Micing an upright bass is something I get asked about quite frequently. Granted, you need to choose the right microphone and place it well, but after that there isn’t much more you should need to do – provided it’s a great player with a great instrument of course! On the stage, however, the challenges begin. Combinations of high-quality pick-ups with a clip-on mic such as the DPA 4099 can work well. Could this new offering from Ear Trumpet Labs be the new must-have for acoustic bass players?
Ear Trumpet Labs – Nadine: Microphone for Upright Bass
‘Nadine’ is suitably named after Nadine Landry (Foghorn String Band), who helped advise Philip Graham during the design process. Undeniably, Ear Trumpet Labs’ microphones look wonderful. They are all new products, yet they appear as though you’ve stumbled across a forgotten vintage microphone from yester-year.
Nadine is no exception, lending itself well to being placed on these beautiful instruments. It’s all about how they sound, though, and from what I’ve heard so far, they seem great. Even though the capsule is placed behind the bridge and thus close to the sound board, the sound is very natural and open. I wonder how the mic performs on stage, though, particularly when gain-before-feedback is a concern.
I really like the fact this is large-diaphragm condenser microphone which can be attached to the bass instrument. Typically, clip-on mics are small-diaphragm and lightweight, but the upright bass screams out for something larger. They’ve achieved this via separating the capsule with the microphone body, via a Mogami cable. The capsule is then sandwiched between the strings and the body strapped to the tailpiece, allowing for easy and fast removal. I’d love to try this mic on the stage. While it apparently sounds good, we need to know what the level of risks are around feedback and separation from other sources.
For more information and to order the Nadine microphone, head over to the product page on ETL’s website. Priced at 599 USD, that seems like a fair price for such a specialist product.
Here is ETL’s demo video of the Nadine microphone on a variety of upright basses published on their YouTube channel: