Bass Guitars
Audio & music gear Bass Guitars
  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
  • Email

advice for recording electric bass tracks

 
AuthorsPosts

stevey_z

user offline
stevey_z
6 posts
New AFfiliate

1 Posted on 10/20/2014 at 06:43:43Direct link to this post
Hello all,

I'm recording in my bedroom AKA high-end professional studio. I've tried recording bass directly through my interface with different amp simulator plugins and compression. I've also plugged into my low-end amp and connected the amp line out to my interface. Finally, I've tried recording by miking up my cheap bass amp.

In all 3 techniques, I've never been able to get a real full bass tone, though recording it through a real amp seems best. Is this largely because my mic and amp is cheap? Or perhaps I'm not angling my mic properly? Or can you get a good tone DI? If so, what are the best things to do in order to get that full sound?

Any help will be very much appreciated

angelie

user offline
angelie
317 posts
AFfluent Poster

2 Posted on 10/20/2014 at 10:14:07Direct link to this post
Hi,

Well your recorded sound depends on the type of di, mic,amp and interface you have chosen.
The sound of bass is often recorded twice.
One track contains the di sound and the other track the actual bass amp. These two are mixed together as one sound.
Compression can help and also eq settings or distortion. The so called side chain compression can add character to the sound. So basically it is try and error.
Keep exploring the different methods and create your " own " sound.

sound on sound: better bass

Maybe the article above will help you.
Good luck and have fun.

-Angelie

It's not about what you got to use but how you use what you got.

[ Post last edited on 10/20/2014 at 10:26:44 ]

BroKen91

user offline
BroKen91
9 posts
New AFfiliate

3 Posted on 10/21/2014 at 01:34:48Direct link to this post
As you mentioned, you have a few choices depending on the final sound you're after. I usually DI into the DAW and apply VSTs, some compression and maybe another thing or 2 after the pure DI signal. Before applying any effects and processing the sound, I make sure I have a good signal through my interface and avoid any noticeable clipping. Through this method, you have flexibility regarding your final bass sound depending on your effects chain/amp simps/various plugins/etc.

You could also mic up an amp and record through the mic into your interface, and still add some compression and EQ afterwords if necessary, before working the levels. I find that doing so usually limits your final sound, unless you have trustworthy gear (mic/interface/bass/amp, above all else).

So long as you can get a bass tone you like directly in an amp, then you should be able to replicate that sound with a good enough yet still affordable home studio.

walk on

user offline
walk on
6 posts
New AFfiliate

4 Posted on 10/21/2014 at 02:07:39Direct link to this post
The method you use depends on the sound you're chasing for the particular genre of the recording. The ways to get any particular tone are endless so it's tough to give a clear-cut response, but I'll do my best.

I usually use a direct bass track and add a little compression or perhaps a very slight bit of distortion to a second track with a filter that cuts the lows. (Like angelie said, it's often a good idea to have 2 bass tracks, with one being DI). Doing this offers you the flexibility to have both the DI, 'bare' sound as well as another with some additional plugins, which you can pan and blend to your taste. Experimenting with and eventually perfecting this method will, imho, give you the most flexibility for any genre moving forward

Doktor Sven

user offline
Doktor Sven
27 posts
New AFfiliate

Contribution Score: 20

5 Posted on 10/27/2014 at 03:18:06Direct link to this post
Miking the amp at bedroom level won't give you the "snap" of the sound from a real bass amp, loud and gritty. For home studio applications, I would skip the microphones options altogether.

Then, there is the DI + software vs. preamp option. My guess is that sincee your amp is not of the hi end type, therefore, the DI / pream out may not be of the greatest type as well. Recording your bass direct into the interface and applying software amp simulation + compression is still the cheapest and most effective way to get yourself a good bass sound. The key here is to find what kind of amp type you're looking for (tubelike, with or whithout tube overdrive, or clean and pure ?) and then use the proper software.

My (free) personal favorites are: on a mac platform, the Tube DI preset in Garage Band (included in the standard version of garage band). On a Windows / VST configuration, the fender amp simulator from the simulanalog guitar suite. I know it's intended for guitar, but with low gain and proper EQ, their Fender bassman / twin simulator is very nice.

If you intend to invest a little money in your bass recording configuration, I would recommend testing a few preamp pedals from brands such as Sansamp, Aguilar, Eden or EBS. Try them at a store near you !

DIYaudio

user offline
DIYaudio
4 posts
New AFfiliate

6 Posted on 10/27/2014 at 05:26:03Direct link to this post
Quote from Doktor Sven:
Miking the amp at bedroom level won't give you the "snap" of the sound from a real bass amp, loud and gritty. For home studio applications, I would skip the microphones options altogether.

Then, there is the DI + software vs. preamp option. My guess is that sincee your amp is not of the hi end type, therefore, the DI / pream out may not be of the greatest type as well. Recording your bass direct into the interface and applying software amp simulation + compression is still the cheapest and most effective way to get yourself a good bass sound. The key here is to find what kind of amp type you're looking for (tubelike, with or whithout tube overdrive, or clean and pure ?) and then use the proper software.

My (free) personal favorites are: on a mac platform, the Tube DI preset in Garage Band (included in the standard version of garage band). On a Windows / VST configuration, the fender amp simulator from the simulanalog guitar suite. I know it's intended for guitar, but with low gain and proper EQ, their Fender bassman / twin simulator is very nice.

If you intend to invest a little money in your bass recording configuration, I would recommend testing a few preamp pedals from brands such as Sansamp, Aguilar, Eden or EBS. Try them at a store near you !


I agree with everything you said until I read your personal favorites section....I mean come on, Tube DI preset in Garageband!?!? Presets are bad enough, let alone one from garageband.

I love garageband, it's the very program that introduced me to the home studio world back in 2005. Incredibly intuitive and user-friendly, but lacking in many important areas. Above all, their sound banks are absolute hogwash compared to those found on le pou, amplitube, ezdrummer (for drum samples, obviously), it's truly an atrocity!

The only good thing about presets is to experiment/tweak them in order to learn about the different functions. The only good think about garageband is to learn some recording/mixing basics before getting a real, full-featured DAW. The only good thing about garageband AND it's presets?!? Nothing at all....

But back to the question, ya if you don't have a quality setup or recording space, I'd go with DI into your interface then add your favorite plugin(s) accordingly
Go back to top