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Month: September 2011

Bass Recording Tips from the community

While I was preparing the recent Bass Guitar Recording article I inquired on Twitter about tips for recording bass. Look what happened

@ikmultimedia: Ampeg SVX!
@MarcusSt0ne: Making sure the player is consistent and doesn’t peak random notes.

@jacobgemmell: record a cab and DI two seperate tracks, and when it gets to editing make sure that beast is on beat.
also doubling up with a synth bass can be cool wide

@djdanlib: Yeah, use compression on finger bass, and don’t kill the high frequencies – there is important audio up there

@bobbyjonesmusic: 700HZ is magic for bass recording.

@RecordingBlogs: My very limitted experience with bass on the cheap – – although you sound a lot more professional 🙂

@pakit0_Q: Low threshold plus a 4:1 ratio plus high output equals a pretty tight bass

@MrTonyDraper: P-bass into Ampeg! Split into two amps, one clean, one distorted. U47 and U67 both really nice, not too close.

@timgosden: make sure they only play one note at a time with tight note starts AND endings. 🙂

@seankalaras: if using DI and amp, calculate and adjust for the delay between the signals. About 1ms per foot off the speaker is usually ok.

@817audio: I once used this configuration on a 10′ speaker. Provided a super punchy sound. #D2 #SM57

@lucesdaniel: you could emphasize the difference of amp versus plain DI, many people go the easy way then struggle to fit a DI in the mix.

@recordinghacks: bass guitar: steve albini uses one of these: (not sure that’s useful information though!)

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Bass Guitar Recording

Bass doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in a recording situation. I see a lot of home recordists rush through bass recording, only to later be frustrated with the bass when it comes time for mixing. It’s really too bad because it’s the foundation of the song. A great bass will groove tight with the drums and support the guitars. Fitting it in the mix will take minimal effort and you will be loving life.

A great recording starts with a great source. When it comes to tracking bass guitar, the source is comprised of many factors:


  • Technique and playing position – Playing with a pick or with fingers or thumb. Intensity, Playing close to the bridge, in the middle or close to the neck. Choose what is appropriate for the song
  • What is played – playing bass lines that serve the song and don’t clash with the drums or guitars rhythmically or melodically.
  • Tuning – Check the tuning often


  • Strings – new strings usually sound best and give you the brightest tone to start with.
  • Electronics (Pickups and EQ) – The pickup selection and tone settings
  • Wood and construction – The wood used in the neck and body really effect the sound. Maple and Ash are bright and punchy, mahogany is thicker and darker.

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