Recording with effects - pedals or software?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kesslari, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I'll be going into the studio next month and for what I think is the first time, there are some tunes on which I want to use effect.

    Compressor - I like the sound of my Doc Lloyd, or is it better to compress as part of the post-production?
    Or rather than "better" (or "worse") what are advantages/disadvantages of both ways?

    Chorus and envelope filter - I definitely "play the effect" as part of my playing (that is, having the effect on impacts how I play). So I'm thinking "record with it on" but somewhere in my lizard brain there's some unknown engineer saying "the signal you give the board should be as clean as possible".

    Is it worth figuring out a way to split my signal and recording both a dry and an effected track?

    What do you manipulators of the sonic vortex do, and why?
  2. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    If you can split your signal, and record both your bass clean and your bass with effect to separate tracks, you will always have the option to apply software effect, clean blend, etc, so your sound can work better in the final mix than with just an effected line that you are stuck with it.
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Studio will probably have means to split your signal. If you can it's the best bet. Take a totally dry in, a wet DI off of the amp, and a mic (or two) on your amp. Use whichever blend works best in post.
    kesslari likes this.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm assuming your recording to digital which means plenty of tracks.
    Depending on how they record, the worse would be 4 DI boxes
    Unless you, the producer, or the engineer have a vision as to what your bass should sound like in the final mix, it's better to cut flat

    OTOH, I'm used to having plenty of time in the studio
    If you're on a budget and trying to get some quick tracks down with minimal mix time, us the effects and go for it!
    (that's how we used to make records...)
  5. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    You really need to record dry/clean track. If you are able to split your signal and record a wet signal as well, fine. If not, the sound tech will be able to work with your signal (re-amping it) after it's recorded...

    I almost never use my compressor in studio.
    kesslari likes this.
  6. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'll echo what the others have said.

    Unless it is integral to your playing, better leave it off. Splitting the signal would be the best possible situation too. I feel things like Reverb, phasing, some (fattening) OD are best done in the box, unless you have a very specific sound going for you.
    kesslari likes this.
  7. The studio should be prepared to record both a wet and dry track for bass possibly more. If possible contact the engineer/producer in advance to get the lay of the land to be best prepared for the session. If you are recording prepared band tracks then the ball is in your court as far as the sounds recorded. Using hardware is almost always preferred over virtual choices if practical but the virtual world is getting pretty durn good these days, but I still prefer the hardware especially if is is pedal sized.
    BrentSimons and Reedt2000 like this.
  8. AlexBassMP


    Feb 5, 2014
    For my last recording I splitted my signal from my Samsamp's paralel output. I recorded that clean sound through a tube mic preamp and the overdriven tone from the sansamp straight to the console.

    In three songs I add some flanger .. the producer added it in the mix with some plug in which I don't remember. Playing live I use a Zoom MS60B
    kesslari and BrentSimons like this.
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Thanks all.
    I spoke with the engineer, and we have the plan for splitting the signal.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  10. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I’m in the studio way too much. Not sure what studio you are going to, but if they have really nice compressors (hardware)you can record into those. I love chains of light compression, but the main thing to understand is that compressing your signal after it hits the computer is not the same as compressing it before it passes through the converters and prints a WAV file.

    So you want to have light compression going in and then get heavier it during the mix.

    I see that he will split the signal, which is cool. Usually that is used when you want to distort one track or run it through an amp and have a DI’d clean track going in as well.
  11. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Supporting Member

    In the past I’ve always taken a dry signal but always had mics on my cab also so that when recording I catch the vibe for my sound, especially with original music. It’s really all about the performance more thany anything else....if your tone is off but the performance is nailed it won’t matter...the other way and it will matter.
    kesslari likes this.