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Balancing direct and miked bass channels

From: Audio Mixing Bootcamp

Video: Balancing direct and miked bass channels

Once upon a time, the bass amp was always mic'd. Today most basses are taken direct. That being said, sometimes both the amp mic and the direct signals are recorded on separate tracks as well, so that the bass sound has the best combination of bottom end and clarity. In this video, I'm going to show you how to balance direct and mic'd bass signals. So the direct and the mic'd bass signals are going to sound completely different. The DI is generally going to have more definition and a little more high end, and the mic'd bass cabinet is going to sound a bit more fuller and rounder. So let's listen to them both. Here is the DI.

Balancing direct and miked bass channels

Once upon a time, the bass amp was always mic'd. Today most basses are taken direct. That being said, sometimes both the amp mic and the direct signals are recorded on separate tracks as well, so that the bass sound has the best combination of bottom end and clarity. In this video, I'm going to show you how to balance direct and mic'd bass signals. So the direct and the mic'd bass signals are going to sound completely different. The DI is generally going to have more definition and a little more high end, and the mic'd bass cabinet is going to sound a bit more fuller and rounder. So let's listen to them both. Here is the DI.

(music playing) We'll go back to the beginning and listen to it again, and here's the mic'd bass cabinet. (music playing) Now generally speaking, when we add them together, we get a combination that sounds better than either one, but not always.

Sometimes it doesn't work on the track, and sometimes it works great, but some combination is usually perfect. The first thing we're going do though is we're going to check the phase just like we did with the drums. So if you take notice, I have an EQ inserted on both of the channels. So I'm going to bring one up. I only need one. I'm going to play it (music playing) And I'm going to flip the phase. (music playing) Now you can really hear the difference when the phase is flipped there.

Sometimes people actually like that flipped-phase sound and they'll use that in the track--not all the time, but sometimes it's perfect for a certain track. Most of the time though, you prefer to have a selection that gives you the most bass, and that's where we're going to leave it. In this case, it's going to be deselected, and we're going to just keep it without the phase switched on either of the channels. Now in order for us to figure out the correct balance, we can do this two deferent ways. One way is we can raise the DI, have a listen to it, and gradually bring the bass cabinet in until we get the fullness that we need.

(music playing) Now another way that we can do it that sometime works even better is to listen in the track to what the bass sounds like, just the bass DI, and then bring in the bass cabinet. So let's have a listen. We'll bring in not all the instruments, but a lot of them.

(music playing) That's just the bass DI. Let's bring in some of the bass cabinet. (music playing) Now the idea here is to make it full, but we don't make it so full that it overpowers the kick drum, or any other instrument for that matter.

One channel will sound fatter and the other more distinct, so choose the one that sounds best in the track and add the other to taste.

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This video is part of

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Audio Mixing Bootcamp

103 video lessons · 19413 viewers

Bobby Owsinski
Author

 
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  1. 1m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
  2. 8m 20s
    1. Determining the listening position
      2m 27s
    2. Fixing acoustic problems
      2m 5s
    3. Setting up your monitors
      3m 48s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Setting up your session
      5m 52s
    2. Setting up your subgroups
      7m 50s
    3. Setting up your effects
      6m 35s
  4. 8m 45s
    1. Developing the groove
      3m 46s
    2. Emphasizing the most important elements
      3m 44s
    3. Knowing what to avoid
      1m 15s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Learning the principles of building a mix
      1m 1s
    2. Assigning the drums to a subgroup
      3m 55s
    3. Building the mix from the kick
      10m 8s
    4. Building the mix from the snare
      8m 46s
    5. Building the mix from the toms
      5m 25s
    6. Building the mix from the overhead mics
      3m 53s
    7. Checking the drum phase
      4m 44s
    8. Balancing direct and miked bass channels
      3m 36s
    9. Building the mix from the bass
      3m 26s
    10. Building the mix from the vocals
      4m 19s
    11. Balancing the rhythm section
      2m 44s
    12. Balancing the rest of the instruments with the rhythm section
      5m 22s
    13. Making a mix without building it
      4m 20s
    14. Balancing the harmony vocals
      2m 35s
  6. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the three main panning areas
      9m 23s
    2. Panning the drums
      6m 9s
    3. Avoiding pseudo-stereo
      7m 30s
  7. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding compressor parameters
      3m 42s
    2. Setting up the compressor
      14m 44s
    3. Compressing the drums
      7m 53s
    4. Compressing the room mics
      4m 9s
    5. Compressing the bass
      5m 24s
    6. Using the New York compression trick
      4m 23s
    7. Compressing the clean electric guitars
      4m 40s
    8. Compressing the distorted electric guitars
      4m 48s
    9. Compressing the acoustic guitars
      8m 7s
    10. Compressing the piano
      6m 35s
    11. Compressing the electric keyboards
      4m 32s
    12. Compressing the vocals
      4m 34s
    13. Compressing the horns
      3m 55s
  8. 25m 36s
    1. Learning noise gate basics
      9m 23s
    2. Using the noise gate on guitars
      3m 57s
    3. Using the noise gate on drums
      7m 38s
    4. Learning de-esser basics
      2m 15s
    5. Using the de-esser on vocals
      2m 23s
  9. 36m 4s
    1. Understanding equalizer parameters
      10m 16s
    2. Learning subtractive equalization
      8m 57s
    3. Learning frequency juggling
      8m 28s
    4. Using the magic high-pass filter
      7m 39s
    5. Learning the principles of equalization
      44s
  10. 49m 46s
    1. Equalizing the kick
      6m 7s
    2. Equalizing the snare
      2m 57s
    3. Equalizing the rack toms
      5m 4s
    4. Equalizing the floor tom
      4m 32s
    5. Equalizing the hi-hat
      4m 56s
    6. Equalizing the cymbal or the overhead mics
      6m 49s
    7. Equalizing the room mics
      5m 13s
    8. Equalizing the bass
      3m 59s
    9. Editing the bass rhythm
      4m 21s
    10. Equalizing the rhythm section
      5m 48s
  11. 47m 58s
    1. Equalizing the electric guitar
      8m 15s
    2. Equalizing the acoustic guitar
      4m 55s
    3. Equalizing the hand percussion
      3m 28s
    4. Equalizing the lead vocals
      6m 5s
    5. Equalizing the background vocals
      4m 14s
    6. Equalizing the piano
      4m 46s
    7. Equalizing the organ
      6m 49s
    8. Equalizing the strings
      6m 4s
    9. Equalizing the horns
      3m 22s
  12. 30m 47s
    1. Learning the principles of reverb
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding reverb parameters
      6m 49s
    3. Timing the reverb to the track
      6m 6s
    4. Equalizing the reverb
      2m 51s
    5. Using the two-reverb quick setup
      5m 35s
    6. Using the three-reverb setup
      7m 27s
  13. 59m 8s
    1. Adding reverb to the drums
      7m 56s
    2. Adding reverb to the vocals
      11m 59s
    3. Adding reverb to the guitars
      5m 17s
    4. Adding reverb to the piano
      4m 19s
    5. Adding reverb to the organ
      3m 43s
    6. Adding reverb to the strings
      5m 36s
    7. Adding reverb to the horns
      2m 57s
    8. Adding reverb to the percussion
      4m 46s
    9. Using reverb to layer the mix
      12m 35s
  14. 46m 8s
    1. Learning delay principles
      1m 40s
    2. Understanding delay parameters
      6m 54s
    3. Timing the delay to the track
      1m 28s
    4. Using delay timing variations
      2m 51s
    5. Equalizing the delay
      4m 23s
    6. Understanding the Haas effect
      2m 51s
    7. Using the three-delay setup
      7m 23s
    8. Adding delay to the vocals
      8m 43s
    9. Using delay to layer the mix
      9m 55s
  15. 21m 35s
    1. Understanding the types of modulation
      2m 43s
    2. Understanding modulation parameters
      4m 13s
    3. Modulating the guitars
      4m 7s
    4. Modulating the keyboards
      3m 17s
    5. Modulating the vocals
      4m 17s
    6. Modulating the strings
      2m 58s
  16. 12m 22s
    1. Mixing with subgroups
      5m 5s
    2. Using mix buss compression
      4m 21s
    3. Understanding the evils of hypercompression
      2m 56s
  17. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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