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PICKUPS and MICROPHONES: Getting a Good Blend
Recent News and Updates
NEW Grace Design BiX is IN STOCK
The New Grace Design BiX has arrived! Finally, studio-grade preamplification for your bass (or other acoustic instruments) in a compact, road-worthy enclosure. With only the essential features, the BiX puts top-shelf boutique sound into your rig for under $300. Now available for immediate shipment.
Doubler IN STOCK
The New Doubler
The new Euphonic Audio Doubler
improves upon already great sound and features. We have the new amp IN STOCK and ready to ship!
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

The four-string is the NEW NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit. We have a limited number of 5-strings left in the original passive design, and those are the last of the traditional 5-strings.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!

Recently Added Products
Fancy Exotic Wood Dress-up Tailpieces for Bass
Fancy Exotic Wood Dress-up Tailpieces for Bass
This item is made in USA!These gorgeous American-made tailpieces are made of beautiful hardwoods to provide an eye-catching upgrade to your doublebass. Several options available, beautifully made and hand-finished.
Fiberglas Hardshell Suspension CASE for 3/4 size Upright Bass
Fiberglas Hardshell Suspension CASE for 3/4 size Upright Bass
I've often been asked about Hard Cases for bass. This is a real fiberglas case with tons of wheels, and a suspension system to protect your bass. Not something you'd want for taking your bass to local gigs, but it's the best choice we have available for plane or shipping travel...
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
The wizard who brought you those great sounding amps (with a similar name) is back! This small combo has the flexibility, hi-fi transparent sound, and great design -- in a portable package -- that you would expect from Jeff Genzler...
• 15.5”W x 15”D x 16”H, 25 Lbs • 175w (350 w/added cab) and 1x10 speaker with array
In past newsletters, I've talked about how to choose a pickup, or a microphone, when you're looking to get a great amplified tone in your live performances. What quite a few players have chosen to do, however, is to get the best of both worlds by combining a mic and a pickup, using a blending preamp. This allows you to combine the things that each element does well, to (hopefully!) create a combination that achieves more than the sum of its parts.

In speaking to a customer on the phone last week - who was trying, unsuccessfully, to do just that - it dawned on me that perhaps the "obvious" means for getting the combination to work well might not be the best one.

This particular player was doing what seemed quite logical: he dialed in a good sound, separately, from both the pickup and the microphone. He then blended them together, in varying amounts, until the "magic" happened. This approach makes total sense (and for some players, might work just fine.) Unfortunately for him, the magic failed to happen (or maybe he just didn't wish hard enough...) And that's what got me thinking.

As an aside, I have a personal home studio where I record, engineer, and mix my own music. I've done a lot of reading on mixing, in particular, to find out the "secrets" of a great mix. A huge revelation, early on, was that good engineers don't just mix with the volume sliders, they mix with EQ. Meaning, by creatively cutting and boosting certain bands, you carve out a sonic "space" for each instrument, where it excels -- and everything blends together without stepping on each other's toes. If you were to "solo" a well-mixed song's bass track, all by itself it might not sound its absolute best -- in fact it might sound pretty bad. But in the context of the entire mix, it's not fighting other instruments, but is, rather, complementing them. And that's when that weirdly EQ'd bass track suddenly springs to life and sounds amazing. And it's easier for the engineer to get a coherent mix on the whole track, because all of the volumes are in check, relatively even, and nothing is overwhelming everything by taking up the entire frequency spectrum.

So, back to our mic and pickup conundrum: how do we apply this approach to blending (mixing!) a mic and a pickup, which are both essentially trying to amplify the same thing? I'd suggest considering what each element "does well." The microphone adds realism and "air," and really shines in the upper frequency range. Meanwhile, the pickup is a pretty "direct" sort of sound, which is helpful for providing a big, full-bodied sound in the low range. So my approach would be to reduce the high frequencies for the pickup -- letting it do the "heavy lifting" down low -- and to reduce the low frequencies on the mic, to let it excel in the upper frequencies without stepping all over the pickup. This way, you capitalize on the strengths of each component -- while eliminating, through cutting the EQ, their "weaknesses."

So it's really about looking at it a little differently... taking a step back and considering something that seems less "obvious" until you think about it. This approach may give you a more easily "mixable" blend, since the two sources will no longer be fighting for the same sonic space. It may work well for getting the sound you hear in your head, and it might not - but at least it's got you thinking!






The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark