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Question Re: Recording Bass


FenderBass

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Hey Guys,

 

I'm new to this board. I've been reading several threads on this forum for the last few weeks and I'm impressed on how helpful other posters are when it comes to sharing ideas and information. Great stuff!Keep it up.

 

I'm 26 years old and I've been playing since I was eleven. I was curious to know how other bassist record their bass lines in the studio.For example, do you plug in direct or mike the amp (or use both). Do you use a passive or active bass? (Of course it depends on the musical situation you're in, but overall what's your favourite combo.)

 

I've used many different combos but always end up using a P-Bass plugged into an ampeg B-15 (for rock and pop music). Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

PS- Bass Player kicks ass and they had a great issue on "Recording Your Bass" November 1998.

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I record direct. Either at home in a PC or in studio via their DI box. For me direct always sounds a bit dry and lifeless. However, when it is mixed it usually sounds right. I love reverb on bass, which is fine for solo work but not suitable for recording in a group.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I like direct for recordings after everything is said in done. I tend to jsut go bass---amp---(effects loop if wanted) and line out it to the computer.

If im looking for an upright sound out of my fretless I use a speaker that is wired up as an input device and place it over one of my speakers. It has a really nice tone to it although I still had to mix it with line in signal to make it to my liking.

Overall I find it difficult to mic bass speakers. (Im not saying it is hard, just that I have a hard time doing it. Im actually very excited to hear some of the guys here talk about how they mic recordings.) Its hard to catch the port sound, the tweeter and the speaker to get your overall sound unless you room mic it and then it seems to be muddy in the mix.

So yep, DI with effects of course =)

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum, FenderBass! :wave:

Originally posted by FenderBass:

I've used many different combos but always end up using a P-Bass plugged into an ampeg B-15

That's a studio engineer's old favorite. The P-Bass (especially with really old flats on it) gives a sound that is easy to mix, and the B-15 has certain properties that make it easy to work with, too. Besides, it's what they're used to working with.

 

Using DI instead gives even more flexibility. For example, through a process called re-amping, your recorded DI track can be sent out through the B-15 and re-tracked. Why would you want to do this instead of tracking the B-15 in the first place? Because now you can experiment with different microphones, mic placement, etc.

 

Also, recording a dry DI gives a lot of freedom for signal processing. If you record a wet signal -- say through your chorus pedal -- and decide later that the settings you used just aren't cutting it, you're screwed: either retrack or live with it. With that dry DI track you don't need to retrack; just adjust the chorus. You can do that either by re-amping with your pedal (as above) or with the DAW software (ITB or "in the box").

 

It should be possible to track both the B-15 and DI simultaneously. This gives the engineer the advantage of being able to blend the two signals to add texture without having to re-amp first.

 

You don't have to use a P-Bass in the studio. However, the engineer is probably going to cut your lows (to make room for the kick drum) and roll off your highs (to make room for everything else) so your bass track "sits" in the mix. (They will cut the lows on the guitars, too, to give your bass some "sonic space".) Evidently a P-Bass with flats already has these characteristics, or is better suited for this kind of EQ.

 

You don't have to use an Ampeg B-15, either. However, most bass rigs aren't very good at sound reproduction from a studio's stand point. The work well enough live because (a) for larger venues FOH is providing your SR, and (b) most venues totally suck acoustically, so there's no benefit to using higher quality SR equipment on stage anyway. But if you feel your live rig is central to your "sound", an engineer should be willing to work with you.

 

For guitars things are a little different, because the amp becomes an extension of the instrument, especially for feedback. That's partly why engineers favor miking a guitar amp over DI (although they can record both simultaneously as I already mentioned for bass).

 

At home I'm recording my Ric direct and adding whatever I need ITB.

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Almost everything I have ever recorded (and that includes many albums) has been recorded direct.

 

I've used a variety of basses over the years, some active, some passive, but I also plug in directly (using a Countryman di). It sounds good to me and the sound I hear out of the studio monitors is what I want my stage sound to sound like.

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Well to start off I use a active bass (just my style). For my recording which is NEVER computer, I own a digital recorder. I normally just amp it. If you have a nice room to record in with "bass traps"; it sounds better then direct because I feel you get a cooler sound (live-ish).

 

It really all depends on what you like yourself. It also depends on the bass of course and what kind of projects you are doing, which you stated above.

 

My Rig setup for recording is normally. Ampeg BA-115HP connected to Samson compressor/limiter/gate then to my effect loops to a Modulus Q5. Then to record, I add the Compression Mic. (not sure of what kind, but does a good job not picking up other instruments when im recording more then one at a time, with different mics.

Feel the Vibration of the bass
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Jonathan-dnkritr.........to answer what you said... if i didnt do a good job before.

 

My setup for my mic spot is easy for me i have one 15 speaker and a 2 in tweeter. I put the mic like 5 inches away and between the tweeter and the speaker. Its top right hand on the amp. I get the sound very clear but the room i use is also fairly nice. Thats one important aspect.

Feel the Vibration of the bass
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The old-school engineers used the phrase "room-tone" to describe the echo properties in a recording space, what freq's were emphasized/cancelled, etc. Gen'ly speaking, bass 'fills up' a space, treble goes more directly to the ear from a source of sound. I've used a comination of amp mics and direct, to get a fuller sound with articulation.
I just want to play the blues - in F! Jaco Pastorius
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I usually go direct nowdays & set my onboard preamps flat. Sometimes I go thru a tube preamp like an Avalon, Pultec or Telefunken. On a session for the Texas Tornados, the producer(a guy named Blankenship,Clapton's producer) recorded my bass direct & then played the track back thru a Fender studio bass amp isolated in a room & mixed the two sounds. Sounds fat("La Grande Vida" from the album "Hangin' On By A Thread" Texas Tornados, Reprise.) I use flats on both 4 & 5 strings. My main studio basses are an Elrick 5 string & a Fender Jazz body with P bass size Modulus neck(4 string).
"Shoot low, most of 'em are ridin' ponies"
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