Bass Amp recording???

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Babaluma
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Post by Babaluma » Thu May 01, 2008 7:45 am

can of worms...

reminds me of the argument that bass needs more space to be heard in. if that were the case headphones wouldn't work...

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu May 01, 2008 7:52 am

Babaluma wrote:can of worms...

reminds me of the argument that bass needs more space to be heard in. if that were the case headphones wouldn't work...
Not to mention DI's. How could a 60Hz wave possibly be produced without a speaker, using the least distance possible? :wink:
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Post by mjau » Thu May 01, 2008 8:02 am

Yeah, I'm not too crazy about sitting a mic way out in front of the bass amp. Instead of getting lots of healthy low end, I get inarticulate mush. Large dynamic right up on the cab, or an LDC in omni, and I'm happy.

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Post by thecheat » Thu May 01, 2008 8:08 am

Hey Guys,

Just wanted to make sure somebody mentioned this,
when you're recording a bass cab with a di, make sure those two guys are in phase.

I tend to either use an LDC or Nice dynamic, SM7, ect, on bass cabs and just make sure i have a clean sounding DI.

Bass DI's, in my opinion, never sound good dry, and i do a TON of stuff to a bass DI signal to make it sound good. although, to be fair the AMPEG SVT Classic DI sounds incredible, but it still needs a little love from a compressor or other processor to make it stick into the track.

Also, dont be afraid to roll off some 60 hz on both of those signals, it will clean up the sound signifigantly

Just my .02 pesos.

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Post by brahimplaysbass » Thu May 01, 2008 2:30 pm

Close dynamics, please!

I typically use an md 421 on my Supro 1x15 tube combo. Recently I've been using a Sunn solid state head and an Ampeg 2x10 cab. I usually place the mic 3 inches from the grill and point it at the edge of the cone. I also leave the volume down. The other day I did a session with an SM57 (modified to sound like an SM7) pointed at an ampeg combo...ampy!

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Post by cjogo » Thu May 01, 2008 3:40 pm

I tend to DI ---depends on the room and the player & their equipment. We use a SWR with it's direct out for large room/live ...But , in the studio > always direct to a Manley limiter/pre .
whatever happened to ~ just push record......

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Post by JohnDavisNYC » Thu May 01, 2008 3:46 pm

i rarely mic amps for bass... but, the 'wavelengths need room to develop' thing just doesn't hold true for that sort of situation. ckeene is right about the pressure thing.

the distance thing is true for the note to resonate in a space... you still can hear the frequencies up close, but stand 20 feet from someone bowing the low E string on a double bass and you will hear a much more full and resonant fundamental than you will right in front of it, however, distance also mean that the room comes into play, and maybe 20' away is a null, and it will sound like shit.

who knows?

anyway, the point is, if you have to mic a bass amp, you don't have to do it from far away.

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Post by drumsound » Thu May 01, 2008 3:56 pm

toaster3000 wrote:i rarely mic amps for bass... but, the 'wavelengths need room to develop' thing just doesn't hold true for that sort of situation. ckeene is right about the pressure thing.

the distance thing is true for the note to resonate in a space... you still can hear the frequencies up close, but stand 20 feet from someone bowing the low E string on a double bass and you will hear a much more full and resonant fundamental than you will right in front of it, however, distance also mean that the room comes into play, and maybe 20' away is a null, and it will sound like shit.

who knows?

anyway, the point is, if you have to mic a bass amp, you don't have to do it from far away.

john
Also it takes a long time for the sound to arrive at the mic. This can have a serious adverse effect on the groove. The bassist is playing with the BD, but his note is not hitting the mics until much later than he has played it...

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Post by jakeao » Thu May 01, 2008 4:25 pm

can someone explain in a little more detail this whole thing about bass guitar having longer wavelengths, therefore requiring a certain amount of feet in the acoustical space?


Well lets see if I remeber this shit... sound travels at a set speed, and the waves take a certain amount of time to cycle (going from peak, to peak) Which is were the distance comes in. For example it take over 50 feet for a 20Hz wave to cycle, as opposed to a 20KHz wave which cycles numerous times in the space of a inch.

So I think the theory is if the mic is further away, the wave has more time to "develope". IMHO I don't think it makes much difference, other than introducing more reflected room sounds.
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Post by vvv » Fri May 02, 2008 5:06 pm

I have just been getting into this, and started with mic'ing a Boogie Mark2B with a Chinese LDC, and then a cheap ribbon. Here it is with an AT4040: "Falling Stones", kind of mushy and boomy, but OK.

Then, I tried an acoustic bass DI'd from its cannon jack through a compressor (dbx163X) and mic'd with an AT4040; sounded great with the two tracks slightly panned! Obviously, though that's a weird kind of thing... (Sounds like this: "Carrikfergus".)

Lately, I've been DI'ing a "P" through an ART TPS2 pre and the compressor, and close mic'ing a cheap Marlboro 25 watt 12" practice amp with an AT4040, not time adjusting, and combining the two with some hi-pass and hard limiting.

It looks like this:

Image


It sounds like this: "Spit in One Hand".
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Post by 8th_note » Fri May 09, 2008 5:50 pm

can someone explain in a little more detail this whole thing about bass guitar having longer wavelengths, therefore requiring a certain amount of feet in the acoustical space? I guess I can follow that a larger space would allow a more complex set of reflections and fewer nasty room nodes and less comb filtering, but how does that really affect close micing of a speaker cabinet? Aren't you ideally getting a direct translation of speaker pressure via the mic capsule regardless of how long it takes a particular frequency to "develop"?
I'll take a stab at this.

You're absolutely right about translation of speaker pressure to the mic capsule. When you put a mic next to a bass cab speaker the diaphragm of the mic vibrates in sympathy with the speaker cone. If the speaker cone vibrates at 60 hz the mic diaphragm vibrates at 60 hz.

The idea that it takes a certain distance for bass frequencies to fully develop is not correct. If this were true then we would not be able to hear any bass through headphones. The reason that you might hear more fundamental at 6' rather than next to the speaker cone is because you will hear less highs and because the room nodes may be accentuating the fundamental.

When you close-mic a bass cab (or any cab for that matter) you are getting relatively more of the actual direct sound from the speaker and less of the room reflection. This is because you are turning down the gain as you get closer to the speaker so the mic is picking up less reflected sound and more direct sound from the cone.

If you move the mic away from the bass speaker you will get a significantly different frequency response depending where you put it in the room, even in treated rooms. If you aren't happy with the close-mic sound then this technique can act as a tone control if you have the patience to move the mic around and listen to the results. The problem is that unless you're in a large treated room you are also getting more nasties like slap echo. IMO, nothing screams "amateur recording in a basement" more than slap echo.

FWIW I close mic all bass and guitar cabs. I've tried moving the mic into the room on numerous occassions and I've just never liked the results. The furthest I get away from the cab is about 18" on certain very loud metal guitar tracks where I want to pick up some of the baffle sound when the cab is beginning to jump off the floor.

I usually use a Sansamp but sometimes the bass has some buzzing or other problems that are better through a cab. And sometimes the player has his rig set to get a particular sound that can't be duplicated through the box. I don't think either way is inherently better - it just depends on the situation.

My favorite mic for recording bass cab is the lowly MXL 2001. It will take loud SPLs and it captures the detail very well. It gets the highs and if it's too bright I can use a little EQ to tame it down.

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Post by nordberg » Fri May 09, 2008 7:58 pm

whenever i record a bass amp i turn the bass tone control on the amp at LEAST all the way down. it seems that no matter what shit amp they're playing through they always wanna crank the bass, and i'm really jealous if any of you can ever make that sound good... if that doesn't work i make them play my telecaster bass through my ampeg flip top...never a complaint!

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Post by Corey Y » Fri May 09, 2008 11:17 pm

I'm fond of a SM7B along with DI. I usually set the mic back about 12" or slightly less to catch the character of the live sound (I personally use a lot of gain for my own bass rig) and use the DI to dial in any extra bottom end punch I want. I've also had some decent results close micing with a Kickball, but of course results vary according to your taste in bass tone.

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Post by the brill bedroom » Sun May 11, 2008 5:50 pm

Admittedly, I'm an old fashioned guy when it comes to bass sounds- I believe in flatwound strings, hollowbody basses and a lot of muting- and I always mic up an amp to record, usually mixing in a little DI for articulation. To my ears, it has t be a tube amp. Not a "there's a 12ax7 in the pre" tube amp, a real tube amp. There is a reason so many classic recordings were done with a B-15.
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Post by joninc » Sun May 11, 2008 7:11 pm

b15's rule!
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