Assistance Please...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DougP, May 20, 2005.

  1. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    my band has finally started to do a "professional" recording of our music. we are doing it all ourselves. it is time for me to record my bass tracks and i could use some setup assistance from those of you in the know.

    here is my signal path:
    bass > ampeg pre > Behringer compressor with mild compression > solid state power amp > aggie 1x12 and aggie 2x10.

    currently i am using an AKG D112 on the 1x12 cabinet and an SM57 on the 2x10, and i have them placed equally about 2 feet from the speakers. i had them right up close but it sounded bad to me, so i moved them back and the sound was much closer to what i was looking for. each of the mics are being recorded to seperate tracks in my computer.

    the tone i am going for is a beefy yet articulate low end. i dont want the bass upfront in the mix, but something that doesnt sound like mud in the background. i hope that makes some sort of sense.

    anyways, i am looking for suggestions on mic placement and equipment setup. i know that when you record guitar, it is generally wiser to boost the mids some and reduce the gain for it to sound good in the recording. are there any tips like that for bass?

    i feel that i am pretty close with my current tone in the low end, i am looking for a way to make the notes a little more articulate now.

  2. Herkimer


    Dec 10, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    Caution: When balancing two mics, be sure the phasing is ok.

    As for cut and clarity - you probably can get that with EQ on you digital recording suite. When I record bass, I spend more time making sure I get an entire frequency spectrum captured in the raw track. Then, I go back and cut certain frequencies to make the bass pop and work in the mix. Shelf up 80Hz, cut 250, balance 300-400 for balance with guitar, balance 700-1000 for vocals, boost 1.2 KHz and 3-5KHz for attack, add some 10-15 KHz for brilliance. I konw that's kind of generic advice - but if you experiment with those frequencies on a complete set of tracks (guitars, bass, drums, vocals) you'll find places where bass pops through and actually sounds cleaner.

    We tend to dedicate specific fequencies to specific instruments. It sounds corny but I've been pleased with the results. Pick a frequency in the 80-200 range for bass to boost and cut that frequency in every other track except perhaps bass drum. You can also help muddiness in your overall mix by shelfing guitar frequencies although I can't remember at what point to do that. 120? 180? Experiment for yourself.

    We use ProTools and I really like adding their plug-in compression for punch. Lastly, I've always had better luck recording direct than mic'ing. This is, of course, dependent on your bass and signal chain. I have a Spector NS5 that sounds amazing plugged in direct and dry. I have a Fender Jazz that doesn't sound so hot direct. You should plug your bass into the board and compare your dry direct sound to your mic'd sound.
  3. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    yeah, i tried flipping the phase and the sound completely changed, got very nasally. i guess thats the comb filtering effect taking place.

    i think i will spend some time with the EQ and see what happens. if that doestn work out for me then i will drop a mic from the recording path and run a DI line. my bass isnt that great with DI, but i can always run some Amplitube or Izotop Trash on it to thicken the sound up some.

    thanks for the tips.