I’ve got a recording session coming up soon with a fairly well-known bass player around Nashville.

As far as I know, he’ll want to record direct. What I’m planning to do is something I’ve not done before, but I’m fairly excited about.

I recently bought a Presonus FireStudio Project for my studio. It’s a simple, one-rack space interface with eight microphone inputs. One of the unique features of FSP is that the first two channels can be either microphone or instrument inputs.

Not only that, they also have balanced send and return jacks on the back which allow me to send the signal off to another piece of equipment and bring it back in before it hits the converters. This is really cool and I’ve only seen this on Presonus products.

So here’s what I’m planning to do: I’ll plug the bass directly into input number one, then use the send to send that signal to my Alesis 3630 compressor. The 3630 is a fairly cheap compressor, but it often times sounds pretty good on bass.

From here, rather than sending the signal back into channel one on the return, I’ll send the output of the 3630 into ANOTHER input on the interface. What this does is allows me to record both signals — a direct signal from the bass and also the compressed signal from the Alesis — on separate channels in my DAW.

Why would I do this? Well, three reasons:

1. Nice tight sound for tracking.

The bass player wants to hear himself as close to how he will sound in the mix as possible, so having a nice compressed sound just for listening back can be beneficial.

2. Two options for mixing.

Having two tracks there gives me flexibility when it comes time to mix tracks. I can use the compressed signal, I can use the dry signal, or a combination of both.

3. Potential awesome discovery for the future.

Let’s say I find the perfect setting on the 3630 for bass. In the future, I can go back to that setting, record that whenever I record bass. That way, I’ll have a nice compressed bass sound and won’t have to use compression during midown.

So do you have any fun tricks that you do in your studio with analog equipment?