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I like to record my bass without amp, just direct, im crazy?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by maturanesa, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. After years of playing and recording i find that the best sound i can achieve in a studio is whithout any speaker, microphone or even amp head...
    Just pluging the bass, pedals if i need, and direct to the console/soundcard or sound´s engineer equipment. My perception is the signal is kinda cleaner (less harsh) and the tone is a bit darker and fatter.
    But i dont know if this is explanable or is just my subjetive ear. Anyway, is that a common way to record or im just crazy?

  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Yes, it is common (for me anyway). You can record pluging direct then EQ/Effect your track to taste afterwards.
    All the bass tracks on our LP were done this way. Click the link in my sig to hear how it came out if you like...
  3. You can also impart the amp EQ setting on your DI on many amps (e.g., GK RB-II series)
  4. yep, i like it! cool band
  5. I don't know what style you're recording in, but I rarely ever use an amp in the studio. I did once in the past 2 years, and didn't even end up using that track in the mix. My bass>DI/pre sounds great and sits right in the pocket. A lot of times with dirty guitars, effects on keys, and everything else, a clean bass tone will sit it right where it needs to go. In my experience, my DI bass tracks marry with the kick better, and stay very present in the mix without having to alter the electric guitars' low end. Sometimes, that's very hard to do! And sometimes the "right" DI is worth more than a lot of amps!
  6. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I love being able to record straight in, nothing between my bass and the console (except a cable of course) then maybe use some plug ins in the recording app to get a desired tone. Now, if I had access to some really high end old school recording equipment, I would probably utilize that as much as I could, but I can even get a great bass tone right into my macbook pro and garageband.
  7. By now it's more uncommon to record bass guitars via amps, mostly as part of rock band recordings, getting a specific room ambience and so on.
  8. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    If it sounds good, it's not crazy, it's good! : )
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I've recorded direct a few times... not really my cup of tea (DI from my head is pure awesomeness). I guess it can depend on how forgiving your bass is and what genre.
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    It's very common, pretty much the norm these days. I still like to mic up a speaker every now and then, but I always run a DI no matter what.
  11. I like a bit of both.
    Amp for the groove but DI so I have options to fiddle with the amp settings with an amp modeler later if I decide the original doesn't quite work later down the line. Its annoying to rerecord a perfect take just because the sound doesn't quite fit to the final mix.
  12. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I like a blend of a DI and an amp
  13. Buxtehude


    Jan 5, 2011
    At home, I go straight in then use Mark Studio for amp emulations. It's easier to choose the right setting after you've finished.
    I did lots of sessions in the 80s & 90s and was never once asked for a miked amp sound.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Another DI fan here. Never used an amp in a pro studio for 30 years. You can always re-amp at mixdown if needed.
  15. If you're using a DI to record, what studio monitors are you using to track your bass guitar?
  16. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    Yep, been recording for 40+ years and my fav is my bass direct into a Universal Audio LA610 or similar tube pre, then direct into the sound card. All analog until it hits the AD converter.

    I have used amps, direct/amp blends, etc. but direct thru a good pre is what works for me.

    As always, just my .02

  17. What do you monitor and track with?
  18. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    DAW is Cubase 6 on Windows 7 64 bit Pro.

    Monitor and track w/KRK VXT4s, Tapco S5s, and AKG 701s.
  19. Sorry to de-rail the thread, but do the VXT4's actually track bass okay? I would have thought those cones are WAY too small...and the Freq only goes down to 65hz. I'm impressed if you can track okay with that.
  20. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    No prob tracking. I have been doing this so long that I can hear through th 65Hz floor.

    However, I find that the AKG 701s are the "come to Jesus meeting" when it comes to mixing. If I can get mixes to sound good on those, everything else I play them on (car, home theatre, computer speakers, etc.) sounds just fine.

    I have tracked and mixed on everthing from big UREI Time-Aligned monsters to Auratones and just about every pro headphone made. I have not heard any truer or better than the 701s. The VXT4s and the 701s are all I really need.

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