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Recording Bass...

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Slaughter, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Slaughter

    Slaughter Guest

    im just wondering peoples techniques here. i have a recording coming up soon and would like to hear your ideas.

    i play for a hardcore band and quite a growly tone. for this recording im using a Fender P, Sunn 1200s and maybe a T&E 4x10. I run the amp on the second valve channel with quite a dirty tone, tight mids, not too many lower mids, and an overall bright tone. the signal is also compressed just on the amps onboard unit.

    last recording i did we used the amps DI and ran a shure 57 for tight highs.

    any thoughts would be great.

    cheers, nat.
  2. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I usually use a Sennheiser MD421 for micing. I think you will find it better suited for the bass. On occasion I'll add a LD condenser. I also use a DI and sometimes the line out of the head. I record them on seperate channels. After recording, the first thing I do is line up the phase of the three (or four)channels in my daw. Make sure you listen as you adjust because even a 1/2 milisecond can sometimes make a significat difference in the sound. Then I start blending the channels till I get the sound I want. Sometimes I end up using all three, sometimes I may use only one. Whatever fits the project. My biggest problem has been finding a bass player that can actually play.
  3. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    As a fellow bassist let me say that if it took a bit of time to find your sound and your style, and if you had to find it on your own, you should learn to capture that sound the same way, giving yourself a good amount of time.

    The techniques I'm learning and the equipment I'm using to put the sound of my bass on tape (hard disc actually) has taken a couple of years of trial and error. It's MY SOUND, and though I've benefitted greatly by trying many of the ideas here and elsewhere, they aren't responsible for MY SOUND -- I am.

    The one thing I would try in your case would be to add a large diaphragm mic (condensor or dynamic) to capture some of the low end a 57 and D.I. might miss. Then try a lot of different mics, placements, compressors (or none) and eq curves (or none) until you start to hear playbacks that make you smile.

    There's a value to gathering ideas, but there's a much greater value in developing your ears.
  4. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    sorry, double post
  5. Chance

    Chance Guest

    After playing for about 30+ years I have found that what I thought I sounded like on stage, verses what I actually sounded like on stage in the mix, were two different things. about 10 years ago, when recording, I mostly go direct, then reamp. When I do this, my job as a player is done, and my job as a sound tech starts. I generally take the output of the bass track already recorded, and plug that into the bass head in the control-room. The cabinet is mic'd out in the studio. In the control room I can make any changes on the bass head and HEAR how it affects the sound of the mix. I don't have to worry about playing because thats all done. The signal going in to the bass head is the same signal going in if my bass were plugged in to the bass head. When I get the sound all dial'd in I will record that onto another track. At mixdown I will generally use the direct along with the new re-amp'd track. I have found that I can't go wrong doing it this way, and the sound is EXACTLY the way I want it.
  6. robbyc23

    robbyc23 Guest


    Just spent the day recording bass (musicman bass through an Orange + 4X12") using D.I. and an AKG D112 kick-drum mic.

    The first recording was fine, but lacked a little on the highs and generally was too deep/warm for the bassists tastes. Although, in my own opinion, it reflected the sound of the amp faithfully.

    After a few experiments, we ended up with the amp pointed into the corner of the room with the mic sitting in front of the cabinet, up close to the speaker. The result was the same sound, but with nicer definition in the mids and highs. After that, it was up to the bassist to adjust her onboard EQ to taste (lower bass, higher treble).

    I'll be using this method in future, as it captured enough range of the bass to allow me loads of freedom for EQing at a later stage...if necessary.

    There's my tuppence.
    Good day ladies & gentlemen.
  7. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Most has been said, good suggestions. I guess I'm in the same ballpark as you w.r.t. sound (raw, overdriven, but not flat out distorted). Definitely go for combination of DI & mic. Don't be afraid to let some room in - it could be too dry otherwise - depending on the song of course.

    I'm amazed how often the good old '421 comes to the rescue - definitely a good allrounder for bass. For electric bass somewhat disappointed in the '441 (but that one again nice for amplified double bass). Try a D12 if you can as well, personally like these more than the D112 altough the D12 hasn't always worked. The '421 never failed though.

    I'm sure you've had a look as well here:
    (Dead Link Removed)
    (Dead Link Removed)


    [ March 02, 2004, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Peter Vermeeren ]
  8. aphid

    aphid Guest

    alot of times i just use the sansamp/tech21 bass driver di box. best pedal i own hands down. Only down side is that it will make almost any bass sound the same. if you are recording heavy rock, metal or punk then all you need is this pedal.

    you could always pair it with a 421 or even just a 57 on the cab. some people even go as far as putting a condenser pointed where the person picks in order to get more attack. i haven't needed too. maybe if the person slapped alot.
  9. Babyhead

    Babyhead Guest

    I would do what Chance says with the Little Labs IBP box. Phasing is allways the problem with more than one sounce. I don't care what style. I would also aviod compressing the original DI track to tape(?) so you can keep all of your attacks intact. Put the nice juicy compressor before the reamp box and then dial in the tone and phase. Voila.

  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I just wanted to chime in here, not so much for the recording end, but for the fact that theres someone in the world still using a Sunn 1200S.In my youth, I had a rig with three of these and a 2000S.Can you say early John Entwhistle?

    As for recording such a thing...a natural recording of your actual sound sounds like what you are wanting.This can only be achieved by experimental mic placement and control of your sound in the environment you're recording in.If you have access to a really dead booth, try putting you cabinet i there and mic it close and mic it above.The booth can give you the compressed sound and controlled.Dont use any electronic control on it at all.
  11. louder

    louder Guest

    hi there
    for electric bass in my band(kinda lyke zz top) i always end up with this:marshall super lead,ampeg 4*10,d112,fast preamp.
    but thats me;others may do what works better for them.
    best regards
  12. steveotoole

    steveotoole Guest

    For heavier bass sounds I like to go into my Vintech 1272 DI, into a Distressor, then into an API 550. I usually go with a clean DI also, but it sounds better when you do it right from the guitar than it does when you reamp.
  13. slicraider

    slicraider Guest

    Although I am one for letting music breath I have discovered that a medium attack/release with an 1176 with a healthy (lots!) of compression sounds great on bass. The funny thing is that I have had bass players swear they couldn't hear any compression.
  14. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    Rock Bass:

    Fender Jazz --> POD (yes, a POD) --> UA 2-610 -->Distressor

  15. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    How exactly do you line up the phase? Is it just a matter of lining up the waveforms in pro tool for example? I often record one source using multiple mics but never payed much attention to phase.
  16. Karyn

    Karyn Guest

    You guys really sound like you know your bass, but alas I am but a vocalist. What do think about Bass Pod or Guitar Pod for recording Bass?
  17. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    If your talking about going direct with these forget about it. I don't like the way those things sound at all. The only time I ever use one is when my guitar player is putting down scratch tracks, or trying to get some rough ideas down. But I would never have those in the final mix, they just sound fake.

    If your going for professional sound don' t use these!
  18. Karyn

    Karyn Guest

    Thanks for the input. I was hoping it would be as simple as getting a pod and having a world of amps to choose from. Why can't anything be easy?
  19. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    Well if you use the POD in amp mode you can get some really good sounds with it. The amp modler when being used with a real guitar amp sounds pretty good. So in a way you do have a world of amps to choose from.

    Just run your guitar through the POD, to the amp, and mic the speaker cab. But do not go direct!

    I actually used a POD in this way on one of my recordings. I'll try and upload it for you.

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