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Recording Basics

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The process for recording bass guitar is pretty straight forward even though there are several techniques for doing so. The first is to plug the bass straight into the mixing console. More songs have been recorded like this than any other. A variation on this is to use a recording pre-amp like the Line-6 Bass Floor Pod or Bossís GT-10B bass pedal to get a specific amp/cabinet/effect combination.

†††† Another is to have the speaker from a bass cabinet wired in such a way that it becomes a microphone and butt it right up next to the bass cabinet the bassist is playing through so that the speakers are facing each other. Iíve never tried this but I understand this really makes the bottom end sit well in a mix. This is what Paul McCartney did on many of the Beatleís records. I think, however, this may have been done out of necessity because there werenít any microphones available at that time able to handle the amount of sound pressure a bass cabinet produces.

†††† Other than that, the least popular way is to actually mic a bass cabinet. Most professional level bass amps and heads have XLR outs so you can go to the board from there rather than mic'ing the cabinet. I donít personally know of anyone who has mic'd a cabinet for recording.

†††† Always use compression when tracking a bass. It will moderate the dynamic levels and bring out some harmonics. Recording a bass track with some distortion on it will actually  help the track sit better and when you get to mix-down, youíll be surprised at how little of the distortion youíll actually hear. When it comes time to mix, donít cut the upper mids and high frequencies, thinking that you will enhance the tone, especially with someone playing slap bass. Regardless of what some people think, the tone you hear from a bass consists of frequencies all the way up to 20,000hz. Thatís why youíll often see a tweeter in a bass cabinet

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RECORDING BASS GUITAR

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