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Recording w/Azola Bugbass

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by mchildree, Dec 1, 2004.


  1. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    My bluegrass band got a call to do a radio/tv jingle for a local business, and we cut it last night. Didn't have my Cleveland, so I took my Azola Bug II. Got lots of squawking from the engineer when I plugged it in through a Sansamp Acoustic DI, about how I "might as well use a P-bass". Admittedly, I didn't really expect results much better than that, but it really surprised all of us. Got a nice clear, fat tone immediately.

    I think back on how we slaved to get a decent miked URB tone during our last CD project... I imagine that in the future, I'll take the Azola for work in project-level studios. Too easy.
     
  2. geoffzilla

    geoffzilla

    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification
    I had a similar experience with my Azola when I still had it. A quick recording session for a folk artist. The double bass that I had borrowed wasn't set up well, and lacked any sort of definition on the E string. We all begrudgingly pulled out my bug bass, and it sounded very good. The only hard part was that it was a little too clean/direct for the recording.
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Miking the amp would had given a more natural tone than direct recording though.
     
  4. geoffzilla

    geoffzilla

    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification
    a good thought. I hadn't brought an amp assuming that I would be miking a double bass, but having an amp probably would have made things more natural sounding.
     
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Seemed to me that the sound I got direct was more similar to my URB's natural tone than what I usually get when I play my Bug through my Contra.

    I did do some fairly heavy-handed eq'ing on the Sansamp, though.
     
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Why?
    You haven't heard the sound he got going direct so you're basically GUESSING. In my experience recording with the Bug what you're saying is just plain wrong.
     
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Thanks for your kind words, Jeff.
     
  8. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Here's what I would do (I do this kind of thing for a living):

    When tracking I'd record both the direct signal, and the amp with a good mic in front of it (414s are among my favourites).

    In mix (or pre-dub) I'd blend a little of the amp track into the clean to warm it up.

    I've had great results from a third option: take the recorded clean track and play it back into the record-room through a studio monitor speaker. Re-recording this sound with a good mic will give you some airiness and live room feel without coloring it too much. You then have three tracks to play with. If you have lots of time on your hands you can set mics around the room for 5.1 ambiance (or just use the Lex960 in mix :) ).

    This works well for all electro-acoustic type instruments - as long as you realise that the more tracks you make, the more futzing you have to do in mix.
     
  9. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Has anyone tried an Azola through a Bass Pod?
     
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Get off your high horse Francois. Your x x x pronouncements on Bugbass related discussion go back quite a while and quite frankly I'm tired of them. From the day you got one you seemed unable to make friends with it and constantly posted what you perceived as faults and your plans to modify. You sold it without ever really having had much good to say about it and since then you've felt free to offer advise to other Bug players on how they could be doing it better.

    KINDLY confront the question I posed as to why mic-ing an amp would necessarily give you a more "natural" sound (whatever that is).

    I genuinely wish that regarding the Bugbass you would temper your STRONG FEELINGS with objective substance or failing that with silence.
     
  11. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I have. The engineer just scrolled through the presets until we got a natural sound. Worked out great.

    I've used the Bug to overdub arco parts on an existing string quartet (the producer needed notes on the low B string, and the bass was right there...easy money). You would be hard pressed to hear any "EUB-ness" on these tracks.
     
  12. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I really don't understand why you're so harsh and agressive.
    My advice would have been the same, no matter which EUB was discussed.
    My point is simple: miking the bass through an amp adds the acoustic coloration of the amp, while direct recording only gets the pickup's output.
    I may be wrong, it's just my opinion.
     
  13. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I am blunt but it was not intended as a flame (Sam...) rather an attempt to cut straight through to the point. I guess when I heard the term "natural" used in an unqualified manner I really didn't know what you were talking about. And yes I was a little PO'ed. I'm over it. To begin an apology I will tell you that I hang heavy things over people's heads for a living most often with very tight time restrictions which necessitates clear definitions and often requires extreme bluntness. I'm very good at it, especially the extreme bluntness part. I will admit though away from high rigging I occasionally miss an opportunity to keep my mouth shut. :rolleyes:

    To continue in a civil manner:
    When I think of "natural" in a recorded sound I think of a really good condenser mic on a fine acoustic instrument, many of Percy Heath's and Charlie Haden's recordings come to mind. The natural recorded sound of a solid body electric instrument is much less clearly definable and the interpretation I choose is that there be as little external colouration as is technically possible letting the instrument speak for itself. Beauty being very much in the ear of the listener (and all definitions aside) this is the sound I prefer and once I've tried all my DI options I'm more inclined to replace the instrument than fuss with other outboard gear including mic-ed speakers.

    Francois, I offer you a sincere apology for saying you were wrong because you weren't. You just weren't right.

    jeffb
     
  14. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree with Jeff that the best thing is a good player with a fine instrument in a nice room and a quality mic(s). It's the best of all worlds and then I have to do very little to get a great sound (and as a very lazy person I love it when I can look good with very little effort :D ).

    But once you go away from those ideals then I expect it to be harder, and I have to delve into my bag of tricks to make it work.

    But I think we got away from Mike's original point - he went in with the Bugbass, realizing that it was a less than perfect situation and expected to have to do all that stupid stuff to get by. But then was very pleasantly surprised when the Bugbass recorded very well straight into the console. Any chance of hearing this stuff Mike?
     
  15. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Yeah, I think I can round up a copy of it from the studio engineer. It was just a 60-second jingle, but I think it's enough to hear what I mean.