Helpful ReplyBass recording setup for home studio options?

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Billy86
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2017/05/19 17:08:46 (permalink)

Bass recording setup for home studio options?

I have a small home studio in an extra bedroom, so space is kinda tight. I’m looking at getting away from playing a virtual bass with my keyboard and getting an actual bass guitar.
 
Option 1 is plugging a bass directly into my Scarlett 2i4 interface and playing through a virtual amp, something along the lines of the Ampeg VSTs that come in some of the Amplitude packages.
 
Option 2 is running the bass through a compact combo bass head/amp, like the Ampeg B-108. Going this route, I’m assuming I can come directly out of the Ampeg’s headphone-out into the 2i4 Left for mono recording, AND mic the amp and run that into the 2i4 Right simultaneously for stereo recording. Right?
 
I don’t have the room for a huge bass amp rig. Even a full-size bass might be cramped, so I’m thinking maybe a short-scale bass is the way to go. Would love to know some experienced opinions on my thinking, and if there are any other options I should consider.
 
Thanks so much!
Billy

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#1
35mm
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 17:29:48 (permalink)
I usually plug my bass into an instrument input on my Focusrite and use GuitarRig to get the sound. Bear in mind if you use an actual bass amp/cab, you will need a good large diaphragm dynamic bass mic such as a D112. Going out of the headphone output won't do you any favours. If the amp has a DI output that would be better.
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Zargg
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 17:44:52 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby glennstanton 2017/05/24 15:31:20
Hi. I record all my bass via DI. I usually keep it "clean" (via LA 610) and don't use amp sims for bass.
I use EQ, Compressor(s), a little reverb etc to get the last finishing touches.
All the best.
post edited by Zargg - 2017/05/19 21:38:30

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Slugbaby
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 17:56:54 (permalink)
Billy86
 
Option 1 is plugging a bass directly into my Scarlett 2i4 interface and playing through a virtual amp, something along the lines of the Ampeg VSTs that come in some of the Amplitude packages.
 


This is exactly what I do, with great results.
Scarlett 2i2 into Ampeg SVX.

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#4
THambrecht
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 18:11:59 (permalink)
I play Bass direct in to a SPL Gain Station (Tube Pre Amp) and its output to the Audio Interface. Depending on the song I use UAD plugins for Amp simulaton or only a limiter.
I prefer to record a clean bass. Then you can still make changes to the sound.
 

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#5
jpetersen
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 18:39:15 (permalink)
Bass and small rooms don't mix well. Wavelengths are just too long.
I also DI and do the rest with plugs or an amp sim pedal (optional).
 
I have played bass most of my life and own many instruments, yet only one records to my satisfaction.
 
Usually I use a synth or sampled bass and think like a bass player whilst recording.
 
If the bass is featured in the song (as opposed to just being one of many instruments), I might add
some slides, squeaks and scrapes to give it some life.
#6
Bristol_Jonesey
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 18:52:13 (permalink)
I Di into the Focusrite and get a great clean sound. 
 
I do have a Behringer Bass V-Amp rack unit and it's reasonably ok if you take the time to set up your own patches.
 
The default ones, to my ears, just don't work too well in a mix context.

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slyman
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 18:55:27 (permalink)
Slugbaby
Billy86
 
Option 1 is plugging a bass directly into my Scarlett 2i4 interface and playing through a virtual amp, something along the lines of the Ampeg VSTs that come in some of the Amplitude packages.
 


This is exactly what I do, with great results.
Scarlett 2i2 into Ampeg SVX.




+1

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Rob[at]Sound-Rehab
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 19:23:00 (permalink)
yeah. it's all been said. no point to mic an amp if you haven't got the room. record DI and apply amp sims as you like.
 
i would just add: buy a good bass. don't be stingy. it'll last you a life time and if you get a crappy one, it's not going to sound good, no matter what you throw at it

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#9
snaut2000
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 19:33:25 (permalink)
I can highly recommend the Tech21 VT-Bass Pedal. It gives you a great tone right out of the box. It simulates several Ampeg Amps from very round to distorted. The Deluxe version gives you the possibility to save sounds and to record the wet and the dry sound simultaniously.
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Billy86
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 19:34:51 (permalink)
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I have a two-channel A.R.T. passive direct box. Is that the kind of DI that will work before going into the Scarlett?
 
Should some sort of tube pre-amp also figure into the equation/signal flow? The Scarlett claims to have great pre-amps built in...

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bitman
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 19:46:29 (permalink)
Line 6 Bass POD.
 
Bass good, troubles over.
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snaut2000
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 19:56:21 (permalink)
 
Billy86
 I have a two-channel A.R.T. passive direct box. Is that the kind of DI that will work before going into the Scarlett?
 


I would plug the bass directly into the scarlet instument jack. No need for another DI box.
 
 



 
#13
bluzdog
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 20:06:06 (permalink)
Billy86
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I have a two-channel A.R.T. passive direct box. Is that the kind of DI that will work before going into the Scarlett?
 
Should some sort of tube pre-amp also figure into the equation/signal flow? The Scarlett claims to have great pre-amps built in...




I would try both direct into your interface and the ART box (not at the same time). You might find that you like one better than the other.
 
Rocky
 
#14
kicksville
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 20:09:47 (permalink)
Neve RNDI. Bonus: it's a lot cheaper than you'd think from the name on the chassis.

http://rupertneve.com/products/rndi/
#15
AT
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 21:31:42 (permalink)
Bass di sounds great through a warm audio wa12 - or an ISA One.  Then you can add whatever kind of virtual amping for the mix.  I've used a TC Electric interface DI and that worked fine too, so the scarlet should work too.

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gcolbert
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/19 21:34:05 (permalink)
I just plug the bass directly into my VS-100 and record raw.  I use Guitar Rig to get the tone I want.
BTW, I've found that Melodyne tightens up the raw bass track, fixing intonation issues.  Not sure I would want to do that with a mic'ed track.
 
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#17
McMoore11
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/20 13:12:06 (permalink)
For me it depends on the bass, but always direct.
For the picked Rickenbacker 4001 with roundwounds I go into a Black Lion B173 > Ashly SC50 > Motu 896mk3 plugged direct.
For the Roscoe 5 with roundwounds and the BSX upright I go direct into a modified ART TubePac.  Love the compression on that for a 5 string > Motu 896mk3.
The flatwound Fender P goes direct into a Black Lion Auteur > Ashly SC50 > Motu.
Mogami cables.
Once I have the performance I like I then clone that twice for 3 bass tracks and move them to a 'bass' folder and send all three tracks to a bass aux.
Track 1 is my direct sound.  I'll use that purely for bottom by low passing aggressively to somewhere around 250.
Track 2 is my amp sound.  I'll use Waves GTR for an Ampeg SVT sim and high pass at 200, making this my defined character sound.
Track 3 is distortion.  On this I'll either plug in Decapitator or a Marshall amp sim with Waves GTR cranked with virtually no bottom end.
Mix the 3 to taste and control overall bass volume with the bass aux.
On the aux I'll use ProChannel to sculpt eq by high passing at 60 with a gentle slope to leave room for the kick down there.  Notching out 3db 400hz get rid of a lot of mud and gives good detail to the sound.
Now I'll insert a Waves CLA76 and a multiband compressor to smooth the signal out.  After that it goes to a parallel compressor with the kick aux for 'bouff' thump.
This is probably more than you asked for but I get excited about sharing things I learn.
Cheers,
Mark.
 

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#18
Cactus Music
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/20 16:29:35 (permalink)
Getting a good bass sound is a huge topic just like guitar. A lot depends on the type of music being recorded. 
And we do have the 2 options of using real or using a VST. 
Real:
Pros- if your a good bass player using a good bass there's nothing that can match a real bass track. And this is certainly a time saver if your a one take wonder.  There are things you play, very subtle things, that make a great bass track, these cannot be duplicated by a VST unless your willing to spend a month editing midi notes. For certain styles of music it is the only way to go. 
 
Cons- $$$- You need to spend the money and buy a good Bass with top quality Pups. Then you should have a good quality front end for it. Sure you can get away with plugging directly to some interfaces, but not all will give good results. My Scarlett 6i6 is one of them ( see later) 
 
VST:
Pros- It's free ( with Sonar) If your a better keyboard player than a Bass player VST are the way to go. We also now have the ability to play a bass part on a real bass or even a guitar and drop it to a Midi track. I like this a lot and will use this for my backing tracks exclusively to keep my bass the same song to song. You don't need a good bass or even worry about hitting bad note. Midi can fix anything! Best reason to own Sonar with Melodyn. 
 
Cons- It can take longer to build a good bass track manually (or poorly played).  For some styles of music the bass tone is pretty important and your not going to fool everyone that this was a real bass. But hey, you can come pretty darn close these days..
 
Using a real bass: 
The problem for me with going direct to my Scarlett 6i6 was the 6I6 pre amps are not very forgiving and I would always have a few overs. I did not have this issue with my Tascam interface so this is a design flaw. Bass needs to be tamed with a compressor so I bought a Joe Meek 3Q and problem solved. There are many solutions to bass front end and one needs to decide what suits their needs and tone. I also bought a little Fender Rumble 100 and that thing is amazing. It has a XLR ( DI) output that is ahead of the master volume and this allows me to set the monitoring level from right off to window rattle using the master. I find I play much better having the little 12" speaker right there at my feet while I lay down tracks. I have the headphones on to eliminate latency and I can feel my every touch of the strings.   I you need a small Bass amp check them out. 
I am looking at purchasing a Radial Bassbone. THAT is as good as it gets for bass DI. 

Johnny V  
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#19
JCB
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/20 21:15:14 (permalink)
Hi, I am in a home setting in what seems like similar circumstances. I use a Squier P-Bass with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickup installed and I find this works fine for me. As mentioned by another, like guitars, everyone has their own idea of what they like.
I connect the Bass direct into my Audio Interface on the Instrument setting. I have used it this way for many years through a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 and now a Clarett 4 Pre and I'm happy with this setup. I treat the track with LP-64 EQ and the Sonitus Compressor.
Hope this helps.
JCB

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ryecatchermark
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/20 22:59:39 (permalink)
I use a US Fender P Bass and a blend of DI through a UA 6176, tech21 sansamp hardware and the Waves CLA bass plugin. I make sure all three tracks are in phase. You can get a wide range of bass sounds with different balances of all three. Sometimes I'll use a IK precision compressor on the bass bus in the mix. I have also used melodyne on occasion to fine tune a bass track.

Mark K.
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#21
dlesaux
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/21 00:31:55 (permalink)
You should check out Overload Mark Bass.. Awesome Bass Amp sim.

Peace!
Daniel

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Steve_Karl
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/22 05:11:54 (permalink)
I go direct into sound card with my Musicman Stingray, don't use and amp sim, just some compression and EQ in prochannel and am getting great results.

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#23
Bflat5
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/22 06:30:22 (permalink)
Another option if the DI thing isn't what you want is to buy or build an isobox.
You can have that amp sound, with te speaker you want and mic(s) you want.
 
I have been using IR's, sims, etc. to record silently and while they sound good, they just don't have MY amp tone. I don't really have an issue with sound levels I just prefer my neighbors not hear what I'm doing and was keeping my amp at a bedroom level. That doesn't really let the full tone out of a 100w tube amp. Now I can crank it, barely hear it and record the guitar with excellent results.
post edited by Bflat5 - 2017/05/24 22:10:47

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#24
tlw
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/22 12:58:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Steve_Karl 2017/05/22 15:58:54
Yet another option - DI the bass through a bass pre-amp such as one of the MXR or Sansamp ones. I've used an MXR one for years and it adds warmth and punch in a way I find much harder to get with digital/software amp sims.

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#25
stevec
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/23 18:11:48 (permalink)
Like others above, I'm in the simplicity category - cheap Rogue bass direct into a Focusrite 18i6.  I've used my fair share of amp sims, but for my last few tunes I've stuck mostly with EQ and compression.  Quite simple, but in the context of a mix it seems work. 
 
Songs using the above are in my sig if you're interested.

SteveC
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#26
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/23 18:40:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Steve_Karl 2017/05/25 12:55:49
If the OP is looking for a straight DI bass recording, a higher-end preamp is a god-send.
I've had 101 different devices for recording electric bass.
For straight DI, nothing has made it as easy as the Neve Poritco II. 
Plug-in a decent bass... and the sound straight off the preamp is awesome.
Not cheap... but it's like getting a gear upgrade across all your mics and instruments.
 
If you're looking for more of an "amp'd up" type sound, checkout the Helix LT.
Helix is great for recording guitar and bass.
Has nice impedance appropriate input, 123dB dynamic range on the A/D, great amp & effects, and functions as an audio interface.
 
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#27
tlw
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/23 19:25:40 (permalink)
stevec
or my last few tunes I've stuck mostly with EQ and compression.  Quite simple, but in the context of a mix it seems work. 

 
Countless good bass recordings have been made that way - live sound is often done the same way, with the bass split by a DI box before the stage amp.
 

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#28
chuckebaby
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/24 10:19:31 (permalink)
I record almost every Bass track in to an outboard compressor first (just light compression to tame the transients).
That goes directly in to DI in to my Focusrite mic pres.
I typically double every stringed bass track with a synth of some sort to fatten up the sound.
its time consuming but once you have done it 20-30 times it becomes easy because you know the note values you are looking for.
Adding saturation and compression are a must for any bass track.
I have never found any benefits from recording bass with a mic unless the room was good and the amp was good.

Chuck Jones 
The Elements Of Love
Windows 8.1 X64 Sonar Platinum x64
Custom built: Asrock z97 1150 - Intel I7 4790k - 16GB corsair DDR3 1600 - PNY SSD 220GB
Focusrite Saffire 18I8 - Mackie Control
   
My Sonar X2 tutorials:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjZS61Wg-XY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruAnAPR6-hQ
#29
MacFurse
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Re: Bass recording setup for home studio options? 2017/05/24 12:51:17 (permalink)
I'm the same as most and DI. and have pretty much tried everything except high end pre's. I use various Ibanez bass's I've collected and a US P bass. Every time I like a bass on something I can check on, the bass used was an old, real, P bass. Just goes to show......
 
I DI, to my scarlett. and line out to a Behringer combo for feel, and my fav in Amplitube is the Trace Elliot head, but I use a lot of different ones. I've miked and recorded both direct and cab on many occasions, but have never used the cab track in the mix, so I no longer bother. I do for some guitar work however, to get extra bottoms into the mix, but for bass you can add your bass audio source to midi, and synth your way to achieve what your looking for if your after something different.
 
While talking different, my basses are all shod different. Flat stainless, heavy round wound and light round wound, and I have a fair collection of strings in the box that I can change over. If you buy good strings and keep them clean, they can last for ages. I've had one set of flat wounds since the 80's, and they gigged 5 days a week for quite some time. They are retired, but I still put them on every now and then when looking for a wooden, upright sound.
 
So many options hey. But the general flow from this thread is record direct, clean, good bass, spending what you can afford. Can't go wrong really.

Platinum. i7 4771 3.5ghz. ECU H87 mobo with 3 monitor support. 16gb Ripjaws 1600mhz. Focusrite 18i20. 2 x 250gb Samsung EVO SSD's OP/Programs. 2x1TB Seagate Baracuda sata3 data drives. 200gb sata2 bootable drive for online and downloading only. Seagate 2tb USB 3.0 backup drive.  2x27in monitors. Rode K2 valve mic. Sontronics STC-1 pair. Studio Projects B1 condenser. SM58B. SM57B. Presonus Eureka Preamp.
#30
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