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preamps and recording

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    with a preamp (swr, ampeg, ashdown, etc) could you essentially run through one of those direct into the board for both recording and live play? and if so how would it be done? would it damage the preamp?

    it seems to me that most engineers dont want bass players to record live, yet id rather record live than direct. however i figure with the preamp of choice there is a middle compromise. thanks.
  2. Yes. Take the "direct out" or "line-out" from the pre to a "line-in" on the board.
    Your terminology with regard to "live" is a little screwy. I think you mean mic'd, right? (If not, my apologies.) I agree that most engineers prefer only the direct signal. I believe this to be for many reasons. A few being: it's easier, they do not feel the bass is as important as the gu*t*r, drums, and vocal, and they are lazy.
    I see where you are coming from and sorta agree. I say sorta cuz there is nothing like having things exactly the way you want.
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    with a lot of preamps you can record direct into the tape machine with the line out or the XLR out, if the XLR out is hot enough. Many preamps only offer a mic level XLR out which still needs to go thru some sort of preamp (either an external mic preamp or the preamp on a channel of the board) before hitting the tape machine.

    In most cases, you'll get a better sound by going direct (either via a direct box, a bass preamp, or plugging straight into a good mic preamp), than you will from micing your cabinets. You can also use two channels and combine a mic track with a direct track, but i wouldnt use just a mic track in recording my bass.
  4. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    yea need to clarify: live=mic'd.

    so it is doable. thats good. yea i do think engineers are lazy. and it might be easier and better soudning to go direct which isnt bad. but there is not substitute as KOA said exactly what you want. thanks guys for the info.
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    First, speaking as an engineer, don't hire a producer or engineer unless you like their previous work. So find someone who gets the drum, bass, guitar, and vocal sounds you like, and then do it their way. Don't second guess. Either you like their final work or you don't. Interfering in the intermediate steps is counterproductive and wastes time/money.

    Second, using a line out of an amp defeats the purpose of going direct. All the EQ decisions you make based on what's coming out of the speakers in the room also affect the direct signal. Which may or may not sound right in the context of the track. But going DI after the gain and EQ stages means you're locked into those blinded decisions. So go into a DI immediately after the bass and before the amp. Then mic the amp and blend with the DI at mixdown as needed.