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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Recording Corner »

Permalink Getting surf bass tones direct

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So, I record my bass direct, mostly. I do have a 67 bassman head. But I don't have a bass cab for it (just a cab with a v30 in it). I typically record bass direct with a DI box. Possibly a compressor. What's the best way to get a vintage, 60's bass tone direct without breaking the bank. Is there a plugin that sounds right? Or an eq trick? I just don't want a super modern tone. I also don't want to go spend a ton of money that I don't have.

Last edited: Dec 08, 2018 14:58:05

Boost 100 - 120hz for the bottom end, boost 1khz - 5khz for attack. Roll off anything over 5khz. This will get you into classic 60's tonal territory. 4:1 compression with a medium slow attack and medium fast release smooths things out nicely. If you go through a preamp with a transformer that'll really add some weight.

My Warm Audio WA12 Preamp gets some nice vintage bass tones. They're based on API preamps apparently. Very affordable for what they are. Its my go to pre for recording base these days.

+1 on the Warm Audio stuff. I have 2 of their pultec clones and they sound great and perform brilliantly. You can't beat the price either.

My favorite for direct bass recording. The Voicing control will get you deep into vintage tonality and brand new ones are available under $300 on

aka WoodyJ
The Mariners (1964-present)
HulaHounds (1996-present)
The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
X-Rays (1997-2004)
Various non-surf bands that actually made money (1977-1990)

Use my Nocturne Atomic Brain most of the time for bass and guitar. I've also used a Tech 21 bass pre-amp to good effect for recording.

bent playing for benter results


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