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Really muddy tone on record

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by morrae, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. morrae


    Oct 31, 2012
    Hey there!
    I'm a beginer bass player with lot's of electric guitar experience. I've recently kinda switched and now learning about bass guitar.
    I've bought ESP Surveyour-5 with these pickups: EMG MMTW-5 / 40P5. Now, ESP has a reputation of gear for metal, so that's what I was shooting for.

    Since I don't have any bass amps and won't for few months, I've been using my line6 pod hd interface to record and play my bass.

    The only problem is, my tone is really muddy, hardly overdriven even with lot's of gain, it overdrives only high freq and all in all I'm just feeling like someone turned down lot's of volume on my bass and I'm trying to make it do things it couldn't. It lacks any growl, high and mid-range, although very decent at low range. Something just feels very off. All my vst plugins can't overdrive it's tone, I'm getting little bit crunchy at best.

    I don't have much experince with bass guitars and I don't know if basses require some kind of different treatment. May be I should use some kind of D.I.? May be my bass is not supposed to play metal at all and these pickups won't do any good for really overdriven tone, may be I'm using wrong interface (although, I did try pluging into ECHO interface at my friend's home, didn't do much difference). What will you recommend?

    I recorded a little bit, http://youtu.be/4Dg4R2V89Do
    Two parts, first one is just a clean Ampeg VST and second one is TSE BOD with drive and volume on max. All the other knobs are default. Pre-amp on bass is 12 o'clock everytime. I'm using MMTW-5 pickup, finger plucking.

    PS: yes, I've tried changing battery.
  2. I'm sure you will get lots of answers and good advice. Personally, I record direct all the time using a boss micro BR and was never satisfied with my tone doing directly into it. I play a 5 string American Fender Jazz Deluxe, and my raw tone is pretty decent - I should note I also play metal. What worked for me was to get a preamp. In my case I got a VT bass deluxe and a b3k for overdrive. This isn't a cheap solution but allows me to really sweeten my tone when I record. I figure this is mostly due to the VT sounding liked a full ampeg rig including a cab.

    This worked for me, and I am far from an audio engineer. Also, the pedals allow me to have "my sound" whenever we play live as well. Everything just sounds great now! Hope this helps a bit.
  3. morrae


    Oct 31, 2012
    Okay, I found a solution. The main problem was the impedance of my pickups. The EMG support said, that these pickups have very low impedance, and in order to sound 'right' I need either plug in the real amp with it's impedance, or use DI box or some kind of device to simulate amp impedance.
    Now, there is very cheap solution for people who has the same problem as I do. First of all, there is Motu ZBox, which by description is the very thing you need.
    Secondly, obviously your DI box, it should be active with high impedance.
    Another option is the compressor set for no compression (but this is questionable).
    You can get interface with instrumental or guitar-oriented input, but you should get some kind of support from manufacturer or seller, to be sure it will work.
    Basicly, it should be some kind of buffer between your guitar and interface, that will convert impedance.
    Hope that helps for anyone with my kind of problem

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