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How to record bassguitar?


Hi there,
I'm recording some songs with my band. The drums have been recorded at a studio, and the guitars have been recorded in my home/project-studio. Now we're about to record the bass and I'm wondering if you have any tips or tricks for recording bass? I use Cubase SX2, Yamaha DS2416 interface, UAD-1 Project pak, Line6 Pod xt PRO. I'm thinking of recording the bass through my pod xt, with just tube preamp. Should I record the bass i mono or in a stereotrack?


New Member
I record the Bass strait into the computer clean (with a DI and a preamp).
You can go thru the pod, but I wouldn't use any effects, use it as a simple DI.

You can always go into it after, if you like the grain. But always try to record everything as clean as possible, Dirtying and applying effects is easy, but the reverse is often impossible.

Otherwise a clean bass signal with a eq and a LA2A can sound really good (but then it depends on your style of music)


Thanks mtyas,

Yeas I bybass all effects and cabs and stuff, I just use the clean preamp. I think I'll use the LA2A like you suggested. But should I record a mono track, or a stereotrack? How is it usually done?


Active Member
First of all, there is no right or wrong. But it is very common to record the bass guitar on a mono track. Especially when you record it dry, there is no need for stereo, as it is just one single signal out of your instrument (which is connected to your POD or whatever through a mono guitar cable).

I also record bass guitars only through a DI box. Most of the time I don't remap it later. My favourite is also the LA2A for some compression. But my suggestion: try as much as possible to find \"your\" sound.



Use best instrument and preamp you have.
Change strings if you like bright sound.
Dead, dull sounding strings are also ok if you like that kind of sound.
Raise action on your instrument: that will give you \"punch\".
Record on mono track. Leave pan centred.
Use outboard compressor if you have one.
If not, I suggest Fairchild (mono) and Pultec (mono): both have presets called Thick bass or something similar.
If I want bass sound to be more prominent, I use Amplitube, clean tube preamp, so you can use your Pod with similar results.
You can add a touch of chorus or slap delay, but carefully.


New Member
I have always tried to get the best fitting sound at the recording stage.

I mean: premix what you already have recorded (drums, ...), set up your pod xt, play along and tweak your pod until you get something that you like. That's the best sound. If you record everything like that, mixing will be so much easier. Only a bit of enhancing what's already there really.

I personnally don't like DI'd bass though it is sometimes useful when your main take lacks bite and crisp.


Active Member
Record dry and try using Preflex and play around with the EQ sections and try turning off speaker simulation of Preflex. Then put an LA2A on the output of Preflex. :wink:

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
Holly said:
First of all, there is no right or wrong. But it is very common to record the bass guitar on a mono track.
This is probably a case where I'd say your way is the only right way. Bass isn't directional so panning it by any degree outside of center is just wasting dynamic range.


Established Member
As with guitar, it is IMPOSSIBLE to generalise about recording bass unless one knows the -genre-. Totally different techniques for different styles of music.

But in -general-

As said...

1. ALWAYS use clean strings

2. Record with -good- DI.

3. Split recording onto two tracks

a. Track #1 clean with LA2A for girth

b. Track #2 with Preflex (No cab) for attack


Leo Sunshine

New Member
The Pod XT - if you don't have other - is a good choice. Use the tube preamp, but turn off any other stuff. You can try the built-in compressor, I haven't tried yet, but I think working. For bass recording I think one of the best solution is the UA LA-610.


I suggest you to record bass on 2 mono tracks,
one with D.I. (or similiar) and one with a microphone (i.e. akg d112)
in front of the cabinet.

then you can mix the tracks in a group and use whatever you like an need.
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