Acoustic Bass / Bass Violin

Recording the Bass ViolinIn discussing electric bass recording techniques I failed to mention the acoustic bass. Also known as the bass violin, the acoustic bass is used quite a bit in jazz, country and bluegrass genres.

In the studio put the bass in a separate isolated room if at all possible, with the exception of acoustic country and bluegrass styles. For a jazz group while it is advantageous to keep all the players together there usually is too much bleed from the drums and piano.

You can get a great sound by using two mics. A large diaphragm condenser aimed at the lower body of the instrument below the “f” hole and a small diaphragm condenser aimed above the “f” hole sort of at the fingerboard. Both of these mics are about 12 -18 inches away from the instrument.

Roll a little of the high frequencies off on the bottom microphone and just a smidgen of the low frequencies off on the top microphone. Record on separate tracks and blend to taste in mixdown.

If recording a bluegrass group or one with no piano or drums you can get away with having the bass musician with everyone else in one larger room. You can also use gobos (go betweens) to help isolate the sounds while still keeping the group together in one area.

What are your favorite acoustic bass recording tips?

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .

More Recording Tips for Electric Bass Guitar

A friend of mine who plays bass said to me “Is that all you’re going to say on recording bass”? 😉 So here’s more… if the project is personal to you, think about the style of playing for the song you are playing to. Laid back? Aggressive? Finger? Pick?
1 – 2 – 3 finger(s)? Fretted? Fretless? Flat wound strings? Round wound strings?

All of this helps determine the sound of the bass itself. How about a 4 string versus a 5 or 6 string bass. Ever hear a “stick” bass? If you have the right recording space, set up a bass cabinet and use a dynamic or better yet a large diaphragm condenser mic to capture the sound of the cabinet and mix that in with the DI when you mix. You’ll get some great tones this way.

I say the right space because the low frequencies of the Bass will go everywhere there is a mic. If you are recording other instruments at the same time keep the cabinet in its own room. Here is a big tip to remember when recording with a mic and a DI. When you go to mix you will need to alter the Phase/time of one of the signals to the other. This is because the time relationship between the DI and the Mic is not in sync. The easiest way to do this is to move (slip) the mic track to be inline with the DI track in mixing/editing. Then listen to the kick/bass relationship to make sure all is good.

What are your favorite methods for getting a good bass tone?

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...