bass recording techniques + mics

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mboese
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bass recording techniques + mics

Post by mboese » Sun May 27, 2007 2:47 pm

I'm very green to recording bass. Does anyone have suggestions to get the best bass sound + what mics to use? I have the usual lot of Shures, EV mics etc. which are appropriate for guitar sound. Someone suggested the AKG414. Most of the tracks I will be recording will be for bass/drums only songs (with some organ + other sounds going on) in other words very low end heavy. I'm wanting to stretch the bass and drums across the whole spectrum.

Any thoughts? Thanks...

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Post by ??????? » Sun May 27, 2007 2:54 pm

Using the PhaseTone plugin (freeware plug from TriTone digital) has really helped me do great things blending a DI signal with an amp signal.

http://www.dontcrack.com/freeware/downl ... PhaseTone/

You can really use the phase relationship to your advantage to dial in or out problematic/desirable aspects of the sound.

Getting the bass amp up on a chair and off the floor is essential.

Don't ignore the position of the amp in the room... place it in the room where it sounds best.

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Post by themagicmanmdt » Sun May 27, 2007 8:43 pm

then use a flat freq pattern mic, like an MXL2001/2003. they sound great on kick and bass, to me. they let you EQ to taste very easily.
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Post by mjau » Sun May 27, 2007 9:18 pm

For a full spectrum thing, I like to mix a DI on my P-bass with a 4050 on my amp (SWR 15"). For a more rounded, it's-where-I-think-it-should-be-in-a-mix sound, I like to swap the 4050 for a beyer m69, and get the really low stuff just from the DI.

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Post by drumsound » Sun May 27, 2007 9:22 pm

You might want to add a mic for attack where you cut some of the low frequency info along with a full spectrum mic or a "low" and DI. You could get really whacky and add a speaker mic for the super low info.

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Post by mjau » Sun May 27, 2007 9:27 pm

drumsound wrote:You might want to add a mic for attack where you cut some of the low frequency info along with a full spectrum mic or a "low" and DI. You could get really whacky and add a speaker mic for the super low info.
I kinda used to do that with my D6 - pairing it up with another mic and low-passing it so I got lots of sub stuff. Then I realized that all that sub stuff from the bass was the same sub stuff from the kick, and I liked it better when it was coming from the kick. One of my many ideas that sounding great in theory, and was shit in practice, like my recent pairing of jalapeno jellybeans with pineapple jellybeans.

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Post by drumsound » Sun May 27, 2007 9:33 pm

Yea one of those guys gotta have the super low, but not always both. Its hard to tell what is 'right."

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Post by mboese » Mon May 28, 2007 10:36 am

Thanks for the input everyone. It seems like the (sorta) consensus is to mix a DI signal with miked signal. In terms of the DI signal chain are people using anything there? Any EQing going on?

Also in terms of miking the amp, what other mikes are people using? Do people prefer mikes with stronger mids and forget about the lows or what? Also does the size (power) of the amp make a big difference? Right now I'm not using a cabinet, which is why I ask. Is there a preferred amp for use, especially if this is going to be pretty much the only melodic instrument on the track?

Much appreciated...

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Post by ??????? » Mon May 28, 2007 10:45 am

I have a limited selection of mics in my home studio. But out of what I have the AT 4033 is good on bass and so is the Beyer M88.

I like Ampeg amps like the B-15. Sometimes a guitar amp can work great on bass, too, if you keep the volume low (to protect the speaker).

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Post by runrunrun » Mon May 28, 2007 2:04 pm

concerning the topic of mixing DI and a mic'd amp....

when correcting the phase do you bump the DI ahead to match the mic or vice-versa? is there an easy way to match them...like picking sharp transients?

where are you folks HPFing the mic and/or LPFing the DI?

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Post by ??????? » Mon May 28, 2007 2:18 pm

I don't time-align bass tracks. I'll flip the polarity and see which one sounds better, or if I'm working ITB I'll fool with the phase-tone plugin I mentioned above.

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Post by 8th_note » Mon May 28, 2007 3:57 pm

hen use a flat freq pattern mic, like an MXL2001/2003. they sound great on kick and bass, to me. they let you EQ to taste very easily.
I'll be darned, I thought I was the only one who used an MXL 2001 on bass. That mic gives a very clean detailed sound when close miced on a bass cab.

When I use a DI it's usually a Sansamp BassDriver box. It has an output for the raw bass signal that you can use to go to your amp if you want to record both DI and cab. Most of the time we're able to get a sound the bass player is happy with by just using the Sansamp.

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Post by Velcrocore » Mon May 28, 2007 6:12 pm

I usually take an out from the bass head if there is one, and stick a condenser out in front of the cab a little ways. Blend as needed.

Run the bass through a small tube guitar amp and crank it up. Dynamic or ribbon up close. I love that on drum and bass stuff.

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Post by heylow » Tue May 29, 2007 12:11 pm

My rendition of the old amp/DI method is to use a SansAmp Bass Driver split with a "proper" DI. I have found that the SansAmp gets a very believable "amp" sound but it's simpler and often "tighter" sounding to me...with less phase tweaking.

Works for me. I just really rock the Sans up for something fat and beefy with a little drive and mix in some DI to taste. Pretty much covers all bases.

For a roomier/semi-dirtier sound, I have gone DI and split to a small Fender-ish guitar combo....pull the mic back a bit to get some room, blend it with DI and you don't get "room" clouding the low end.

Like I said....works for me. I guess I just don't like recording bass amps much for some reason. It's worth noting that most bass players I have worked with have preffered the first method above over using their own amps for sound and simplicity.

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Post by ceilingcat84 » Tue May 29, 2007 1:15 pm

Depends how much I like the bass amp. If it's not so great I'll only use a DI or possibly the ol' DI/amp combo. If the bass player has a really nice-sounding amp sometimes I won't bother with the DI at all.

Last project I did I used two mics on an ampeg head/hartke cab combo and EQ'd one to emphasize the instrument's upper range and one for the low end. The bass carried a lot of the song's melody as well as the rhythm so I tried to make it stand out this way.

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