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Bass mic placement/recording techniques.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by mebusdriver, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. O.k. everyone here's the deal. My band and I are working with Pro Tools and I need some suggestions on how to mic my cabinet. I'm using a 6x10 Ampeg for the cabinet. On the late recordings I've just been recording through my Sans Amp D.I. box. It sounds good but the the cabinet sound is what I like best. So what mics and where do I put em? We're in a big room so I can't isolate the cab but I've heard about foam boxes and I was wondering about that too. So thanks for any replys. :bassist:
  2. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    don't use the foam box thingy. let the thing breathe. Mic about 3 inches. from the grille and 2 inches off of the cone. You should also run the DI so you can mix the signals later for the FATTY tone. what kinda mic are you using?
  3. http://www.recording.org/postt8373.html

    Recording Direct input (DI)

    The easiest way to record bass is by going direct from the amp into the board. This method will give you a natural tone with equalization flexibility. There are no speakers or microphones to alter the sound of the guitar. The only drawback of direct recording is that the sound may lack midrange clarity. In this case it is better to boost the mids on the amp instead of on the mixer since the amp's tone controls are more suited for bass guitar.

    You can also try taking a direct out from the Bass (I use a countrymen) to the mixer. This will give you a warmer sound with more low-end. However, I find that getting a signal direct from the bass amp will give me a cleaner sound and will punch through the mix.

    You may need a bit of compression for the bass guitar. Start with a 3:1 ratio and lower the threshold until there is almost always gain reduction. This will insure that the loudest parts of the signal will be affected and the quietest parts won't, which will keep your signals a few decibels hotter and preserve some dynamics. I then increase the ratio until I get between 3 and 6 decibels of gain reduction. The attack should be fast enough to catch peaks but not so fast that it cuts down the attack (depending on pick or finger style technique). The release should be fast enough to let go of the signal before the next note can cross the threshold. However, if your release is too fast, you'll either hear the compression or you'll hear the bass signal distort. I usually start with a 10 ms attack and a 250 ms release.


    Another method for recording the bass is by micing the amplifier. When the bass player gets his sound, place a microphone (D112, 421, or an SM 57) four inches from the grill of his/her speaker cabinet. Aim it where the dust cap meets the speaker cone. If the sound coming from the mic isn't what you want, try moving the mic. Moving it closer to the center of the speaker will give you a brighter sound. Moving it closer to the edge will give you a duller sound. Either way, try to avoid using EQ. Compression can also help with the tone. (I love the LA2A for bass).


    Direct recording can lack midrange punch and using a microphone can lack low-end depth. So, another method of recording bass would be the combination of both direct and miced sounds. Simply split the signal after the bass and send one signal to the amp and one signal to the mixing board. This will give you the best of both worlds - the midrange punch of a miced signal and the low-end boom of a direct sound. Use the miced sound as your main sound and blend in the direct signal for low end. Try compressing the blended signals to help to further smooth out the bass sound.

    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  4. Thanks.
  5. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Shure Beta 52...

    oops, sorry. :) Misread the thread! But PS- that's the mic to get!!! :bassist:

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