Experimental Double Bass: 100.017

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


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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