Experimental Double Bass: 100.017
Prepared double bass

Continuing with my love of sympathetic resonances, today’s experiment involves a preparation and unusual use for the double bass.

Experiment:

In 100.017 the bass is primarily an acoustic amplifier with the added sympathetic ringing of the strings. The energy that sets the strings in motion comes from manipulating ice in a glass. This energy is mechanically transmitted through the glass into the bridge and elsewhere on the instrument.

Additional electronics are used to further amplify the sympathetic vibrations. I can often hear and manipulate these sounds up close, from my position as a player. Here I use the microphone to allow the listener to obtain a similar orientation to the instrument.

Technical notes:

I chose the Sennheisser MD441 dynamic mic for this project. It’s a fantastic mic and has a handy little bright switch that I turned on to help capture the sounds. I had the mic very very close to the upper left bout of the instrument as the sounds are very very quiet. Further processing with a few digital compressors evens out the clanging of the ice with the ringing tones of the instrument.

Experimental Double Bass start page.


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