Recording with an SVT
To keep this short, I love how my SVT sounds live, but I can't replicate my live sound in the studio. How are the SVT players getting "the SVT sound" in the studio?
I run P bass right into the head. Transformer out to the board and a mic on the cab, then blend. I'm assuming it'll be something as simple as tweaking my settings, but I'd like to know what a good starting point would be to get a nice a tone that not only cuts, but punches the mix in the guts.
I can usually get this tone live with my setup, but can never manage to get it in a studio:
If you can get that sound live, then you need to use that same rig in the studio at gig volumes in an isolated room with a mic on it. Maybe three mics for an array of tone choices. I would avoid using Kick-Drum mics. How loud do you have your head?
New strings are crucial to get the tone you are trying to replicate. Whatever you are using, make sure they sound close to the end result or at least get you on the path.....
The Post-EQ tone off the SVT CL DOES NOT include the power tube growl you are hearing with your full rig. It's just clean and tubey sounding. As a clean signal, it definitely works.
I would take I dry DI directly off the bass and mic the cab. A '57 on the cab will capture the growl of the SVT and the DI will supply the bottom.
I think using the DI off the amp convolutes the sound.
The amp should be in a relatively dead room so the mic wont capture a lot of reflections.
Experiment with choosing which speaker to mic, one might sound better than the other.
I agree with what's already been said here.
You need to be using it at gig volume to get the same tone. That's unfortunately just how it works.
You can use a DI right from the bass or from the head, as it's mainly there to reinforce the lows that a mic might be rolling off.
If you are combining it with a DI, an SM57 might work just fine on the speaker. An EV RE20 would be even better, but an SM57 should do the job, too, combined with a DI. You might have to experiment with placement, as with close mic'ing, pointing the mic at different parts of the cone will result in different sounds.
Totally agree with the advice to avoid using kick drum mics. They aren't even remotely flat most of the time, and won't be a very accurate way to capture your rig's sound.
Mic choice maybe?
I (sometime) use AKG D112 in front of one of the 8x10 and satisfied.
Also using (Palmer PDI) Speaker Emulator (no cabs after the SVT Amp) does the job find too.
Placement, angle, cable, recorder (interface) and room (environment) are factors too (you must be already know that anyway).
tho in my experience, many combination of them, and I (we) can still got it.
Time for Mr. Jimmy M. to chime in his opinion :D
I think the problem may be that in the studios I've used it in, it's just too loud to be able to use it at gig volume. My bands go-to studio has an isolation room for guitar and vocals, but they usually just run bass direct and record it with the drums. I'm gonna have to experiment with the isolation chamber next time we're in there and really be persistent about getting a sound I'm happy with.
Isolate as stated above. Turn it up.
Straight signal via DI as stated above
Multiple mics as stated above
And also go back and cut just the bass track.
One of the bands I'm in records this way (it also sounds better than the other bands I record with too.) we usually build a song with the rythym section first, in our case drums and bass. Once we are satisfied with our drums I always go back and cut the bass track again.
This is all done on a SVT and Fender P
This was the bass iso room in the last studio I used the SVT:
Total room within a room, fully sound proofed, and even then with the SVT through the 8x10 it was decently loud outside the room. Worked a lot better with the B15 on another recording.
You should also run a DI line, you can low pass the DI to add some low end clarity to the sound while getting that real driving tone with the SVT in the mids/highs or ditch the DI later, but always good to have it there.
The good thing about having the DI track is that you can always go back and re-amp it if you wanted to, maybe re-amp with your SVT cranked up and no one else around.
Or perhaps get a sweet little SVT210AV.
From Ampegs site: "The Ampeg SVT210AV is the portable alternative to a full sized SVT cab. Ideal for bleed-sensitive recording situations where the SVT810-AV can be too loud"
You'd have to get two given they're 8 ohms and rated for 200 watts.
Try running your head as loud as you guys can stand it and then run the DI through a Sansamp and blend those two. The sansamp might get you that punch you want in the upper mids and the cab to add some lows and depth.
There may be a way to halve the power tube count like they do with guitar amps?
I have had better success getting the full SVT sound without using an SVT cabinet.
Possibly due to the reasons stated by Bassmec.
It has 16 1/2" thick solid brick walls and 720cu ft of bass traps.
If I where to use an SVT power soaked, I would use this room
and Electrovoice Altec and JBL drivers for 150 watts:
and power soak the other 150 watts with a my custom built Sequis motherload dual pro.
Rick the designer of this tool will make one to safely power soak and speaker simulate the whole output of a heavily driven SVT if you ask for one.
But you can just use a stock 4 ohm one in parallel with the SVT cab.
I have done this fairly well isolated by just laying the SVT cab face down
on a carpeted garage concrete floor.
The results just doing this, using the simulator output only have been very impressive indeed.
Nice bit of kit there mate.
Next time I'm across the pond, will you invite me over for a listen?
I think my best was with a 2x15 with Altecs with an SVT-CL, a 421 close and an 87 a few feet out.
Did a recording back in the day with Punky Meadows and they insisted on using an SVT rig that we put in a 12x20 tape storage room; it did not sound great on tape but lovely in the room.
I suspect that over the years we've stumbled across the same good and bad recording endeavors.
Dinner would be on me of course.
What works well is recording a scratch track and re-recording the bass track last on its own. This allows isolated recording in a room with some air around the speakers and allows you to rethink the bass lines and fill in any holes or add melody once the song has been worked through by everyone else.
Remember, the bass is important. It can make or break the song.
When recording rock/metal I like to blend DI and a mic (usually SM57 for mid detail). I think i used like 75/25 mix on my last album and dug it.
I'd try dialing in the tone.
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