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The logic of mic recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tupac, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Can someone explain the logic of recording using a mic? Wouldn't you inherently lose quality? In each "step" of converting it to digital, you're losing quality from the original signal each time. At their most basic forms:

    Direct: Bass > Interface

    Mic: Bass > Amp > Air > Mic > Interface

    Sooo, wouldn't a mic be inherently less quality? I'm not knocking mic recording of course, I'm just curious to see how this would work.
  2. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    Direct recording leaves out the ambiance of the real music. You need to utilize affects to bring it back to what you would hear for real. You can add so much more depth to a sound with multiple mics that pick up more than just the close sound of the amp but the whole environment. It's kind of like plugging your headphones directly into your instrument (If you could). There would be no influence from all the variables that make up your unique sound.
  3. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Also, before amp cabinet modeling, it was the only way to capture the sound of the cabinet.
    And some will say it still is the only way.
  4. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    I here you mega, there are artists out there that feel recording to tape is the only way to get an awesome recording. The funny thing is, all their fans probably could never even tell the difference.
  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011

    Live sound is tough to capture.
  6. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    I agree with most of this. Every time I record I use at least 2 mics. One on the cone and one 10+ feet out. It's not about the sound of your bass, It's about your amp/effect settings, the way your cab sounds (ported/closed) and the room you're recording in.
    With the advent of digital recording, you can get most of that from a plugin or any number of digital effects, but there's just something about recording it with a mic that IMO justsounds a bit more real and organic.
    Plus when I mic my cab I know for a fact the singer's friend who calls himself a 'producer' can only do so much to make my bass sound like crap, or to his ears 'a good bass sound'

    My two cents
  7. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    Doesn't matter. If you hire someone that knows how to "MASTER" your music, the bass will sound just fine. In most cases better.

    Sometimes a producer will record dry then run that acoustic Martin into a Marshall on ten and you will thiink he's playing a Les Paul.

    A good recording engineer that has "MASTERING" skills is worth his weight in gold. If you don't have that guy then you do what you must.

    Just my experience.

  8. Using a mic is simply another color in your pallet. Fwiw I've never used a mic w/o blending a di as well. Get the definition from the di and the character from the mic.

    I'm fairly happy w/ my U5/RBI set up these days but I do bust out a mic'd amp every so often when the situation calls for it...
  9. Depends on how you define "quality". No matter how you record, some part of the process will "change" the original sound. Even going instrument direct to interface, there is one A/D conversion happening. That's a change. Sure, with more stuff in the chain, you'll have more changes. But, it doesn't mean less quality. Some people think certain changes improve the quality. So, what's quality?
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, but the fans are NEVER the reason I do anything. Why not just play some crap $50 bass and amp if the fans can't tell?
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh, and mic recording rocks...if you have a decent mic.
  12. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    The only way you'll lose quality is bad gear and/or the lack of knowledge of how to use it.

    No, using a mic has nothing to do with quality. It's just a tool to shape and color the tone. E.g. more thump, less screeching highs in distorted tones etc.
  13. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    a good quality mic with the right frequency response, through a good preamp, preferably into a good desk? umm yes please.

    a Neumann U87 will cost a grand and a half for good reason.
  14. IMHO, there is one good reason and one bad reason to record a bass with a microphone (as opposed to direct). I will leave it to you to decide which is operative in any particular situation.

    Good reason: the amp, cabinet, and possibly the mic itself have a particular sound that I'm trying to capture. Say, a vintage Ampeg B-15.

    Bad reason: the engineer, producer, or amateur home recordist just wants something to do. It's more difficult and time consuming to set up a mic, so it must be better, right? Well, it's better if I do it, because I know the magic secret :rolleyes:
  15. Carl320


    Feb 6, 2012
    Northern IN
    A lot of times people use mics just for the change. They want the sound to be colored by the preamp, the mic or the room.

    The few times I've recorded, I both mic'ed up and went direct. I don't have all that much experience in it but doing that gave the engineer more to work with when it came to mixing the bass.
  16. uh, not even used ;) try 3 and a half grand! :eek: