Best Microphone for Bass Amp

Best Microphone for Bass Amp

Let’s get you capturing those sweet bass amp tones flawlessly with the best mic for bass amp.

Quick Answer: AKG D112 MKII – if you’re new to miking bass amps, you don’t need to look further than the favorite workhorse among recording engineers for the job.

If on the other hand you are in the market for a good condenser we recommend the AKG C414 XLII.

Of course, if you are not new to recording bass amps, chances are that you already have and are using those mics for your bass amps. In this case, there several other options below to take a look at, all of which are highly recommended.

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Top 10 Best Microphone for Bass Amp

  1. Shure SM57
  2. Sennheiser MD-421
  3. Electro-Voice RE20
  4. Audix D6
  5. Neumann TLM-103
  6. AKG C414 XLII
  7. Shure Beta 52A
  8. Beyerdynamic M88
  9. Sennheiser e902
  10. AKG D112

Best Microphone for Bass Amp Reviews

Shure SM57

Shure SM57

Pros
  • Perfect fit to bass guitar amp
  • Versatile
  • Noise reduction
  • Excellent build quality
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • None
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Shure SM57 is truly a legend considering that it’s one of the most used microphones since 1965. It’s not the prettiest mic you’ll ever see, but it’s one of the most durable and reliable on the planet.

Best features and specs

With its solid build quality and the strong emphasis on the mid-range, Shure SM57 is a go-to microphone for a lot of professional recording studios around the world.

User impressions

Users say that Shure SM57 is an awesome and versatile microphone. It sounds super clean, has an outstanding build quality, and great design.

What we think

Shure SM57 has a rather aggressive low cut and a very noticeable mid-range boost. So it might be a good idea to use it for capturing rock and heavy metal basses.

Bottomline

Shure SM57 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very reliable and consistent microphone that has a reputation of being nearly indestructible and offers you a lot of versatility.

Sennheiser MD-421

Sennheiser MD-421

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Solid build
  • Doesn’t require phantom power
Cons
  • Lousy clip
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Sennheiser MD-421 is a highly versatile cardioid dynamic microphone that can very well handle high-pressure sounds.

Best features and specs

Sennheiser MD-421 can capture low end up to 30 Hz and has an adjustable bass roll-off, which gives you a very natural low end in close micing situations. It has a stainless steel body to make sure that it would last for ages.

User impressions

Users like Sennheiser MD-421 for being a go-to mic, versatile, and able to withstand the levels and pressure of any sound source in the home studio or live gig. Users say that this mic is perfect for delivering warm and rich tones to bass amps and guitars.

What we think

Considering that Sennheiser MD-421 eliminates proximity effect like a champ and at the same time can easily handle high-pressure sounds, it would be very hard to find a mic even more suitable for bass amps.

Bottomline

Sennheiser MD-421 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a dynamic cardioid mic that is specifically tailored to capture guitar and bass cabinets. And at that price range, it’s truly a bargain.

Electro-Voice RE20

Electro-Voice RE20

Pros
  • Solid build
  • Versatile
  • Industry-standard
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Electro-Voice RE20 is a cardioid dynamic microphone with an exceptional ability to eliminate a proximity effect and a bass tilt down switch that evens out the spectrum when the mic is used for capturing sounds with a very strong low end.

Best features and specs

Electro-Voice RE20 has a low-end roll-off at 45 Hz and a fairly even frequency response range up to 18 kHz. It also is a large-diaphragm microphone which means that it’s highly sensitive and responsive.

User impressions

Users say that Electro-Voice RE20 is versatile, great in rejecting noise, and it has a solid build quality. Users add that they use mostly this mic for vocals and are extremely happy with the results, but this mic sounds good while capturing other instruments too.

What we think

Although it was marketed as a broadcast microphone, specifically made for voiceovers, it’s truly surprising how good it’s at capturing bass cabinets, even when the amp is cranked up.

Bottomline

Electro-Voice RE20 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a large-diaphragm dynamic mic that is very competent at capturing bass and guitar amps and delivering professional-grade voiceovers.

Audix D6

Audix D6

Pros
  • Lots of character
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Audix D6 is a small diaphragm dynamic with a cardioid pick-up pattern. It’s specifically made to perfectly and accurately capture kick drum sounds.

Best features and specs

Audix D6 has a frequency response of 30 Hz – 15 kHz and has a very subtle low-end boost to capture a very powerful low-end without sacrificing the transients.

User impressions

Users like Audix D6, as it captures the perfect amount of low end, it has a great presence. It has a solid build quality. Users say that they don’t have to apply any EQ to the recorded material.

What we think

With its boost at 60 Hz and staggering 17dB boost between 10-12 kHz, it’s hardly an all-around versatile mic, but low-frequency instruments most definitely will benefit from that frequency response.

Bottomline

Audix D6 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very budget-friendly cardioid dynamic microphone specifically tailored to capture low-end sounds.

Neumann TLM-103

Neumann TLM-103

 

Pros
  • Extremely low noise
  • Full frequency range
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Sweetwater

Neumann TLM-103 represents the newer generation of Neumans large-diaphragm cardioid condenser mics. It has a very linear full-range frequency response with a fairly noticeable shelf boost above 5 kHz.

Best features and specs

Neumann TLM-103 uses the same capsule that was used in the iconic U87, which means that you can have modern durability on top of vintage heritage.

User impressions

Users agree that Neumann TLM 103 has a bright tone, pleasant-sounding sparkly top-end, clean and detailed sound. It takes EQ just fine and adds warmth and character to the sound. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that this microphone is extremely sensitive, so if you’re recording in an untreated room, you’ll have a lot of reflections and noise.

What we think

Although a high shelf boost is fairly noticeable, there’s absolutely zero harshness to the sound. Moreover, it feels like this mic almost sounds like a tube one, which is truly surprising considering that there barely is any coloration.

Bottomline

Neumann TLM-103 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a top-end condenser mic with a very silky sound and a lot of vintage flavors. This is Jack White’s favorite mic to capture guitar amps. What else do you need to know?

AKG C414 XLII

AKG C414 XLII

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Low self-noise
Cons
  • Not exactly budget-friendly
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

AKG C414 XLII is a top-end large-diaphragm condenser mic with 9 switchable polar patterns and a full-frequency response range.  It also offers you 3 different low-cut filters.

Best features and specs

Each low-cut filter has its own slope that varies from very steep to a very subtle 6 dB per octave. An additional lock mode gives you an opportunity to disable all controls for use during live performances.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with AKG C414 XLII as it’s a versatile, really good-sounding mic that captures the details and reveals nuances of the tone with incredible clarity.

What we think

Every time a microphone can deliver low-frequencies up to 20 Hz, it’s very safe to say that it’s going to be absolutely amazing with low-frequency instruments. And, of course, switchable low-cut filters add to the overall versatility of this mic.

Bottomline

AKG C414 XLII is a great choice for someone who is looking for a professional condenser mic that offers you an almost unprecedented amount of versatility and full-spectrum frequency response range.

Shure Beta 52A

Shure Beta 52A

Pros
  • Noise reduction
  • Solid build
  • Great in capturing low frequencies
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Shure Beta 52A is a super-cardioid dynamic mic made specifically to capture low-frequency instruments. Like all of the Shure mics, it’s extremely reliable and durable.

Best features and specs

Shure Beta 52A can capture low frequencies up to 20 Hz and it also has a rather significant presence boost at 4 kHz to make sure that low-end instruments cut through the mix properly.

User impressions

Users like Shure Beta 52A for giving a perfect amount of crisp low and top end and it sounds amazing. Users say that it’s a very robust mic that provides you with a fat, round sound.

What we think

Although the high-end frequency response is limited to 10 kHz, it actually might be rather beneficial for bass cabinets and kick drums because it can make them sound a lot more refined.

Bottomline

Shure Beta 52A is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very budget-friendly mic that was specifically designed for recording bass amps and kick drums as well as acoustic basses.

Beyerdynamic M88

Beyerdynamic M88

Pros
  • Noise reduction
Cons
  • Not good at rejecting plosives
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Beyerdynamic M88 if hyper-cardioid dynamic microphone with a very broad dynamic range, reinforced metal body, and very accurate response.

Best features and specs

Beyerdynamic M88 has a built-in humbucker filter that helps with suppressing noises and a full-frequency response range with a very gentle presence boost.

User impressions

Users say that Beyerdynamic M88 is an exceptional microphone that picks up the low end without sounding plain and dull. Users add that this mic sounds crystal clear and present.

What we think

Depending on your initial budget, it might be more efficient to have a mic that is very good at any application but doesn’t really stand out in any of them.

Bottomline

Beyerdynamic M88 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a dynamic microphone with an exceptional SPL capacity, very accurate response, and great versatility.

Sennheiser e902

Sennheiser e902

Pros
  • Great for live gigs
  • Light and compact
Cons
  • Inconvenient XLR position
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Sennheiser e902 is a cardioid kick drum mic that handles transients exceptionally and captures a very clean low end.

Best features and specs

Sennheiser e902 has a frequency response range starting from 20 Hz up to 18 kHz with no detectable low-end coloration. Thanks to its full-metal body, it can be used in the most extreme recording scenarios.

User impressions

Users like Sennheiser e902 as it easily and accurately captures the sound. It has a solid build quality and good looks. It captures low end really good and in detail.

What we think

More often than not, experienced audio engineers choose microphones by the flavor they add to the sound or, for that matter, by its absence. Sennheiser e902 offers you the latter.

Bottomline

Sennheiser e902 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a cardioid dynamic microphone that was made specifically for low-end instruments. It also has an extremely fast transient response, which is very beneficial for capturing bass guitar sound in modern and aggressive styles of music.

AKG D112

AKG D112

Pros
  • Vintage sound
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Inconvenient XLR location
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

AKG D112 is a kick drum mic with very high SPL capacity and exceptional low-frequency response. Its cardioid pattern helps to cut off any peripheral sounds.

Best features and specs

AKG D112 has an emphasis on capturing all the frequencies below 100 Hz without any distortion whatsoever and also has a high-shelf boost at 4 kHz for some additional presence. Due to its SPL rating of 160 dB, it can easily handle sounds of any possible dynamic and volume.

User impressions

Users say that AKG D112 is versatile and has a punchy and crisp sound quality. It has a pretty unique design and is very solid-build as it’s made completely from metal. The only tiny nuisance to this mic is that the mounting clip is made from plastic, therefore, it might get loose during the performance.

What we think

Most of the time, while mixing your recording, you’ll feel the need to boost the low end of your bass guitar or a kick drum with an EQ. But it feels like, with AKG D112, this need almost completely disappears.

Bottomline

AKG D112 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very budget-friendly dynamic microphone that has the ability to capture very powerful low end while maintaining presence and transients.

Microphone for Bass Amp Buying Guide

There are a few things that you may consider while choosing the best microphone for the bass amp for you specifically.

What makes a mic perfect for a bass amp?

Any microphone that can capture deep low end but the high-end matters too. So that’s kind of obvious that we’re looking for a fairly versatile mic that has a very broad frequency range with a strong emphasis on the low part of the spectrum.

Why would you need a microphone for a bass amp?

Of course, it would be much easier to just record a DI signal straight to your interface and add some saturation while mixing. But although this approach is extremely efficient, it sadly lacks authenticity. And to capture it, you need a proper bass amp with a decent amount of bite and, of course, a microphone to record its sound with.

Important features

While choosing a mic for a bass amp, you may want to pay attention to build quality, overall tone, design, and, of course, low-frequency response.

Build quality

The last thing you want your newly bought mic to do is to fall apart with just a few uses. You want it to last as long as possible and to get by with the minimum amount of maintenance and, even better, with no maintenance at all.

Overall tone

Every microphone has its own sound and it’s up to you to figure out what particular flavor will suit the sound of your best amp.

Design

It may not seem very important but in time, you’ll very much appreciate the looks of your mic if it’s good. When you spend the whole day in the studio, it’s rather beneficial to surround yourself with things that inspire you rather than dull you out.

Low-frequency response

It wouldn’t be a particularly great idea to capture a bass amp with a mic that has a very steep low cut. Moreover, the more low frequencies the mic can capture, the better.

How to choose the right one for you?

In order to choose the best mic for bass amp, you need to empirically figure out what type of flavor suits your artistic vision the most. Consider the durability of the microphone and how it captures the low end. And, of course, don’t forget about aesthetics.

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