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Amp to bring to the studio what would you do

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mister_argentum, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Hello everybody,

    eventually my band has the money to record our first album, we will go to the studio in April. We do Rock-pop music.

    The studio we have chosen has plenty of nice vintage gear (badcat, vox). Which is only for guitar, so I have to bring my own amp.

    I use a Markbass lmIII for almost everything I do, I like the tone but I wonder if it is good enough for the studio. Here in Europe tube amps are incredibly expensive so I have the following possibilities:

    1. Bring the lmIII and do the recording with that.

    2. Rent an ampeg b-15 which has a fairly good reputation for the studio.

    3. Buy one hybrid head with a tube preamp (the Markbass TTE cost as much as my lmIII but sounds more detailed, other hybrids are also into consideration).

    4. Do something else.

    Only option 1 is costless (renting the ampeg for 8 days is quite expensive as well) but the only thing I care is having something good enough for the sessions.

    I need a reliable amp with a crystal clear tone, very articulated.

    Would the LMIII of the TTE do the job in the studio or I'd rather rent the ampeg or something else?

    What would you do?What should I do?

    Thanks for reading and for your help.
  2. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    if it was me I would just go direct. That would give you the cleanest sound possible, and then if your sound needs tweaking, it can be done in post production.

    are you going to be laying down one part at a time while wearing headphones?
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    +1 for going direct. Call the studio and ask them what they have for DI's. Get a list of them and come back here. If they have nothing, I'd be skeptical of the studio.

    Nothing wrong with micing up an amp though. Unless you knew exactly what you wanted and how a rented amp would sound for you, I'd simply use what you have already. If you like your tone that comes from your amp, there is no reason why it wouldn't sound good in the studio. It would suck if you rented a B15 and found out that it didn't sound the way you wanted.

    If you need to go that route, ask them what mics they have. You can get good results with a lot of mics, but the ones that seem to be favored by bassists are: EV RE20, Heil PR40, MD421, and to a lesser extent the good ol' SM57/58.

    A lot of us run both a DI and a mic for the best of both worlds. You can get a nice clear/articulate/full tone from the DI, and then get some color with the miced amp.
  4. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    I have an LM2, and once I could get it's DI padded down enough not to overdrive the board (fixed in the LM3) I like it fine. I will say that getting a decent to great standalone DI would probably be better overall, but the DI on your head should be fine. I'd run the DI'd track AND a second non-EQ'd DI track. Only put effects on the "thru amp" track, and compare the 2.
  5. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    a lot of studios don't want you bringing in your own stuff. They have the equipment the do because they know it works, and is clean.

    +1 for the comment about finding out what kind of DI boxes they have available
  6. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Thank you all for the answers it is a great feeling to have people out here ready to help.

    I do not know what the studio has as D.I. but is one of the top studios in Town, they will certainly have something very good. I will ask at the next meeting.

    The only thing they don't have is a bass amp, we talk to the guy last week and he told me to bring one (either mine or to rent it).

    The bass will be recorded by a mic in front of the amp and through a D.I. as well.

    Bass, drums and rhythm guitar are not going to be recorded in overdub.

    The studio has an isolated room where bass drums and rhythm guitar can be recorded independently while playing together (as they say the whole is more than the sum of the parts) so I would like to have an amp with me (and I was also asked to bring one).

    I will still ponder the alternatives for a while since the session starts on April.
  7. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Thanks, I'll check for the mics as well.
  8. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    It's odd that they don't have a house amp already that they like for people to use if that is their habit
  9. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    I know, they said they are still looking for a vintage Ampeg but still did not find the good deal (we are in Switzerland).
  10. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Just bring your own amp. Why make this hard? Chances are you're going to learn about your amp and your eq settings amidst your band from the engineer. He'll probably give you a di as well. Relax. Enjoy this experience...I assume its your first time in a real studio. Let THAT guy walk you through HIS method. You don't wanna go in with a bunch opinions and get into an argument with him over technique.

    Keep us updated and keep a list of this you liked and didn't like for next time and for us
  11. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    As already mentioned...

    Just bring your amp/cab that you typically use, know & love. The studio will mic that cab and also run direct from that amp or use a separate DI... their call, unless you've got experience and an opinion on this.

    There's much that can be done to tweak your sound after you've laid down tracks, so I'd say make this as easy, fun and enjoyable as you can. Focus all your energy on laying down the best, most emotional, most expressive tracks you can... and it'll turn out just fine.

    All the best... enjoy... :bassist::bassist:
  12. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Thank you guys, yes this is the first time I'll record an album and I hope everything goes perfect because we would like to record something really good.

    I will keep you updated with everything. I think I'll just bring my everyday amp.
  13. The studio can make any necessary changes, so the amp isn't a big deal as long as it's quiet. If the studio doesn't have a bass amp, which most of the studios I've used have had, I take my PJB Suitcase.
  14. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA

    My old band liked to practice the month before to a click track. That really got us tight and most initial track work were first takes because of how tight we were. Just focus on playing.
  15. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    And this!

    If you must use pedals...switch to battery rather than power supply because of noise.
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    sorry i'm not much help, i always used my old sunn tube head
  17. I was a bit concerned as to what to bring in and use the first time I went in for my own project and just settled on setting up like I always do in the rehearsal studio, but with several DI's as well, since we had the equipment and tracks. I ran my bass direct in, and through my pedalboard. DI from my pedalboard and from the amp, post EQ. Also had a mic on the cab. So all in all we had 3 DI tracks and a mic'd track to work with which was nice, and thigh it may sound like a PITA to set up it was quite simple. So long as you have enough good DI's you can do whatever you want really. In the end we blended the direct instrument track with the DI from the amp and the mic as well. W didn't use the direct from my pedalboard, not to my surprise.
    I don't know if this was helpful to your situation at all, but if you have a sound you already like and know what you're going for, just use what you already have setup and let it ride. I think it's easy to get a little carried away with tracking methods sometimes. 90% of the time now I just go dict in from my bass. If I need a. Certain tone other than that, a little Ampeg SVX software can help a lot, as well as pretty much any other guitar amp sim. Their fun to play around with for bass as well.
  18. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    Most good studios have good DI's and a tube compressor or something of that nature........if you dont have that in your studio......dont waste your money on product or rent an avalon U5 and go direct through that......just my opinion
  19. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Thanks guys, we are training a lot trying to be super tight and have the best tone for when we enter the studio.

    I will keep you updated as how things go!
  20. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Hello guys,

    eventually the recording session took place and it went extremely well.

    We end up recording on overdub so after the editing of the drums I started to record the bass parts.

    We spent one whole afternoon plus one morning to record all the bass lines. At the end my hands were almost crying (13 songs) but it was such a wonderful experience that I did not even care about that!

    We used two D.I. boxes (Radial Engineering J48 active) one pre and another one after the pedal board.

    Basses we used:

    Musicman Sting-ray H for the rock songs and G&L L-2000 for the pop and motown sound.

    Both bases behaved amazingly (I'm proud to own them)! But the sound guy had a preference for the L-2000 (As I do).

    Pedals we used:

    Basically EHX micro Synth and Xotic BB preamp.

    The amp used:

    SVT II pro (made in USA) with an ampeg 410.

    I don't know about the mics he used with amp but I'll check them since we are not yet finished with the overdubs.

    Our album will be available from mid-may (www.prismamusic.com), I'll keep you updated!

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