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Ampeg B-15R recording settings, tips?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DJJazzV, May 30, 2011.

  1. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I am having so much fun learning to record with my B-15R. I am looking for some favorite EQ settings for recording. Recording EQ settings are certainly much different then live EQ settings. Please share yours, if you don't mind.
    Right now, it is at Gain 2 o'clock, Bass noon, Mid 3 o'clock, Frequency #4, Treble 3 o'clock. 60 watt switch.
    Perhaps also share a favorite spot to put the mic, put carpet under the amp and mic, and any other useful tips?
    Here's the path I have now: Jazz basses (active or passive)> B-15R.
    D112 > Mogami cable > ART Tube Pac DI > MBox3 Mini > channel 1, track 1.
    B-15R DI Line Out (pre) > MBox3 Mini > channel 2, track 2.
    Both channels going into Protools 8, or Garageband, on a MAC.

    I'm getting some good recordings, but they could be better. The mic'd channel really adds life and bottom warmth to the slightly dry (in comparison), but very clear direct. Blending at about 70% direct, 30% mic'd.
    Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much.
  2. what a great amp to have laying around.

    do you have any other mics besides a d112? it has a whole in the mids you could drive a truck through. something like a 57 (or any "vocal" mic) you have laying around would likely supplement that boosted midrange you appear to be going for.

    if you're using the DI for bottom end and clarity, a scooped out mic like a d112 isnt going to help much, whereas a 57 is all mids and will add character out the ass.

    make sure to phase align the tracks so you dont lose bottom end.

    what sort of compression settings do you have going on with either track?
  3. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thank you very much for the information. I just bought the D112 two days ago. That's all I have. No return policy on mics. That's alright. It seems plenty good for what I need. I'm only boosting the Mid and High on the amp because recording at "stage" settings is never clear enough. The mids and highs seem to get drowned out, so I need to boost them up. Seems to be a common practice from some internet readings.
    Big clarity difference putting a thick carpet under the B-15 and mic stand. That "slight" problem is solved. That's more like a "duh!".

    I can add and edit any compression with Garageband or Protools, but I'm doing it after the fact. I recorded a great take last night. Channel 1 was from the Mic, channel 2 was from the DI of the B-15R. The Tube DI was in front. I think I'm very pleased with that approach, now I just need to tweek the EQ on the B-15R, then edit compression and anything else, including EQ, light chorus, etc, on the computer.
    I could also get a Tube Mic Di that has compression built in. Is it better to add compression first, at the amp? If so, then it's a lot tougher to remove it from the track, if necessary.
    I'm learning more every day on this.
  4. i was speaking of your in-the-box compression settings. id never use a stomp compressor when recording.

  5. Welcome to world of recording!
    OK, firstly a d112 is not a great bass Mic, too scooped. its flattering on its own but doesn't help in a mix at all. That said, its a decent Mic with good low end so it will do the job for now, and when you look into getting a Mic more suited to bass the d112 will still be a valuable addition to your collection so no money lost.

    Boosting highs and lows on a bass track is ok if happening on the amp. At this stage you are looking for lots of character from your sound. I generally enjoy going extreme if necessary at any point before the Mic, after that I try and keep things a little more subtle. Even when compressing hard post recording I like to keep the attack and release at points that help the compression slip into the background a bit, unless the playing is bad! Don't rule out pre amp compression, can get some great effects but its more of a creative choice than an engineers choice, so I woudnt reach for the stomp compressor for most things!

    Be wary of boosting highs and lows too much, especially as you Mic is doing that as well. The mids are the key point of a bass in the mix, suck out too much and it'll sound feeble with everything else added!

    Generally though amp eq settings are a matter of personal taste compared to where it needs to sit in the mix, so VERY dependant on the track. So experimentation is the key, and don't neglect those miss! you sounds needs push and bite as it leaves the amp to compete with big drums and guitars!
  6. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Ditch the D112, you'll never capture the glorious tone of that amp with a kick mic.

    Depending on your budget get a AKG C414, EV RE-20, or a Sennheiser MD 421.

    Tweak the amp until you think it sounds best then do a test recording. You will hear too much high-mid, or too much low boom, or too little treble, depends on the song really. Then adjust the knobs a bit and try again until the bass sounds best within the song. You may have to do this everytime you record as each song has its own sonic space!

    Have fun, thats a sensational amp!
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I only took a few session pics of my former Reissue recording rig. It was a great lil amp. I used the JJ/Tesla E34L power tubes.
    I always had the dollies off, always used the 100w setting. Sometimes I stacked iso walls around and on top to box-in the amp and placed a mic or two in there. Sometimes not. I think my favorite sounds were with it boxed in.
    But you can see from the pics a couple of settings I used, but I really didn't veer from it, it was either/or.

    Attached Files:

  8. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma

    Attached Files:

  9. slight derail, but the diezel vh4 in the background is making my pants fit tighter. crank the b15, throw in that mesa cab and you've got some serious metal going on in that picture.
  10. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir... Supporting Member

    May 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thank you everyone for the great tips, advice, and pictures. Very much appreciated. Looks like all I really need is a different mic then. It seems that it's not easy to get a "bad" sound out of the amp. :) I'm certainly not going to boost the lows at all for recording, and I just have to get the other frequencies right so they are correct in the mix. My tracks are good, but they could be better. I'm getting very close to being really happy with the recordings.
    I tried a few direct recordings from a "solid state" D class amp last night. They came out nice, but didn't have the "life" that the B-15R has. The B-15R growls like a grizzly bear, and that's what I'm trying to properly capture.
    Casa was right about the JJ E34L power tubes. They are great. I also learned that a 12at7 tube in the 3rd position really wakes up the amp over a 12au7. JJ ECC 803s 12ax7 tubes in the 1st 2 spots are a nice high gain with low noise as well.
    My tube mic preamp has tube compression built in, so I'll experiment with it off and on. I've found that it's very important to have a "clean" track direct from the B-15R. I'll also try "post" from the amp DI, but from most of what I've read, it seems there should always be a "pre" clean track.
    Thanks again!

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