You lads who get great bass tone, riddle me this if you will.
I run two tracks into my DAW, a DI and the signal from my preamp. I keep the DI muted when I bounce everything down, and have been spending my time listening to mostly just drum/bass on the mixes to try and cement the low end before I move on to guitars.
In my fiddling around, I'm finding that sometimes the raw preamp signal sounds pretty good on its own, and on top of that, sometimes just throwing an impulse on the DI makes for a half decent tone as well. I've also had pretty good results reamping the DI through my Axe-II for the distorted track and blending that in.
I know there's no right answer to this, so it's more of a preference thing - how are you guys managing your bass tracks? Do you use the DI for anything in the final mix? Is there always an impulse on the finished product? (Obviously, if you're using a mic'd cab, this question is not for you.)
It seems to make sense that even with the preamp/processed signal from a DI/SansAmp/etc a cab of some sort in the chain should give you a more polished, workable tone, no?
I always take a DI and an amp track.
I then fuck with them in myriad ways. I'll often add a midrange bandpassed distortion, but not always. Sometimes I'll add some stereo spread to that as its purpose is to blend with the guitars, but one has to watch phase and definition.
How the bass is compressed (and even independently limited) is life-or-death vital.
Past that I dont really know what to tell you other than 'ears are god'.