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Recording bass DI/Preamp or just Preamp?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Recording bass DI/Preamp or just Preamp?

Hi there, I am planning to record bass guitar for an album. So far I've been recording bass by going out of the head into a Great River preamp as DI and also blending the mic'd bass amp when it works.

For this album, I will not be using a bass amp at all. Would any of the following be a favourable option?:

1. buying a Mesa Subway pre/DI and going into my Great River
2. buying a REDDI and going into my Great River
3. Recording directly into my Sebatron VMPQuadPlus tube mic pre

Thanks for your upcoming recommendations!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
Hi there, I am planning to record bass guitar for an album. So far I've been recording bass by going out of the head into a Great River preamp as DI and also blending the mic'd bass amp when it works.

For this album, I will not be using a bass amp at all. Would any of the following be a favourable option?:

1. buying a Mesa Subway pre/DI and going into my Great River
2. buying a REDDI and going into my Great River
3. Recording directly into my Sebatron VMPQuadPlus tube mic pre

Thanks for your upcoming recommendations!
We normally use a triple chain:
1. Mic'd amp
2. Di
3. Preamp into a tube compressor

Blend to taste
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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I have spent the pasr 30 years trying to get the perfect recorded bass sound.
- Getting a mix of mic'd amp and DI helps the track fitting in the mix but it is not absolutely necessay
- The best cheap option I tried was high quality DI and REDDI pluggin (it really sounds great)
- What I prefer for convenience and sound is tube preamp I use a Summit Audio but a US Solo 610 is great. The absolute best is the REDDI hardware
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for your inputs! I have listened to quite a few demos of the REDDI and I liked it just about every time. But since I recently got my Sebatron tube preamp, I was wondering how it compares. I have recorded bass with the LA610 in the past, I liked it but I wasn't blown away. But I don't have it anymore to experiment further.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
I use a CAJ V-COMP tube compressor into an Alembic F-2B preamp, often into a Radial Pro D2 DI into my old MBox 2 Pro.

Are you able to experiment or is there a time crunch where you need to go in and just record the parts as quickly as possible? I personally think you should try what you have first - it seems like you have some nice gear already!

Are you going to be playing the parts or is someone else?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 

This is the chain I use.

Eventide mixing link for di, the amp out goes though my "clean" tone pedals and then ends at an Aguilar Tone Hammer. I also use the Mixing links send to split the original DI signal and put that through my "dirt" pedals and into Tech 21 Q strip.

This allows me to record 3 tracks and blend them to taste. It's really cool if you stick a delay in the "clean" path as you get the repeats and can blend the "dirt" channel into it so you can get an almighty tone.

Clean channel: pork loin, micro pog, TC nova delay, boss bass chorus.

Dirt channel: Aguilar Agro (normally left on).

Bass: Fender American Standard Jaguar using the active preamp
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
Hi there, I am planning to record bass guitar for an album.
What kind of music? What bass(es) do you have? Post a clip of something representative?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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I used to use preamps and Compressors for a good 30 years. Given how much tweaking you still had to do after the track is recorded I kept looking for better solutions.

What I use now are Bass Guitar specific modeling preamps. They allow you to nail any kind of bass amp and cab combination you can think of plus they have the usual complement of enhancements like EQ, Compression, Noise gate, and even reverb, chorus and synth sounds if you're into that stuff.

The Two I use the most are The Korg and the Vox units for bass. I've used others but these do very well for their cost. Both can be set to line level too so there's no impedance mismatch. The Vox has a stereo output in cause you use something like chorus verb or echo. I run mine mono. Typically I'll select something like an SVT amp, Portaflex or something with a 2X15 cab. I'll use the EQ to match the bass I'm using. Unlike a normal EQ, the one that's built in targets the bass frequencies at ideal node positions based on the amp type you select. I'll add enough compression to make playing comfortable and also use the noise gate to silence the sounds between the notes.

The benefits. I rarely if ever have to add any kind of additional tweaking to my bass tracks beyond setting its levels. The mastering process, specifically EQ, Multiband compression and limiting is all the icing on the cake that's needed to make the bass sound fantastic. The exception might be to add a little extra track compression of single band EQing to bring out finger tones is all the additional track tweaking I'd need and even those are rare now.

Having great tones tracking inspires you to play better too. Bad tones tracking can really dent your feel for the notes.
I Should mention I do have an extensive monitor system that makes tracking bass through the monitors instead of headphones possible too. As I've gotten older my ears fatigue easily and I wouldn't even use them for vocals if I didn't have to. I instead use 6 different sets of monitors ranging from Nearfield studio monitors up to Book shelf, Hi Fi and even a 3500W PA system If I wanted it. I can get the feel of playing through a big bass amp and use the amp/cab modeling to dial up the exact tones needed for the mix.

Last edited by wrgkmc; 3 weeks ago at 08:44 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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I go into a Radial JDI, DI into a 6176, or mic up a variety of bass amps. Satisfying results from any one of the three, depending on the bass used. We have a few Warwicks that just work on anything, and a USA Lakland that also never fails. The Fender J's and P's are a little more particular, and I think, work best DI with a decent comp pedal. Of course, Flatwounds have a tremendously different sound from rounds, but both can work amped or DI with the right instrument and player.

Pedals I'll use on occasion; Keeley, Preacher or the comp in the trusty old big blue ME50 BOSS guitar multi-FX. Of course, 6176 has the 76 in line, and that always works well. Again, match it to the target sound, the instrument and the arrangement style.

I rarely bother doing more than one of these. If the sound is there, it's there. If it ain't, two or all three won't help. The biggest thing that impact the sound of the bass is the instrument, whether you are DI or amp/mic and of course the player. The Warwicks sound different from Laklands and the Fenders, and micing and amp has a sound, just like DI has a sound. I've used a lot of different DI boxes, and they all sound about the same to me. Amps are whatever you dial in, and of course the mic will have a sound.

"Buy this DI or preamp, and get great bass sound," is mythology, IMHO. A good player can adjust to the chain, and draw a punchy sound out of any setup as long as everything is working well, although the optimal setup for the song and style will offer the very best results. You just need options and ears.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Alight. Lot's of ideas and wisdom in your replies, thanks for taking the time!
I personally will be playing the bass even though I am actually a guitar player. But it's a solo project so I guess I'm on my own! The bass I'll be using is one I recently acquired, a G&L USA L-2000. I do have a bit of time to experiment with tones, so for sure I can try with what I have. But I don't have an actual DI so I guess I'd need to buy one to experiment with it. The style of music will be from melodic pop/folk/jazzy with acoustic/electric guitars, piano, drums, to light indie-style rock.

Preamps currently owned: Sebatron 4 channels tube pre - Great River pre. Compressors: 1176 - Drawmer 1978 (La2a on the way)

Another question to add would be, what are good options of dirt pedals if I don't get it from an amp?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
Alight. Lot's of ideas and wisdom in your replies, thanks for taking the time!
I personally will be playing the bass even though I am actually a guitar player. But it's a solo project so I guess I'm on my own! The bass I'll be using is one I recently acquired, a G&L USA L-2000. I do have a bit of time to experiment with tones, so for sure I can try with what I have. But I don't have an actual DI so I guess I'd need to buy one to experiment with it. The style of music will be from melodic pop/folk/jazzy with acoustic/electric guitars, piano, drums, to light indie-style rock.

Preamps currently owned: Sebatron 4 channels tube pre - Great River pre. Compressors: 1176 - Drawmer 1978 (La2a on the way)

Another question to add would be, what are good options of dirt pedals if I don't get it from an amp?
Btw you are using a great bass! You should get s great tone out of that without any issues, it can produce a huge number of tones.

Regarding dirt, check out Aguilar Agro, anything by dark glass. The way huge pork loin is a really good subtle over drive, it's a guitar pedal but used loads on bass because it sounds good. Also don't forget Sansamp.

TBH there are loads of pedals to choose from, I would take your bass to a shop and have a play around. As I mentioned before your bass is very good and has a seriously good preamp already inside it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
Alight. Lot's of ideas and wisdom in your replies, thanks for taking the time!
I personally will be playing the bass even though I am actually a guitar player. But it's a solo project so I guess I'm on my own! The bass I'll be using is one I recently acquired, a G&L USA L-2000. I do have a bit of time to experiment with tones, so for sure I can try with what I have. But I don't have an actual DI so I guess I'd need to buy one to experiment with it. The style of music will be from melodic pop/folk/jazzy with acoustic/electric guitars, piano, drums, to light indie-style rock.

Preamps currently owned: Sebatron 4 channels tube pre - Great River pre. Compressors: 1176 - Drawmer 1978 (La2a on the way)

Another question to add would be, what are good options of dirt pedals if I don't get it from an amp?
Sebatron (although they make them here) never worked for us. Tried without any luck. Great river DI is one of the better ones out there for bass and kick. We have a bunck of VERY expensive DIs here (tube and SS) and GR hold it with the best of them
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethem View Post
Btw you are using a great bass! You should get s great tone out of that without any issues, it can produce a huge number of tones.

Regarding dirt, check out Aguilar Agro, anything by dark glass. The way huge pork loin is a really good subtle over drive, it's a guitar pedal but used loads on bass because it sounds good. Also don't forget Sansamp.

TBH there are loads of pedals to choose from, I would take your bass to a shop and have a play around. As I mentioned before your bass is very good and has a seriously good preamp already inside it.
The best dirt pedals/pres are made by Darkglass electronics and Free The Tone.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
The best dirt pedals/pres are made by Darkglass electronics and Free The Tone.
When I was shopping for a distortion pedal I tested the b7k, b3k, vintage microtubes and the Agro amongst several others not worth naming. Those 4 stood out to me and I went for Agro in the end as it was my fav of the 4. I like the dark glass pedals a lot however they are quite metal sounding and I was aiming for a more contemporary post punk sound.

Gotta say though these pedals are not cheap! All cost more than £200
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethem View Post
When I was shopping for a distortion pedal I tested the b7k, b3k, vintage microtubes and the Agro amongst several others not worth naming. Those 4 stood out to me and I went for Agro in the end as it was my fav of the 4. I like the dark glass pedals a lot however they are quite metal sounding and I was aiming for a more contemporary post punk sound.

Gotta say though these pedals are not cheap! All cost more than £200
The vintage versions of DarkGlass are very non-metal. Free the Tone is in another league. So are the providence pres.
I had Agro ever since it was a 3/4 rack pre-amp, not an amp. Its very fuzzy and brittle at high gain. A better rack-mount pre was the Ampeg signature one, with ch2 being a distortion channel. I have 2 of them but cannot remember the model name at the moment
The Australian CHUNK Systems pedals were also not bad
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
I personally will be playing the bass even though I am actually a guitar player. But it's a solo project so I guess I'm on my own!
Probably the most important thing you can do as a guitar player is to study bass players, what and how they play on records.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominicl View Post
The bass I'll be using is one I recently acquired, a G&L USA L-2000.
I'll second that this is a great bass! Lots of power and variety of tones.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Head
 
Jamie_72's Avatar
 

Quote:
For this album, I will not be using a bass amp at all. Would any of the following be a favourable option?:

1. buying a Mesa Subway pre/DI and going into my Great River
2. buying a REDDI and going into my Great River
3. Recording directly into my Sebatron VMPQuadPlus tube mic pre
The best results I have got when recording bass have always been through a minimal signal path and usually incorporating valves.
Transformers in the signal path can sometimes add a ceratin glow or color but also have a tendency to slow down the sound and affect upper harmonic detail.

The direct approach is the best one and that's why I'd recommend recording the bass through the Sebatron VMP direct input.
The Sebatron sound is fast and full width.I think with the bass you have you need not acquire any other articles.
Any extra processing is best left in the box so you can sculpt the signal in the context of the material.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

I get a good direct sound plugging into the Di input on the Great River. But my best sounds are Direct plus miced cab with an old U5 421 then time align. more options use both or one or the other!
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