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Cabs for recording

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stitchz, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Hi all!

    Another cabinet thread! :bag:

    Most of the discussion here about cabs is in the context of live playing, where the needs are a bit different from studio use.

    I know most of the times a DI signal from the bass preamp is used for recording, but if you would choose a bass cabinet just for studio use, what would it be?

    A ported/unported 2x10? Maybe a 1x12? Or do you feel a big setup is still needed?

  2. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    First of all, my cabinet choice would depend on what kind of head I'm using. Second, for me to be using a cabinet in the studio (I do go direct most of the time) I would probably be trying to get a fat, more distorted kind of tone. I would then blend a direct signal with the overdriven sound to taste.

    So, when making this decision, I would be looking for a cabinet that's not just going to pass on the straight signal without any effect, since I'm already getting that with the DI.

    Those are the factors that would be crossing my mind if I were faced with this decision.
  3. I would record a bass cab when I wanted to lose the nice clear tone of my bass.

    If I had a need to have the bottom go away, and sound like screaming through a wet blanket, using most any cab to record will do the trick.

    If you specifically need non-linear distortion (exceeding xmax) or Doppler distortion as part of your sound, this is cab specific. Vented cabs give a bigger bottom, but with more mud. Sealed cabs give tighter bass, but with a greater rolloff. In the studio at low power, you can EQ for this loss.

    To properly record the tweeter, the mic will have to be back somewhat from the cab. This means the room will begin to interact with the recorded sound.
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    For a rock tone on record, IMO, you have to mic a cab. You can blend in a direct sound, but you need the grit and response only an amp can provide.

    My advice is to use whatever amp sounds good to you! I've gotten consistently great results from old SWR gear, with 10" speakers, close miking near the edge of the speaker away from the tweeter.
  5. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    pickles, I certainly see where you're coming from, but there is another option. I was in the studio Saturday on a rock call, and what I did to go in the direction you're talking about is bring my Ag 750 in, take the line direct out of the DI of the amp, set it for post EQ, and crank the gain up.

    Cooking up the preamp tubes gave a nice growl, and although the fans on the 750 would be a problem sometimes in a studio, because my line was essentially direct (after going through the preamp), it was fine. So I got a growly rock tone without a cabinet, although if there was a particular sound I was going for, I wouldn't hesitate to mic it if necessary.
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    Funny, EVERY session I've been on that got me good tone on tape used a combo of DI, close and far mics. 2 of the best results I've had were with a front ported JBL loaded 1x15 and with my old rear ported BagEnd S12 (circa 1991... pre red carpet)

    No I wouldn't want mic only... DI alone is much cleaner & clearer. But don't dismiss the mic'ed cab in the studio either.
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I can't recall if I've ever miked a bass cab for recording, but I think my GK Neo112 would be excellent for this, and two others whose opinions I respect agree. The first was a studio owner, who heard my 700RB-II/Neo112 rig with a P-bass, and started drooling over the tone, asking about cost, etc., becuase he thought it would be great for recording. The second is one of the leaders of my new band, who is our recording engineer and gets very good results. Within about 20 seconds of hearing this rig, he said, "Wow, I'd love to mic that cab." It has a fat bottom and excellent clarity unless you dirty it up on purpose.

    For recording rock with this rig, I'd use the head's DI for a clean pre-EQ signal, crank the 700RB-II's "boost" control for some grit through the miked cab, and blend the two in the mix.
  8. Thanks everyone!

    I guess my best bet would be to try out several types of cabs. That won't be so easy (unless I buy a lot of them, hehe).

  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    And try a few different mics too. And placement. :D
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge

    It's nice having both (or all 3) signals to play with as well.

    I've had nice results with low watt tube amps (Fender Bassman, Pro Reverb Combo or Pronceton) driving a 1x15 JBL. It's a different sound than the DI for sure. In some settings it's just the ticket.
  11. i have never played through so i dont know how good they are but the Randall Isolation the idea seems pretty good there are other cabs out there with the same idea but this is the only i have seen for sale.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    overall, i'd reiterate that at all costs you want a direct signal forst and foremost. If you want to add a cab to the mix i'd strongly suggest that you use a single driver cabinet, no tweeter - just one "woofer" type speaker. My alltime fave for this is the bagend S12, but i'm sure there are other good ones out there. It would be hard to count the recordings made with an ampeg b15 mixed with a direct signal - that would be a mighty long list.
  13. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I mic'd my el whappo, and blended it with the DI from my Demeter HBP-1 and I was really happy with the results. And that was close mic'ing the 15" sub.

    Other cbas I've had success mic'ing were an EA wizzy, and Aguilar GS115.

    I think mic'ing a cab is great, as long as you have another signal (preferably a Di) to mix it with.
  14. Thanks again everyone, now I have a much better idea of what to look for.

    I will hopefully get the chance soon to use an ampeg SVT3, and mix the DI signal with miking a 15 inch tweeterless cab.

    Hope it goes well :)
  15. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    I've done alot of recording with a DI to the board
    and my SWR Baby Blue I mike'd. Placement is
    important, the nice top end "punch" coming off
    the 5" mid/tweeter is the whole ball game, much
    nicer finished sound than DI alone.

    If Baby Blue not available, a mike'd JBL D140F
    also very nice

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ

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