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I've problems with my Low End...hehe

Discussion in 'Recording' started by LuckyFeet, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. LuckyFeet

    LuckyFeet Guest


    When recording bass, either bassguitar, or upright bass, or kick drum I can't seem to get a real punch. I use an AKG d112 either at a distance or upclose to the source and it still does not make much of a difference. Often I need to cut a couple clicks off a freq around 120hz to 100 range, and it clears it up a little, but then I loose a lot of the sound.

    I also try tweak the source but with bass amps its hard to tell. And upright bass is mainly the player, and I he wasn' very good. Kick drum I can get to sound the best, but its still not that punch more of a thump.

    I'm not going for that deep thumping bass, I just want a clear punch. Messed around a little with using a 414 just to see if it makes a difference but that just gives me a lot of high and low but muddy middle.

    Suggestions please! I've tried direct out of the amp and micing at the same time. But not a DI yet. I think that might be my next purchase.

    Anyway how do you cope with your Low End? Thanks!
  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    I have an Audix D6 and a condensor mic. But I could never get a good "kick drum" sound either. Not as tight as I wanted.
    It really boiled down to the fact that I was using the Allen&Heath or Mackie pots (preamps) on the mixing board.
    I did like you are talking about doing and I bought a DI.
    It's an API 3124+.
    They ain't cheap, but now my kick drum sound is tight, phat and, really really clear.
    And all the drummer's love it.
    Pre amps rule!
  3. LuckyFeet

    LuckyFeet Guest

    Wow! that API 3124+ is expensive as madness. I'd imagine anything plugged into that will sound significantly better.
    Yeah I too am using an A&H board but i don't think their pres are too bad as far as consumer level products are concerned.
    I guess I was hoping to hear a slightly cheaper solution to this problem but maybe there is not.
    Are the massively priced pres the ultimate solution to my Low End problem?
    If so I might need to accept the thump rather than the punch...
  4. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I have the exact opposite problem....I have to cut so much bass because everything "bumps" way too hard. I'll record a drum track, won't touch an EQ, bring it into my car (with a great system), and it thumps like a rap kit. Then I'll pop in a commercial CD that hits hard, and it doesn't come close to what I recorded with bass output.

    I'm lost! Maybe it's my small room?
  5. LuckyFeet

    LuckyFeet Guest

    Well as far as mixing goes, I normally have to cut some bass, but thats only because it sounds muddy. I like to keep down as much post production "fixing" as possible so thats why I am trying to figure out the best way to record bass sources the first time round.

    Oh and something else I no longer use studio monitors. They are sooo deceiving. I found the crappiest stereo I had and hooked it up to the weakest output on my mixer, that being the headphone jack. If it sounds good on these, I know it will sound good everywhere else. And because the crappy stereo has very low bass output, I hook up the real studio monitors to adjust the low ends.
    Unless you have mastered the art of mixing with studio monitors, and it is a fine art indeed, then I'd say get a crappy stereo and start mixing with those.
  6. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Ohhh yeah. Expensive as madness is right. :twisted: I have been recording for appox. 10 to 12 years and only 3 weeks ago did I buy something this nice.
    I should have done it years ago.
    The Allen & Heath pre's aren't horrible but the sound they give is what they are made of.
    Heres the way I see it...
    There are over 200 knobs on my A&H 16 channel mixer.
    If I payed $1000 for this board then it is safe to assume I could divide the cost by the number of knobs and that would tell me what type of cost went into each knob (pre amp included)
    $1000 divided by 200=$5 a knob
    Now with having said that, even if someone wanted to argue that the pre's are the most exp part of the board.
    I say they are "no more" than $15 to $20 technology if that.
    Plus the company has to make a profit, and the music store marks it up to pay their cost, and the salesmen gets his cut.
    So if someone told me he could get these (pre amps) for $3 each. I would believe him.
    Now on the other hand, the API is just 4 knobs.
    And I payed $2500 for it.
    $2500 divided by 4= $625 (quite a step up) many many times greater---it's like saying that they are at least 1000% better
    And worth every penny :wink:
  7. LuckyFeet

    LuckyFeet Guest

    That is an interesting way of looking at it. And pretty accurate too. Mass production comes into account a little as far as driving the price down on the A&H board, but not enough to bridge the gap between a $15 preamp or a $600 one.

    But I just blew my wad on a 002 rack protools rig with a mac g5 and some nice plugins so hopefully that will help me out in my situation.
  8. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    I like to add Drumagog for kicks (both meanings...) and snares...but not 100% feed - Drumagog has a cool feature allowing users to blend in the amount of replacement sounds...great for adding cojones to a weak track, or for giving the idea you used 2-3 mics on the kick...

    Drumagog = too cool.
  9. xldave

    xldave Guest

    We (the school where I work) recently replaced an old mackie 8 bus desk and got some sytek micpres. I have heard some say that the syteks arnt that much better than the mackies but the difference I am getting is huge! My bass and kick drum sounds with the mackie were always boomy, far to much low mids and no real low end trying to eq it in didnt help because there simply wasnt any. With the syteks my kick drum sound is significantly better, much better balance in the low end and all the punch I wanted I am really happy with the syteks I can only imagine how those api's sound.

  10. LuckyFeet

    LuckyFeet Guest

    So I think it just might be a preamp issue then. If you want punch you gotta pay for it.
    I don't have it yet to hear in person but the digi 002 should have some pretty descent preamps in it, probably better than the allen and heath anyway.
    oh and about that drum replacement plugin, I can see how that works but man i'd feel really bad if i did that. but maybe that is the future i know they sometimes replace entire recorded kits in big studios, and don't get me started on how they modify the voice.
  11. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004

    Those people haven't actually used the Sytek, they just like to speculate based on what they think they know about preamp design. :wink:
  12. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Welcome xldave!
    Syteks? What the hell?! :twisted:
    Tell those bums to get the gooood stuff :D
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Errrrr ... ummm, that would be meeeeee (I think). I need to find a "egg on face" emoticon.

    I have modified my position on the Syteks and decided to reserve judgment until I can hear them for myself. In my own defense I did say I hadn't heard them. I was making the call from hearing the pres in a particular console. I learned two things since then ... one they aren't the same pres I thought the were and second, I was under the incorrect impression that Syteks used a wall wart power supply. I was wrong. .... I still have doubts that they are something I would like a lot ... no transformers. But they may indeed be just what someone else likes. I keep going back to some posts I have seen saying the Syteks lack adaquate headroom ...

    Now that said, what you all are discribing is a function of the power supplies. Good power supplies like those found in the API Luke mentioned, deliver enough current on demand to form a proper bass waves and pass transients with headroom and correct phase response.

    Check out "The Brick" if you don't have a lot of cash to spend on a mic pre. It has a very good power supply, is built well and offers pretty good sound / dimension all for under $350 street ... absolutley a best buy in the preamp department.
  14. huub

    huub Guest

    I guess before blaming mics and pre's...
    I guess a punchy sounding kickdrum will give you a punchy sound?
    i.m.o a punchy kick (possibly with taped coin or one of those plastic stick on thingies) will sound punchy with whatever pre and mic?
    i mean there's ofcourse a difference between pre's, but not a difference of punchy and definitionless?! That's way more subtle?!

    hey, just throwing up a different opinion..

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