Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Too overdriven for Recording

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by brewer9, Apr 30, 2001.


  1. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    This thread doesnt fit into either of the "recording" categories, so....here it is.

    I recorded this weekend but for some reason the sound was very overdriven. We couldnt get just a nice thick sound without being highly distorted. I had to go passive (even though I prefer active), and had to use a DI instead of the line out on my Mesa Boogie 400+ head.

    Does anyone here know what I did wrong or what I should do next time?
     
  2. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    A few questions come to mind:
    1. What bass were you using?
    2. Where was the volume set on the bass?
    3. Did the engineer pad the input signal?
    4. Did the engineer know what he was doing?
    5. What does the manual for your Mesa head say about settings for line out?
    6. What did you do to try to correct the problem?

    A little more info will help in giving you suggestions.
     
  3. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    A few questions come to mind:

    1. What bass were you using?
    Tobias Signature 5

    2. Where was the volume set on the bass?
    I tried several positions. All were distorted.

    3. Did the engineer pad the input signal?
    Whats "pad" mean?

    4. Did the engineer know what he was doing?
    Hell if I know. He acted like it, but he may just be a spoiled rich kid who has great stuff and no brain.

    5. What does the manual for your Mesa head say about settings for line out?
    I dunno (i'll check on that tonight).

    6. What did you do to try to correct the problem?
    We tried miking the cab, using a SansAMP PSA, using my line-out, and finally a SansAmp Bass Driver Di with my switch on passive. Thats what worked best (not perfect, just best).
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Please don't kick me, but did you check the battery of your Tobias?
     
  5. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    JMX-
    ...that's good, solid advice. Don't forget about the simple things. ;)
    Yesterday, I'm at a band rehearsal & about 1/2 way into it, I start getting that Larry Graham tone from "Dance To The Music". I thought, "...f***in' great, I just blew the speaker"(it's G-K MB150).
    I'm playing a passive bass; I do have an EBS Octabass pedal plugged into the amp's "Send/Return" jacks...I'm NOT actively using the pedal, BUT the damn thing is IN circuit, regardless!
    ...anyway, apparently the battery had died in the pedal. Whew!

    About padding...for years, I used to use a SWR SM-400 for gigs & the sound "engineers" would never utilize the SM-400's line out 'cause they were too lazy to pad it...Kooks!
     
  6. I_Dream_Of_Bass

    I_Dream_Of_Bass

    Feb 8, 2001
    brewer9,

    Padding means to lower the level of your signal before it enters the preamp on the mixing board. Usually, mixing boards will have a -10dB pad on the channel that will drop the signal by -10dB's. This is often used on certain drum tracks when drummers hit too hard.
     
  7. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I'd say the problem is likely to be in the bass, due to the fact that everything you did had a problem. Check the battery - best advice listed here yet. Also, did you (or could you) try another bass? What does your bass normally sound like? BTW, there's absolutely nothing wrong with just plain miking a bass cabinet, and skipping all the boxes. Did you try that?
    Oh, and check your cords while you're at it.
     
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You know, to be fair to sound guys (like me) lots of consoles don't have pads on them.
     
  9. Rockinjc

    Rockinjc

    Dec 17, 1999
    Michigan
    Jim,
    I know the tone, because mine does the same thing...kinda cool huh?

    Someone should start a thread about what things do at the wrong voltage! Once a friend gave me a variac, but i was chicken to hook it up to anything.

    Kids, don't try this at home.

    jc
     
  10. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Packer-
    ...sorry, man. BUT, these particular sound guys & their equipment are a BIG company here(I mean, we're playing outside amphitheatres & it's a major deal...). Anyway, I get your point. ;)

    Rockinjc-
    ...funny stuff; a variac? Man!
    And I swear that fuzz tone was right outta "M'Lady" by Sly/Graham! ;)
     
  11. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Yes, I did check the battery (smart aleck-lol). And, yes, we tried miking the cab too. The signal was not padded though, I wonder if that would have helped. I do hit really hard so it may be a good idea.
     
  12. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    You know I've had a similar problem with my MESA/Boogie BASS 400+. The D.I. is REALLY hot. I tend to run the pre-amp gain pretty hot and the direct signal I send to the board is ultra hot as in I turn the gain all the way down on the mixer and still sometimes red line the board. Wish they would put a level control on there. You could try the slave output jack as that has an adjustable level. It's not a balanced line though unfortunately.
     
  13. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Maybe hitting the strings too hard is the problem here. I can hit the strings so hard that the Pickups of both my passive Fender Jazz and my Stingray 5 (with new batteries ;)) are distorting. But usually I'm not digging in like that...
    However you can better hear this distortion with headphones and/or when you're recording - maybe that's why you did not realize it before.

    And yes, DI outs can be very hot, I have the same problem with my Gallien Krueger.

    Matthias
     
  14. I_Dream_Of_Bass

    I_Dream_Of_Bass

    Feb 8, 2001
    Heya...sorry I didn't post this on my earlier reply, but I couldn't remember where I saw it at until now. ProCo makes some useful utility products that help when you're in the studio or doing live shows. They are relatively cheap and pretty rugged and will make you a lot of friends if you have them. Here's the link to their page. The MAX-series of adapters sound like they *might* help you out.

    http://www.procosound.com/prod03.htm
     
  15. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    I actually e-mailed ProCo and asked about these productis and they're designed as micorphone pads and they said that they wouldn't work with the D.I. on the amp. They're more designed to work with 150ohms and the XLR out on the Boogie and most bass amps is around 600ohms.