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Tips for recording bass

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Brian Moynihan » Thu May 01, 2008 9:02 am

If you can adjust the pickup height, check that one side isn't low down affecting the strings closest to that screw adjuster, if those strings are quieter try adjusting the pickup a little higher.

I'd say EQ then compression should nail any further imbalance. Unless you're playing a £5000 bass through the worlds best gear there's almost always frequencies that dip and others that peak. Try playing through a spectral meter that holds it's average levels so you can get an overall picture of the frequencies once you've played through all the strings and various frets, you might notice where the biggest problems are and then know what to EQ.

As for reverb on bass, I wouldn't normally whack a reverb plugin on a bass guitar, but conversely I find DI'd bass the most horrible sound known to man, it's like using a software sampler bass instead of a real one. This is probably a taste thing, but most of my favorite recordings form the 60s and 70s have very 'roomy' or spacious bass guitar that's been recorded either from the amp or captured along with the rest of the band in one space (beach boys/motown sound) I also find that sort of bass sits in a song a lot better because it captures more harmonic distortion than a DI recording ever would, meaning you don't need to insert 15 plugins on the track just to get a useable bass track.
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Grantsos » Thu May 01, 2008 12:50 pm

Pete Standing Alone wrote:...I find DI'd bass the most horrible sound known to man, it's like using a software sampler bass instead of a real one. This is probably a taste thing, but most of my favorite recordings form the 60s and 70s have very 'roomy' or spacious bass guitar that's been recorded either from the amp or captured along with the rest of the band in one space (beach boys/motown sound)

Jamerson recorded direct for the motown stuff... (though, I think Kaye favoured an amp). AFAIK Motown's producers were renowned for DI'ing things. I think it's more a question of the player and equipment when chasing a good DI tone. Jamerson also rarely, if ever, changed his strings.
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Dog » Thu May 01, 2008 8:34 pm

"Tips for recording bass"

Try to get your mic right up next to the water! void(0)
:lol: :lol:

Cheers,
Dog.

Sorry folks it was a bit late in the post for that.
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Steve Hill » Thu May 01, 2008 10:54 pm

I would not rule out DI-ed bass, especially through say a Sansamp pre, and/or if you treat it afterwards with say the Ampeg SVX plug-in. One album we did last year was entirely done that way, and I'd defy anyone listening to it to recognise the fact!

BUT - there are some rubbish DI boxes out there, and plenty of other ways to create a less than lovely signal path if you want to!

I always take a DI-ed track even if I'm miking a bass (which I usually do). Sometimes when mixing I'll decide just to go with the DI track for whatever reason. Other times I'll just go with the mic. Or both, whatever....
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby The Elf » Fri May 02, 2008 8:45 am

I love DI'd bass, providing we have the right amp and the right input. An Ampeg DI into the Fireface instrument input is a thing of beauty and a sound I wish all bassists could give me!
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby northsoul » Fri May 02, 2008 10:38 am

The Elf wrote:I love DI'd bass, providing we have the right amp and the right input. An Ampeg DI into the Fireface instrument input is a thing of beauty and a sound I wish all bassists could give me!

Out of interest because I was thinking of getting something similar to beef up my bass sound, do you mean this pedal http://guitare.playback-europe.com/produits.php?prodid=10919&partner=leguide_UK ?
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Steve Hill » Fri May 02, 2008 10:49 am

That also works as a mic pre-amp, which may be more than you need. It would certainly work as a DI bass input, but I've never seen or used one. Looks interesting though.
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby Grantsos » Fri May 02, 2008 12:57 pm

I made a sowter equiped DI for about UKP50, 40 of which was the transformer. It rocks (due to the superb transformer, not my magic soldering)
The JDI from radial is pretty good too.
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Re: Tips for recording bass

Postby The Elf » Tue May 06, 2008 8:23 am

colinmk wrote:
The Elf wrote:I love DI'd bass, providing we have the right amp and the right input. An Ampeg DI into the Fireface instrument input is a thing of beauty and a sound I wish all bassists could give me!

Out of interest because I was thinking of getting something similar to beef up my bass sound, do you mean this pedal http://guitare.playback-europe.com/produits.php?prodid=10919&partner=leguide_UK ?
Nope, I'm meaning the DI output from a bass head. That looks interesting though - anyone have any experience of it?
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