Device like SansAmp pedal vs Logic Bass amp/cab sims?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by NameIsBass4Real, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Hi. I am an amateur bassist, occasionally do some recording. I only have a 50w Ampeg pracitice amp as far as bass amps go, and have generally recorded directly to my Imac/Logic Pro X, via an Apogee Duet, as mic'ing the amp never seems to yield very powerful sounding results.

    The stock Logic amp/cab sims are okay, but even with a lot of tweaking, EQing, compression, etc., I never feel like I'm getting the tone found on commercial recordings. . .it's either too midrangey/harsh (dinga dinga dinga sound predominates), or its TOO bassy, i.e. the "way down there" frequencies are emphasized over that sweet spot you want for it to sit right in a rock mix (rock generally fits the description of anything I record). Simply put, i can't get a "thick" or "meaty" sound.

    Wondering what a SansAmp pedal/device could do for me (if anythig) vs the software sims.

    I understand some of the tone comes from the player, etc., but some of it doesn't. . .some of it is the amp/instrument/pickups.

    I have several low end to mid end basses, a Squire Jazz, a Schecter Diamond Series, and a MIM P-bass, all stock. They all suffer from these issues. Maybe that's the problem right there? Pickups?

    So again, chain right now is bass -->> Apogee Duet --- > Logic Pro X, amp sims/cab sims and processing applied to track after the fact.

    Any insight? Thanks.
  2. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    When I hear boxy and or muddy, there are often 2 areas that are the problem. 1) for muddy, the bass is covering sub frequencies and needs to be tightened up and volume reduced. 2) There are too many instruments in the boxy are 400hz to 1.5kHz zone, and some EQ and sidechain compression and Sidechain EQ will be needed on the guitar.

    I think you're on the right track eliminating variable, and you're bass plugins should be fine. And that's the way to record bass straight direct injection. Adding more to the chain with a preamp or other DI adds more to the problems if the boxy and mudy sound is not addressed first. I would focus on the mix exploring volume levels, and EQ. That's where the problem is.

    Do you have a example of the mix? What kind of studio monitors do you use to mix with? Studio monitors make a big difference in mixing vs other types of speaker systems.

    There's a lot of info on how to mix bass online, as well as how to set up your room for mixing.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  3. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Sorry I should have clarified. I'm talking JUST listening to the bass, let alone before I get to the mix stage, I hear those issues.

    If we get into my mix and studio monitor issues we're gonna go down a whole 'nother rabbit hole 'cause my whole setup right now is no good (in a corner, hard floor room, no treatment). I know that, but I STILL think the bass tones are lacking, those issues aside. Perhaps you're right and it's all the same problem, but I don't think so.

    You're saying people by the SansAmp stuff more for live performance than to record with?
  4. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Sans amp can be used in the recording too. You could give it a try. It has a diverse set of tones, and it may help you dial out the bad frequencies that cause the box and mud.
  5. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Yeah. . .I figure I can get one (maybe used) from Guitar Center and give it a try. . .if I don't "feel it" then I can always return within 30 days. Are there other recommended pedals in the same price range?
  6. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Yes, Ampeg makes a great DI box, and the MXR M80 is my choice for DI, it sweetens up the tone, and has a distortion pedal effect which I hardly ever use unless playing RUSH covers.
  7. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Thanks. I'll look into those. . .maybe try out whatever Guitar Center has in store.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Freeware plug-in clone of the SansAmp might be a place to start:
    TSE Audio - Software
    ^^^ I've not used this, but heard good things.

    I've been struggling with DI recording tones. I've found the Logic sims aren't bad. I like the Mesa one. I've also been working with Guitar Rig 5, and I found that using their Control Room you can set up multiple amp/cab combos with various mics an placements, and then blend and mix them all. For dirty tones, I found that the thing that worked best was to get three-cab setup.
    1 - Mic on the cap
    2 - Mic in the crease
    3 - Mic on the edge

    I'd then blend to taste, and found I liked the results. Of course, you need to know how to pic the mic and the placement. I found a few youtube tutorials on the topic which were very helpful.

    Of course garbage in, garbage out. If you aren't getting a good signal into the software, then you will struggle to get a good one out. As you noted, you might have a weak link in your chain.
  9. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Thanks. I think I have the Guitar Rig demo, definitely not the paid version.

    I guess you could do the same thing in logic creating 3 sends from a track, with each going to a different aux track with the bass amp simulator applied, with the mic in a different position on each, adjust the send amount to control blend? Seems like the "easiest" way.

    As for weak link. . .the Apogee duet is supposedly a nice interface with nice preamps, so that aspect should be good to go, so unless the bass itself (pickups, I guess is what I mean) is no bueno, then bass into Duet into computer should be a solid chain.
  10. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    With a sansamp you can send the effected and uneffected signals both to separate input channels and therefore separate tracks at the same time. You can then process the uneffected using a sim and see if you like one, the other, or both together.

    I also like some of the Amplitube sims. They may be more to your liking. There is a free version I believe and you can add amp and cabs individually or in bundles over time.
  11. NameIsBass4Real


    Jan 20, 2017
    Thanks. I think I have the free version and wasnt super wowed by it but I'll give it another look.

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