Tracking / Mixing bass

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Twood, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Twood

    Twood Active Member

    Feb 19, 2005
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    How do you usually record bass?. I remember reading a post here where this guy was giving some tips. He was always using both DI and mic`ed up cab. Then he would compress the DI signal and boost the low end on the mic signal (or vise versa)... And then blend the signals... I tried to search for that thread with no luck.

    Any way... How do you guys usually track/mix bass... What mics, preamps etc.. and in the mixing process; what do u usually do to make it sound good? Any tips, hint and advise would be nice...
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Typically I grab a DI (I have a simple DI I made using jensen XFMR)and mic'd amp if I can. The RE20, ATM25, Rode NT2 ,QTC 50 or even D112 works for me. Often I will compress one of the signals hard and leave the other au-natural and mix the compressed signal under the other. It really depends on which signal I like best and how the bass player preformed and their signature tone.
  3. donthaveone

    donthaveone Guest

    Same here, radial DI and ATM25. I use the DI for the attack and the mic to bring out some of the lows. But mainly just for the option of using either, I record live shows so if there isnt much sepration I use the DI to get more. Also for me with phase issues it is nice to have a choice.

    Especially when the bass player has a 3k bass and a $500 behr**** amp/combo. It is nice to have a good DI. I learned this lesson the hard way.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I never mic bass cabinets unless I have to. I'll frequently take an active high impedance DI write-off of the bases pickups. If the bass player has a good amplifier head with a built-in pre-amplified direct output and I like, I'll take it. Sometimes, because I specialize in live shows, I don't always get a choice. So it really comes down to mixing technique and understanding one's equipment well.

    When it comes to the bass, I really don't fool around with it much unless I'm so inclined. For instance, I'll generally not screw with the equalization. But I might put a fair amount of limiting upon it. Sometimes, the limiting doesn't work for the mix. Sometimes, through my analog console, I'll trim the gain so high that the preamp will really be on the edge. So I am actually overloading a class A section of the input amplifier which can actually do some amazing things with the harmonic content. It suddenly makes the bass begin to fatten and bloat up. Unfortunately with most inexpensive integrated circuit chip amplifiers, this is not always possible. But can still be doable if it doesn't get crunchy.

    I have on many occasions, actually used high pass filtering (low-cut). By reducing the bass you can actually hear it better. It will cut through the mix better at low listening levels. Which is very important. I like listening to my mixes loud but then I like listening to them really soft. If I can hear everything both ways? I'm done. So my mixes sound pretty much the same loud or soft. Although I must admit, at 60 miles an hour on the motorcycle, my in helmet radio/MP3 player only cuts the mustard when that AAA battery is going balls to the wall. So that's not my best reference.

    Fast woman
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. cb1

    cb1 Active Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    I agree with taking a pre-amped out of the bass amp head if it has one. That usually yeilds good results. I like to almost always have both a direct out of some kind and a mic'd track to mix together. But also if you are dealing with separation issues in a band setting you may end up using the direct. Watch your compression to make sure the attack and release times dont cause any noticeable pumping.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Being a bass player AND owning a studio, I have a lot of bass recording options..................go figure........

    Anyway....I like bass pres with a Fender tone stack in them. Tubes and the tones set where Leo liked to build his bass amps.

    I use either SWR Interstellar Overdrive pre, BBE T-Max pre, Sans-Amp Bass Driver, or a Countryman 85 DI. I also have an Ampeg B15 head, an SWR Workingmans 160 head and a couple of cabinets I would put a mic up in front of if thats whats called for.

    I generally dont find much use for the mic'd cabinet as the pres do a great job on any bass that is going to be recorded.

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