SoundRoom: Retro Channel
BASS PLAYERS WHO HAVEN’T SPENT much time in a recording studio—or just aren’t that in to recording gear—may not be aware of the “channel strip” gear category. It’s a pity, because rackmount channel strips open up a world of geeky hipness for the truly tone obsessed. Channel strips are so-called because they emulate a single channel’s “strip” of functions on a mixing console. In its most basic form, a channel strip pairs a mic preamp with EQ, although most now include an instrument-level input and compression. Prior to the emergence of channel strips, preamplification, EQ, and compression would be handled by a mixing console and/or rack of discrete outboard gear. Though channel strips are used for every instrument in an ensemble, they’re of particular utility for bass players, who can both benefit from their tone and dynamic sculpting in the studio and use them as preamps for a live rig.