Compression/Bass in GB

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by beatsme, May 23, 2006.

  1. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #1
    just want to get a few opinions...

    when recording bass (Danelectro DC w/flatwounds), I usually go straight into a Logitech compressor and then to the board, though I occasionally plug into the Fender Twin and mic the output if I want a little more twang. Anyway, is it better to add compression before the signal reaches GB, or is it better to record the signal "dry" and add compression after? I've tried both ways, but I'd be interested to hear what anyone thinks will produce the best results.

    also, on a bass-related note: I tend to get to some residual harmonics in my bass recordings. That is to say, when I let up on the string at the fret I get a kind of "wolf" tone. I'm inclined to think this problem can be solved by lowering the pickups somewhat, though I wonder if perhaps a change in recording technique (or an EQ adjustment) can fix this. Any thoughts?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    couple things...

    when going direct, i prefer to use a DI input (either on a pre or a dedicated box) before doing anything else with it. also, i'll often record both a DI signal and a mic'ed amp, then mix to taste.

    regarding compression, there are a couple things to consider. first, is it needed? if so, why? is it a level thing, a sound thing, or both? if it's to protect the converters from a spike, then yes, you'll need to do that in hardware.

    if it's a sound thing, then you'll have to decide if your hardware box is indeed the sound you want. if so, then i think it's best to record with at least some compression, rather than doing a hardware insert on mixdown. i feel that way because:
    1. if you can dial in your sound at tracking, do it
    2. you avoid extra conversion
    3. one less thing to worry about at mixdown
    4. that compressor is now freed up at mixdown for other duties
    5. you can still add more compression to bass at mixdown (using a different compressor, of course)
    6. easier to do re-mixes later (stuff breaks, gets stolen, etc)

    otoh, if you're suffering from "i'm not sure that's the sound i want", then perhaps you're best putting off that decision until later. that said, i often find that the decisions i made earlier are fine and that frees me at least somewhat from decision paralysis when i mix.

    hope that helped.
     
  3. beatsme thread starter macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #3
    hey zim...

    I dunno that I need compression, as I'm usually fairly steady, but I like to run it. Every now and then I get a little too close to the fret wire, which will cause that note to kind of fart out...compression usually covers it pretty well. In any case, I'll take your advice and run the compressor before the mixer/GB.

    any thoughts on the "wolf tone" thing? I'm thinking my options in that regard are somewhat limited, inasmuch as the DC is semi-hollow and so there are always going to be some harmonic anomalies that I'm going to have to live with...
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    since you're a steady player, i think you should try recording bass w/o compression. for the occasional louder note, automate volume on the track. i think this is one of those secrets to getting to the next level -- i automate many of the tracks i mix and not only do i find it easier to mix, but i need way less compression.

    and i'm wondering if this will help with the extra note, too, as it's possible that the compressor (depending on the settings) results in making that tone louder than it should be.
     
  5. beatsme thread starter macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    ok...

    thanks. I'll give it a shot :)
     

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