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Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

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Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby dafeda » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:02 pm

Hi,

I'm a bit worried this question might be silly, but hopefully it will lead to an interesting discussion.

I'm recording bass guitar directly via my Apollo Twin card. My bass has active pick-ups which is apparently a good thing due to some impedance matching thing I do not understand. (feel free to explain if you are bored)
I record my bass so that the levels are a round -18dBFS which has been recommended here on the forums several times.

Now to the fun stuff. Could you recommend a Nebula chain to get a "nice" bass sound? People like different things of course, but what would I use if I were recording in a proper studio?
I have Henry Olongas all you can eat bundle which includes a few bass amps. I've tried these and the results are ok, but not great. Is it enough to just put one of these amps on my track, and then EQ to taste during mixing, or should my signal chain contain something else?

Hope somebody has the time to give me some hints. Thanks.
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby davidgary73 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:45 pm

dafeda wrote:Hi,

I'm a bit worried this question might be silly, but hopefully it will lead to an interesting discussion.

I'm recording bass guitar directly via my Apollo Twin card. My bass has active pick-ups which is apparently a good thing due to some impedance matching thing I do not understand. (feel free to explain if you are bored)
I record my bass so that the levels are a round -18dBFS which has been recommended here on the forums several times.

Now to the fun stuff. Could you recommend a Nebula chain to get a "nice" bass sound? People like different things of course, but what would I use if I were recording in a proper studio?
I have Henry Olongas all you can eat bundle which includes a few bass amps. I've tried these and the results are ok, but not great. Is it enough to just put one of these amps on my track, and then EQ to taste during mixing, or should my signal chain contain something else?

Hope somebody has the time to give me some hints. Thanks.


Hi dafeda, these are just my suggestions and hope this helps.

Since you have HO libs, you can try this chain:

Ho Tape -> Ho Preamp -> Ho Bass amp

If you have AlexB consoles, you can add the console mic/line input:

Ho Tape -> Ho preamp -> Ho Bass Amp -> AlexB Console mic/line input

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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby dafeda » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:51 pm

Thank you for the suggestions, will try them at once!
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby botus99 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:29 pm

I use HO's programs all the time on DI bass tracks. His Boostified Bass programs are FANTASTIC. Many times, I will opt out of using a bass cab in favor of processing just the DI though.
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby dafeda » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:44 pm

botus99 wrote:I use HO's programs all the time on DI bass tracks. His Boostified Bass programs are FANTASTIC. Many times, I will opt out of using a bass cab in favor of processing just the DI though.


I can't seem to find the boostified bass programs. I've looked under HO->AMP and HO->BASS.

I got a sound I like by doing what davidgary told me. Put a random tape and preamp preset on, and used GK_Bass_SM57. Either are these libraries sounding really good, or I've drank the kool-aid :)
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby botus99 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:50 am

dafeda wrote:I can't seem to find the boostified bass programs. I've looked under HO->AMP and HO->BASS.

I got a sound I like by doing what davidgary told me. Put a random tape and preamp preset on, and used GK_Bass_SM57. Either are these libraries sounding really good, or I've drank the kool-aid :)


It's still the best kool-aid I've drank yet. I'll tell you that much haha. They should be in the HO->BAS catagory. You'll see BUG, G20, E*I, NV, and TCS. Personally, I LOVE the NV and BUG ones! NV for a "modern vintage" sound, and BUG for straight vintage. It's definitely something to try at some point. Using them in combination with other preamps and tapes can bring some phenomenal results too!
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby dafeda » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:32 am

I'm starting to get sounds I really like. Thank you people!
I usually need to compress my bass-playing quite a bit since I play quite uneven (need to practice more). Do you use any Nebula compressors or use something else?
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby davidgary73 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:40 am

dafeda wrote:I'm starting to get sounds I really like. Thank you people!
I usually need to compress my bass-playing quite a bit since I play quite uneven (need to practice more). Do you use any Nebula compressors or use something else?


Tim Petherick's Sum100a comp is great on bass.

AlexB N54 comp is another good comp for bass with tons of low end where you may need an EQ to scope out if it's too much.
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby dafeda » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:49 am

davidgary73 wrote:Tim Petherick's Sum100a comp is great on bass.

AlexB N54 comp is another good comp for bass with tons of low end where you may need an EQ to scope out if it's too much.


Thank you for the suggestions.
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Re: Getting a decent bass guitar sound recorded DI.

Postby Brian » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:10 pm

+1 for the Sum100a library on bass. Opto 3a is nice as well. They both seem to handle lows and have an envelope that behaves more predictably than many other Nebula libraries (similar to HW or other plugin compressors when going into deeper gain reduction).

The Opto 3a will probably accentuate the mids a bit more, while the Sum may enhance the weight and low end.

Start experimenting with the free preamps you have with the HO bundle first. I've always had good luck with Helios or N**e style preamps on bass.

TimP's 1102 EQ is great too, as it has a very bass-friendly driven preamp program as well as a massive sounding low shelf boost. Try a huge boost at 60 or 110 and either a 360 mid cut to tame wooliness or a 700/1.6k boost for wood tone or definition.

Lastly - as a general production technique, it often works well to use an aggressively treated DI (think heavy compression and EQ boosting for a tight and very stable low end) with a parallel signal running through an amp or amp sim for the attitude and midrange presence. Filter the lows out of the amp track and balance the two channels as desired. Good luck!

Also never underestimate how much saturation or high mids you can add to a bass in a busy mix. Tweak these in context with everything playing - it may sound hideous when soloed, but sometimes it really takes a lot of mangling to make bass cut through on smaller speakers.
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