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Bass recording chain

Discussion in 'Bass' started by MisterBlue, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    I know that this topic has to some degree been previously discussed and I have searched (and read) previous responses. Please allow me aks this question anyway as it might (?) have a slightly different angle.

    I am looking to improve my bass guitar sound on tape. I am currently using a Behringer DI active box on my Musicman Sterling which feeds into a channel on my analog console (which I basically only use to adjust the recording level that feeds into the converters). The direct out from the console feeds into a Bass Pod of which I am using both unprocessed and processed outputs to taste (only the bass pickup itself is recorded, the POD always plays along "realtime" which allows me to tweak it as needed). Compression is never applied before recording, always by sending the recorded signal through it afterwards.
    The bass sound is generally "OK" but I still feel that it is lacking in comparison to the somewhat high quality I feel I achieve with other instruments.

    Which changes to my chain would you suggest?
    A better DI box (which one? Avalon U-5, Demeter?)
    Adding compression before recording it?
    Bypassing the console altogether?
    Dumping the Bass Pod?
    Other suggestions?

    Thanks so much in advance for your help. Your knowledge, expertise and opinion is much appreciated.

    MisterBlue.
     
  2. loubeck

    loubeck Guest

    Why would you use the DI AND the POD? Wouldn't you want one or the other?

    I would probably ditch the DI and go from your bass, to the POD, to the mixer and then to your converter.
     
  3. entleybay

    entleybay Guest

    Try using three tracks for bass- a DI, a mic on the strings (aimed at the high end of the neck) and a mic (Sennheiser 421 or a D112) on the cabinet. If you don't have a cabinet, use the Pod for that. Mixing the three together will give a much more rounded and full tone. The mic on the strings won't give you any bass, but mixing a small amount of it in will give you a great deal more clarity and detail (pick, fingers, frets). That track makes a huge difference.
     
  4. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Thanks for the posts!

    I am using the DI to get a good signal of the "clean" bass recorded. I guess you are suggesting to record the "direct out" of the Pod instead ... ? Gotta think about that one ... not sure whether that signal experiences a short delay to make sure that processed and non-processed are in-phase. Keep in mind that I am using this directly recorded signal to drive the Pod again during playback/mixing. The signal would effectively pass through the Pod twice ... this might cause funny phase effects.
    In my setup I record the bass directly and use both the processed and non-processed signals from the Pod to taste in the mix.

    That "micing the strings" suggestion sounds like a cool idea. I gotta give that a shot.

    Keep the suggestions coming.

    Thanks so far,

    MisterBlue.
     
  5. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member

    My experience with PODs has generally been that they are noisy. If you have the money to buy the Avalon or a Countryman, either would be a much better choice than your current DI. Even a Sans Amp could work for you. Making your signal path as short and pure as possible will also help.

    On a project for Carey Ziegler (Roy Buchanan, the Edgar Winter Group, Crack The Sky), we tracked Fender and PRS basses with the following signal path. Bass – monster cable - Avalon 737 – monster studio 1000 XLR – Apogee 8000 (for A/D) into a Mac. It sounds amazing.
     
  6. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    Chris,
    What type of mic would you recommend for the micing of bass strings. I sounds like a really cool idea!
    Thanks,
    Charlie
     
  7. pfarrell

    pfarrell Guest

    This is probably obvious, but have you
    considered micing a real amp?

    I usually record bass guitar using
    two channels, one DI'd with a Countryman
    and the second thru my reliable Fender Tube
    amp. For mics, it depends, sometimes D112,
    or SM57 or RE20, etc.

    Then you mix and match.

    I've got a Pod (not the bass pod) and I much
    prefer the DI + real amp approach.
     

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