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Is watts important for recording?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Moonsoft, Sep 25, 2008.


  1. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
    I'm thinking of getting a bass head to use in recordings, and it will be in direct link without the microphone in front of an amp and so on. So in this case does a 1000watt preamp get a better sound than a 250watt preamp?
    Or is it better to use a microphone to record an actual cabinet?
    I heard direct link is used most frequently...what's your opinion guys?
    All I want is to get a pro sound..
     
  2. JFace

    JFace

    Apr 17, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Preamps don't amplify the speaker cab, the power amp does. The preamp just processes the signal. For recording purposes, wattage doesn't matter, unless you are recording your cab--then it does.
     
  3. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
    you say the preamp just process the signal, but isn't there a personnality diference from a preamp to another?
    Like diferent sounds from raw, or is it all the same?

    And for the unanswered question, does it sound better recorded by microphone or not?
     
  4. soulgaard1

    soulgaard1

    Aug 1, 2005
    Copenhagen
    Its a matter of taste whether you want to record a miced cab, direct or both.
    When direct recorting wattage doesn't matter.
    But recording the cab can be a lot easier with a low-wattage amp than a high wattage, since you can "push" the powersection of the amp much further at lower volumes.
     
  5. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
    I don't believe in preference, I believe in better sound.

    Better sound is, more presence, more expression, high quality sound.
    If someone prefers low quality it's not my problem, I just want the best option, later I can modify in the recording program such things as compression and EQ, etc.
    So what is the most usual recording method used? :meh:
     
  6. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
    Anybody? :help::crying:
     
  7. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Most producer will want you to go directly into their board, or through a DI box.
    If you have an amp head with a direct out you can go through the head and into the board, thats what I did on my last recording in order to keep the tone I use.
     
  8. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    It depends on the type of music. Recording direct will get a you much cleaner sound, might be good for polished pop stuff. If you are planning on getting a good rock tone, I'd suggest micing a cab. When I record, I have two mics in front of the cab (a kickdrum mic for good low end and vocal mic for prescense and punch), and a DI. I mix the three signal together. That's probably the best way to go; you can mix the two or three signals to suit whichever style or song you are recording.
     
  9. When mic'ing a cabm wattage has nothing to do with the result, it's about one thing: tone

    If your 50w amp sounds better than your 5000W amp then use it for recording and vice-versa.
     
  10. +1, this is the way we record bass at our project studio. Except we only run 2 signals (1 DI and 1 mic). Then we flavor to taste during mixdown.

    On occasion we'll just go DI if we decide to use a Bass Pod or SA BDDI.

    There are many options and many opinions. Best thing to do is try different methods out and see what works best for you. You may not like DI+Mic. Or you might have enough 'pro' signal processing to go DI only and sweeten the tone during mix down. Or you might have a rig that sounds just plain kick ass on it's own and you want it mic'd.

    Just like everything else sound\tone related, it all depends on what you want it to sound like and what you want to hear on tape...err disk.

    With advances in recording technology (and bass technology) these days, there is definitely more than 1 way to skin the proverbial cat!
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Preamps are not rated in watts, they do not perform based on some number of watts output.

    Yes, preamps have different voicings, but that has jack to do with watts.

    If you want to get the sound of a miked cab, necessitating a power section with watts, then choose the amp/cab selection that sounds best when miked- which generally has nothing to do with watts.

    I'm sorry, but that's just wrong. Your whole attitude there is way off base, and shows you have no understanding of how recording (or even music) works. It's all about preference, there is no such thing as "better" unless you set specific parameters- better in what way, better than what, better for what purpose?

    If you want the highest fidelity, then say "I want the highest fidelity". Often that boils down to how much you can afford, or where you draw the line in terms of fidelity.

    The most usual method is bass --> DI --> recording device. The DI can be any of hundreds of equally good options. But just because that is the most "usual" method does not mean it is the "best"! Additionally, at a pro level it is very common to split the bass signal to multiple tracks, and process them differently while being recorded. E.g. one track will be a clean DI, another track will be a miked tube amp & cab, and another track will be through a "colored" (tone altering) preamp. Then the final mixdown will include some blend of those three (or however many) channels.
     
  12. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
    My attitude towards the tone is based on things I have been hearing.
    There are lots of equipment and most of them seems to be made just for newbies, and I'm kinda tired of buying/selling stuff until I find a GOOD tone. I know that with the technology nowadays we can make great sound with a low budget, we just gotta know which material to buy, and I feel that there are lot's of "distractions" and that leaves me frustrated because I'm not that rich to try this, try that, etc. So I wanted a good tone for all styles of music, which we only had to tweak a little here and there and it's done, I'm ready to please everyone. No entire studios inside my bedroom, no 10 amps and basses for each diferent song or style, I believe it's possible and should be.
    Besides, I can't even record through amps because I have neighbours that work at night, so sleeping during the day.

    Hm...sorry for my rant but I have been for 7 years looking and looking for the best way to have a "pro" sound and I'm not wealthy:rollno:. But since studios record usually without an amp I could have a chance. I suppose I only need a good preamp now...which can work with many styles. If you managed to read until now, can you recommened me one? :)
     
  13. There is no single "good" tone for all styles of music. What's good for one style may not be good for another. This should be obvious if you've read TB threads.
     
  14. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I would say no. BUT if you really love the way your amp sounds you're gonna burn some time setting a DI, a mike in front of your cab, and a line out from your pre. I've found that this takes a lot of noodling to get just right. For my old band we'd spend a day or two getting everything set up with mikes and levels (drum mikes ugh), and then we'd have to tear down again for a gig. We never really nailed it as good as just doing it down and dirty with a few mikes hanging from the rafters in the garage.

    I'm currently constructing songs with loops and samples with my DJ, and we're recording basslines straight from my bass. No FX. This is strictly so we can get a song down for practice, but it's actually turning out just as good as almost anything I've done in the past with DI, line outs, and mikes. We're recording into iTunes.

    Again this is just down and dirty.
     
  15. Well it seems that you are looking in the wrong area a little (perhaps). You see, the pro sound could be a mic'd up amp, it could be DI on its own or whatever, it doesnt matter, those things are a matter of preference and they are all techniques that have been usd to get a 'pro' sound. The important thing is how you are capturing the sound.

    The main thing is your 'soundcard' or A/D converters, that is the only basic thing that will make a nice sounding setup instantly sound dull. If you havent got good converters then start there. By good I mean quite a way above the standard m-audio or e-mu interface. those things will get you a budget demo sound, and do it quite well, but pro sound needs pro converters, standard.

    Most of the rest is open to interpretation, I have got good results with good converters and an NT1, and great results with good converters and a U67, at that point it is a creative choice not a 'buy this gear and it will do this' situation.

    If you are using a mic then a preamp is necessary to get a god sound, the better the.. better, if you are going direct then a DI is needed, the better the, well, better.

    Basically, the 'pro' sound comes from good converters, the knowledge of where to place a mic (if needed) and the ability to decide what is necessary for the job, that is all.
     
  16. Moonsoft

    Moonsoft

    Aug 28, 2006
  17. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    I have no input on the device, I just wanted to point out some things that matters, that haven't been said here yet:

    - The bass matters - strings, electronics, pickups, build quality and quality of the other hardware.

    - If using a DI - the quality of the DI matters.

    - If micing an amp - In addition to the amp and cab quality, the mic is the device that is supposed to capture the signal, so a good mic suitable for the recording of bass is essential.

    Then comes the other stuff. Just remember the sound will never get better than the weakest link in the chain.
     
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Even when using a good preamp, you don't want to mess too much with the tone controls when recording. For instance, if your EQ going in has too much bottom on the recording, you'll never be able to get it out. I usually run everything on the bass pretty much flat and go through a good DI to the board. The Avalon U5 is perfect for this. During post-production, it's easier to adjust the tone on a flat signal than one that's been too-heavily EQed.

    Nowadays, even if you want a miked-cab sound, there are abundant post processors out there that can emulate just about any amp, cab and mic combination you can imagine. I know the purists will chime in here about how it's not the same, but every recording you hear today has been heavily digitally manipulated. I'd say use a good DI, like a Radial JDI, and go direct to the board. Then work with the engineer at mixdown to get the tone you like.
     
  19. bassplayertom77

    bassplayertom77

    Sep 24, 2008
    One time I tried 2 different signals. One D.I., and one miked 15 cab. I mixed those two signals and got a pure D.I. sound, and a warm, fat sound with some "air" that filled out the mix quite well. Can't remember specifics, sorry.

    I think it all depends on context and what YOU think sounds good.

    I really like what Deacon Blues had to say. The truth.
     
  20. This is one recording philosophy. It is not the only one and it is not one I often follow. I'm a believer in getting the sound right in the room and then capturing that as accurately as possible. Never count on fixing it in the mix, get it right the first time. EQ the bass amp, not the console; tune the drums, don't resort to samples; get a good vocal performance, don't count on autotuning.

    The idea of reamping, and triggered and quantized drums, and auto tuned vocals and all that nonsense is a recent, and god willing passing, phenomenon.
     

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