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Bass guitar direct into mixer?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by beta_442, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. beta_442

    beta_442

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    Ok, maybe someone can lend me some advice here. I'll admit that I'm a complete noob. I've only been playing bass for about 8 months. I was a rhythm guitar player in our band, but we just got a new singer who plays guitar too and we didn't have a bass player, so you guessed it, I'm the new bass player. Anyway, we've got about 10 songs now and the singer knows a new studio starting up and they want us to record some 'live' demos for free. Sounds great, but they said not to bring my bass rig. They'll just plug me direct into the mixer. This totally doesn't make any sense. I have a really nice setup and sound (Yorkville BM400 head and Avatar 410 NEO cab). How is going direct into the mixer with no amp or cab going to work? Am I missing something here? plz explain... :meh:
  2. SubXero

    SubXero

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    i've done things like that before. Generally it only works well if the mixer has some kind of mic/instrument preamp input on it and it will usually sound ok. Some active basses have a high enough output that it will sound fine even at line level. Personally, I use one of those art tube preamps when recording direct, although there's many other preamps and DI boxes you could consider. You can sometimes even use the line output on your head as a sort of preamp. Given they told you just to bring your bass, I'm assuming their mixer has some sort of built in preamp instead. Some people prefer to mic their cab though, i guess its really a matter of opinion as to which is "best"
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    I split my signal into an MXR bass di+ and a Line6 bass pod. The mxr gives me a clean modern signal and the bass pod gives me a retro tube growlly mid distorted sound. I mix the 2 back into a mon signal with a small rills 4 channel mixer and I run that into an amp, or a pa, or a mixer, or a recorder, etc ... It works well in all situations ... So I can play with or without an amp. This weekend I did a gig plugged directly into the pa. But usually I run into an ampeg b2r with 4 10s.
  4. anderbass

    anderbass

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    Recording live bands can get kinda tricky in some rooms, he's probably ran into issues with bass amps bleeding onto all the other mics on his past live band recordings. I'd guess he'll have you (or possibly the whole band) wearing headphones with a mix of the bass and everything else for monitoring.

    I think you should contact the studio in advance and get some further info on his plans for your bass tracks. Try to find out what kind of mixer/external preamp/recorder etcetera he'll be using on your bass. He may have very good reasons for not using your bass amp. (recording guys usually like talking about their gear and methods as just much as bassist)

    Unless he'll be using a really nice mixer or some external preamp/effects unit for your basses channel, your bass track(s) are going to pretty much just be the clean output of your bass. Depending on allot of things, this might end up sounding really great for some bands styles and possibly kinda sterile and thin sounding for others.

    Unless he's got some nice gear I like SubXero's suggestion, I think you should ask him if he'd consider just trying the DI out of your head connected to his mixer. (with no speakers - its safe for solid state amps)

    Good luck and let us know how everything works out... :)
  5. whoapower

    whoapower Supporting Member

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    This is how I recorded in the studio two months ago. I started out using active preamp, MB amp and a tube preamp, but those went away on the final recording. Ended up going direct through a few board pre's he had setup, direct into the board. Pbass with flats. Turned out well and fitting for the recording we were looking for, but it might... or might not work best for what you are looking for. Make sure you hear the final mix and let your ears tell if it works for the band as a whole.
  6. baba

    baba Supporting Member

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    What you are missing is that there will be a DI between you and the mixer. There may also be a preamp and compressor in line before it hits "tape".
  7. beta_442

    beta_442

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    Thanks everyone for helping me understand the setup. This is a whole new experience for me. I'll contact the studio and make sure we are all on the same page about equipment. I'll let you know how it goes. We are scheduled to go in about 2 weeks.
    Thanks again...
  8. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

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    +1

    It's that simple. The large majority of recordings are done in this fashion.

    The term they usually use is "going direct", it's asummed they'll be a DI in the middle
  9. oyobass

    oyobass

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    Some boards (Mackie Onyx and others) have a "super channel or two that have a DI built in, but as others have said, the seperate DI box is usually the way to go.

    oyo
  10. DocBop

    DocBop

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    Another point people new to recording don't realize is your amp doesn't sound the same in a studio with a mic. When playing in the real world you amp sound i affected by the room and everything in it and the other sounds around. That there are sounds above your hearing range that are bouncing around affecting what you do hear. So that good sounding live amp doesn't sound the same to a mic, pre-amp, and AD convertor.

    You get into a studio you are in a acoustically treated room with a mic with a typical range of 20-20K. So you amp is going to sound different. Also a lots of amps people have blasted live with are full of cabinet rattles, amp hiss and noise, etc. That is why people who record a lot usually have a separate rig for recording. Many studios have amps that are know to record well. I would say talk to the engineer about the sound you want, give references if you can, say an amp sound is important to you. Also from your post you haven't been playing long, just worry about your playing, don't worry about the studio let the engineer do their job, and just focus on getting some experience recording.

    On a side note recording is a whole different world that many discover the hard way after their first experiences. As discussed above you live gear isn't generally good recording gear. You need to put together a good recording setup that gets the sound you want. Make friends with an engineer and learn about what they do and what gear gets what sound. If lucky maybe they will bring you in to experiment and hear sound of different DI's, amps, outboard gear, plug-ins, and re-amping a track.

    Last in the studio the mic, but especially a DI picks up every little string noise and hand movement you make with your bass. Most of that you don't want or want to at least reduce. In fact if you plan to record a lot it worth putting together a little recording setup at home and practice with a DI to hear the noise you make when playing and also know about getting a good sound.

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