Personally I didn't like the Bass V-amp Pro (although wahwah gets on fine with his.) but what Eamon is saying is true - get a good full tone to start with. this does not mean saturate with effects and verb but just get a sound that is defined and clear. Make sure the middle and Lower end are tight and defined - add treble if you want it to cut through. If you are going for a rocky sound add just a tiny amount of drive - it brightens the sound and gives it a bit more definition (but don't EVER get to saturation point or it will become mush in the final mix)
if you are using an active bass -> DI you should be able to get a usable sound to work with. Make sure you get a good tone to start with. too trebly and you are going to lose any depth. I tend to go for a mid tone and fatten it up with the RBASS waves plugin.
don't hard pan the bass. Put it slight left or right (10% or so).
record with a compressor/limiter to even out the peaks and quiet sections.
Chorus can help to define a bass but never add so much that it is noticably chorused.
if you want to use effects try duplicating the bass track and only adding the fx to one of the tracks - this will keep the bite and definition of the original while still getting the effected sound. Obviously you will need to mix/lower the DB on both tracks slightly.
Bass compressor settings (these aren't my tips but something I uploaded a while ago.)
1) Between 4:1 & 12:1, Attack = about 50ms, rel. = around .4 sec.
2) After recording : 5dB of gain reduction on most notes. Adjust ratio &
threshold for this gain reduction. Try AUTO ( or rel. = 0.5 to 1 sec.)
3) 6:1, Threshold = -6dB with mild attack or AUTO.
4) If you're playing a very dynamic part = 2:1 or 3:1. Otherwise try a higher
ratio. Set input to go just over "0" on occasion. Set output so it doesn't
overload the next device.
5) 10:1, Threshold = 7, Attack = 6, Rel. = 6.
6) Apply compression lightly in both the recording & mixdown stages. Ratio =
4:1, Threshold set between -10dB and 0dB.
7) You can compress during recording or after or both !
BASS GUITAR - E.Q. SETTINGS
With 2 mics - pan one full left and one full right or both in the center.
1 mic - pan center.
Bass guitar tone controls - full up if "passive", centered if "active".
Keep E.Q. flat during recording.
Start by rolling all the bottom off (from 100Hz and lower) then use the
"low-mid" E.Q. to find the bass sound you want. Then slowly dial back the low frequencies to taste. Most of the "punch" comes from the "low-mid" range.
Cut "highs" during mixing. A bass track that sounds good "soloed" is NOT
appropriate for many mixes. Cut the deep lows (150Hz and below.) They can swamp the playback equipment. Boost 1 to 2kHz for "fret noise" (may sound ugly "soloed" but adds articulation in the mix !) Try to cut and bring level up
rather than boost. Make sure "kick" & "bass" aren't in the same area of the
The lower the volume the quieter the low frequencies. Check mix at different
volumes. E.Q. settings should be finalized in the context of the complete mix.
BEATLE BASS - Boost 100Hz by 2 or 3dB, (if you don't use a pick then boost 3kHz by 3 to 6dB.) To make "smoother & warmer" cut 12 to 18kHz ("hi eq") by 6dB.
SILLY LOVE TONE (McCartney) - (Similar to Beatle Bass with more warmth.) Boost 100Hz by a few dB then boost 500Hz by 6dB or so. Cut 300Hz by about 3dB and cut 12kHz by 6dB. [Good for ballads, rockin' blues or shuffle.]
BASS IN YOUR FACE (Aggressive John Entwistle sound.) - Boost 1 to 2 kHz by 6 to 9dB. Cut 200Hz by 6dB. For more "brittle" sound cut 100Hz by 2 or 3dB. This will help a busy bass line to slice through the mix.
TWANG THANG (C&W"ish") - To accentuate "twang" : Cut 200 to 250Hz by 6dB or so. (Good for reducing "mud".) Boost equivalent amount of 1kHz for "twang". Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB.
MO-BETTER MOTOWN (OR REGGAE) - (Smooth muted tone.) Cut 1kHz by 5 or 6dB. Boost 200Hz by 3dB. Boost 100Hz slightly. Cut high end ("hi eq") by 6dB or so. For "reggae" sound - boost a few more "dB's" of "low end".
MOTOWN (More punchy and aggressive.) - As above but instead of cutting 1kHz, cut 5kHz by 6dB or more. (Both the "mo-better motown" & "motown" sounds work nicely in a mix cluttered with mid-range elements such as guitar, piano & horns.)
JACO JAZZ (Jazz sound) (also good for fretless bass) - Boost 1kHz by 6dB or so. Cut 200Hz by as much as 9dB or more. Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB. Cut 12kHz ("hi eq") by 1 or 2dB. For "Marcus Miller" sound - cut at 800Hz rather than 200Hz.
Now don't ask me to elaborate on the last two sections as I am still trying most of that stuff out myself.