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No Difference Between Micing and Direct

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by christianharger, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,

    I recently purchased a Heil PR-40 after much research on TB. I was super excited to try it out for a home recording session I did with a band this past week.

    My setup: Fender Jazz bass -> TC Electronic RH750 -> TC RS210

    I was micing the 210 as well as running a direct line out of the RH750.

    Once we got a jam recorded, I went into the control room to check out the difference in sound between my two channels. Much to my surprise, there was little-to-no difference between the two channels. Nobody in the band could hear and difference and even I couldn't tell when they were switching which channel was solo'd.

    My questions: is this normal? If this is the case, would there be any reason to keep the Heil, or should I just always run direct?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You know, this is a good question for me to answer ;)

    The TC is pretty much an SVT/810 simulating amp, with a speaker sim and variable tube-like grind built in. You will notice a difference in micing and DI way more if you're using a clean solid state DI like a Countryman or Radial. Or if you're micing a B-15 or SVT/810 vs. the DI out on the TC. But micing a digital amp made to simulate an SVT/810 being miced vs. the digital simulating amp's DI, maybe not so much.
  3. That makes a ton of sense. Looks like I should have done more research before dropping the dough on the Heil! I'm fine with just using the direct line out. Something in me has always been drawn to the look of a mic on a cab, but if there's not much difference, I just don't really see the point.

    Anybody wanna buy a PR-40? ;)
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    This is a blind test, and what many should do, and in fact many would not be able to tell a difference with a good modeling amp like the TC.

    It would be a good idea to record DI. And if you really want to: "re-amp" to record your cabinet. You won't have to waste band time on adjusting the bass sound. Usually, this second step of capturing a cabinet is now done with a cabinet emulator these days. All done on the digital console.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Unless someone wants to make a really good recording.

    Christian, that PR40 is a brilliant mic. It's not only good for bass, but it's good for bass drum, voice (though on a gig you'd look a little wacky singing into one ;) ), guitar, horns, whatever. The only thing I didn't like with it so far is my steel string acoustic guitar. Sell it if you need to, but now that you have it, you might as well enjoy it and try to find other uses for it rather than take a hit on what you paid for it. You can always find a use for mics like that.
  6. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    Yes, but no tengo dinero this week-o :(
  7. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    What you are saying is very true. Since you said you were recording a jam, my guess is that your bass amp was set up in the same room with the rest of your band. This makes it necessary to keep the close mic your amp to minimize the bleed from other instruments. By doing so, you are not able to get any of the room sound on your amp track you wind up with an "identical" sound.
    Here are a few options:
    1) Play back the take. Take the DI track and run it into the input of your bass amp in the room. Remember, this is going to be just your bass amp alone playing in the room. Then, place your mic about three to six feet away from the amp and play the track back recording it back onto another open track and listen back. You'll hear the sound of your bass amp and the room instead of just a mic up on the speaker. You'll have to figure out where you want the mic and how the tone controls of the amp should be set.
    2) If all of you have headphones when you're playing, set your bass amp up in another room with the mic placed three feet away from the amp. This will get you some of that room sound as well.

    What you want to get is some of the room sound recorded onto the amp track. That's the only reason to mic the amplifier.
    Try it. You'll hear what I mean.
  8. We actually had the amps in separate rooms, listening through an in ear monitoring system. That being said, you're right about the mic being up against the speaker. I didn't have much time to experiment.. well, I didn't want to waste others' time.

    in the end I suppose the most crucial thing for me to take away from buying the mic and having this experience is that if ain't broke, don't fix it. I love the sound of the direct line out of the RH750, so I'm not entirely sure why I wanted to try the Heil.
  9. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    Trying the Heil is a great idea. It's a good mic for that application. I would definitely try the "re-amping" idea since you already have a good DI take. Just set up the mic a few feet back and record it. If you want to experiment, set up two mics and different distances from the amp. May be one three feet away pointing directly at the speaker,an the other about ten feet away set at ear level. Record each on separate tracks and listen to each one individually. You'll hear the difference. The further you get away from the amp, the more critical the sound of the room becomes. A mix between the DI and the amp signal is often used on records.