Originally Posted by phoenixjmw
I have used 4 different amps in basically each situation of -
* recording on a cell phone next to amp
* mini recorder " " "
* Web cam " " "
* An actuall digital music recorder but don't know what model - uses an old large SD card and I think is in MP2
*mic'd directly to PC software
**mic'd to a mixer to PC software
** direct out to mixer to PC software
Even "good" cell phones tend to not reproduce a bass sound very well.
Mini recorders (depending on their quality) can produce a pretty good sound, but in my experience you are better placing them farther away instead of right next to an amp. Our band has had the most success with a Zoom (H4? H2?) placed in the middle of the rehearsal space where we balance everything acoustically. It's basically a "fly on the wall" for archival type stuff, but it gets an ok sound.
Web cams again really vary in quality, especially their microphones. Typically speaking they are designed for human voices, so they aren't especially suited for basses.
I have no idea what your digital recorder is, but if you are going DI then as has been previously mentioned, you are going to get a significantly different sound than your amp sound. If you are micing the amp, then the EQ of the amp, and the mic channel are going to heavily influence the sound, as well as the microphone itself.
If by "miced directly to PC" you mean the cab is miced and then you plugged that mic into your audio interface which went direct into your PC software, then the microphone you are using is going to be the biggest influence there, although the EQ on the program can change things too. The same thing goes for mixer-PC.
DI from the amp varries by amp. Some of them are the same as using a DI box, some of them give a "wet" signal that has been processed from your amp. That "wet" signal can vary from what is actually coming out of your cab, as the cab itself often continues to colour the sound.
Likewise, ALL of those options are going to sound significantly different coming out of monitors or headphones instead of your bass amp.
My suggestions are to take a DI line and either put it through something like a SansAmp or other amp simulator, or do that in post production somewhere, and to get a decent mic and mic the cabinet. Even if you are doing it "on the cheap" you can usually rent decent microphones from most music shops for a very reasonable daily rate. I am guessing that the other instruments sound ok because the gear you are using is a little more forgiving to those instruments, but cheap mics (especially those intended to be vocal mics) usually result in some pretty terrible bass sounds.