Electric Bass Recording Trends: DI vs Mic

Discussion in 'Bass' started by gallilama, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. gallilama

    gallilama Guest

    Curious to know most widely used bass recording technique used in pro and semi-pro projects: DI vs Mic vs Both?

    99.9% of sessions and original projects I work on use DI. In fact I can't recall ever using mic on my rig (or brining my rig) during a session.

    Would like to know what others see as most widely used recording technique for electric bass? Does it vary for style of music?

    Are there just certain situations where one must use Mic vs DI, or do today's dynamics processors and plug-ins make DI's tool of choice most of the time?

  2. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    This is my take on why, but it may help you decide.

    By direct recording a bass, when the music is played back on the end users playback equipment, it has the best chance of sounding as pure to the limits of that particular system.

    But if you want the coloration of an Ampeg flip top, a Fender Bassman, an Acoustic 360, or a Univox double rear folded horn enclosure, you record it with a microphone and rely most heavily on your mastering engineer to prepare your music for the unknown variables.
  3. tragedyman

    tragedyman Guest

    my bass player records direct and when we tried to record using a mic it didnt sound as clear. so from there on we have used direct so we get a way more clear sound
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Same with me. The mic never sounds as good. I wish recording guitar was the same, DI's rule. I like to use 2 DI's when I record bass. My bass pre-amp has a pair (2) of outs and I send one to the U5 and the other to the GR. That way I know I'll get something that is smokin. But I still don't use a mic.
  5. dynomike

    dynomike Guest

    It is the same! Get a POD! Hahahahaha just kidding.

    I usually DI bass when i want it clean, and mic the amp if there's gonna be some grit. I think this is a fair system, as I've never found a way to get fuzz bass or even overdriven bass to sound as full coming through a DI.
  6. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I almost always record and use both in the mix. I usually rely on the direct more heavily, but I find the two of them work well together more often than not.

  7. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    Here's a vote for using both. I usually get the definition from the DI and use the mic for color.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I have a POD. It sucks. It is a toy. And is only better than nothing.

    BROKENBONES Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Home Page:
    i like D.I especially valve. there's not room or any thing to slow it down . you can only workl it from there like clay.
    if it's an ampeg bass amp i may mic it . probably with an RE-20.
    i hate recording guitar through d.i. though.
    i'd rather mike up a small amp.
  10. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Ditto, record each track to a seperate channel, during the mix blend the DI with the Mic track to get the desired tone and presence you like to make the bass sit in the mix just right! :wink:

    I use both techniques depending on the session.

  11. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    Also, with DI, I've found that you can sometimes get even better results if you pass that DI signal through a compressor on it's way to your DAW or recording device. Especially if it's a tube type compressor. Bass guitar loves tubes.
  12. Skyweaver

    Skyweaver Guest

    I've got a Tace Elliot V4 Tube Head and TE 4 speaker box and DI it, extremely happy with the quality,

    have tried many different mics and techniques to get the same quality as the DI and just get very different results

    if I want a very heavy loud distorted Motorhead type bass with acoustics, then mic will give it, for all others I prefer the DI
  13. Most of the really good sounds are a combination of both. Typically a DI will give very clean and useful lows (although it will need some heavy compression a lot of the time)...mic'd valve amps in particular are very good for adding more of a midrange personality to the sound. It's all been done in a million different ways already, and mostly it depends on a good recording engineer that can do what is appropriate for the situation at hand.

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