Bass preamps for recording directly into interface

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by I play music, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Hi,
    I'm basically searching for a "ready to record" bass tone in a box. Especially important is to somehow have that thing where you somehow split the signal to use overdrive for the higher frequencies but a clean low end like it is usually done on metal recordings.
    Styles: Mainly metal, but it should also sound at least ok for other styles like funk.

    I know that the Darkglass B7k ultra version 2 should probably do what I'm searching for and has a cab sim. But it's kind of expensive and I'm not 100% convinced on its sound, so I'm wondering what else is out there? Or would it be a better idea to buy any bass preamp (maybe Ampeg SCR DI) and a separate pedal like the Mooer Radar for cab sim?

    Basically I don't know so much about bass stuff so I'm hoping to gather some information here and find a good solution that I maybe didn't knew about before. Thanks (-:
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Pretty much any bass preamp will do what you're looking for, for the most part. I've done it with a Sansamp RBI, an Ampeg SVT-IIP, etc. The splitting between dry and wet tracks is something you'd do in your DAW though, not via the preamp. If your preamp has separate outputs for the affected and dry/passthrough/di signals, you can capture them both (both the preamps I mentioned can do this one way or another), otherwise you'd want to put a DI before your preamp and capture the DI alongside the preamp. In either case, you still need to do your own low/high passing after you've recorded them.
     
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  3. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    try the amplitube Ampeg plugging. You can download a free trial and see if you like it first before you buy (or find a crack)

    I have it and its pretty awesome, Only thing is they lack on te overdrive department, they have a couple of pedals but they sound bit "meh", but at least you got a really good pre-amp-cab platform
     
  4. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    the neural dsp darkglass plugin has a 14 day trial, lets you try the b7k and vmt before spending money
     
  5. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Just do it in the DAW. Route your input raw DI to a few channels that you can EQ differently, insert cab sim blends on to taste, and distort to taste.
    The Darkglass VST is like $100 and well worth getting. I wouldn't really bother getting hardware for the kind of thing you want to do now that this exists.
     
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  6. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys! Reading the answers, maybe I should rephrase a bit the question.
    The thing is that I do not have a bass amp, so I thought that if I bought a bass preamp aside from recording I could connect it to the stereo in the living room for practicing also or use it with headphones and not have to buy a bass amp and also not open the DAW every time I want to play.
    Well, it's 100$ for a software plugin where I have to bother with licensing crap and probably don't use it any more in a couple years. For 190€ I can buy a new Ampeg SCR DI for example.
    Wow, the Sansamp RBI sounds monstrous here:

    Even though I don't know how big of a part the Sansamp plays and how much is just the tuning and bass. How did you like yours? Is it worth the money? (costs twice the price here of the Ampeg SCR DI for example)
    I wonder why there's no preamp that splits the signal into two paths, one distorted and one clean. Maybe with a knob to adjust the splitting frequency...should be possible, right?

    Anyways: With guitars we always need a cab or cab sim so that distorted sound is tamed in the highs so it's not earpiercing. Bass is something a lot of people record without any cab or cab sim it seems...do bass cabs not color the bass sound as much as guitar cabs or why is that? Is it not needed?
     
  7. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    there's the tech21 dp3x that does the clean lows and distorted high, however there's also a big ass hole in the mids.

    even if you want a hardware thing and not go the software route, at least try some plugin to see what kind of tone you really want to go for and not just "clean low and distorted high because everyone is doing it"
     
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  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    That's not the sound of an RBI, in my experience. The RBI doesn't really do that dirty/grindy sound that the other preamps mentioned can do. It's actually a pretty clean preamp. A B7K it is not.
    I like the RBI in the sense that it gets the job done. But it's a bit clanky and sterile compared to.... most other preamps I've tried. I replaced it with SVT-IIP - the impression I get is that the IIP is the preamp the RBI wants to be.
     
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  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    if you buy the ampeg DI/scrambler (for example), you can blend the signal on how much you want dirt for playing live..... For recording, record your bass clean, once happy, send an out signal of your bass recording into the pedal with 100% scrambler on (and whatever other EQ setting) and record that signal (re-amping basically) into a new track and happy days.

    also I dont think theres a pedal that can do what you ask, if not they might have a "trough" out like on a DI box, so an untouched signal, not sure...?... but hey, google is your friend bro, google it, search brand, search webstores, places like sweetwater tehy got good pics of the products, see the IN/OUT of the pedal/preamp, search the specs, manuals, images, ect

    Also a lot of those pluggings (at least the ampeg amplitube) work as a standalone, so you dont need to open a DAW to use them, play with your headphones and happy days. Or conect your stereo to your computer output (audio interface out).... You most likely play with a backing track/music and that would come from your computer so, you are gonna be around your computer eitherway

    also not sure what stero settup you got at home, but your bass might wont sound the best trough it. Imagine running your guitar trough it vs a guitar amp
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  10. Radau

    Radau Bongoloid

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    Darkglass does what you're looking for
     
  11. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Daring Audio had some good Bass DI pedals too, but they're hard to find now.
     
  12. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, didn't know about this one. You mean it's lacking mids?
    Searched for a demo and the sound seems closer to what I want than say a Darkglass pedal. I only heard a lot of noise when the drive was engaged but not sure if maybe the guy had a noisy bass. However, I didn't understand what exactly the "Chunk" knob does.
    I think you're right in that it wouldn't hurt to experiment a bit with software to find out how to reach what I want...but then the question is still what hardware can do the same thing.
    What I want is basically something like this:

    Can I plug the balanced out of the audio interface directly into a pedal, does this work with the levels?
    For guitar it works fine, but since I don't have a separate subwoofer I actually don't know how much I'd be missing out when playing bass ...
    Would the attack and grunt switch allow me to do what I want? The product page does not make it clear to me.
     
  13. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    those switches are a form of EQ togive an extra "bite" or "low end" to your signal. Go and check some demo videos about that pedal, google it and you would find heaps of demos in youtube
     
  14. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    rex brown's tone = pick + spector + sansamp

    here's a free sansamp plugin : https://www.tseaudio.com/software/tseBOD

    careful about the blend on sansamp products, it's not a clean blend, it blends in the "amp sim" which is mostly a massive cut in the mids (20-30db around 1khz), use it with caution if you don't want to disappear from the mix

    yes, not enough mids for me just like every sansamp, but i like mids
    IMO the darkglass stuff is better EQ wise to really place the bass in the mix, you can either cut through or sit below the guitar

    the switches are pre-dist EQ control for the lows and high, either boost,cut or flat, the 4 band EQ (or 6 for the AOU) is post distortion
     
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  15. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    For classic sounds, a Sansamp bass DI is amazing. For modern bass grind, the DarkGlass B7k is my recommendation. If using software, the Neural DSP DarkGlass plugin or the Helix Native Obsidian sound are both killer.

    By the way, Sweetwater has financing on the DarkGlass pedals through October second. If you don't have a sales engineer there already, ask for Chuck W.
     
  16. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    A farty tone?
     
  17. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    You mean that tone is just his bass into a Sansamp?! Wow, I need to try this.
    Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to know!
     
  18. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    You guys in the US now call salesmen engineers?! :nuts:
    Also, you have financing for things like a bass pedal?! :facepalm:
     
  19. Flemmigan

    Flemmigan Snoofin' your gear

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    The Tech 21 VT Bass is an extremely underrated and versatile preamp pedal that can pretty much do it all. I've had mine for 5 years and haven't felt the need to "upgrade" to a Darkglass because it accomplishes just about everything I want. You can dial in a really solid SVT or Fliptop style clean amp sound and also do very high-gain crunch similar to a B7K. I ended up recently getting the VT Bass Deluxe as well (same tones, but holds three different presets and has some more I/O) for a good deal on Reverb.com and now I use it for all my bass tones. Before that I was using the SVT model on the Axe FX Ultra, but I think the VT Bass actually sounds better. Now I use the first VT Bass pedal as a dedicated overdrive since I already had it lying around.

    I've run it through a FRFR system before and it sounded very good. Played it a few months ago into the FX return of an Ampeg combo at a gig and it sounded great there too. Nowadays I just practice through my JBL LSR8 monitors and it sounds good.

    The Darkglass is excellent from everything that I've heard, and probably has some more options. The Neural DSP plugin seems like a really great deal as well, but if you want a very versatile and affordable box that you can plug into an interface or mixer to practice, my money is on the VT Bass.
     
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  20. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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