Need help recording bass di

Discussion in 'The Perfect Bass' started by mariuste, Aug 10, 2012.


  1. mariuste

    mariuste

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Hello

    I have some problems to achieve an interesting recorded "rock bass sound" played with a pick when I just di the bass into my computer. The recorded sound sounds thin and boring. And I cant hear the click-click sound from the pick. That is why I sometimes play with a pick because I want that "click" sound.
    I know it can be a lot of factors that contributes to getting an interesting sound. I have to say there is nothing wrong with my bass (Fender squier p-bass), it is well set up, and I have tried both rounds and flatwound string, but the sound is not meaty enough. My technique is ok, I have paid attention on how the pick hits the strings when I am playing..
    For now I have just used the build in pre on my Motu interface to get the sound into my computer. To give you an idea of what kind of sound I want to achieve, I have a audio clip of a professional bass recording of a song using the di method. I have read they used the tube-tech channel strip for the bass. It is a well known british band. The song also got small bits of synth bass, so I have just removed those sections. Please listen to the attached mp3.file:)

    1. The bass sounds so meaty although it is played with a pick. Rounds or flatwounds? Or could it be anything..
    2. It is likely EQ´d/compressed. Any obvious settings? A bit of tube distortion aswell but it could be compressor distortion?
    3. Can clearly hear the click-click from the pick when hitting the strings. I am not able to record that even though I have not rolled off any highs. In this recording it is clearly rolled off a lot of highs Any suggestions? Any particular picks that can give this "click" sound
    4. Preamp. Should I upgrade to a more dedicated preamp:meh:

    I hope I am not asking too difficult. I just dont have any clue myself and want to learn/figure it out:)

    Thats about it. Please listen and hopefully I want some suggestions on what to do:)

    Cheers
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. Could be anything. But it really doesn't matter. It isn't the strings so much.

    2. It could be any one of several kinds of distortion.

    3. It's not the pick.

    4. Now you're getting somewhere. Those types of sounds are impossible to get out of a simple little computer interface's preamp. I would use something more suited to bass with some tone controls and overdrive built in. Sansamp stuff is really good for stuff like that when you're on a budget. You can get a much more expensive tube DI/preamp and a really expensive tube compressor if you want the high budget studio version of that sound, but a Sansamp preamp pedal like the VT Bass or the BDDI will get you in that ballpark for much less money. There are some other nice little inexpensive pres for bass like the Aguilar Tone Hammer, the Hartke Bass Attack, etc., and they all do cool things, or you can use the DI from a bass amp that cops those kinds of distorted sounds, or you can throw a mic in front of a cab with a distorted sound...there are hundreds of ways to go about it. But at the very least, you need some sort of preamp that's better than what you've got going.
  3. mariuste

    mariuste

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Thank you, I realise it is likely played with fingers now, not pick. It was something about that click that sounded like the attack of a pick, but it is too subtle maybe.
    Played with fingers explain why the sound is so meaty also, I think.
    Actually I have already got a Sansamp BDDI pedal, but I am not too happy with the sounds I get. I think it is lacking something in the midrange and muddys the tone a bit. I think it is easier to find the frequencies I want out of my bass with a parametric eq in a bass amp plugin I have got.
    Btw, like I said in the first post I know that the sound in the clip is recorded just DI, through a tube-tech channel strip. These channel strips got eq and opto-compression build in. But the sound sounds like it is reamped too? It sounds like it is prosessed through a preamp, like you said. Could be a sansamp, but it is unlikely the pedal version.

    Cheers
  4. NatalyPlaysBass

    NatalyPlaysBass

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    LA, California
    What do you think of the Sansamp VT vs the bass driver? I love the bass driver and I have the opportunity to get an RBI. but I was wondering if I should try the VT to see if it sounds better. OR! would they go good together? I'm curious about the tone hammer too... aaaahh so many. Anyway I'm after this sound:



    Any help or advive would be greatly appreciated.
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, didn't see this one before...the BDDI is easier to deal with on the fly and has an XLR out, but the VT is more versatile tonewise, and you can get it modded to have a DI out.
  7. *Tempest*

    *Tempest*

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    New York, New York
    If you're using a passive bass, you want to use an active DI for sure. Or the sound will be like a blanket is overtop of it. Also pick closer to the bridge where the string tension is tighter.


    Fwiw my default recording chain is a precision into VT bass deluxe going into a nice mic pre and then I use the split signal DI. I'll get the grit with VT and blend with the clean.

    EHX makes a pedal called steel leather that is an expander. That REALLY brings out attack as well. Good demos on YouTube. Good luck!

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