William A Mackay Interview 6 Instruments Pickups
The amplification of acoustic instrument can raise many questions.
Ideally in my mind what’s required is a re-production of the instrument which tonally is no different than the instrument un amplified but at a higher volume.
The solution must replicate the dynamic response and everything that is good about an acoustic instrument.
Unfortunately most stringed instrument being boxes designed to resonate efficiently, will resonate and create feedback all to easily at higher volume levels.
I have experimented with amplifying double bass quite a bit over recent years.
The most acoustically accurate methods would be involving a condenser mic or a good quality contact mic, I have a Schertler which is stuck to the belly with a putty that doesn’t mark or damage the instrument and it’s a great pick-up.
Microphone may be prone to feedback if volume on stage gets loud.
The other option might be to use electro-magnetic pick-ups or piezo, or even a blend of the two.
So much of the detail of an acoustic instruments tone can be lost in the mix at volume if your not careful and sometime it’s more a case of shaping the tone electronically with decent equalization, parametric as well as graphic eq is useful and there are several good pre-amps on the market up to the job.
Compression can also be helpful on double bass as it really has a huge bottom end.
We invite you to consult the 2 personal pages of William A Mackay by clicking on the link below :
You can find him on Luthiers at this address for his work on Bowed String Instruments: https://luthiers.com/listing/william-a-mackay-luthiery/
And here for his work on Plucked String Instruments: https://luthiers.com/listing/william-a-mackay-luthiery-2/
In the coming weeks, as for all the others luthiers for plucked string instruments, luthiers for bowed string instruments, amps & effects makers, wood & supplies dealers, lutherie events, jobs, schools & teachers registered on our website, you will be able to follow our series of mini-interviews dedicated to the fascinating universe of luthiers.
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