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How do you record your bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CROZ, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. The "choice of recording: digital or analog" thread made me realize there are a lot of people into recording here. I thought I would ask "How do you record your bass?" because you guys have been recording a lot longer than me. I want to soak up the tribal knowledge. (OOGabooga) I use an AKG D112 close miked on my cab. It gets the grit to the tape!
    (or rather the hard-drive)
  2. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I love direct recording. When I do my solo instrumental stuff it's all been direct. (Through a cheap ass Whirlwind IMP2 DI box, nonetheless!)

    With my pop band, we'll usually do three tracks of bass, one through a Sansamp, one with the XLR DI out of my Ampeg amp, and a mic in front of the cabinet...however, we usually end up going with the DI signal 90% of the time. With a good bass that simply sounds the best, IMO. We do the extra XLR and mic simply because we can, but it's rarely as good as the DI'd sound. (And we've used a ton of mics, including the D112. I should clarify, though, that we're not going for "grit", but clean, warm punch with some trebley J growl.)

    When I've done professional recording dates (commercials, sessions, etc) it's almost always been just direct, usually through a Countryman DI or a Sansamp.

    If you're interested in hearing samples of all of these techniques, email me and I'll hook you up with some links.

    When it comes right down to it, though, I'll go direct any day.


    [Edited by gmstudio99 on 09-10-2000 at 05:23 AM]
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    In a word...DIRECT.
  4. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH

    Are you the same "JimK" from the FDP?

  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Is that the Fender BB? I guess my question answers your question, huh?
    No...that must be somebody else.
  6. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    I do mine digitally though my computer, I have a Sound Blaster Live! Platinum, with that external Live! Drive that has a Line in that I can put my cord into. So thats how I ususally record my bass. Actually sometimes I use it as my amp too, because I have some good speakers hooked up to it, and it can do effects.
  7. Everyone loves direct, huh. I tried a Sansamp Bass Driver DI-still didn't sound gritty enough. Not enough warmth.
    Does anyone use mics?
  8. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    From the old fart crowd, I'll say that I usually prefer miking the cab, but I have had some favorable results with DI. I put the mic at a 45 deg angle to the cab, in front of the speaker (basically, perpendicular to the speaker face). One other trick I've used is to double the bass line on acoustic piano.
  9. On a piano, huh? I've heard of doubling with a baritone guitar (country tic-tac) or a clean electric (Yes's "Roundabout") but not a Piano. Do you know any tunes that use that technique.
  10. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    JimK...I see. Thanks.

    Croz, another one of my favorite techniques is to record one track of bass, direct, and then copy that track to another empty track and delay the second track by a few milliseconds...then pan the original track hard left and the delayed track hard right...the trick is to find a good delay setting so that the bass suddenly sounds "thicker" but not "delayed"...

    Of course, this is very very easy if you're recording digitally...a bit harder on a cassette four track.

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    All the recordings I've done recently, we have ended up using the direct sound. In one case, the engineer insisted that you needed to mike up a cab, but when we listened back, the direct sound was much better than the miked one.
  12. This probably won't appeal to you, but this is what I use assuming the bass is the only one playing. Get a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch converter, put in in the sound card's mic input of your computer, put a cable leading to the converter into your bass, and record it into a wav format, the standard for cds is 44.1khz (correct me if I'm wrong.)

    I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but it works for me.
  13. GM, I use a variation of your delay trick. I combine a delay on a Direct bass with the miked bass. It works great. <p>
    Have any of you guys had any success miking your cabs with condenser mics.? There was this old issue of bass player that showed an eden cabinet with an AKG solid tube shoved in front of it. That's crazy! <p>
    DavO, I only record 20 bit, man!
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Very carefully.
  15. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    The only one I can tell you about mixing the bass with a piano is me, but I'm sure that it's been done a lot. If I ever get my old cassettes converted to WAV, maybe I'll post a link to show you how it sounds. It's actually more subtle than you think; I used it to bring a slight edge to some low-end thump.
  16. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Direct from my Zoom 9030 onto PC via the SBLive (the A/D-D/A converters suck big time, though, and the Zoom is too outdated). Software: Cubase 5 (32-Bit True Tape-mode) and Nuendo (both from Steinberg). It's ok for demos and for doing silly stuff that nobody would like to listen to if they'd want to keep their mental health...:D :D :D
  17. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i use 4 tracks to record my bass

    1. AKG D112 on an 18" pa Subwoofer
    2. EV RE-27 on a 4x12" Hartke aluminum cone guitar cab
    3. SM-57 on an Ampeg 4x12" guitar cab
    4. Direct out of my aguilar db-680

    i tend to always use the first track for the low frequencies, and then layer either the 2nd or 3rd tracks over it, depending on whether i want a relatively nasal midrange, or a real throaty, harley-esqe lower midrange, and use the DI just for the bright, snappy highs. i have minimal phase problems with these multiple mics, since i am not really expecting the mics to cover the same frequency range - sorta like "tri-amp" recording.

  18. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Hey, CROZ, I may have found a track for you. I was watching the VH1 show on Alice Cooper, and they were playing "Hello, Hooray" in the background. I think this cut uses the piano doubling the bass. Anyway, it's a start.
  19. Thanks gweimer, I'll check that out. <p>
    And John Turner, I'm very interested to hear your technique>
  20. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH

    Jeezuz...you can't get much lower than that!

    Out of curiousity, John...how do you guys mic your drums? D112 in the kick? Furthermore, what sort of considerations/concessions are made when doing the final mix, esp. bass drum vs. bass guitar?


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