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Question for Mr Wagener (bass recording) Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 16th February 2013
Here for the gear

Question for Mr Wagener (bass recording)

Hi Michael,
I really love the bass sound of many bands you recorded : Skid Row, King's X, Extreme... Rachel Bolan on STTG or Pat Badger's sound are awesome. I'm wondering if you have some tips regarding bass recording. For example, did you blend the DI/Cab signal with an overdriven Sansamp or a guitar amp ? And do you have some EQ, compression... tips ?
Thanks a lot Michael,

And please excuse my (really) bad English
Old 8th September 2014
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
Hello Maxime

It was basically just the right bass with the right amp and the right microphone (different ones in each case) that were used. We worked on the bass sound in the room until we were happy with it. On Slave To The Grind it took us over two days, just to find the right combination. From there I would record a DI signal and an amped signal through a speaker. The trick is to get them both in "phase" because the DI is instant and the mic is about 2 feet away from the cab, which means you have about a 2 ms delay. In a DAW you can easily move the later track (speaker) a bit earlier to adjust for phase. With the digital tape machine that was used on STTG and Pornograffitti I had to use an outboard digital delay to bring the two into phase.

I don't quite remember the specific microphones used, but I am a big fan of the Beyer M88, especially for the Ampeg 8x10 cab, or of course the Royer R-121 (make sure you use a pop filter in front of the R-121)

dUg used a combination of a few different amps, on the King's X recordings, some direct, some through a 4x12 cab.

Also, please keep in mind that we are talking about some of the best bass players in the business, which is THE biggest part of the sound.

Hope this helps
Old 9th September 2014
Lives for gear
ARIEL's Avatar
Great info , And just wanted to agree with the skill of The Bass player . Seeing as the Bass gtr can be sensitive to dynamics . Too hard the pickups will frap out and too soft no punch - at least for rock . I find many Bass players to be very uneven which causes huge problems = the Bass track sits well in one section then the next they player just a little light or even moved the position of their right hand more towards the neck which changes the tone . So when mixing you have uneven drop outs which compressing doesn't really help . Having a pro Player that can play through the song in a take makes a huge difference instead of having to do section by section punch in after punch in . Same goes for drums .
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