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Author Topic: Recording Bass  (Read 1819 times)

oneflightup

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Recording Bass
« on: December 17, 2015, 06:11:25 am »

Hey everyone,

I recently interviewed one of Australia's top Bass players and asked him about how he gets his bass sounding great on record. Thought some of you might enjoy the read:

Recording Bass

So what are your tips and tricks for a great bass sound on record?

Nick

-------------
One Flight Up Sydney Recording Studios
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Fletcher

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Re: Recording Bass
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 03:46:21 pm »

One small technical inaccuracy:

N: So what kind of microphone are you using on the bass amplifier and where do you place it?

Dave: Generally a Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC) is best as the larger diaphragm is better for capturing low end frequencies.

Small diaphragm condenser microphones actually capture bass frequencies more accurately [which in some worlds, like mine - is better]... that said, there are "enhancements" some LDC microphones can make to a sound which can indeed be exceptionally musical / compliment the overall "vibe" of the song.  As all of this is really an art, it is of course highly subjective... from the "technical perspective", the LDC statement is inaccurate.

As for my personal "favorite bass path"... out of the bass into a DI [no product endorsement], from the DI to a Littlelabs "STD" into the control room where the DI signal will be split in two.  One side of the signal goes to a pre-amp [no product endorsement], then to a compressor / limiter / both [no product endorsement], the other side of the signal will be sent to a Littlelabs "IBP" which will feed another "STD" that goes to the bass amp.

A microphone is put in front of the bass amp [I usually prefer a ribbon mic like an RCA BK-5, or Royer R-121]... and that signal is sent to a pre-amp [no product endorsement], then to a compressor / limiter / both [no product endorsement] and finally to its own track.

I now balance the signals between the "DI" and the "Mic" tracks so their levels are relatively even... once there, I get the entire band to run down the song -- this is where the "IBP" comes into play.  I can now use the IBP" to alter the "vowel" of the resultant sound between the DI and the Mic signals.  The IBP" is an "all pass" filter which essentially doesn't change the "sound" of any specific sound until its referenced to another sound -- by its nature an "all pass" filter changes the internal phase relationship of the original sound... this ability to alter the phase relationship will result in some "comb filtering"... but you can control how and where this filtering occurs allowing you to basically EQ the resultant signal without using an equalizer [per se -- the IBP" works on the same principle as an equalizer, but doesn't have the "specific frequency boost / cut" capability].

Hope this is of some assistance.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

JSantos

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Re: Recording Bass
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 08:51:26 am »

I actually record bass guitar by using a Blue Baby Bottle microphone placed at the centre of the bass amplifier cone. I get enough bass frequencies and a neutral character from the bass guitar's characteristic in itself.

I achieve better sound using DI recording and re-amping using virtual amps from Amplitube from IK Multimedia.

Well, that's just me. I'm open to suggestions because I know this is pretty basic!
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