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How do you track Bass guitar? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 13th January 2003
  #1
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How do you track Bass guitar?

I just recorded some bass tracks for a band, the player had let us say, less than desired technique.
Anywho, I just sort of let 'er rip after trying 2 setups as he was having trouble overdubing his parts, ended up going direct into a vipre and 1176 into ptools HD, with a low end bass.
How do you go about recording bass guitar, for rock stuff?
If I have time I like to run a mic on a cab and go direct but sometimes there isn't time so I just go direct.
Which combo seems to work best for you? bass, pre, mic,amp comp, whatever spill it
thanks
daniel
Old 13th January 2003
  #2
Vipre into 1176 is a helluva combination. I always combine the amp and the DI. Usually the DI picks up the job of the low rumbly type frequencies and is heavily compressed with slow attack slow release. The mic/amp gets less compression and less lows, and the release is generally a little faster than the DI treatment. I searched for a really long time, and found the only thing that really treated my ears well in a bass cabinet was the Ampeg 4x10 extended low frequency model. I tried a lot of different configurations and brands, and this was it. It's extended down to 45hz so it doesn't crap out when pushed a little (and sounds great at low volumes too), plus it's built like a tank (my achin' shoulder). I'm using the SansAmp active bass DI right now, but I've got a few Groove Tubes DITTO's on the way, which are based on the DI section of the Vipre. If the DITTO allows me to go to a XLR mic input on a preamp and an amp simultaneously (and then from mic to preamp of course), this may be the ultimate.
Old 13th January 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I usually do a mic and a DI. Though I'm doing a project rich now that I'm only going DI. I'm using a DI into a VoxBox and it sounds heavenly!
Old 13th January 2003
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Usually the amp with a mic and DI. The best thing for me is a good player. After that the rest is gravy and depends on the session and my mood. The compressors are usually an 1176, Demeter VTCL-2a which is LA-2a sorta thing, Aphex Expressor or a 160VU.
Old 13th January 2003
  #5
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
I used to combine DI (viaLittleLabs IBP) and miced amp/cab during tracking, but lately I've been using the VIPRE DI and an 1176 for the DI part during tracking and then add the reamped bass amp/cab via the LittleLabs PCP live, while I'm mixing. It allows me to fit the bass into the mix easier. It's also easier to determine how much distortion and proccessing I want to use on that particular track while listening to the bass and all the other instruments, which are usually not yet recorded when the bass is tracked.
Old 13th January 2003
  #6
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Kris's Avatar
Yes I recently discovered the joys of the VoxBox on bass.

Don't forget about new strings and also the different results you can get with flat-wound vs. round-wound
Old 13th January 2003
  #7
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

bass so much depends on the player. i have seen great bassist light up the ****tiest of rigs. makes bass a total bitch when the player isnt up to snuff.
Old 13th January 2003
  #8
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

ttally the players hands.. after that, I find 9 times out of 10 I want passive pickups, with the one exception of the Stingray, which is passive pickups and an onboard preamp ( IIRC )
Plug that into a VOXBOX, and we are rockin!

Michael, Nice idea, reamping live at mixdown.. I will have to try that..
Old 13th January 2003
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 

For the last 15 years, 99% of my bass stuff has been DI only. For 5 or 6 years, it was a Demeter bass pre into a Tube Tech CL-1B, then I changed over to an Evil Twin and a Manley Vari-Mu. If I'm working at my place, I'll also use (depending on my mood and what's available) a Great River NV, a Vintech X73, a DRS-2 or the UA 2108 (in order of perference, kinda) into a CL-1B. I've been experimenting with a limiter called a Tube Link, from Audio Technologies, which is also nice. And the last project I did I ran from the Evil Twin into a General Electric broadcast limiter, which sounds absolutely huge. When the mods are completed on the two that I bought, I expect that they'll become the default bass sound. They sound very nice.
Old 13th January 2003
  #10
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5down1up's Avatar
 

d.i. is what i like on bass .
if i mic the cabinet the miced tracks are ending up most times mixed in just a little to the d.i signal . a good bass amp with a d.i. out is the best thing to have . ( i dont like the sound bass - d.i. box and thats it ) . i dont have tons of outboard so i end up most times using bassamp - adl comp - amek comp - protools .
i like compression and distortion a lot on bass .
i dont like too much high end on it as well .

most times my mixes sound to boomy compared to a " regular cd " . but who cares , i love the bass .
Old 13th January 2003
  #11
Here's a thing, when planning on re-amping a bass, do you skip compression?

I feel that is the best vibe, skipping compression...

Or do you feel re-amping a compressed signal is 'cooler' sounding?

..... I know it all depends but ....... I am curious what folks feel on this...
Old 13th January 2003
  #12
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Plug-in Tricks to Add Subs

Thought I'd add my little bass trick to the kettle. This works best on a bass amp that's weak or crappy sounding in the sub freqs, but it's often better than even a good sounding bass cab.

Aphex Big Bottom plug-in usually sucks on a normally recorded bass track. That's 'cos it tries to add subs when they're already there and you get piled up ugly bass distortion. Try tracking the bass thin, with the lows rolled off from about 100 hz down. Then at mixdown insert Big Bottom, pumping the crap out of the settings at will and set the frequency anywhere from 50-80hz. Do not set it to Tracking as I find that feature pretty useless and ****ty sounding. When the bass players asks you wtf you're doing, tell him or her to just trust ya.

This replaces the low freq. area of a bad player/bass/amp/room reaction/mic position/etc with low freq. energy that can do it smoothly and with less distortion, and you can add more distortion (using the Big Bottom's setting or something of your choice) to taste after the fact this way.

This also works very well on kick with a different plug-in. In this case, TC MasterX pumped high as hell on the default preset sub freq. area can get you a huge kick sound. The trick here is similar to the bass trick except that you record the kick very low in volume, but don't roll off anything. I don't know why this works, but it does. The last time I used this on kick, the subs were pumped up 11.5 dB which sounds like way too much but it really worked.

rollz
Old 13th January 2003
  #13
Gear Addict
 

bass

I've been loving a beyer 160, 2ft. from an SVT/SWRE 4x10, through the Speck 5. 0 -E
Old 13th January 2003
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Here's a thing, when planning on re-amping a bass, do you skip compression?

I feel that is the best vibe, skipping compression...

Or do you feel re-amping a compressed signal is 'cooler' sounding?

..... I know it all depends but ....... I am curious what folks feel on this...
I see nobody has mentioned it but I love the Avalon 737 for DI'd bass through the front panel jack - simple and most players (especially the good ones) seem to love the soft compression settings with more added from plugs to suit the mix and possibly an amp if we are after a dirty sound.

I usually amp from a moderatly compressed signal as I feel the cabs deal with it better and can generate more transient 'thump' (you have to say that in an Irish accent - TUMP !).

Peter
Old 13th January 2003
  #15
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

I like miked bass and often put up several mics (57s, 421s, RE20, U47...) before usually picking one of the 57s. Ampeg SVT2Pro with an Ampeg H810 cab, most of the time, with the graphic EQ switched out.

Neve 1073. No EQ. No comp. Straight from the pre to the backside of the tape machine.
Old 13th January 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally posted by ZeroSphere
I see nobody has mentioned it but I love the Avalon 737 for DI'd bass through the front panel jack - simple and most players (especially the good ones) seem to love the soft compression settings with more added from plugs to suit the mix and possibly an amp if we are after a dirty sound.

I usually amp from a moderatly compressed signal as I feel the cabs deal with it better and can generate more transient 'thump' (you have to say that in an Irish accent - TUMP !).

Peter
That was the first setup I used the other day, the avalon with the
eq pre and then post but I liked the vipre +1176 combo better, at least with the bass he had, got to try other basses.
I have an swr workingman bass amp that has a direct out so I could have both miced and direct but the bass had to be done quickly. I like having the playa in the control room so you can twidle the guitar knobs and the pre/comp at the same time
but would be nice to mic the amp too,thanks
daniel
Old 14th January 2003
  #17
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AudioGaff's Avatar
When using the DI of the Eviil Twin, I take the bal output into one path and the unbal ouput into another. Sometimes leaving one path dry for processing later. Other times one path goes for light spanking into a mono vari-mu and the other through a 160SL, Meek, TLA-100, LA2A or an API 525. Durring mixdown I may spank it again. The mic path either goes into another mono vari-mu and/or the 160SL.
Old 14th January 2003
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
out1ear's Avatar
 

I use an avalon U5 and a tube tech CL1B to track. If I need to I'll run thru an amp later.dfegad
Old 15th January 2003
  #19
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Saucyjack's Avatar
 

I've been pretty happy with the DI of a Little Labs IBP into a Distressor or 1176,I've also gotten great results with the Great RiverNV DI.
Can't wait to try my Trakker....

I've tried the mic and amp thing but it just never seems to add all that much to a good DI/Pre.(May have more to do with amp and player than anything, though)
Old 15th January 2003
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Just tracking the DI signal through V76 or V74 into TubeTech CL1B.
In the mix I usually slit the signal in the analog world into DI and another channel going into a sansamp ( not the plug in of course )
Old 15th January 2003
  #21
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Dave Martin writes:
Quote:
If I'm working at my place, I'll also use (depending on my mood and what's available) a Great River NV, a Vintech X73, a DRS-2 or the UA 2108 (in order of perference, kinda) into a CL-1B.
When you use the Great River NV on bass, do you use transformer loaded or unloaded? Or does that vary with style of music.

Also, how often should bass strings be changed?

Jasper
Old 15th January 2003
  #22
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Jasper
Dave Martin writes:


When you use the Great River NV on bass, do you use transformer loaded or unloaded? Or does that vary with style of music.

Also, how often should bass strings be changed?

Jasper
It varies more with the bass being played than the style of music - I simply try both positions (actually, I'll try all of the buttons, and stick with the settings that sounds best on that bass).

I tend to change strings on my Modulus and my Jazz about every 2 weeks - more if I'm playing a lot, and I don't ever want to change the strings on my P bass (with flat wounds) again.
Old 16th January 2003
  #23
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

There was some off time on a session, waiting for more players to arrive and Victor Bailey was bored so he plugged into the B-15 in the office and played the bass line and the melody to Birdland Stanley Jordan style with a stock fender jazz, sounded great. Anything that sounds great should be pretty simple to record, the better the player, the better the sound. 90% of the time I'll leave the sound to the player and the other musicians.
I like the sound of small amps in a doghouse not played too loud with a good large diaphagm at about 12" in omni, 1066 or AM16 with lots of gain to an LA2A in limit or UA175 slo attack slo release not too far in to tape 0 dB with peaks at +3 Dolby SR at 15ips. SR out to PT or you can skip the tape machine if you don't have one. I have an old brown TLAudio Dual EQ with an instrument input and an 8 band mono button that can do the distortion/compression in a unique manner, DI. I generally like 1 source for bass, although I use 2 also. Bass through a Leslie is not out of the question. It depends on the tune.
It's most important not to crash the player's vibe, especially those that aren't experienced. Chances are that if you can't get a good sound with a Vipre and an 1176, you're going to have problems with anything. After you get an inexperienced or poor players confidence, maybe you can coax them into some left and right hand muting for note length and chunk and to stop bending the strings at the loud parts of the song and hold their hand through the overdubs. Before going for the sound I'll try to grab a good performance, if the band can deal with it, the engineer should be able to deal with it. Our strong point is knowing that something can be fixed and arranging it to work that way, so we shouldn't crash the vibe if we don't have to.
If I'm re-amping something I'll usually print it and I try always to print with only enough compression to get the cans working, or there's no way back. I can scaramantically compress it afterwards. I've given up totally on compressing when going direct to digital, I record basically clean and compress the cans. Some bassists have built in compressors in their fingers, especially if they're in the same room with the amp or the main monitors.
I have a P-J fretless with ground wounds that I need to change every 6 weeks, a short scale custom with Rotosound black nylon coated strings that I never need to change, it has the sweetest harmonics and no GANK and an Ernie Ball 5 that goes for about 3 weeks between changes, if they're constantly being played.
Old 18th January 2003
  #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
T. Some bassists have built in compressors in their fingers, especially if they're in the same room with the amp or the main monitors.
Thanks for the great comments! You are so right, the hands are so important! I play bass in a crap band so I know a little about the tones you can get by changing your technique.
I do like the vipre and 1176 they sound great. In my part of the world talented musicians and great songs are in short supply so I do alot of Polishing the turdheh
daniel
Old 19th January 2003
  #25
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Tim L's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
... scaramantically...
What'd you call me?... ... heh

On the amp it all depends... for DI (most of the time) I go through a Sansamp BassDriver into either a Pendulum Audio MDP-1a or the Phoenix DR2146. As far as compression goes, the Distressor's been doing it for me lately...
Old 22nd January 2003
  #26
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

sorry, it's from Italian and I forgot how to spell supersti(sc)ious in english, my native language, which has been infected with a few others and sometimes I just draw a blank (wheres my english dictionary?)
If it's only a matter of getting to work then it's easy. I like crappy bands better than players bands. you can be more satisfied at the end when you accomplish something and know that it came from good hard work, rather than being disappointed that it doesn't sound like Mahivishnu or Toto or something.
keep the spirit of the song above other things.
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