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Tracking Bass??

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Darren@dixondigital.com, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. What gear is everybody using to track bass guitar? I'm mostly talking about going direct. What signal path, and gear is everybody using to get the killer bass sound?

    Please list the gear, and style, with a short discription of tone.


  2. spp

    spp Guest

    My "default" setup when recording rock/pop/country players is:

    Fender '63 reissue Jazz Bass with flatwounds
    Evil Twin tube direct box
    Massive Passive (optional)

    In my area (west of Cleveland), most of the players don't seem to have great sounding instruments, which is why I provide a couple studio instruments, like the Jazz.
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I've gotten some great bass tracks going into an Avalon U-5 DI right into ProTools, adding Waves Renaissance Comp and EQ as needed.

    Before I had the U5, I would sometimes use the Sans Amp bass DI, taking both the dry and "tubed up" signals into two channels of a Vintech 1272, recording onto two tracks, and blending to taste. Occasionally, flipping one side out of phase gave another interesting tonal possibility.

    There are times when you get to the mix stage and decide you really need the sound of "pushing air". The Reamp is a handy little device that lets you run your recorded tracks back through a bass amp so you can mic it (I use a Lawson L-47) and rerecord it. This also lets you track with a DI for isolation purposes and then get the sound of a mic'ed amp later.
  4. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    For me if the player has a good instrument and plays a great part for the given musical situation, that is about 99% of the battle. If things are not sounding right, I suggest a change of instrument, then a change to the part or approach feel wise, and then lastly I might try a different compressor/eq/ ect. If the player sucks or has a shitty bass, no exotic signal chain is gonna matter. I usually use whatever DI the studio has laying around, a clean preamp, and an 1176 or Neve comp of some sort. I do like to also record the DI through a Sans amp, ( gtr or bass driver) and once in a blue moon will use a real amp. A buddy of mine recently played me some tracks he had recorded with a bass amp mic'd outside the studio from a very far distance, he then advanced the track in ProTools to make up for the delay. It sounded amazing. Very even and present in an interesting way.
  5. Thanks Everybody!

    This helps a bunch. I want to make sure the bass has a really tight and focused low end. I would like to have a set up that will record good or bad basses and make them sound good. As much as possible, a full proof set up. Keep the input coming. Great Ideas. Cost is not really an issue. I just want the gear to get the best bass sound with out buying a bass or micing a cab.

    Has any body tracked with a distressor or fatso on bass? How does it sound?

  6. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I have a 1073 and a Avalon 737. At first I was using the 737 for the bass, and the 1073 for the kick. But, my bass was overpowering my kick and making things weird, so I started putting the bass in the 1073 and the kick in the 737. Great combo for me. Very little Eq involved now in getting the kick and bass to work together. The key now is getting the kick mic in the right place.
  7. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    From my limited expierence you can spend thousands on a nice signal chain, but itll still sound better with a good bass into a decent direct box.... which would be a whole lot cheaper then buying a whole bunch of toys, and it will sound better.
    I know of a lot of guys who will spend thousands on new pre's and compressors to get them good guitar tone and still complain it doesnt sound right, when they could just buy a couple nice amps and get the tone they want in the first place. I'd take a nice marshall amp with a 57 and mackie pre over a Crate with a royer and neve pre.
    Plus if you can find a nice bass with good action you'll end up getting better performances.
  8. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    I almost always take a DI and mic the amp. My setup usually varies depending on my mood and how things sound. I've used everything from 1272's, VMP-2, and a Joe Meek channel on the DI. Compresors are usually a Demeter VTCL-2a (LA-2a type), 1176, sometimes a Summit DCL-200, 160VU's. Sorry if this doesn't help. I've found the biggest thing is to make sure the amp and DI are in phase with each other. With a decent player it's tough to make them sound bad.
  9. I use the line out(post eq)on my Gallien Kreuger micro bass amp,with '62 Jazz.
  10. Thanks everybody,

    The basses that I record are good to great basses, but I find myself really fighting it to get a good sound... or one I'm satisfied with. I don't have to struggle to get good vocals, or other instruments near as much as the bass. It always works out in the mix to sound good, but I really have to put alot of effort in it, and it is different from time to time. I'm just striving for a tight focused low end, that is plug and play, or at least gives me a better starting point. I think I might go with the Avalon and posibly the LA2A for starters. I guess I need to get a rack of different pre amps and compressors and and just try them all. Keep the input coming.

    Has ANYONE tryed tracking a bass with a nice pre and a Fatso or Distressor?


  11. riconga

    riconga Member

    the demeter stuff is greast on bass, i use the d.i. or the d.i.in the mic pre and the vtcl compressor. i have the bass pre also but im always using that for direct guitar. a friend and i went to the "factory" a few weeks ago to purchase a guitar amp. the amp is awsome and jim demeter was most accomadating.
  12. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    A fatso with the tranny button engaged can totally save a thin bass track. At AES they did a cool demo of a 40hz sine wave being played on some small genelecs. The speakers couldnt reproduce the tone at all, but once they hit the tranny button it produced a ton of harmonics that the genelecs could reproduce, but sounded incredibly 'thick'. This is awesome on bass, making bass tracks sound like they have more low end, but wont ever muddy up your mix since its actually playing harmonics higher then the original note. Very cool.... cant wait for mine to get here so i can have my own.
  13. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    I use a Fatso in my direct bass chain with the Tranny. It definitely helps out on the fatness, however, it's still not as fat and deep as my miked SVT. The cool thing about a speaker, is you can put a mic on the cone, and another on the edge, and balance the natural highs and lows without as much need for EQ, which makes it sound less processed than a direct track that's been EQ'ed to death. For the tight & focused sound you're after, miked or direct, I'd suggest adding an 1176 to the chain.
  14. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    An LA-2A is a great compressor for many things, but it won't give you a tight bass sound. Fat and round maybe. For tight I'd try something quick and clean like a dbx 165 or a Distressor. If you find an old Innovonics those are also pretty cool on bass.
  15. EXCELLENT! Excellent!

    Thank you all for your specific responses! This is what I needed. Keep it coming.

  16. henryrobinett

    henryrobinett Active Member

    I mainly use the Evil Twin tube DI into either a Millennia HV-3 or Millennia Origin STT-1, or Neve 1272. For some fatter rock stuff I've gone Meek British Channel, but I always start with the Evil Twin.
  17. Masternfool

    Masternfool Active Member

    my 2 setups last week, fender p- into great river mp2nv -out to rnc into mackie D8b with more compression at 2:1 , very smooth tight controlled. Then theres the POD out to the GreatRiver then into the D8b..more flavorsto pick from..Harry
  18. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Henry, I'm very interested in the Millennia Origin. How do you like it? Strengths and weaknesses? Clue me in. Thanks.

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