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DI for bass guitar

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Anton Lawrence, Jun 18, 2019.


  1. I have the same problem. The focusrite gives a full range sound on its own which sounds bland. There are tools in your DAW which you can use for recording, but if you want to colour the sound otherwise a preamp bult for this purpose will do the job. Some kind of amp modeller like a sansamp. I use a GT2 or a SABDDI. Or there are many others out there.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. S.F.Sorrow

    S.F.Sorrow

    Dec 6, 2014
    A lot of people here don't seem to understand the difference between a piezo going straight into a DI and a piezo followed by an active preamp going into a DI. Your Ibanez has a built in active preamp.

    A piezo going straight into a DI would require a DI with a VERY high impedance to sound ok (preferably around 4-10 mOhms, 1mOhm is NOT high enough for a piezo to work properly!).

    A piezo followed by an active preamp does NOT need a special piezo DI. The active preamp converts the impedance. Any standard DI box should be fine for your Ibanez.

    Having said that, the built in DI inputs on cheap interfaces are often rubbish (and often VERY low impedance) so getting a proper DI should be an improvement for sure. A good DI will probably cost more than the Scarlett though and the improvements will probably seem subtle for someone with little experience in recording/mixing.

    In this case I think learning proper use of the tone controls (and eq) will probably improve the sound a lot more than buying an expensive DI. Setting the tone controls "at midnight" because someone who has never tried the bass said so is utterly pointless. You really need to use your ears and set the tone controls where they sound best. And then tweak the sound using eq in your DAW.

    And THEN, if you're still not happy with the sound you might want to consider investing money in better gear (but even then I'm not sure a better DI would be the massive improvement you're looking for, getting a better bass would probably make 10x the difference).

    But I'm not advising AGAINST getting a better DI if you have the money to spend. It WILL be an improvement and if you're serious about recording you will need one at some point anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    Samatza and dax21 like this.
  3. Anton Lawrence

    Anton Lawrence

    Apr 26, 2015
    Thank you so much for all of these comments. I have so much to digest here.
     
  4. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Don't let it intimidate you, though. See if you can borrow a DI from someone and check out the sound before buying one.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  5. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    How old is the battery in your bass? You might want to try a fresh one.
     
  6. Anton Lawrence

    Anton Lawrence

    Apr 26, 2015
    I bought the bass about a month ago
     
  7. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    That battery may have been on the Ibanez parts shelf for many months before it went in your bass, and your bass may have been waiting to be sold for many more months. I'd put a fresh battery in it just to be sure.
     
  8. FDR Jones

    FDR Jones

    Apr 7, 2018
    You definitely don’t need a DI. The interface has a perfectly good DI built into it.

    How bad is the recording? Are we talking completely unusable or “just missing that certain je ne sais quoi?”

    If it’s the latter, you might want a boost pedal or a preamp with a cab sim. If it’s the former, then we are all overlooking something very simple.

    Are you listening to your recordings through decent speakers or headphones? Is the input set to instrument (not line)? When you look at the waveform of the recording is it a bumpy little trail or a mountain range?
     
  9. Anton Lawrence

    Anton Lawrence

    Apr 26, 2015
    Thanks for your comments FDR Jones. There is a healthy waverform. I am told my bass already has a preamp. I did not know the Interface has a DI. I have now changed the input to line, am experimenting more with the treble and bass switches and the Fxs in my DAW. There is now a huge difference. I do have decent speakers and headphones.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  10. FDR Jones

    FDR Jones

    Apr 7, 2018
    That's great. Sometimes a little tone shaping is all you need. Acoustic basses with piezo pickups, in particular, aren't known for great tone right out of the box.

    If you don't mind a loss of volume when playing acoustically (not plugged into anything), you might find you get even better tone from tapewound or flatwound strings.
     

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