Quantcast
Bass amp simulators vs DI ? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Bass amp simulators vs DI ?
Old 13th March 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Bass amp simulators vs DI ?

Ok so I've recently been recording some bass and so far i am yet to find a good amp simulator for bass I've been able to get good results for electric guitar in the past but the bass just does not sound good. I have been using some bass amp sims from Amplitube.

What i find is that all of the sims just add so much low end rumble to the mix it sounds muddy and lacks any definition or punch and even when i cut the bass with eq it still does't really sound much better.

However when i just simply DI the bass add compression, EQ, and maybe a little saturation the bass sounds much better and sits fine within the mix.

Just looking for some opinions on what everyone does when recording bass and if you've been able to get quality results from bass amp sims.
Old 13th March 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
I would look into some outboard bass amp simulators, like the Sans Amp models for example. Ive even had great results with Line 6 Pods.

Cj
Old 13th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1991 ➑️
However when i just simply DI the bass add compression, EQ, and maybe a little saturation the bass sounds much better and sits fine within the mix.
Then do that.
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon ➑️
Then do that.
+1

Or you could try micing a bass amp.

I find the the Amplitube Ampeg model very usable.

matt
Old 13th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I suspect it you are having trouble with Amplitube Ampeg SVX you are maybe laying it on too thick. It's been a great tool for tracking and reamping bass in all styles and genres.
Old 13th March 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Less effort has been put into bass amp sims as of yet.

I like Ampitube's guitar sims, but I use this for bass sim:

Audiffex

I like Ignite's SHB a lot too. Paired with Recabinet especially.

http://www.igniteamps.com/en/audio-plug-ins
Old 13th March 2014
  #7
Gear Addict
 
dented42ford's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I usually track bass DI - convenience, mostly - but I haven't found any of the bass sim plugins to be "excellent" yet. I usually end up using FabFilter Saturn to treat the bass - I have a few pre-sets I've developed for myself that act like a multi-amp rig, basically. In other words, I treat the low, mids, and highs separately. I usually find that a fair amount of compression and [mild] saturation is what is needed to give the bass a more "live" sound.

I used to do a similar thing with Guitar Rig more often - usually splitting between a compressor on the lows (<200-400hz, depending on the sound) and the Hiwatt model on the highs. Then I'd compress the two together a bit. Didn't sound quite as good as Saturn, but worked really well.

If I were recording bass amps - which I haven't done in 3 years now - I would probably end up using a similar methodology now - Split out the highs and lows, then mix between them. Interestingly, the phase cancelations you get around the crossover when doing these sorts of multi-band manipulations are usually a bit of a problem, but in the case of bass guitar they can be very helpful. The natural crossover spots are actually places where you'd end up eq'ing a bit out anyway!
Old 13th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
scrubs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What type of bass?

Usually I just use the DI signal, but occasionally will run through an Amplitube Ampeg SVX or a cabinet simulator for a more amp-like sound. Adjust the parameters (input gain, drive, eq, etc.) on the Amplitube model to get it dialed in perfectly. It all depends on the song, though.
Old 13th March 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I play bass for more than 30 years. I tried a lot of amp-simulators, but never really liked any off them.
The two units I use with the best results (often in combination)to record bass:

A Neve like preamp (I have the GAP 73 DLX)

and/or

A Sansamp Tech 21 VT Bass DI

I really like the analogue speaker emulation of the Sansamp and even more I like that it allows to blend the direct signal with the processed signal and it has the option to NOT involve the "bite"-switch (what I do 97% of the time). And I like the kind of overdrive it offers, if I want it. I'm not so convinced of the EQ. But for the price it's a very versatile unit and they've put a lot of thoughts into it.

My signal chain implies a Markbass Tube Compressor (a real tube compressor, where the tube does the compression) -> VT Bass DI - GAP 73 DLX.
(The DLX allows you to not just saturate the input transformer, but the output transformer, too, without clipping).

The GAP was an eye opener for me. I guess most preamps today are just too good and neutral. They have reached what analog technique always aspired to do. Now we become aware that we don't (always) want that. We like the way some techniques "bend" and manipulate our signals.
I needed a longer time to understand that not just tubes bend our signals, but transistors and transformers too. They give bass this in your face feeling, where you hear the fingers sliding above the strings without sounding harsh and that punch. But the Neve-like preamps don't give you the sound of miked amps or so. That's what the Tech21 units do in a good and convincing way.

Dirk
Old 13th March 2014
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I recently did a reamp for that reason. I had the DI and was using plugins, but couldn't find the sweet spot.
Finally decided to reamp, ampeg classic svt, re20. Problems gone. Sits perfectly in the mix.
Old 14th March 2014 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Funny Cat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP ➑️
I play bass for more than 30 years.

The GAP was an eye opener for me. I guess most preamps today are just too good and neutral. They have reached what analog technique always aspired to do. Now we become aware that we don't (always) want that. We like the way some techniques "bend" and manipulate our signals.
I needed a longer time to understand that not just tubes bend our signals, but transistors and transformers too. They give bass this in your face feeling, where you hear the fingers sliding above the strings without sounding harsh and that punch. But the Neve-like preamps don't give you the sound of miked amps or so. That's what the Tech21 units do in a good and convincing way.

Dirk

Bass player here. GAP Pre is an amazing bass DI. Totally overlooked and underrated.
Old 14th March 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
There is one thing I don't get: a lot of people, who are into recording, don't use bass-preamps or the preamp-section of bass-amplifiers, they rather use mic-preamps like the Neve- and API-ones. At least what I expect from the preamp-section of a bass-amp isn't different from what I expect from a preamp I use for recording-purposes. Maybe I would use different settings, but a high-quality EQ for bass is a high quality EQ for bass. I even see bass players using Avalon-Preamps in a live setup.
My main bass amp is a Markbass LM II. I love it. The EQ-Section is really good. It isn't exactly the cheapest bass-amp money can buy. Why don't the manufactures of bass-amps put transformers etc. into their preamp-sections???
Why do I have to use classic preamps taken out of classic mixing consoles to get the sound I want. Shouldn't preamps and EQs that are made for bass and bass alone give you MORE than all-purpose preamp-sections and EQs of mixing consoles? I want the same sound live. A lot of bass amp manufactures put more and more into their products. Fancy effects, bluetooth driven what do I know. I might like that, but why don't they offer the obvious.

Dirk
Old 14th March 2014 | Show parent
  #13
Deleted 1846071
Guest
They are improving spec. Try a vintage Acoustic head with line out for that beefy saturated sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP ➑️
There is one thing I don't get: a lot of people, who are into recording, don't use bass-preamps or the preamp-section of bass-amplifiers, they rather use mic-preamps like the Neve- and API-ones. At least what I expect from the preamp-section of a bass-amp isn't different from what I expect from a preamp I use for recording-purposes. Maybe I would use different settings, but a high-quality EQ for bass is a high quality EQ for bass. I even see bass players using Avalon-Preamps in a live setup.
My main bass amp is a Markbass LM II. I love it. The EQ-Section is really good. It isn't exactly the cheapest bass-amp money can buy. Why don't the manufactures of bass-amps put transformers etc. into their preamp-sections???
Why do I have to use classic preamps taken out of classic mixing consoles to get the sound I want. Shouldn't preamps and EQs that are made for bass and bass alone give you MORE than all-purpose preamp-sections and EQs of mixing consoles? I want the same sound live. A lot of bass amp manufactures put more and more into their products. Fancy effects, bluetooth driven what do I know. I might like that, but why don't they offer the obvious.

Dirk
Old 14th March 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I use the Ampeg SVX. It is the only plugin I have found that has any kind of tone.

Kind of sad because it has got to be about 10 years old now (and it is still buggy).

I think the key to blending a D.I with an amp (real or sim), is to leave the real low end to the D.I.

Only use the amp for mid range character and vibe.

In terms of pre amp, the 6176 is pretty hard to beat for bass
Old 14th March 2014 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's too expensive to put studio level electronics in a bass amp. Especially as prices have come down a lot in recent years.

I use the Aguilar 680 bass preamp. I find it better than any studio preamp I have used (most of the usual candidates). It doesn't cut corners on price. Aguilar no longer make it and now only make a cheaper preamp.

M
Old 14th March 2014
  #16
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
I have been getting very usable tones from the new logic bass amp. You need a good pre/DI though. With the same amp settings, I switched from my UA 4-710d (3/4 tube blend) to my FireFace UFX DI and all the magic was gone. I have had good luck with the Ampeg SVX in the past.

Anyone tried (and liked) bass amp room?
Old 14th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I rarely use amp plug ins anymore since I got my REDDI. Usually that with EQ/COmp does the trick, but it really just depends on the sound you're going for. A lot of the classic Ampeg simulators are a little muddy, and to me that's about all that's worth simulating.

My ideal setup is into my REDDI - split clean to the board and the other channel going through my 8x10 mic'd
Old 14th March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbrowne ➑️
I use the Ampeg SVX. It is the only plugin I have found that has any kind of tone.

Only use the amp for mid range character and vibe.
I agree 100 %. The Ampeg SVX is quite good, but impossible to get it to sit in the mix, unless you use the blend/mix knob. That one really is the key. So of course you need a good DI signal in the first place.


Regarding preamps, everyone praises the hell out of Great River ME-1NV's input for bass, but that's the only thing I'm not crazy about when it comes to that pre. It seems to react too slow, lacking punch. Much better to go through something like a DAV BG1, that one is fast and still full, punchy sounding. Great River is more a vocal and guitar preamp where it is just amazing.
Old 14th March 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
godotzilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'll say this: the times that I've been forced to use a sim + a DI vs. the times I can mic a real amp + DI--the difference in presence, punch, and dynamics is night and day. Something about that air moving out of the speaker gives it that 3D thing that a sim seems to lack.
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by godotzilla ➑️
I'll say this: the times that I've been forced to use a sim + a DI vs. the times I can mic a real amp + DI--the difference in presence, punch, and dynamics is night and day. Something about that air moving out of the speaker gives it that 3D thing that a sim seems to lack.
But if it comes to recorded music: 95% of the people, listening to records or visiting concerts, have never heard the sound of a bass amp that moves a speaker. Even in most bigger concerts, the bass amp and the speaker rather serves as a stage monitor for the bass player. It might be still usual to mic guitar speakers, but bass speakers are rarely miked.
I remember Robbie Shakespeare (Black Uhuru, Sly and Robbie, Grace Jones etc.) once replied, when asked what bass-amp he is using: I don't know (he used an ampeg SVT with a 8x10 speaker enclosure). But for him it was just a stage monitor and whenever he worked in a studio - what he did most of the times - he was going direct to the mixer.

It's a bit hard for me to express in english why I react this way to your post, but in a way you suppose that the "natural" way a bass is listened to is a bass guitar connected to an amp connected to a speaker. And the best recording device possible would just reproduce this sound 100%.

But 93,45% of the people buying records, listening to music on the radio or on their notebooks have never heard a bass this way (if they didn't visit a concert and were very close to the stage and if they were, maybe they would have a better experience listending to the PA sound instead of listening to the stage sound.)

My expectations regarding the sound of a bass on a record come from the recorded bass sounds I've heard on records.
When I started to play bass, I didn't expect my recorded music to sound like my bass amp and it's speakers. I expected my bass amp and its' speakers to sound like the records I knew.

There is no "natural" sound. There are just 100 unnatural ways to bend the signal coming out of your instrument in a way you or maybe others might like.

Dirk
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pscorbett ➑️
I have been getting very usable tones from the new logic bass amp. You need a good pre/DI though. With the same amp settings, I switched from my UA 4-710d (3/4 tube blend) to my FireFace UFX DI and all the magic was gone. I have had good luck with the Ampeg SVX in the past.

Anyone tried (and liked) bass amp room?
I haven't had luck with bass amp sims before- Native Instruments, IK, Line 6, Korg. I have found them to be hard to mix, muddy usually. They kind of disappear in the mix. I spend too much time EQing.

I generally use a SansAmp Bass D.I. and/or an amp. But I've been messing around with Logic's Bass Amp Designer and I think it sounds good. It feels nice to play through as well. I might try it on the next project.

@DirkP- Really interesting post.
Old 15th March 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 
twentyhertz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not to sound trite, but what about Miking a real amp? 90% of the bass tones that I've gotten that I like come from a mic on an amp. I'm a bass player...
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You mean the softube one? I quite like the tone, but I have a hard time getting it to not be overly distorted.

I generally use Amplitube Ampeg because of this.

I don't really like the sound of Ampegs in real life (unless you are playing rock with a pick), but I love the sound in the studio.

matt
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
nonamesleft's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt thomas ➑️
I don't really like the sound of Ampegs in real life (unless you are playing rock with a pick)
matt
is there any other way to play a bass?!?!

haha
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 84 views: 14970
Avatar for Brian @ IK
Brian @ IK 20th February 2011
replies: 19708 views: 1561593
Avatar for mathirio
mathirio 8 hours ago
replies: 100 views: 24536
Avatar for Daft Joe
Daft Joe 17th May 2020
replies: 1374 views: 113261
Avatar for Neptune45
Neptune45 1 week ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump