Bass Plugins

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Mustang Martigan
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Bass Plugins

Post by Mustang Martigan » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:23 am

I've been thinking about buying a bass plugin. There are the Waves R-Bass and MAXX Bass type plugins that add to harmonic content to give the illusion of bigger bass, and then there's Submarine, Lowender and bx_subsynth that enhance (I think) and octave below the bass freq it's being fed. I believe the bx_subsynth is an emu of the DBX 120XP.

I don't have a bass amp, so I'm forced to record DI... which is why I figure on of these plugins will help me get a better bass sound. Any recommendations on which will work best for blues/rock stuff? Whether it be one of the ones I listed or another I'm not aware of?

I'd just try the demos and decide for myself, but I'm pretty sure I already used the demos, and like an idiot never got around to trying any of them.

Thanks.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by kslight » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:43 am

I don’t know that any of these are used primarily as bass guitar plugins, more like ways to make your bass work better on different speaker systems...especially if your bass line is a synth/sub/808 that may disappear completely on bass deficient speakers. Perhaps in certain circumstances you might use with bass guitar but if you are just looking to improve your DI tone then these probably aren't necessary.

For di bass guitar shaping you might prefer something more like an amp and/or speaker cab modeler plug-in.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by vvv » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:30 am

"I don't have a bass amp, so I'm forced to record DI..."

Guitar amps work well for recording, esp. when paralleled w/ a DI.
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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by drumsound » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:20 am

There are a ton of records where the bass is DI only. Unless the bass or something in you chain is "bass deficient" I don't think a DI in and of itself is the problem.

I have the R-bass from when they gave it out for free. I don't use it often, but a lot of the time, I'm trying to add some lows to a voice with it. I literally can't remember if I've actually used it on bass.

As to the sound you're getting, what does EQ do to your low end?

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:04 am

and unless your DI is really bad (in which case, try a better one?), the lack of low end may not be because of it. Monitors, room treatment, bass/pickup? all that applies. if you've got that covered, then sometimes just adding some distortion/harmonics will make the bass "pop" a bit more. I picked up the bx_bassdude recently (for about $20 on sale) and I've gotta say I like it sometimes (on bass or guitar or other stuff). Or try re-amping bass through a guitar amp, PA speaker, etc. and then mix that with the DI signal. Or run it through another pre-amp to get some color. That's where its nice to have something like the Little Labs IBP (I've got the UAD version) to adjust the phase between the 2. but you can also slide tracks around to do the same. btw, most of the recordings at my studio go through a DI and never see a microphone... but not always. the other plugin that I find gives my bass tracks some pop is the Slate VCC. put it in "Brit N" mode and it really does enhance the low end. sometimes too much.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:05 am

kslight wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:43 am
For di bass guitar shaping you might prefer something more like an amp and/or speaker cab modeler plug-in.
+1. I record DI bass and usually what I'm wanting from it in the mix is more mid/high definition. Drastic eq can sort of work but I find just putting it through an "amp" works a lot better. I use the ignite amps bass amp (free), it's geared towards metal but if you just leave everything at noon it sounds like a perfectly normal bass amp.

As far as "cabs/speakers", it seems to me like a lot of them have the mic really close and there's a ton of proximity effect, which is the opposite of what I want. I got some redwirez impulses and they have a bunch where the mic is 1-3' back, MUCH BETTER.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by kslight » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:44 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:05 am
kslight wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:43 am
For di bass guitar shaping you might prefer something more like an amp and/or speaker cab modeler plug-in.
+1. I record DI bass and usually what I'm wanting from it in the mix is more mid/high definition. Drastic eq can sort of work but I find just putting it through an "amp" works a lot better. I use the ignite amps bass amp (free), it's geared towards metal but if you just leave everything at noon it sounds like a perfectly normal bass amp.

As far as "cabs/speakers", it seems to me like a lot of them have the mic really close and there's a ton of proximity effect, which is the opposite of what I want. I got some redwirez impulses and they have a bunch where the mic is 1-3' back, MUCH BETTER.

Yeah I don’t generally use an amp for recording bass in my projects (because I don’t have a bass amp..). Lately I go into an Elektron Analog Drive pedal for some amount of shaping (which is actually really useful in this capacity, more so than for putting on a guitar pedal board probably because it’s freaking huge and uses a weird power supply), a cheapo direct box, a cheapo Lindell 500 series pre and compressor i have on loan, and a KT2A. Sometimes I’ll use that all as is, and sometimes I follow that with Two Notes Wall of Sound plugin for a speaker cab.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by cgarges » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:21 pm

I usually recording bass via DI these days and aside from general EQ and compression, I'm often applying a bit of distortion via a plugin to get a little bit of "life" that helps the bass cut through a rock track. Nine times out of ten, I'm using the amazing SoundToys Decapitator, which is useful on SO MANY things. The UAD Ampeg B15 and SVT amp sims are pretty great, too, but I just find myself using Decapitator more often than not. The bx sub is pretty great, too, although I don't use it all the time and when I do, I use it pretty sparingly.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by vvv » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:44 pm

FWIW, I do about 10% DI where I parallel a Meek VC3Q and a The Brick into a dbx160XT. The Meek is kinda the bottom (particularly with the compressor working hard) and the other track gives the dynamics and articulation.

The other 90% of the time I use the same chain(s), but take a mic into the The Brick/160 and the parallel out to the Meek.

I have a Ampeg BA108 which just does an amazing job of Ampeggity goodness, usually with my pedal board in front, mic'd with an SM7b.

OT, but I'll confess to sometimes just picking up that mic and doing vocals thru the The Brick/160 chain without changing any settings and really digging 'em.

I did alla that just today if ya wanna hear:
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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:49 am

digitaldrummer wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:04 am
and unless your DI is really bad (in which case, try a better one?), the lack of low end may not be because of it. Monitors, room treatment, bass/pickup? all that applies.
+1. and I would say be sure you are monitoring through something that can recreate those sub frequencies (either a sub in your control room or some headphones with real low end response) or you won't be able to hear what's even going on down there. i typically hate DI for bass but unless something is broken, I've never thought it was lacking in low end.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:29 am

permanent hearing damage wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:49 am
i typically hate DI for bass but unless something is broken, I've never thought it was lacking in low end.
My thoughts exactly. I'd take a mic on an amp any day of the week. I find I have to do so much to get what I want out of a straight DI signal where as an amp does 90% of the heavy lifting.
That said, if you're stuck with DI only I don't think the plugs you've listed will get you where you want to go. They're all somewhat specific in what they do (which is mainly creating impossible in real life low end) and not what I'd reach for if I was trying to get a good bass sound out of a DI. My first thought would be amp sims. I've had good luck with the Waves amp sim on the B15 setting. Decapitator is another good option. It's hugely versatile.

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:42 am

If you're looking to simply have some ability to shape the low end, I would suggest the louder than liftoff chop shop EQ plugin. It's shockingly powerful, given it's simple feature set. I use the lo-rider mode to add subs, or even low midrange to tracks sometimes. The HPF combined with "bump" is nice too.

I'm with Garges, re: the Decapitator. I use it on almost everything. Adding some muscle and character to an otherwise boring sounding bass track is one of its strong suits for sure. I think the Soundtoys Radiator is pretty cool too, but not nearly as flexible.
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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by cgarges » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:03 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:42 am
I think the Soundtoys Radiator is pretty cool too, but not nearly as flexible.
Agreed! Not usually my choice for bass, but a really great alternative to Decapitator in general.

I wish they'd get back to developing some more stuff. Everything they make is SO good!

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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:39 am

cgarges wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:03 pm
Recycled_Brains wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:42 am
I think the Soundtoys Radiator is pretty cool too, but not nearly as flexible.
Agreed! Not usually my choice for bass, but a really great alternative to Decapitator in general.

I wish they'd get back to developing some more stuff. Everything they make is SO good!

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
I hope they do soon. I think buying the full bundle is one of the smartest choices I've ever made. They make mixing so much more fun and creative.
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Re: Bass Plugins

Post by vvv » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:20 pm

You need to send that in, getta endorsement deal! :twisted:
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