#1
The title says it all. I need to record some bass, but every time I do, the bass either clips the mic (regardless of how much I turn down the sensitivity), or just sounds like crap.

I'll start by posting what I'm using in terms of bass guitar/amp/mic setup:

Rickenbacker 4003 Bass (w/ customizations)
Fender Rumble 100 Bass amplifier
Samson G-Track Condensor Mic

I'll list the customizations on the bass, because there are a few.

Two EMG Pickups (Humbucker, Jazz)
Custom Neck (the original neck had a cracked truss rod, so a new one was created for the guitar)
On/Off Switches for each pickup

The original Rickenbacker pickup is still there, too, so there are three pickups.

Also, I use Guitar Tracks Pro II Recording Software, by Cakewalk.

Now that that's covered... Here's a list of procedures that I've tried:

Distance-Miking: If I do any distance miking, the bass sounds really hollow, and empty. There isn't a very full tone to it. I don't have a drummer, and I record the guitar myself, so I need the bass and rhythm guitar to take up as much space in a recording as possible, so this doesn't work.

Close-miking: Whenever I close mic, the bass clips the mic in some way, regardless of how much I turn down the mic sensitivity. Plus, it sounds a bit small, which is probably due to how close the mic is (it's not right up on the amplifier, either). Jimmy Page says that distance = depth, though I have yet to try this.

Anyway, I was looking for some suggestions as to where I may want to place my mic, and about what volume? So, you know my situation. Can you help me?

Thanks for any and all (serious) answers.

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#2
well i dont understand how it clips when you say you turned it right down but have you tried di'ing the bass?
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#3
i would like to know the same
i always thought when i recorded my bass player
i would mic and di and mix them
but. if it is gonna clip i guess i would jsut di
maybe don't use a condenser mic?
not sure man
#4
I'm not sure exactly how the bass clipped in the recording that it did this (I've only recorded it a few times, and only once had this issue). I remember having the amp about as loud as I do the guitar. I've done the guitar at this volume many many times, rhythm and lead, and never clipped on me. If you wanna hear the recording that it did this on, I'd be happy to post it in my profile for you to see what I'm talking about.

DI = Direct Input? I'm a n00b with recording, and haven't played around very much either, so I wouldn't have the first clue what that means. If it means direct input, then I have tried that. The problem was a buzzy tone, and most of the stuff I'm recording is very quiet, so the buzz makes it's way in.
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#5
Mic'ing up a bass amp alot harder than mic'ing a guitar amp, have you ever noticed the further you stand away from your bass amp the more different/better it sounds? try and find a good balance between a full bass sound without much room noise. (this is why mixing with a d.i'd signal is good as well)
also a lot of the time the problem is that while people are monitoring there levels they are play a lot softer than what they play while recording (because they get into the grove n what not) when your monitoring your levels play louder than you will when you record and adjust your input gain to that, that will give you a bit of space while recording. also compress the bass. sorry if that doesn't make sense i got about a 100 things going at once and a killer headache

Edit: its also possible that it inst clipping.... it could be random popping that sometimes happen, especially if your using a usb interface
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Last edited by groll01 at Feb 11, 2008,
#7
Chances are you have too much bass. Your normal playing tone ALWAYS has WAYYY too much bass for recording and whatnot. Turn it, you'll end up filtering it out in mixing anyways.

Try a combination of a dynamic up close in guitar cab micing fashion, a 421 is preferable here, but a 57 will do. Then mic back a good ways (4 feet +) with a condenser, off axis just a smidgen. The dynamic captures your definition and harmonic content, the condenser your smoothness and bass. You should have to do relatively little EQing once you get the mics set properly and have your levels right. You should be peaking at about -6dB in 16bit on your lowest open string.

Mix the 2 mics to test, check phase, and youre ready to go.
#8
Alright, thanks guys.
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#9
When you tried DI'ing before, did you use a DI box, or just plug your bass into your computer? Because if you did the latter, that's why it sounded rubbish.
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