Couldn't find any other threads on this. I'm not the bassist in my band but we have been trying to record bass to our songs and its just impossible to make it sound good.
The bass doesn't "boom" like we'd like, without making the song muddy.
And no matter what settings we try, the higher notes are almost non existant, while low notes are too loud.

Bass is pretty hard to record.
Help please?
What are you recording on? When my band recorded on my computer with Audacity we had to plug the bass into my processor to amplify it. But if the low notes are too loud tell him to pluck the strings softer and the higher notes harder. Bassist shouldn't have to pluck their stings hard anyway. If it sounds kinda murky then record the bass quiet and bring the volume up after you've recorded it. You could also try recording the bass quiet and bring the other instruments down to the volume of the bass. Not sure if this will help, but I hope it does.
You can either use DI, a mike in front of the amp of a combination of the two.

If the notes are unablenced, make sure the bassist is EQing sensibly.
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It would help if you said what you were recording with, I record bass with an 8-track recorder and it sounds fine if I plug straight and use effects to boost it a little.
Making something sound good live and on record are two different ball parks! When I record bass with my band, we use two tracks in either ProTools or Adobe Audition. One signal comes from a miked cabinet, the second comes from a borrowed Sansamp DI with very, very little distortion.

The miked signal usually has a more aggressive sound (with the benefit of less string noise), and the DI signal's gotta be clean clean clean! When you record your cab into a mike, it helps to record loud. Also, make sure you EQ your amp so it fits well within the guitar and kick-drum frequencies; i.e. don't add gobs of 50Hz and below, or super-high 8KHz morse-code. In general, you want it clean, punchy, and loud. Distortion is the fastest way to get buried. Once you've got a solid sound, just keep it until everything else is said and done, and if your tone still doesn't work, do it again!
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Whatever method or recording medium you use; bandpass filtering never goes amiss.

As a guide, I go for a high pass at 50Hz, then a low pass at 5Khz. Use pan and a touch of reverb to simulate the physical placement of the instruments in your stage setup. Make it sound as it would look, so to say.
If you've got fx you can't live without, try keeping them to one channel, and blending it with a clean channel.

It's such a complex subject, hope this helps!
Hmm I recently had a problem like this when recording my Bass (my direct amp to comp setup just stopped picking up my signal).

Basically I need a recording setup that allows for an audible Bass tone that maintains the "massive kick to the nuts" feel that I get from overdriving my amp.

Anyone have any ideas?
Last edited by RockDJ at May 26, 2008,
Mike it real close to the amp, getting some super dirty natural distortion. That will get some crazy kick.
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Mike it real close to the amp, getting some super dirty natural distortion. That will get some crazy kick.

Sounds good, but do you know of any good mic stands? Anything around my amp tends to vibrate violently.
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Never thought of that.
i go from my amp to a mixer and i set my tones the way i like it then from the mixer to my computer if your bass is distorted you can either turn down the input volume or the gain,i use a compressor so it doesnt distort... thats only when im playing clean.
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I DI the amp to the desk. Its the easiest and i find it has the best results, but thats my opinion.
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I don't know what direct injection is? How do we do that?

and equipment we are using:

Yamaha mixer - MG16/6FX
recording onto Adobe Audition 1.5

we have been running the bass through his Peavey amp head and then runnin that to the mixer. so there is a large variety of combinations of settings we can try, on both the amp head and the mixer. and we dunno how to make it sound tasty.
DI in its' purest sense is just plugging the bass directly into the desk. Or there are bass-specific DI boxes available from Tech21, MXR and others. The have a transformer inside to buffer the output to your desk. They usually have some EQ and gain functions onboard too.
It's about the best way of getting a pure, clean bass tone recorded; it served John Deacon well enough - he always did his master takes straight into the desk.
A DI out on your amp will do roughly the same; it takes the signal off before the power amp section, so small voltages/currents are all that gets to the desk.

Ultimately, with a pure, clean signal, you can 're-amp' it later. I.E., run the signal from an output, thro' an amp or effect, back to the recording input.
Bass is also DI'd because it's a swine for leaching onto other tracks when recording a band 'live' (esp thro' the drums), and you kill the problem by removing the bass amp altogether.
When I record, I either D.I if I want a very smooth sound, or for something dirtier I record the amp using two mics in different places (generally 1 right next to the amp and 1 somewhere further away for a bit of reverb).
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best way 10.000dollars worth of studio gear

Not very helpful eh? I think if the TS had that kind of money, this thread would be moot.

Take the spam elsewhere...

To the TS--I've used Blue microphones and they can be good for a band recording situation, but DI really is best.

You may want to PM JazzRockFeel, if he doesn't chine in on this thread. He just did some rather nice recordings with his drummer, and bass sounded great.
in my oppinion, is sounds like the problem is all in the equalisation.

make sure the tone at the guitar's knob compliments the settings on the amps.
At the bassist's discretion, maybe play with a pick?
In the studio, A dynamic microphone usually works well with sensitive diaphram when recording.
A popular mic to use is the AKG D112.
But generally, a good DI box will work nicely.
The D112 is usually used on kick drums, so yeah it will have better bass response than a mic with a smaller diaphragm. My suggestion would be to use a DI box AND use a mic in front of your amp. Then you can mix the two sounds together.

Place the mic to the edge of the speaker cone, you'll get a less boomy sound.
hmm i guess we will try that but i still dont fully and completely understand it.
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DI that is

it's just a box for plugging the bass straight into the Mixing desk.

The reason they use them, instead of actually just plugging the bass straight into the desk, is because they lower the impedence of the signal from the bass, the high impedence would otherwise knacker the mixer.
See, I use my amp's XLR output. Since I have a Line 6 LD 300pro, it has a direct out XLR output and insteady of the normal direct sound, it simulates a mic'd cabinet.

But from my little expierence, just try different methods. I prefer the mic on the speaker and the mic about a foot or two away. See what you like, its your sound.
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