The downside of recording with passive bass to audio interface

I am not sure if this is one of the downside of passive bass. Feel free to correct me on this one since I am still learning.

With passive bass, I can not really control the EQ directly from the bass so I have to rely on the eq of my bass amp. So if I want to record directly to my DAW through low budget audio interface (i.e Presonus Studio 24c | Focusrite i22), I lose certain sound since the audio interface can not control the EQ. If I want to play around on certain frequencies, I have to do it in post from my DAW.

With active bass, even though I can not control the EQ from the audio interface, I can control the EQ from the bass directly.

The workaround for the passive bass is to connect it to the amp - put a mic in front of the amp - connect the mic to the audio interface. With active bass, I can still get the sound that I want from the bass directly to the audio interface without mic-ing my amp??
I guess that is why there are still some bassist who put a mic in front of their amp rather than connecting their bass straight to audio interface?

Am I missing anything here? Feel free to correct me (or even bash me on this one). I am open to learn.

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@jpartogi , external preamps and preamp DIs are your bosom friends.

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No bashing, this is a legit question…

I play passive basses also and record just fine. I use a preamp (VTBass DI) between my bass and DAI. My amp is out of the loop as far as recording goes, and is really just a monitor. I do all the coloring on the preamp and it records just fine.

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Ah. I think I get you. I can put a preamp that goes in between my passive bass and the audio interface? Now I control the EQ from that preamp right? That way I can kind of get active bass sound?

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Exactly!!

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Thanks @PamPurrs .

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You’re welcome…

I highly recommend this, but there are others as well. Please do your research.

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Sansamp makes great stuff. I have this:

and this:

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If your amp as an XLR out you can use your amp’s preamp to EQ if you like what it does.
You don’t need another preamp unless you want different EQ and other characteristic settings to play with .

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@John_E thanks for pointing that out. Sadly the amp that I have do not have an XLR or TRS output that I can connect to my audio interface. Something I need to consider when buying an amp in the future. :smiley:

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preamp is the way to go then, recording an amp with a mic is trickier and gets the entire room involved. and unless you love the sound of your amp, you may not like the outcome.

But in your DAW you don’t have to ‘do it in post’. You can apply EQ to your recording while you record if you like and listen in headphones too, can can always change in after as well ‘in post’

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I have a Rumble 500 amp head and cab, and still prefer doing the EQ stuff on a preamp. I just like the efficiency of it.

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Same. I’ve yet to touch the eq on my preamp for recording. Need to still do some fiddling with it and easier to play with preamps. I like their added color.

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This is exactly how it works.

For instance, Aguilar makes a preamp called the OBP-3.
You can get it as an internal preamp for your bass.
As the Tone Hammer pedal with a couple extra features.
Or as an amplifier with 350, 500, or 700 watts (and a few more features).
But all them are using the same preamp technology.

Each one has their use. For instance…
Use the pedal to build your base sound.
Use the preamp on your bass to adjust for different songs.
Use the amp to adjust for a room.

Not necessarily. If you like your amp, adding a pedal would do what you need and adds flexibility to your overall setup.

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If we are purely talking about recording here…

If you want the most flexibility at the expense of a bit more learning, you can also EQ in the DAW. It works better for a purely recording workflow but will require some learning and is also (at least initially) less “tactile” and fun than doing it on a preamp pedal.

Running an amp/cab sim in the DAW will make your bass sound much better as well - even better IMO than miking a live amp, but opinions vary there for sure. All amp sims have EQ on them as well.

Not trying to discourage a preamp pedal here though - preamp pedals are awesome. I used to collect them. Just pointing out another option.

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Just as a tip: the Behringer BDI21 is a nice and cheap DI/preamp.
https://www.behringer.com/product.html?modelCode=P0294

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One of the best deals in music!

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Wow. And it’s also low cost. Thanks for the suggestion.

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If you want to keep it very, very inexpensive, you can get the BOD Bass Overdrive VST plugin for free and do it in the DAW:
https://www.tseaudio.com/software/tseBOD
This plugin simulates the Sansamp Bass Driver, which is also the pedal that the Behringer BDI21 is modelled after.

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For pure recording I would keep everything in the DAW myself too, yeah. It’s just much more convenient.

Less tactile and fiddly without a controller though.

Thanks for the tip on the BDDI plugin too :slight_smile:

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