When you’re recording bass guitar, it’s almost always a good idea to take a DI with it. Most of the time you don’t want to be left with just the miked up speaker cabinet. This is so you can play with the direct sound and create a whole new tone later if you want. Engineers do this all the time with electric guitar as well!
What having the DI allows you to do is “re-amp” your bass track. This is done one of two ways: by running the signal through an actual bass amp or other hardware, or by using plugin emulations.
Brad shows us how he re-amped this DI bass using Native Instruments Guitar Rig, but of course you can use any of the amazing free plugins that come with your DAW.
He simply ran the direct bass signal through an amp sim and made a cool tone that fit the mix.
Then you can create a tasteful blend of the originally recorded amp and the re-amped DI. Tons of rock bass tones are actually a mixture of two, or even three to four, different tracks. Maybe the engineer used two different microphones on the speaker cabinet, and took a DI to re-amp and blend in later.
You’ll notice that the original recording is very round and full. On the other hand, the re-amped bass has a ton of treble — the two together balance each other out, and add some percussive character to this particular part!
Who is Brad Wood?
Brad started his recording career in Chicago at Idful Music Corp in the late ’80s. There, he had a chance to work with hundreds of bands, including Seam, Tar, Shrimp Boat, and Eleventh Dream Day.
Ultimately it was Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville that earned him recognition in 1993. Soon, Brad had recorded critically-acclaimed debut albums for Sunny Day Real Estate, Veruca Salt, Placebo, Red Red Meat, and Ben Lee.
He rounded out the ’90s with Smashing Pumpkins, Far, that dog., and Menthol. In 2000, Brad moved to Los Angeles where opened Seagrass Studio in 2004. He’s tracked and/or mixed everything since there, including Say Anything, mewithoutYou, more Ben Lee, The Bangles, Sherwood, Touché Amoré, and many others!