DI bass and guitar

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9013
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

DI bass and guitar

Post by vvv » Thu May 14, 2020 11:01 am

Inspired by here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=89910&p=717510#p717510

I venture most record bass DI-style, at least in parallel to an amp.

Are ya's using amp the amp's DI's, outboards, pre's? Are compressors used?, EQ? Tube vs. S/S? XLR (where available) vs. TS?

And, nod to recylcedbrains, is there a difference re style of music?

Finally, what about guitar? Anybody do the "Black Dog" thing? The Chic thing?
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
digitaldrummer
resurrected
Posts: 2346
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu May 14, 2020 11:29 am

these rhythm guitars and bass were straight into the DI jack on a Hairball Copper. of course then they got treatment from amp sim plugins... so not exactly what you are talking about. But the signal was already colored before it hit the amp sim.

https://youtu.be/hALOSwpwMHw

But usually I hate DI guitars unless I'm going to reamp and mic the amp/cab later.
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Fri May 15, 2020 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike
www.studiodrumtracks.com -- Drum tracks starting at $50!
www.doubledogrecording.com

User avatar
DrummerMan
george martin
Posts: 1368
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by DrummerMan » Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 pm

PERSONALLY, and with the gear I have, I've been happiest when there are as few steps between the instrument and the mic pre as possible. I either go DI into my LA610 when doing digital, which doesnt get dirty or forward in a useful way but still sounds amazing, OR direct into my 388 when going to tape (sometimes LA610 into the 388), and that I can push to tape and make it sound as gloriously raunchy as I want.

I have a Sansamp which I've used in front of my pre before and used to love but I started to feel like it takes away from what's going on with the DI sound, like its trying to sound like an amp but not really doing it. I would rather just mic a cabinet then even a little tube guitar amp at low volume, or at least split the signal to one DI "clean" signal and a mic'd "dirty" signal.

We've also used direct outs from the some of the amp heads that my band partner has but it still hasnt really added anything useful so far.

Our bass player does have a Reddi DI that he's used before and that one sounds pretty good to me.
Geoff Mann
composer | drummer | Los Angeles, CA

User avatar
markjazzbassist
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Lakewood, OH

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu May 14, 2020 12:27 pm

motown detroit - all bass and guitars were recorded direct using the custom Tube Directbox/Preamp that was built by Mike McClean and Ed Wolfrum. all those tones are excellent.

I prefer bass direct, but i play music where the bass isn't buried in a mix (ie rock). i'm doing soul, funk, and jazz. so the upfront full bandwidth tone of a DI bass is fine. I use a DI i made from a 60's UTC a-10 Transformer into a Shure M67 preamp. It's warm, thick, wooly, and wonderful. My basses have flatwounds that have been on for years though, they are beyond dead, so there is no treble. if i were doing the grindy rock thing, DI might not be the best for me. also i have very good technique from years of playing, i'm not all uneven and rough, i play with a light touch and never use a compressor, no need i've got the consistent groove technique down, plus i like dynamics.

I record guitar direct out of necessity since i'm recording at night when my wife and kids are sleeping. i go same path as bass but i'll run it through pedals and then into a spring reverb unit to give it some depth/take off some low end. i run electric piano direct out of necessity as well. run it the same way as the guitar, pedals and reverb, sounds delicious. drum machine also recorded direct same path sometimes just dry or i'll run it into the reverb to get some sproing. synth is direct as well, same as the others. only thing mic'd is saxophone out of necessity and i do that every once in a blue moon on a weekend.

User avatar
A.David.MacKinnon
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3415
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu May 14, 2020 2:10 pm

I've had a running battle with DI bass for years now. Not a big fan. Other people rock it and I love the results but when I do it I rarely get what I want.
After years of messing around with it I've finally settled on a "direct" bass set-up that I actually like. It's a clone of an Ampeg B15 pre amp section into an ADA cab-sim DI . From there it usually goes to a McCurdy pre-amp and then to an LA3A. It's pretty bullet proof and doesn't require much of anything except pushing up the fader when it comes time to mix.
My other go to is a radial amp-di between the head and cab but that gets used more in live off the floor sessions when bleed into the bass mic might be an issue.
For guitar I almost always mic an amp. Every now and then I'll use the Peavey Val-verb. It's reasonably ok but never blows me away.

User avatar
digitaldrummer
resurrected
Posts: 2346
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu May 14, 2020 3:06 pm

For bass, I almost always use the DI signal. My favorite is the bass->Radial JDI->A-Designs EM "gold" 500 pre. Second fav is the LA-610 DI jack and sometimes the DI jack on the Hairball Audio Copper 500 pre. Then I do almost nothing except add a bit of the UAD LA_2A "gray" and that's it. But I'm talking about really good bass players with good gear. I could plug them into a $50 behringer mixer and they'd still sound good (although maybe not as good). Occasionally I will reamp the DI bass and mic the cab.

For guitars I like to mic an amp/cab whenever possible.
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Fri May 15, 2020 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike
www.studiodrumtracks.com -- Drum tracks starting at $50!
www.doubledogrecording.com

Colorblind
gimme a little kick & snare
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:23 pm

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by Colorblind » Thu May 14, 2020 4:57 pm

I mostly just record on my own, and I’ve been digging guitars through a DI lately. Usually through my Hamptone tube preamp, and always going through some combination of pedals first. That’s kind of my setup when I’m writing at home on my loop station, so maybe it’s a demo-itis thing, but I’m liking it in a lot of cases. Particularly with certain fuzz sounds. I can never quite get that super dry, right-in-your-face fuzz if I’m going through an amp. In my experience overdrive/distortion pedals tend to sound better through an amp though, generally speaking.

Bass is usually DI + Sansamp combo for me, largely due to the fact that I don’t have a very good sounding bass amp. Both typically go into a pair of distressors, usually only taking off a couple db.

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2480
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by The Scum » Thu May 14, 2020 6:23 pm

I splurged about a year ago and got one of the new Ampeg tube flip top setups. The PF20T head with the matching 1x15 cab.

The head has two DI options - one is a preamp out, and one that's from an extra winding on the output transformer.

My finding is that I have to pick whether to focus on using it as a preamp, or as an amp to drive a speaker, then adjust until it sounds good. There's not much overlap where the speaker and the transformer DI both sound good. The first few times I tried to use all of the DI options and a mic on the cab, there was always a clear winner, usually the mic, because it was set up to sound good in the speaker.

I've subsequently had good success using it without a speaker, and the transformer DI can also be dialed in nicely. They just don't coexist with the speaker.

Anymore, I'll probably do 2 tracks: one from a passive DI right off the bass (Radial or an ol' ProCo), one from the mic'd amp. If the amp isn't set too extreme, they sound pretty similar...but the amp can do the grinding Ampeg thing. There have been a couple times where the amp or pedals misbehaved, and the DI was a lifesaver. I don't hesitate to reamp the DI track, either.

Music? Somewhere between Melvins & Minutemen, but with a side helping of Crimson & Weather Report. The bass is a major element.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6875
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by drumsound » Thu May 14, 2020 10:53 pm

I do a lot of DI bass. Its usually simple and quite effective. If the bass player is in the room, cutting with the band I just use a Rapco DI into the console, often followed by a Purple Action. I almost always use compression. Others I like include the ART VLA, MXR 163, and Drawmer '69. If bass is an overdub its often through a Great River MP2h or (since January) Useful Arts SFP-60.

I do record amps, especially if the player prefers, or if I'm "of a mood." I dig the sound of my Blackface Bassman with Aguliar 410. If I do that, its usually a Beyer M88 or TGX50. If I'm feeling really saucy I'll pull out the CMV563 and put it on the bass amp. The midrange is pretty cool with that combo.

I do DI guitar with one specific player. He has 2 Axe FX units. The floor unit for 6-string and the rack unit for Steel. He takes a lot of time getting his patches sounding 'right' and its pretty simple to DI him and a have a great sound. Same deal as bass, depends on where they are if I use a DI box or right into one of the outboard pres.

I used to have an Aurora GTQ2 and on one of the Backyard Tire Fire records we did a few things with the guitar right into that with the gain cranked. More George Harrison than Jimmy Page, but the same idea. I haven't tried it with the Useful Arts yet. Its a tube piece, so it will be a different grind I'm sure.

Generally I mic guitar amps. I've got a bunch of them, and people bring them in too. Amps are fun.

User avatar
weatherbox
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 774
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:59 am
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by weatherbox » Fri May 15, 2020 5:25 am

I usually record bass direct just as I've always been working (mostly) live in small to midsize rooms with questionably power, with the midsize one having very little useful bass isolation. Often in those situations I'm using the Radial passive DIs that stay dead quiet, but aren't really much to listen to. I'll almost always reamp, or at least use one of the UAD amp sims which I find to be pretty darn useful. There's almost always a compressor in line at record, and reamp. Sta-Level, MC77, Fatso, Brute are the usuals, so it's not like there's loyalty to any one style of unit. If I'm overdubbing bass, I'll use a nicer sounding active DI and often my B15. I just like the sound of an amped bass more, though the nicer DIs get a pretty good tone with most basses. Some instruments/players benefit from/rely on the filtering effect of the amp more than others! If I am running an amp (and nothing goes sideways during the record on the amp track), it's pretty rare that I'll use the DI at all beyond filtering to just the bottom end and using it as a fill in as needed. DI usually takes the lead for R&B, modern soul, and for adding a little discomfort to spacier rock/indie tracks.

I love direct guitar. I love amps, too, and generally I think that's the better route. But the DI guitar has a notable way of settling into a mix, finding a spot that's less fought for by other sources. The transient/sustain relationship feels a bit flipped on its head from a typical "desirable" amp tone, and that can be pretty useful for placing a part in a crowded field, or for containing a part (like a really echoey/'verby clean guitar that's meant to sound a bit bassy or dark, but not too "huge.")

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9013
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by vvv » Fri May 15, 2020 12:37 pm

digitaldrummer: sounds awesome! very present; cool song, too.

DrummerMan: I like the SansAmp VTB pretty well, as well as other character pedals and their clones. I've not used a reg'lar Sansamp, tho'. and yeah, little tube amps can sound awesome - I've liked the Pro,Jr. parallel'd with a DI

markjazzbassist: i love flats, and I especially love old strings. I own a few basses and have since 1984. I have changed the whole set one time onna vintage P I had a new bridge put on and professionally set-up - I never change strings unless they break and I do my own set-ups but a buddy owned a music store and the bass needed some tweaks to accept he BadAss.

a.David.Mckinnon: I have a MicroCab that I never used to like on bass but haven't tried in years - mebbe I shall ...

colorblind: pedals are my life. I can reco the little Ampeg BA108 what you can get <US$100 off the ebog. I have an embarrassing amount of amps here, and that's my go-to recording amp - I prefer it to the Rumble 25, for instance, but that's also <$100 used. Both have great tone at bedroom levels.

The Scum: I hate you. I so want a tube PF (lookin' at the 50), altho' my PF500 is pretty great live - reminds me, I never tried its DI ... Re yers - think about re-amping the DI track?

drumsound: I never tried the VLA an bass - I like it on vox and DI keys - I used to use the 163X as both pre and 'pressor - it was great, but my current set-up superseded ...

weatherbox: I'd be B15in' all the time, me, with the parallel like you said; I agree on DI guitar - it's kinda it's own thing when done without emulators, not really my thing tho' - I almost always want distortion and FX - the Vox Stomp can be pretty cool tho', for snappy FX rhythms.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6875
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by drumsound » Fri May 15, 2020 3:30 pm

vvv wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 12:37 pm

drumsound: I never tried the VLA an bass - I like it on vox and DI keys - I used to use the 163X as both pre and 'pressor - it was great, but my current set-up superseded ...
The Sara Quah record in my signature has the VLA on both bass and Wurly.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2693
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by kslight » Fri May 15, 2020 4:12 pm

Bass I generally do direct, lately:
Roland G77 bass - instrument out to elektron analog drive - sherman filterbank 2 and Alesis 3630 OR to some lunch box stuff and KT2A
Synth out to Roland GR77b
Direct out (from GR77b) just clean


Guitar either goes into an amp and into a Torpedo Live (so kind of direct), or into an amp modeler, or a synth box...

User avatar
Scodiddly
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3500
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Mundelein, IL, USA
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by Scodiddly » Fri May 15, 2020 5:04 pm

The older I get the less fussy I am about bass guitar tone, so count me in the DI crowd.

And I only change strings when I break them, but I never break strings. Checkmate, markjazzbassist!

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2480
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: DI bass and guitar

Post by The Scum » Fri May 15, 2020 6:07 pm

I so want a tube PF (lookin' at the 50), altho' my PF500 is pretty great live - reminds me, I never tried its DI ... Re yers - think about re-amping the DI track?
With a real reamp box, it's perfectly possible - I tried feeding it right for the console, and it didn't work do well.. The straight DI has been handy for that a couple times that pedals or the amp misbehaved.

The '20 is plenty loud, too. We've gigged with it a couple times & have no complaints on sound or volume. Trying to use it as an actual "flip top", though, is a bit awkward. The cabinet doesn't have any handles, and with the head mounted on the trapdoor, it's this awkward, top-heavy cube.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests