3
    About 50% comes out of the bell. I have had the best results using a standard SM58 on horns of all types for a decent live sound. You can eq it the way you want. Only drawback is loss of freedom of movement. Run the mic to the house system like a vocal mic. Use a splitter if you have to to get the signal back to the bass amp for a stage monitor. It should give you at least as much volume as the vocals.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  4. #4
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    berlin
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    thanks guys.
    i think you're right that every attempt should be made performance-wise to combat the fact that rock n' roll very often becomes an amplitude competition between drums and guitar, squeezing out more modest instruments like woodwinds, however amplified they may be.

    beyond that, the idea of trying to mic the instrument higher up is also interesting. thanks!

    ps how about free entry to a show for both of you instead? then we save on postage, and might still benefit from your expertise, should we need a sound engineer. of course, you'd have to live in europe, where we live and will soon tour.

    peace

    chris // no nebraska!

  5. #5
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    Quote
    Quote: chrisnatale
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    how about free entry to a show for both of you instead? then we save on postage, and might still benefit from your expertise, should we need a sound engineer. of course, you'd have to live in europe, where we live and will soon tour.

    peace

    chris // no nebraska!
    I'd love to come to one of your shows. As soon as you're anywhere near NW UK let me know.

  6. #6
    As much as I'd love to live in Europe for a while, all my roots are here in the States. But I will buy your CD when it comes out (since you wimped out on the prize)
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  7. #7
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    Quote
    Quote: penniesfromheaven
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    As much as I'd love to live in Europe for a while, all my roots are here in the States. But I will buy your CD when it comes out (since you wimped out on the prize)
    hey i will be back visiting my own american roots on the east coast around xmas. if you're anywhere near philly-baltimore-ny-pittsburgh, i can drop a CD off for you somewhere!

    chris

  8. #8
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    Quote
    Quote: nige101uk
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    I'd love to come to one of your shows. As soon as you're anywhere near NW UK let me know.
    right now we are working on the netherlands in february. but england is high up on priorities for summer. i'll keep ya posted.

    chris

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