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Home Recording

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by Dr. Circles, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Dr. Circles

    Dr. Circles Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003

    Wondering if you have any tips on getting a good bass sound on a home recording.

    I am currently recording into the 1/8 inch mic input on my laptop onto Vegas (Sonic Foundry AV recording program). The sound is coming from the preamp on my Peavey Mark IV head and I am using a Fender Jazz and a Kramer Focus. I am getting a pretty good sound so far, but would like to keep improving it.

    Also, the bass parts with distortion pedal sound real light/empty. Any suggestions on recording distortion bass or any suggestions on good pedal?
  2. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    you might want to try using some light compression between your amp and the 'puter - maybe the amp has an onboard compressor? I'm not familiar w/the one you have. as for distortion, I know a lot of people use a rat pedal. I don't have that much experience using distortion boxes myself - I get it more from overdriving the preamp (my eden has a tube front end). you might want to record to two tracks - one clean and one distorted and then be able to get one sound by mixing the two later. I don't know your 'puter setup (I use pro tools [digi002] on a mac) but maybe it can record stereo - two tracks? you could put the clean send on the left side and the distorted one on the right.

    on bass, watt

  3. Dr Circles;

    I've run into similar problems (using a 4 track), and to me it just seems like pedals cut out too much of the low-end signal. It's one thing in a live situation where you've got enough volume and air moving to make up for it some, on tape it just tends to sound tinny unless you've got it doubled with a clean track. If your computer's input is stereo. I highly second Watt's recommendation to split your signal and double your track. Some light compression or limiting may help as well, as any overloading of the input will be nasty digital distortion, not the oftentimes OK analog variety. Other than that, just making sure that everything in your signal chain up until it hits the computer is as good as it can be. Experiment with different cables you have, and try to be as far away from the computer physically as you can be. Try turning the monitor off (can you do that on a laptop?). Home recording is probably the only time you can spend whole days just swapping out pieces of gear or changing minor settings in a studio setting and seeing what you get tone-wise, so go nuts!

  4. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    I think this is great advice: go nuts! really, experiment - it's a good thing. you might discover something you can pass on to all of us!

    hum can come from ground problems too so check out the ground lift switches where there's stuff that has those and make sure all cables are shielded (don't use a speaker cable to hook your bass up to the recorder input). unshielded cables are usually only for amp to speaker connections, that's it. make sure there's minimal hum before you plug in your bass. if you get after you plug the bass in - the problem is w/the bass and not the equipment. take the bass to a tech.

    on bass, watt