Recording Tone

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by StingrayKid21, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone!

    My band is getting ready to record a full-length CD and of course we want it to sound as good as it possibly can. I have been working on getting a good bass tone but have ran into some problems.

    I've noticed that when we record my bass and just run it from my SVT-4PRO's DI out my sound is really "tinny" and bright. I get a lot of string noise and that pretty much ruins every slide I play. I don't have the treble boosted much at all but it still has a really nasty bright sound. The bright switch is not engaged either. When I cut out the treble some it helps a little bit, but I lose clarity.

    Someone said it is just how my amp is... I think it might have more to do with my Ray5 since I can't seem to get away from that brightness. I want a good amount of grind in my bass tone and I also want it to be a really full, fat tone (which my Aphex 204 Aural Exciter and Big Bottom does really well). So does anyone have any EQ ideas for me? It's frustrating because I don't want to cringe every time I hear our CD because the bass sounds horrible. Any help or suggestions are much appreciated as I am very new to the world of recording.

  2. j_piddy


    Sep 23, 2003
    Just plug straight into the board. It won't sound so over-processed.
  3. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    bright is fine. duck dunn records with all tones up and all of his amps controls maxed

    you can cut later but you cant add.
  4. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    To my limited knowledge a lot of bassists use a combination of DI and Mics. If you don't like the tone from your head DI'd you could get a DI box. MX80, sansamp, may give you a more realistic tone. In combination with micing your cab, now I was told the best mic to use is a condensor but some guys just use the SM57 Shure. They put it a 3-8 inches from the speaker. You should do a search first and your answer will be in here because here is where I read it.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have always gone straight to the board, never miked an amp and always gotten a good sound.

    On mixdown, you can run the bass track through an amp so you can tweak the amp for the "perfect" tone during the final mix.
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Wait, sorry, I'm not clear on how exactly you're doing this. Are you recording "live" with the band, or are you single-tracking through a board?

    If you're live with the band, just stick a '57 in front of your speaker and run that into the board. That should work fine, and it should be a "fairly accurate" representation of your live sound, maybe missing a little of the extreme highs and lows but basically pretty faithful.

    If you're single tracking, you can either mic your amp, or run through a DI into the board. I've never gotten good results from the pseudo-DI that most amps provide (with one or two exceptions, but for the most part I've found these auxiliary outputs to be pretty sucky). I've been far more successful with a "real" DI. Also the SABDDI has worked fairly well for me.

    If you're using an active bass, you might not even need a DI. Just plug straight in to one of the line inputs on the board.

    And yeah, a good engineer can work miracles in the mix. First of all, be aware that what sounds good when you play back your track "by itself", may or may not correspond to what sounds good "in the mix". Second, excessive brightness is trivially easy to deal with in the mix, don't even worry about that. Focus on your low end EQ, and what you want your bass frequencies to sound like. In other words, your "bass" sound. Ultimately that's what the engineer is going to have to work with, and that's the part the has to be gotten right 'cause it can't be tweaked after the fact (or at least not "much").

    The concept is that you want to give your engineer "enough" to work with. If there's too many frequencies, it's easy to take out the ones you don't want. But if there's not enough, it's impossible to add something to a track that wasn't there to begin with. So "too rich" is way better than "too thin".
  7. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for all the input. One of our guitar players (who is also doing a lot of the recording/engineering) and I were working on my tone today and just tweeking stuff. It does sound best with a mix of DI and micing the cab so I think we'll go with that. I am also thinking about getting a Sansamp RBI for the DI part of the track since I have heard very good things about those... I figure it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. I'm overly critical of my tone but I'm sure that's not too uncommon. I'll just keep working at it and see if I can't come somewhere close to that wonderful tone I have running through my head. I'll try running straight to the board and see what kind of sound I get. Thanks again for all the ideas and input!!

  8. Justin, a lot of Pro's use flat wound strings because they can get away from all the fret noises as you had mentioned in your previous post. Just something to think about.


  9. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR

    Someone else also recommended flatwounds so I'm thinking of giving those a try. I currently play EB Slinky 5's with a .130 B string.. any recommendations of good companies that have flatwound 5 string sets?

    Thanks again for the ideas!

  10. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey again everyone!

    I've been looking into flatwound strings as Treena suggested and I've decided that Rotosound TruBass Black Nylon strings may be worth a try. I play in a "hard rock" band and I was wondering if those strings would still cut through in the mix? I've never really played flatwounds much and I can't find these anywhere nearby so I was hoping some of you could give me an opinion before I order them. If it helps, my band has MP3's on our website so you can see what kind of music we play.
    Once again any info is appreciated!

  11. Rotosound TruBass Black Nylon strings, will work.

    I use Thomastik- Jazz flats on my Fender 5 strings, they sound very bright at first for flat wounds. As I said before, you will get rid of most of the fret noises you hear when soloed.

    Steve Barr from the Dudepit sales the TI flats, they are JF345

    JF 345 Nickel Flatwound Roundcore Long Scale 34" 5 String .043 .056 .070 .100 .136 ($54.00) They are spendie but worth every penny!

    Check with Steve, he ships within a week, generally!