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recording a bass amp

Discussion in 'Bass' started by J-MADD, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    I am doing a song and want to record my bass amp. I have a carvin stack with a 15 and 2-10 inch speakers. I tried to just run the bass direct into my isa 428 with a rnc off of the side chain. I did not like the way it sounded. No punch. I am going to try a D112 on the 15" and sm57 on the 10"s. I don't have a DI box so I want to capture the sound of my rig. Has anyone out there done much bass amp miking?
  2. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    the d112 will give u great results! just try different positions till you like what you hear! but first your bass sound must be great!
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    I like to use a large diaphragm condenser about 4-6 ' in front of the bass amp and supplement it with a close mic for the sub sonic stuff. (usually a Sennheiser 421)

    The LDC can get the big picture and if the amp sounds really good, the LDC will tell the story. I've found that getting a mic right up on the bass cab gives me a narrow, muddy source that is harder to mix.

  4. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Thanks for the info guys,
    Is it a good Idea to only use a mic source without a direct input source for bass tracks? It's just that I love the sound of my bass through the amp as compared to running the bass direct with or without compression.

  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i'd record the two signals!
    then you may mix them, use one or another depending the mood in the song and so on...
  6. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    If you record both mic and Di watch out for phase cancelation.
    They will most likely be out of phase.

  7. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    I almost never use a DI.
    I like an SM-7 or RE20 right up clsoe (about 1") from the outer edge of the cone of the speaker.
    In a multi-speaker set-up, I tend to find the one speaker that gives the sound most like what I'm after and mic THAT one.

    I agree that the sound I like is the sound the amp makes... NOT the sound a bass guitar makes plugged into a DI.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The added distortion of the speakers in a bass amp will make the signal define better in a mix ... it adds a little "edge".

    I have a bass rig with two 10's and a 15 as well. It is powered by a SWR Studio Pro 220 (bi-amped) with a built in direct. The best bass tone I have ever recorded was done through this amp by placing a D112 on the 15 and an ATM 4033 on one of the 10's. I also took a send off the direct. Of course the player was one of the best that has ever crossed my path.
  9. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    This set up sounds interesting,how did you pan the mics,including the di?
    p-s I wish I could find a bass player like that :cool:
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I brought them up in mono ... and I recall that I ended up not using the DI ...
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Well... if you want to be able to use both the Mic and DI at the same time, you should check out a Littlelabs "IBP" phase alignment tool. It's an all pass filter that works in the analog domain... the phase shift created by the filter can be centered to accentuate the frequencies you'd like accentuated and remove the ones you don't want to hear... probably the best bass eq I've ever used... but it's not really an eq... but maybe it is because it messes with phase relationships, but, but, but

    At the end of the day, a bass sound comes from the player and the instrument. It doesn't come from a mic, it doesn't come from a DI [though the TAB-funkenwerk "V-71 is the best DI I've ever used for bass], it doesn't come from a compressor [though if you really want to shape the envelop to fit... a Purple Audio MC-77 is just like a real 1176 LN "E revision" with all the NYC modifications], it comes from the players hands and instrument.

    FWIW, I have almost always found that a good Fender P-bass with flatwound strings and a competent player playing through a good tube based amplifier [like an Ampeg or something like that] preferably with 10" speakers [I don't really want the 'lows' from the amp as much as the definition of the notes] with a great DI is generally the ticket to great bass sounds.

    BTW, the IBP is available without the DI and reamp capability... that's called the "IBP Jr."
  12. MrPhil

    MrPhil Guest

    I recently recorded my own bass tracks using a Sennheiser 421. it turned out pretty good, after you found a good spot to place the mic.
    I also ran a line signal thru an FX pedal to mix with the mic signal, but that's another story.
    The micked source will do well if it sounds well and is well captured.
  13. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member


    I like to split the bass with a DI and record both direct and mic'd. Then I blend the two. My bass player uses an SWR amp with a custom rig I built for him (twin 10" Hartke's in one cabinet and a JBL E140-8). I don't have a lot of high-end gear like some other people but the best bass sound I've acheived was through a Joemeek VC1Qcs. Clean, punchy and dynamic. But gosh, I would have thought you'd get even better results with the Focusrite and the RNC. Maybe revisit your RNC settings? Sorry if I'm being overbearing and dogmatic.

    There are other mic choices for the 15", AKG D12 (not D112), Sennheiser 421, Audix D6. If you really want to have some fun, make a "recorderman sub mic" (I use his name because that's where I first read about it) and place that in front of the 15. It's real easy to do and it really fattens the bass when mixed with a regular mic. Plus you can use it on the kick drum.

    Also keep in mind that where you "point" the mic on the 15" will give you a different sound. Punch near the center, tone further out.

  14. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    The sound certainly somes "from the player"...
    But some people record that sound in an effective manner and others screw it up! <g.

    Seriously though, not every recording of ___ (insert big name, fine player with good sound) sounds as good as every other, and some don't sound any good at all while others sound exceptional.

    I've never met a great player who didn't sound better through an amp than the lazy way.

    The IBP is a cool way to adjust the phase relationship if one is handed a recording and need to fix things after the fact.
    But while recording, it's easier to move the mic.
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

  16. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    I have the ISA428 also, and have found the DI to be the weakest part of the unit. Don't get me wrong, I love the 428, but the DI has always sounded thin to me, and I never use it.
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I'm not a fan of recording bass with a 15" speaker...theres just too much surface area and they are a little slow to really define the note when theres an accurate mic on it.I like 10's for bass as well as a DI.I have a Harvey Gerlitz 2-10 cab that I'll use an old Ampeg B15 head with a channel that has a bit of a low-end extension built into it or a nice SWR head....Combine this with the two stock P-basses(65 with Roto Black Flats & 56 with a HUGE set of roundwounds...low string is a .130)and a simple Countryman DI with a transformer and the bass is finished while you record it.At mix theres only a need for some 1176 or LA2 punch up and yer done.For a mic on the cabinet I like the ATM25,Audix D6,RE20,even an LD out a foot or two.The LD works better when I goboe off the cabinet.BTW, I never play it loud at all with the cab....just crack it open to that perfect notch in the old B15 heads volume control..
  18. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Question for ya. So how do you properly phase align b/t the DI and mic on the bass cab?


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