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what do you liek as a preamp (bass or mic) for bass?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by IvanMike, Apr 7, 2003.


  1. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well i havent gotten the cakewalk yet so i'm recording with 3 adats and a ghost board at my guitar players studio
    so far i've used my swr electric blue (nice but sterile), eden wt-400 (ok), a peavey mic preamp and tube compressor which are discontinued knockoffs of a urei (sic?) (a lil harsh)
    and my alembic f1x/sf2 combo (good but a lil hiss)
    i've also used a few compressors recording and mixing down and the dbx 1066 seems to be the best so far
    i have yet to use my demeter 201 or tony's newly aquired api? (a neve knockoff 4 channel unit usually used for drums which sounds awesome on the skins)
    so the question is.....
    what do you all like to use for preamps and compressors and why?
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
  3. I run the bass to a DB900 tube DI then to a Mackie pre then the main out to a NanoCompressor set for limiting (to get the level up) and from there to a $20 tape deck.

    Using good cassettes I get a clear, loud and fat tone and yes I said cassette.

    Since my setup is strictly used to record quickly my ideas, I like the simplicity and ease of cassette.
     
  4. I use my Ampeg SVP-Pro pre and lightly compress with either a Joemeek, an RNC, or a Behringer Composer - although if I had a dbx1066 I'd most likely use that. In fact it's probably my next purchase after a good EQ.
     
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well as a re-look, it seems that i mis judged the peavey units.

    as far as i know, the peavey is a 2 channel tube mic pre with a tube eq. i forget the number, but it's actually a sought after peice. the peavey dual channel tube compressor is a completly seperate unit, and that is a knock off of a uri (dunno if i'm spelling that right)

    initally i reported it as harsh, but on closer review of records that was our view of it for vocals. for bass it seems to be really good. t6his last session i used the DI of my demeter into one channel of the peaveys, and a cabinet miced up with 57 into the other channel. both came out great. probably the best sound to date.

    i still have to use some kind of pre after the demeter if i use the di out. demeter quoted the "nashville mod which changes the output from -20 to +4 as $250 bucks, and they dont even like to do it because it's the older unit. I'd still liek to getit done but i failed to find out if it is a switchable thing from -20 to +4, or if it is a permanant change. if so, i think i'd see if they could wire it so i have two DI's (like a U5), or just find another 201 and have the mod done.
     
  6. Jakedempsey

    Jakedempsey

    Dec 19, 2004
    I've been using my Eden WP-100 with great results. I get a nice variety of tones from it. It has a good compressor built in, and dedicated XLR recording outs. I've used a cheap Presonus Digitube to run direct with. I wasn't particularly impressed with the tone I got out of it. It was OK. It does has a SPDIF out on it, so it was completely silent.
     
  7. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I use an SWR Electric Blue to record the main tracks as well as sending the signal through an amp rig. After I have the pure/sterile/hifi/etc version of the bass part and if blending the cabinet mic doesn't help enough, I'll send the bass out into a guitar POD and record that. Given the right settings, a blend of the three generally gives a really good sound no matter what kind of music is being tracked.

    Oh, and for compression I start with the Trace SMX compressor pedal of course, and at some point I will involve Sonar's tape simulator plugin. I generally don't need any more than that but if I do, I'll go for the Waves RComp (Rennaisance compressor).
     
  8. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I have had pretty good results taking a DI signal, ala Countryman Type 85, into a Telefunken V72 pre then into a dbx 166 for a little compression and then to tape/disc. Pretty classic sound. Will add a mic to cab depending on what the client wants to hear.

    However I don't think I will be doing that for my rig when we do our demo at the end of the month. Probably use the Type 85 as well as the DI out of my 400+ and maybe a mic on the cab if it needs it. Either going to use a pair of API pre's and maybe a Neotek board pre for the mic. Compression as needed, mostl likely 166 again. I think that 3 signals is over kill, but seeing as I will be playing and engineering I want to cover my base's.
     
  9. Greg R

    Greg R

    Mar 11, 2003
    Avonmore, ON
    Our drummer bought the ART TP II (cheap, too) for his own projects (he plays nearly any instrument, but only excels at percussion) and I have used it with good results. I'm certainly not an engineer and like to keep it simple so I go direct into the ART out to a Mackie board and into Cakewalk or Nuendo. I usually just add compression using the software later on after referencing the track through home speakers, ref spkrs, and car audio spkrs. Whatever compression level works for all three types of output I'll stick with that. I just dupe the track and fool around with various settings til I get it right. I save the original track as a backup.

    Not to hijack the thread, but I'm curious why anyone recording to a digital medium would use compression before the signal hits the recorder. Is it an issue of the software rendered compression not as good as an outboard unit?
     
  10. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I know I'm going to be compressing a bass track before I even start tracking. It's not like with drums where I like to wait to mess with the compression levels until after all the rhythm tracks have been recorded. If I can start with a bass track that sounds very close to I want it to sound from the beginning, that's another two or three steps I don't have to deal with per song. To quote NWA, it's one less b**** I gotta worry about. :)

    More to the point: a problem with software plugins is that the more you use, the more degraded the sound gets. So it makes sense to use them somewhat sparingly when you can.
     
  11. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I don't know about that. Yeah, some plug ins add latency to a track, which can screw up phase or just make it sound funky, but you can account for that. I find that its the operator that makes it sound bad not the plug ins. In fact if you need to add 5 plug-ins to a track to "fix" it then you probobly did something wrong to begin with.
     
  12. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    No, its not a question of it being "as good", just "as useful". The main point of compression in a recording situation is to keep things clean and prevent large dynamic jumps from getting on tape.

    You can't do that unless the compression happens BEFORE you get to the tape, or disk in the digital world.
     
  13. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    +1

    So many people think of comprssion as "sound effect", not a tool. Not to say that they can't be used for "effect" but when you are tracking its a tool to get good signal to tape/disc.
     
  14. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Although I 100% agree with you, that's not what I was talking about. There is a very slight degradation in sound quality which occurs when using plugins due to the way the processing happens.
     
  15. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    For our humble project studio, we use that small format Presonus TubePre ($99 at the time at least). Does the job quite good, though I'm sure there is much better, but the price was right. I'd like to try that compressor unit from the same series. Some say they are great, some say they are bunk (the series in general), regardless of price. Anyone have experience with these?

    BTW, we used Cakewalk early on but were never happy with how it recorded and the whole process with its tools and plug-ins. Now we have Cubase SX and are quite happy with it. Even version 1 which we have seems so much better than Cakewalk, IMO. Give it a try if you ever get the chance and you have the interest in doing so. It's a great program that we in the band agree seems to be the simplest and best thing without going to ProTools :eek: Though I'd like to make that move someday soon.

    -T
     
  16. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Oh crap, I just looked this up and I think I want one. That's if it sounds good. How has this flown under my radar? What do you think of it and whats the cost on this bad boy?
     
  17. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    OK on further inspection, it may be kinda cheap. How is the quality?
     
  18. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Well that site is in New Zealand and I am not exactly sure what the exchange rate is, but I think if you paid 900 bucks you may have gotten taken.

    The original press release I read gave a list price of 299.00 Pounds, and that was in 2002 with an export to the states expected soon. So if the price stayed the same it would still be under 400 in american dollers.

    I can't really seem to find one anywhere. At any rate, give us a bit of a review, please.