BASS TALK - 24.02.2017
In this first Bass Talk I would like to discuss some off the possibilities when it comes to recording the electric bass.
I’m going to use the track ‘Make It Happen’ from ‘Un Poco Stereophony’ as an example to talk about bass recording. This is going to be pretty nerdy so hang in there ;-)
This track just kind of developed from the bassline. I was just having fun with this groove idea and then months later I decided to finish the track for the EP. By then I had already recorded all the bass parts of the tune with a mic setup. I might have been using my Fender American Series Jazz Bass '06 with S-1 switch (normally turned on) rosewood neck (3-color sunburst) even though I use my Sandberg California TT4 '08 (Hardcore Aged Fiasta Red) in the video version of ‘Make It Happen’. In the first place the track was recorded with a mic on my Marshall 7041 bass cab with 4x10 speakers using a Gallien Krueger MB 1001 RB 2 head. I tried the Shure PG52 mic and the AKG 2000c mic but I found them both to beefy to work with in the mix, even though these mic's are great for other purposes. Instead I ended up using the classic Shure SM57 mic. That mic actually captures a whole lot of bass while still keeping a nice midrange of the bass. In my view there is some pros and cons on the question of whether miking bass amps or recording straight into the board. The mic thing actually gave some life an action to the slap thing in this tune but for other purposes the straight into board recording is more easy to define in the mix.
Later on I developed the idea about the bass playing along with the sax and the guitar on the second theme. This new theme I recorded straight into the 3rd generation Mbok via PreSonus BlueTube DP V2: 2-channel, dual-path mic/instrument preamp. This was done with my Fender American Professional Jazz Bass '11 with maple neck (Charcoal Frost Metallic). This bass has a very beautiful singing tone with a warm punchy feeling from the maple neck.
For the upcoming recordings I’m using my Gallien Krueger MB 1001 RB 2 head as preamp. There’s a balanced direct out signal on the front of the amp and I pushed the post EQ bottom to get the EQ settings recoded along with the bass signal. After that I go into the BlueTube DP V2 to get the warmth from the tubes and then straight into the 3rd generation Mbox. I think that’s going to work out on the new recordings. Anyway I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done with the next recordings.
My advice when it comes to recording bass would be: Experiment with different mic's and recording settings until you find the solution that you like, and the solution that supports the music you are recording.
I hope you enjoyed this first bass talk. New bass talks will be coming up!
All the best