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Thread: Favorite Bass recording approach & gear?

  1. #11
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    I have an active Warwick that goes straight into the interface.

    After the event I might add some compression. Rarely any EQ.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by snow lizard View Post
    10:1 is about the minimum ratio you would want. Bad things happen below that. Consider a pickup with a relatively high output of say 15 K-Ohms (maybe a Gibson humbucker or something) connected to an amp with an input of 1 M-Ohms. This gives you a lot more than 10:1, and it's not a problem. The same pickup going into the passive JDI might start to give you some unwanted artifacts, whereas the J48 still maintains the 10:1 minimum.
    But impedance is almost never just one number. It is frequency dependent. The DIs are probably pretty close to flat over out frequencies of interest, but the pickup has a large inductive component which means the impedance gets big fast as the frequency goes up. That humbuckers might be 15K resistance at DC, but the impedance at 5KHz is 125KOhms! Even a 1M input doesn't quite get us to 10:1, but...

    ...The input impedance is usually in parallel with the load from the pots on the guitar. You'd probably have 500K for V and T for that pickup. Without getting too far into the math, when two impedances are in parallel, the total equivalent value is never larger than the smallest. If both are the same, the value is half, and as one gets bigger than the other, the total approaches the smaller value. So 500K V and T parallels to look like 250K by itself, and you'd like your load impedance to be about 10x that in order not to make things any worse.

    Now, a passive DI doesn't have much impedance of its own in either direction. What it does is "reflect" the impedance of whatever is attached to it. In practice, that means that the effective impedance is some multiple of the device at the other end. What you multiply by depends on the turn ratio. In a typical DI this factor should be around 130. So, the InZ (the load the bass sees) will 130x the impedance of the mic pre you plug it into. That will very often be like 1.5K, which comes out a little bigger than the JDI you cited, but still not big enough for my tastes. To be fair, though, I think a lot of people like these because of the way they shave off the very top edge of typical instruments. 15K is not typical by any means. 3K-8K is more realistic for most people.

    That active DI is also a lot smaller than most amp inputs. Again, I guess if you're trying to use this with as little processing as possible, it'll cut the zing maybe just enough. Heck, I've gotten some really great bass sounds plugging right into a 10K line input. It was like a free speaker sim and got us that deep, rounded, country bass feel we needed. OTOH - if you run into something more like 500K or 1M, you've got all the treble your bass could possibly give you available, and you can turn that T pot down if you feel the need.

    I always just plug into a buffered-bypass pedal and that into a line input, probably an amp sim, and then I'm rocking.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt

    Now, a passive DI doesn't have much impedance of its own in either direction. What it does is "reflect" the impedance of whatever is attached to it. In practice, that means that the effective impedance is some multiple of the device at the other end. What you multiply by depends on the turn ratio. In a typical DI this factor should be around 130. So, the InZ (the load the bass sees) will 130x the impedance of the mic pre you plug it into. That will very often be like 1.5K, which comes out a little bigger than the JDI you cited, but still not big enough for my tastes. To be fair, though, I think a lot of people like these because of the way they shave off the very top edge of typical instruments. 15K is not typical by any means. 3K-8K is more realistic for most people.
    The main thing the JDI has going for it is the sound quality. It's a nice direct box.

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    I plug direct into the interface. I used to use a little EQ and an 1176 plug to smash it to taste. The tone was very "growly" and articulate. Nice highs and lows, but not a typical bass tone as expected in a classic rock type of tune. The bass was a Yamaha with a P/J pickup config. I used both pickups.

    Now I use the UAD Ampeg sim plug then the 1176 to smash it. I get a classic bass tone. I'm using either a P-Bass or a custom built with a J bass pickup config and active pre.

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    I can't say I get the greatest sounding bass, but I plug direct in, sometimes an amp sim, sometimes just EQ and fool around with the sound until I like it.

    The one thing I started doing is putting foam on the strings and really like that dead sound. I read about somewhere on the board, looked at a couple of links, but I really dig the sound it gives. Sometime I take out the foam, but not often. Maybe it covers up my less than stellar playing. But it is different and noticeable.
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    An SVT or decent simulation thereof is like cheating for most things on the rock side of the world. A good bassist (!!!) and a decent bass and you plug into the SVT and turn the knobs till it sounds good. Shouldn't need any compression or limiting or EQ or anything. Done. Print it. Next.

  7. #17
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    I'll vouch for that SVT remark. My first NEW setup was an SVT Single Stack 8x10. Bought new in 1978 for $700. A week later after a birthday gig, our fill-in guitarist "had to have it" and bought it from me the next day for $700. He didn't want the same thing from the same store.. he wanted mine. Go figure. I was only using a beat-up old SG bass with 2 year old flat-wound strings. Now if an amp can make that guitar sound that good.... well..
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    The DI out from my Gallien-Krueger MB500 head goes through an outboard compressor and then to the interface. For the P-Bass, that's it. For the J-Bass, I'll usually add an Empress compressor in front of the amp with a minimal gain reduction, 2-4 dB. No sims, no ITB processing except a high pass at 50Hz. Every song I've tracked over the last three years or so has used this system. Stupid simple and works every time.

  9. #19
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    At one point, we were getting so many gigs I got tired of lugging speaker cabinets all over 4 States. I bought a new Roland GP-16 and just used that for live gigs DI'd into the sound board. We played for a college music department's graduation and their sound man had no idea what to do with the cable end I was handing him. He couldn't accept the fact I didn't have an amp and cabinet to mic. I told him where to stick it - literally.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    The one thing I started doing is putting foam on the strings and really like that dead sound. I read about somewhere on the board, looked at a couple of links, but I really dig the sound it gives. Sometime I take out the foam, but not often. Maybe it covers up my less than stellar playing. But it is different and noticeable.
    That's one way of using a "mute". It's quite common if that's the sound you want. Less sustain, less overtones but it can really focus the sound.

    Going the other way, if you wanted to get more of a piano-like thing happening with the overtones from roundwound strings (possibly stainless for the brightness), there's really no substitute for fresh strings.

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