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Big cabinets and setups: A hassle in the studio?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by garmenteros, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I dont know whether this thread is better suited in the recording forum but it has to do with amps so here goes...

    Down here in the DR I've heard a lot of local rock studios complain about the size of my rig when I take them into record. They usually say that gear that big is just made for playing live, but I think you need certain size to get certain sounds. They say their recording mics can die on them or something or its harder to work with and do mastering later on etc...

    My rig is a mesa 400+ into a powerhouse 1000. The tone that comes out of my rig is never going to be the same than if I go straight into a tube preamp or a mixer, dont even get me started on a small solid state amp most have in house.

    Im not bringing in two ampeg 8 by 10s. Those of you with huge rigs do you ever have any issues translating your sound into the studio?

    Any comments advice would be appreciated, I got a studio gig tommorow Im laying down a track for kicks trying to get a new band of the ground.
  2. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    I have a 1/2 stack, but never taken any amp into the studio. It's always DI into the board. I would advise leaving the amp at home and using what the studio has. In most cases, the engineer is used to using his/her gear and manipulating that to get a good sound. I'd say try that first, and suspend any/all final judgements until the final or master mix. If you need to redo something, somehow, it is always possible to recut bass tracks.
  3. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    If your sound comes from your gear, don't feel bad about bringing it. You're paying the studio to record your sound, not their interpretation of it.
  4. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i never feel bad bringing my 4pro and 610hlf. nor did i ever feel bad bringing my 810. if that is how i get my sound, that is what i'm bringing into the studio.

    just use the studio's di so the engineer can work with a tone he knows how to manipulate, and have them mic the cab and see what sounds best. you can always blend the two.
  5. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    also, if you are just going into the studio so record a "demo track" just bring a di and go direct.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, definitely get your sound the way you need it. But don't be afraid to try stuff the engineer likes to do, too. There are a million ways to record bass and they all sound great.
  7. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Great? Nah, not the way I play. :)

    Great tone...wrong notes.
  8. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Here's my short answer: Yes, but depending on the studio.

    Long answer:
    Back in 2006 I was running my SWR Mo'Bass/Megoliath 8x10 rig... Brought it into the studio. It was a pro studio but it wasn't a very big place and the only space to isolate and amp is a small hallway with 2 soundproof doors separating the main recording room from the outside. Initially the engineer said he would put my cab in there but then he decided that it's better for the guitar amp to be in there and that he would just mic my cab in the main room... Then he said my cab would bleed and asked if I was ok with just running direct w/o the cab. For 2 reasons (Time = Money & I believe in making the best relationships with producers so they take care of you), I said, "Sure, whatever you need."

    Sure enough I let him do his thing and my bass tone was rockin'! We are a jazzy/funky band but I wanted the bass to sound big like a hip-hop/reggae album and he did that without me asking or telling him.

    Bring your gear to get your sound but be open to the producer's thoughts, specially if he's been recording there for a while - he knows the place and knows how to work it for the best sounds.
    You'll get to listen to a test track anyway and you can make adjustments from there.

    Have fun!
  9. In my home studio and when I did a radio session I just go DI - I have an overdriven tone and use (including the onboard preamp on the bass) 4 preamps to 'get me there' and ideally there is still some EQ and compression on the board to fit the sound properly in the mix.

    I've tried micing my cab at home but with limited success so far.

    I've thought about trying to find a full range speaker that sounds really good for recording - but then theres finding a mic and the right position - don;t have cash to drop on say 10 mics and try them all out.

    The engineer is just going to typically stick the mic at a single speaker....if the amp needs to be driven hard then still...a single 10 or 12 or 15 would do.

    The physical impact of being in the legs/chest by a big rig is hard to capture -- and in part depends on playback on some big ass monitors//hi-fi with a fat amp. I've never encountered monitors/hi-fi (though my exposure is relatively limited) that sound like a big rig being pushing by a 1000 watts....
    they just project into the room in a particular way.

    I suppose part of the task of the mix engineer is to try and give the illusion of this sound, if its so desired.

    Spill into other musicians mics is also an issue.

    May be worth working with a friendly engineer some time and trying out different mics/DIs/cabs/volume levels etc to see what works well.

    Guitarists have the same issue... you know, they just crank their stacks but it sounds small on the record...but some other engineer and band use a little 10watt 10inch speaker combo and it sounds massive on the album.

  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh please! You don't write articles for bass mags without knowing a little something ;)
  11. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Try these if possible with about 700 watts each:


    As far as bass in the studio:
    Line 6 works good here now.
    Previously, a DI(dry) mixed with a mic signal(Sennheiser MD421) produced what I heard & felt. Use what you get your sound with. If the engineer or producer is making you sound "like he/she thinks bass should sound like", you both need to have time with each other to talk....or shop elsewhere. Martin Turner(Wishbone Ash) had more than one discussion with producers about how he wanted to(and did) sound when they tried to make him sound like everyone else but himself(Example: http://www.wishboneash.co.uk/fanzone/1.aspx#10).
  12. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'd bring the gear, but be flexible.

    The last two electric sessions I did, I had polar opposite approaches.

    On one session, I showed up with my bass [Ray5] & my SansAmp RPM and plugged direct into the console. This was for someone else's project, i said to the guys "i'm just hear to play, feel free to dial in whatever sound you want. If it's something you want me to do in my hands-do not hesitate to say so." I was in and out in less than 30mins and we cut 5-6 songs (reading gig). Show up, play, leave. Time is money...and I had a test the next day I needed to study for.

    The other one, I was in Indiana for the summer-so i had access to my big rig. Once again, playing other people's music. I talked to the guys [engineer was one of the song writers] about what gear they wanted me to bring. I showed up with my 2X12, Rack (RPM, RBI pres, DCM2000 power amp], Ray5, Double Bass, Fender Jazz, and then they had this little National bass. This one, I had to learn the songs before we recorded them. Once we were ready to record, the guy pulled out about 4 different mics and put them on my cab in various locations including one that was about 6 feet away and 6ft high pointing down towards the cab, took a DI out of the back of the RPM. I don't know what the final sound ended up being. I went to a different room to do the actual recording in. The CD of that group is on it's way to me-if Chicago mail holds up to reputation-I won't ever get it. :)

    I'm willing to bring a big rig to record, but I'd rather not. I want the people involved to get whatever sound they. My biggest preference to have at least one track be a clean unaffected bass track. This way, if after we get done-the sound we thought would be golden during tracking is garbage, there's still a clean track that they can reamp until their hearts content.

    This is largely based of me being a hired gun vs. a band member. If it was my band/my music-I'd probably just bring the RPM and go into the board with an unaffected channel & a diryt channel. If the engineer wants me to plug into something of theirs-I'm up for it. They know how to get the sound they want. I'm merely the source material. At that point-if it's my music, I'm up for voicing my concerns, if it's not-I'm not generally around for that long. Once they say "Ok, we like that take-you're done." I thank people and make my exit.

    all the best.

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