Tracking Bass - My Choices

Discussion in 'Bass' started by ThirdBird, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    Style: modern/pop/rock/fun/reggae/indie


    Dean Razor J-Bass
    Ampeg BA112 Solid State Amp
    Presonus FireStudio Interface
    Sonar 8.5 DAW
    Boss Compressor Pedal

    Tracking Options:

    DI from bass
    Line Out from amp
    Shure Beta 52 mic
    Shure SM57
    Shure SM58
    Cheap Nady kick drum mic
    AT2020 ld condenser
    Rode NT1 ld condenser
    Rode NT5 sd condenser
    Other cheap nady drum dynamic mics
    Other cheap nady ld condenser mics


    I probably am going to start with checking out the DI, line out, and Beta 52, and coming up with using one of them or some kind of combo with them. The only thing I am worried about is that I am going to use the 52 on the kick drum as well. Will that lead to a buildup of certain frequencies?

    Thanks for any input!
  2. bicasaur

    bicasaur Active Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    I wouldn't worry too much about using the same mic for both bass and kick. You'll probably want to differentiate the two in the mix with EQ no matter what mics you use. I love the 52 on kick. Less on bass. I end up using a 57 on bass cab coupled with a DI from the instrument most often.

    If in doubt, just track a DI and re-amp the sound later if you need something different. That way you can always mic up the exact same amp the same as you would have in the first place. A lot of times it can be very helpful to not settle on a bass tone until you are mixing...
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Unless you want a completely different bass sound that what is the current norm, just DI the bass. When you get done eq'ing everything above 60 hz out of the bass track it won't make one whit of difference what the mic was.

    Now, if you want a sound that is different than what passes for normal, something that has tone and nuance, that would be another story.
  4. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Birkenhead, UK
    I use a fun fun fun method.. ! I take a DI signal, use it as the consistant "basis" of the sound. Mic it up with a D112 and an SM57 too and blend the three together. I find that the D112 has a nice thud at the bottom which I use (you could perhaps use the 52) and the 57 gets a bit of punch which you can boost in the middle for some clarity.. Then I knock a bunch of top end signal off and carve the EQ for the bass drum to sit as well and it sounds pretty darn good once it's all nicely compressed.

    The main thing I found about this method is, because it's triple tracked you get a lot of power without having the usual effort of getting your bass to sit right. As long as the compressors are set correctly it seems to be much easier.

    I'd definitely give that a bash if you didn't already try it. It's worked wonders for me so far and with each mic having different colours you have more choice of what you want to pick out in the tone. For example, I found that the 57 really captures the attack on a picked bass on rock etc. And the best part is.. If you decide it's too much, you just mute one! No harm done!

    As for the kick drum, I found that once you've boosted the EQ to find the "horrible boxy" sound(s) of the kick and then notched it out, you'd be surprised in a lot of cases how little you have to do besides turn it up a little louder to get it to sit right with the bass. In the majority of cases I have seen (I say that like I'm SUPER experienced, I'm not for the record) the kick drum hasn't been EQ'd to be "clean" enough so that when you turn it up it doesn't have those horrible fighting boxy ringy frequencies. But then again, all this is delving into preferences.. People will always like their sounds a different way to me.. OH JOYOUS MIXING.

    S'cool man :) Just thought I'd throw you a heads up on how I do it, see if you like it!


    - Dan
  5. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    Thanks guys!

    Maybe I will take a DI from the guitar and the amp, as well as use the 52 and 57. I am tracking bass separate anyway, so I can mix and match later!
  6. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Birkenhead, UK
    May as well, better to go overboard with a few mics and get them all sounding individually nice. Then you can just use the ones you like the best or rather, which ones give you the most full and detailed sound. If you don't like it, mute it, that's what I say! :D
  7. Mattthorne

    Mattthorne Active Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    Home Page:
    One of my favs:
    DI=Avalon U5 to DBX 160XT
    Amp=Ampeg SVT Classic to RE-20 to Neve 1073 to Urei 1176LN
    Sometimes prefer the Neumann U47fet to the RE-20, depends on the Bass

    MT Studios
  8. jkleban

    jkleban Active Member

    Dec 31, 2011
    So, the DI and amped is the way to go... can't go wrong with a tube Ampeg... if you don't have a Neumann 47, there are other mics that are less expensive that do a decent job on the amp (AT 47 sounds OK).... I usually put the mic side on a UA 6176 (mostly for the 1176 comp).... and I just love the Helios Type 69 on the DI side.


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