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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Recording Signal Path


What is your favorite signal path for RECORDING a killer bass sound?
July 6, 2001 @11:51pm

I'd personally also like to know about how people record acoustic bass through the best signal path. Perhaps this is a topic of its own?
July 7, 2001 @12:58am

are you talking about upright bass or acoustic bass guitar ?
I've only done 3-4 orchestral recordings, but one was of a string quartet....I was just starting out and didn't have the best mics available, and frankly didn't have much experience with that type of recording. so, i ended up using a large dynamic mic placed on the floor about 18 inches from the bottom of the bass, and then I had a small diaphram condensor that I used as an overhead.... I inverted the polarity of one of the mics and ended up with an incredibly good sound when I blended the two signals....super tight low end, and a nice airy richness. The room we were recording in was very nice, and that sure helped.
July 7, 2001 @06:47pm

I mic my amp only.
I use a EV RE20 mic about 4"-6" back from bottom speaker of 2x12 bass cab.
into a tubetech mp1a micpre, into a tubetech cl1b compressor into a calrec eq. I just use the filters on the eq.
the micpre has a 20 hz high pass filter- i have it on.
also on the calrec eq; high pass filter at 25 hz. this rolls off the super low bottom.
also, the low pass filter is set at 3.9 khz; this takes out all the highs which aren't needed for bass. leaves room for guitars, vocals, acoustics, etc.
I make sure i have enuf mids when i record; i can always cut out mids if there's too much; better to cut mids and highs than to add them generally.
bass rig is rickenbacker with humbuckers into vintage SVT into 2x12 swr bass cabinet.
July 24, 2001 @08:17pm

I've been having good luck with the following setup
I use an SWR head through an old Ampeg cabinet. That gets miked with either an EV RE20 or a large diaphragm condenser...or both. That seems to depend on my mood as much as anything and in the final analysis doesn't make a huge difference. Probably because I also use a direct signal right off the bass AND a signal through a Focusrite preamp that drives a Drawmer 1960.
It varies from project to project, but in the end I would say on average 40% of the final sound is the Focusrite/Drawmer combo, 40% is the direct feed, and the other 20% is the miked amp. When I'm doing more of a raw rock kind of thing I use more of the amp and less of the direct feed.
July 24, 2001 @11:14pm

I have only one recording where I've played an acoustic bass, but I'll describe it. The bass was a Dobro resonator bass, mic'ed with an EV-RE20, for a live-in-the-(radio)-studio acoustic blues show with Blue Sunday Dobro artist Tom Hubbard. The board tape I got had full-sounding bass, and it blended quite well with the resonator guitar.
I have many live recordings of various bands I've been in (usually made with a pair of AKG D-200E dynamic microphones hung from the ceiling in an 'X' pattern, run straight to two-track), and am reasonably happy with the overall sound and balance achieved in this fashion.
Almost all of my studio work has been done through a tube pre-amp (a Demeter, a TubeWorks or an Alembic), but otherwise sent straight to the board. I like the sound, but I have no gold or platinum hanging on my wall . . .
October 12, 2001 @08:35am
David Klausner

My typical setup for electric is running into the DI of a Summit MPC100 (for a little tube warmth, and the variable impedance control of the input is killer) into a blackface 1176 compressor. I experiment with other stuff as the track calls for it, but that is the standby.
Acoustic bass is very hard to capture without some isolation. The sound comes from all parts of the instrument, so in any situation where you have to close mic it, you can only capture part of the tone. Some of the best recordings I have done were with a Neumann SM69 large diaphragm stereo condensor, placed about 4-5 feet in front of the instrument, right around bridge height.
October 12, 2001 @02:42pm

Originally posted by DrGroove

I know this is a bit off topic for this thread, but I'm really interested in your impression etc. of the Dobro Resonator bass... you see, I used to work for the guy who invented this, and it's rather rare that I run into anyone who has played one, rarer still are those who own one... please don't see this as a loaded question, I'm just curious as to what kind of music you play, etc etc w/ the dobro.
Thanks for appeasing my curiosity! :D

I'm surprised that resonator basses aren't more popular, as they sound great and they're quite a bit louder acoustically than ABGs without a resonator cone. I'm not certain the vintage or heritage of the one I played, as I'm not the owner -- Tom Hubbard, the Dobro player I mentioned, added it to his impressive collection of resonators, and allows me to play it when we want its sound on a gig. It is a Dobro, and I think it was made at some time during Gibson's ownership of Dobro, but I'm not certain. Someone has added a Black Shadow pickup to it, and I've used it into an amp at non-recorded shows. I haven't measured the neck, but its scale is short, shorter than the 34-inch scale I'm accustomed to, but it feels quite comfortable to both hands, despite the fact it has roundwound Phosphor-Bronze acoustic bass guitar strings on it and I usually prefer the sound and feel of flatwounds. The style of music is Blues, covering artists like Tampa Red and Robert Johnson, as well as Tom's original music which is often described as 'Swamp Funk' -- dismal lyrics over a 'New Orleans second-line' feel, somewhat like early John Mooney. I hope this satisfied your curiosity, but I'll happily tell you more if you want/need.
October 18, 2001 @05:40am